The looming Turkish showdown

US sanctions against Turkey this week come as Western interests and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's come increasingly into conflict. Given Ankara's ambitions and rising regional clout, the incoming Biden administration may not be able to duck a confrontation that will have far-reaching impact on the Middle East and Europe.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan undoubtedly enjoys wide popular support in his country. PHOTO: REUTERS
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It was a remarkable, historic first: Early this week, the United States imposed sanctions on Turkey, a country which is not only a long-standing member of the Nato military alliance in Europe, but also hosts American nuclear weapons on its soil.

And if this was not enough, the European Union also slapped its own sanctions on Turkey, a country which, at least formally, has been an EU candidate member for more than half a century.

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