On the laundry list of things Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should do to restore his image as a Western-style democratic leader: Fire Egemen Bağiş.
The pugnacious European Union minister, responsible for negotiating Turkey’s way into the 27-nation club, has done little but humiliate himself and his country with a series of combative public statements and decrees that make him seem disconnected from reality at best, and waxing despotic at worst.
He said in a speech last week that he deemed protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square supporters or members of terrorist organizations. He spent 849 words lambasting The Economist over an article comparing Erdoğan to a sultan. And on Thursday, he ignited already fraught relations with Germany, the de facto leader of the EU, by claiming Chancellor Angela Merkel was stalling Turkey’s accession talks because she was “looking for domestic political material for her elections.”