How Erdogan has become the world's "the elephant in the room"?
In recent years, under Erdogan's presidency, Turkey has become authoritarian and more nationalist country. This has been more obvious especially in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, when President Erdogan started to impose an emergency law against its opposition. Consequently, he imprisoned thousands of civilians, military commanders, journalists, judges, politics, Kurdish members of parliament and local councils. He, arguably, pushed the country from so-called secularism into ideological religious example with neo-Ottoman dream and ambition. More seriously, Erdogan is trying to appear as a devout Muslim in his decision that to turn Hagia Sophia from museum into a mosque.
Besides that, Turkey as a NATO member since 1952, has become "the elephant in the room" for NATO at the first when started to confront its principles and values by purchasing of a Russian antiaircraft system, the S-400. That had happened despite the American and another NATO’s members warning. Moreover, NATO's plan for the defence of Poland and the Baltic countries that border Russia, has been blocked by Erdogan AKP's party for long time, due to the Turkey's demand from NATO to list the Kurdish forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces, as a terrorist organisation.
Added To that, Erdogan's warships has confronted the French frigate, while the EU has a plan for the conflict in Libya to support enforce the arms embargo there, and that could undermine the European Union's mission for peace and political solution in Libya.
However, the increasing tension in Mediterranean Sea has become a fact after Turkey has sent its research vessel with warships to disputed water area between Greece and Cyprus, which could led to direct confrontation with Athena due to Erdogan provocation. Consequently, the eastern Mediterranean turn into maritime hot spot because Turkey has repeatedly carried out warship-escorted offshore drilling in the territory. That is why the French President has described the NATO and the US role and presence in the region has "disappeared over time, or in any case, largely been withdrawn”.
Emmanuel Macron has blamed Turkey in the recent Mediterranean crisis as "Turkey’s return to the region as an imperial power fantasising about its history" he said. More seriously, Turkish government and Erdogan has repeatedly declared that they would cease controlling its land and sea borders with Europe and open the passage for Syrian migrants wishing to cross. This threaten has been a fact several time despite the European Union and Turkey's deal in 2016 to prevent migrants from illegally entering Europe. The EU fund for Turkey to help the nearly 4 million Syrian refugees was around six milliard euro, while Erdogan's threats to Europe could be seen as a tool to pressure the EU and international community into supporting Ankara’s recent military involvement in the Syrian conflict to occupy more territories in north part of Syria and in particular the Kurdish region.
In the long run, Erdogan is running the risk of further souring its relations with the EU by this type of threatening that using the refugee’s card. That means, in the fact, Ankara is threatening the EU to open its borders for thousands of jihadists and members of ISIS and Al-Qaeda Front who lives in Turkey or trying to cross the Syrian borders with Turkey and to return to Europe. Furthermore, after Turkish military presence and intervention in Libya, it has been opened another border for immigrants and terrorists to enter the EU via Libyan territories.
In other words, the whole Middle East as a region with east Mediterranean countries and other places of neo-Ottoman ambition of interventions, Turkey under Erdogan's leadership has become a threat for the stability in the world. It has become a real "elephant in the room" not only for NATO members, but for Europe and whole region as well that require finally real actions by the US and its NATO's allies.