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Turkey pivots to the center of a New Great Game

When it comes to sowing division and reaping the profits from it, Turkey under Recep Tayyip Erdogan is quite the superstar.

Under the delightfully named Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Donald Trump administration this month duly slapped sanctions on Ankara for daring to buy Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems. The sanctions focused on Turkey’s defense procurement agency, the SSB.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s response was swift: Ankara won’t back down – and it is in fact mulling how to respond.

The European poodles inevitably had to provide the follow-up. So after the proverbial, interminable debate in Brussels, they settled for “limited” sanctions while adding a further list for a summit in March 2021.