The EU conditionally put an updated customs union on the table in an effort to ameliorate Turkey and defuse the Eastern Mediterranean crisis. This offer should be immediately retracted. Brussels offered a positive agenda, but Ankara rejected it. Once again, history shows Erdogan responds to sticks rather than carrots. Indeed, it is time for public deliberations about cancelling Turkey’s existing Customs Union.
European leaders may be averse to sanctions, but sometimes they are a tool necessary to advance peace and avoid bloodshed. Too many current and former officials have allowed Erdogan to believe that he has more leverage over the EU than it has over him. There will be no peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and along Turkey’s borders until Europeans disabuse him of that notion. Simply put, Erdogan is the sultan who wears no clothes. It is time European governments reminded him how naked and alone he really is.