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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan holds a news conference during a NATO summit in Brussels.

REUTERS/Yves Herman

Turkey can't afford to pick fights

Turkey has thrown an eleventh-hour spanner into historic bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO over supposed terrorist presence in the Nordic countries linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a militant group Ankara regards as a terrorist organization. On Monday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to block the applications. (NATO accession requires approval from all current members of the alliance.)

Erdoğan's tirade aside, NATO's longtime bad boy is expected to ultimately back off without too big a fuss. The Turks will try to get some concessions, and bringing up the Kurds always plays well domestically, but Turkey previously told the Finns and Swedes that it wouldn’t close the door to their NATO membership.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Bocharov Ruchei residence.

Vladimir Smirnov/TASS

In Erdogan’s shoes: What is he thinking?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held power in Turkey for almost 20 years, first as prime minister, then as president. With inflation soaring and his currency collapsing, Erdogan’s eccentric ideas about economic policy seem to have made a bad situation worse — but what if we saw things from his perspective? We steal a memo on Erdonomics from deep inside the Turkish Presidential Palace.

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