Lieberman: Europe should learn from Russia's treatment of Erdogan

Lieberman: Europe should learn from Russia's treatment of Erdogan
The Israeli defence minister reportedly said Europe could 'learn from Putin' over how to deal with its southern neighbour's 'strong-man' politics.
2 min read
29 November, 2016
Russia placed sanctions on Turkey last year after it shot down a Russian plane [Getty]
The Israeli defence minister has reportedly been applying pressure on Europe to take a harder line against Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

According to a number of anonymous EU envoys, Avigdor Lieberman has been suggesting that Europe should take lessons from Russia's strongman President Vladimir Putin.

"You need to learn from Putin on how to deal with Erdogan," Lieberman said, according to Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

"Within three months, Putin made Erdogan fold, you could learn from him," the minister is reported to have said.

The minister's office did not respond to a request for comment from The New Arab.

Erdogan has recently spoken against the importance of Europe to Turkey, after Brussels expressed repeated alarm over Turkey's internal affairs following the failed July coup.

The Turkish president repeatedly threatened to reintroduce the death penalty, a red line with regards Turkey's potential membership in the EU. He has also threatened to open Turkey's borders, allowing thousands of refugees to enter Europe.

Lieberman expressed frustration with Europe's lack of aggression against Erdogan and pointed towards Turkey's capitulation in the face of Russia's sanctions this year as an example of success.

Lieberman was against any Israeli reconciliation with Turkey earlier this year and walked out of a cabinet meeting that discussed terms.