Economist political and Brexit editor John Peet expressed heightened concern over the path followed by Turkey until the May 14 general election in the neighboring country, addressing an Athens audience on Friday.

Peet spoke in the wake of a particularly critical cover story focusing on Turkey in the recent Economist issue, media scrutiny that generated frayed nerves and a backlash in Ankara by the Erdogan government and its allies.

The high-ranking Economist editor cited what he called a pivot by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan towards authoritarianism, replete with attempts to jail political opponents, Internet censorship and intimating journalists. He added that the risk this year is for an overt move towards an autocracy or dictatorship, regardless of how one calls it.

Peet said developments in Turkey are now creating issues for the entire region’s foreign policy, underlining that although Turkey is a NATO member it is becoming less and less friendly to the West – “in fact, in the case of Ukraine, it’s supporting Russia more, instead of the West.”

Touching on a thorny issue affecting Greece and the region, he also assessed that Erdogan appears uninterested in solving the Cyprus issue.

Moreover, he referred to the AKP government’s menacing rhetoric towards Greece, warning that any open conflict between two NATO member-states would be a “nightmare scenario”.

He spoke at the Economist’s gala dinner in Athens.

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