Could Turkey-US tensions complicate business ties?

Anti-American sentiment is rising in Turkey. Already Erdogan has used state resources to dig into business matters of a US-based Islamist preacher who is a political rival.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, April 29, 2014.

Anti-American sentiment is rising in Turkey ahead of presidential elections this summer. And Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may be the main beneficiary.

Last week, Mr. Erdogan announced he had requested the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Islamist preacher Fethullah Gulen – one of his main political rivals. The request is very unlikely to be approved, our correspondent says. But that may not be the point. “This is something which will help Erdogan domestically,” our reporter explains, noting that it could transfer the blame to the United States. “It is likely to play very well with his base.”

Mr. Gulen and his movement have been engaged in something approaching an all-out political war with Erdogan in recent months. The Turkish prime minister has blamed the group for being behind a series of corruption allegations against his government. “No one has proven that Gulen’s network was behind these corruption allegations, but no one seriously believes they are not involved in it,” our Istanbul-based correspondent says.

Erdogan has fought back with economics, The Christian Science Monitor’s reporter says.... For the rest of the story, continue reading at our new business publication Monitor Global Outlook.

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