A Trump win will give Erdogan more space to agitate in the East Med, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan can count on his personal relationship with Trump and Trump’s general indifference to the area to give him more leeway and drive a more risk-acceptant agenda.
A Biden victory will complicate Erdogan’s moves in the East Med as well as more broadly across the variety of geopolitical open fronts Erdogan has opened up of late –iden is more likely to line up with the European Union in opposition to Erdogan on East Med matters, the NATO / S-400 issue etc.
But at the end of the day, the real outside actor that will need to decide how much of a hard line to take with Ankara over East Med provocations will be Brussels, even as Washington is increasingly eyeing the region for opportunistic interventions to showcase leadership and protect US interests.
While the result of US elections will have minimal direct bearing on the immediate situation in the East Med, persistent tensions in the medium term could trigger Biden moves against Erdogan, with adverse effects on Turkey.
Ian Bremmer is President of the Eurasia Group.