Erdogan and Brussels

by George Hatjoullis

On March 18 I came across the following Tweet from Alex Barker, an FT correspondent.

Erdogan Rant

It was an extraordinary rant from a national leader. He was angry about the bombings in Turkey and seemed to hold the EU responsible. The last paragraph is key. At best, he seemed to be wishing the same fate on Brussels. At worst he was predicting this fate. This rant could be an unfortunate coincidence. It does however raise some questions.

The terrorists to whom Erdogan is referring are Kurdish. Was he suggesting that allowing Kurds to protest his visit in Brussels was like ‘dancing in a minefield’ or ‘feeding the snake’ in our bosom? There was never any likelihood of Kurdish terrorists attacking the west. His rant made no sense. Until that is today.

The horrific attacks in Brussels immediately brought to my mind this Tweet by Barker. It seems an amazing coincidence that 4 days after Barker made this Tweet, Brussels was bitten by the snake. It was not the snake to which Erdogan seemed to refer. It was not Kurdish terrorists (why would they?). At the time of writing, no one has claimed responsibility. The assumption is that it is ISIL or an ISIL inspired group. The question is was Erdogan’s rant coincidence or did he know more? If nothing else what kind of national leader makes such statements?