Kathimerini Greece Newsroom
The authoritarianism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as his stance with regard to Sweden and Finland’s NATO application, is drawing the ire of an increasing number of international media.
The latest publication to denounce him was the German magazine Stern, whose cover on Thursday had his photo under the title “The Arsonist.”
Stern denounced the Turkish president for inciting conflict to stay in power, not only in his own country but also in Germany.
The magazine’s editorial said that Erdogan wants to use his influence with the Turks in Germany to secure their support in the upcoming elections. He also wants to remain a troublemaker and firebrand both nationally and internationally, it added while noting he is stirring up conflicts in his own country, in Syria and in Germany in order to secure power.
The piece came a week after The Economist magazine’s scathing feature on the Erdogan regime and its slide toward autocracy, calling him an international agitator who is using various pretexts to prevent Sweden and Finland from joining NATO.
It stressed that Erdogan has become more unpredictable and aggressive, using the threat of a veto over NATO decisions to pressure the United States Congress to sell a new batch of F-16s to Turkey. These weapons systems, The Economist said, could be used against Greece.
The Swiss Le Temps, for its part, describes Ankara’s objections to NATO enlargement as risky, dangerous and “with its eyes on the Turkish political scene,” noting an informal alliance between far-right Islamophobic elements in the Swedish political scene and Turkish nationalist organizations, which were quick to exploit the burning of Qurans politically.
Moreover, a New York Times correspondent in Istanbul said that Erdogan is spending billions of dollars of state funds to win re-election while launching a barrage of legal threats against his political opponents.