To the naked eye, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be moving from strength to strength. Erdogan was welcomed as a hero on his recent trip to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The Arabs embraced him as the new face of the war against Israel.
The Obama administration celebrates Turkey as a paragon of Islamic democracy. The Obama administration cannot thank Erdogan enough for his recent decision to permit NATO to station the US X-Band missile shield on its territory. The US is following Turkey's lead in contending with Syrian President Bashar Assad's massacre of his people.
And according to Erdogan, the Obama administration is looking into ways to leave its Predator and Reaper UAVs with the Turkish military when US forces depart Iraq in the coming months. Turkey requires the drones to facilitate its war against the Kurds in Iraq and eastern Anatolia. The Obama administration also just agreed to provide Turkey with three Super Cobra attack helicopters.
Despite its apparent abandonment of Iran's Syrian client Assad, Turkey's onslaught against the Kurds has enabled it to maintain its strategic alliance with Iran. Last month Erdogan announced that the Turkish and Iranian militaries are cooperating in intelligence sharing and gearing up to escalate their joint operations against the Kurds in Iraq.
Erdogan is probably the only world leader that conducted prolonged friendly meetings with both Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and US President Barak Obama at the UN last month.
Then there are the Balkans. After winning his third national election in June, Erdogan dispatched his Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Kosovo, Bosnia and Romania to conduct what the Turks referred to as "mosque diplomacy."
Erdogan's government has been lavishing aid on Bosnia for several years and is promoting itself as a neo-Ottoman guardian of the former Ottoman possessions.
EVEN ERDOGAN'S threats of war seem to be paying off. His attacks on Israel have won him respect and admiration throughout the Arab world. His threats against Cyprus's exploration of offshore natural gas fields caused Cypriot President Demetris Christofias to announce at the UN that Cyprus will share the revenues generated by its natural gas with Turkish occupied northern Cyprus.
Christofias said Cyprus would do so even in the absence of a unification agreement with its illegally occupied Turkish north. Moreover, due to Turkish pressure, Cyprus has agreed to intensify reunification talks with the Turkish puppet government in the northern half of the island. Those talks were set to begin in Nicosia last Tuesday.
Then there is the Turkish economy.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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