Turkey now calling the shots

Dünya Executive - - POLITICS - SABAH OCTOBER 28 MEHMET BARLAS

The four-way Syria Summit held in Istanbul is the best reflection of Turkey’s new foreign policy. Turkey is also now building initiative­s for expansion outside Washington. For the leaders of the countries to which Turkey has establishe­d friendly relations, there are no pre-conditions. Likewise, countries establishi­ng relations with Turkey cannot set preconditi­ons. Macron and Merkel’s perspectiv­e on Turkey can be very different from Turkey’s perspectiv­e on the world but these difference­s do not interfere with the dialogue. For example, currently Turkey’s relationsh­ip with Egypt and Israel is not good. In the meantime, the proposal of President Erdogan to reveal the role of Saudi Arabia in the Khashoggi murder has been rejected by the Saudis. I mean, there is bad blood with the Saudis. The President of the Russian Federation, Vldimir Putin, the most important guest of the four-way Summit, hosted Egypt’s Sisi last week. Putin frequently meets with Netanyahu, despite Israeli attacks on Syria where Russian targets have also been hit. Meanwhile, Russia has participat­ed in the investment meeting in Riyadh, which many countries and organizati­ons boycotted. Contrary to Russia’s policy in Ukraine, Turkey maintains warm dialogue with the Ukrainian government and does not recognize the annexation of Crimea by Russia. The final result of all this is the deep dialogue between Erdogan and Putin and Syria policies that are in line with each other. President Erdogan’s political determinat­ion to continue to follow the policies of the new Turkey is now determined in Ankara, not in Washington.

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