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Erdoğan Is Looking for Friends
Turkish President and leader of Justice and Development Party, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes a speech during the AK Party's Extended Meeting of Provincial Heads in Ankara, Turkey on April 7, 2021. (Murat Kula/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Erdoğan Is Looking for Friends

Akhbar Al-Youm, Egypt, April 7

Things have gotten much worse for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The number of doors slammed in the Turkish premier’s face has grown; an inevitable result of his confrontational policy with many countries around the world. Now Erdoğan is desperately trying to find a way out of his country’s political isolation, especially with the change of administration in Washington, DC. After years of flexing his muscles to European heads of state, alongside ambitious military adventures abroad, Erdoğan has finally seemed to realize that he has no choice but to change his attitude. Turkey, under Erdoğan’s leadership, has really managed to agitate its Western allies. It intervened in the Libyan crisis by sending arms and mercenaries to the country, supported the government of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia, and launched gas explorations off the coast of Cyprus, which nearly resulted in a war. Within the Middle East, Turkey’s relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are characterized by severe mistrust, as a result of Erdoğan’s extensive support for the Muslim Brotherhood. Add to that Turkey’s faltering economic situation, the continued decline of the Turkish pound, and the internal political problems facing the ruling Justice and Development Party – and you quickly understand the tricky situation Erdoğan has found himself in. Erdoğan is desperately trying to turn a new page in his country’s foreign relations by toning down his provocative rhetoric against the European Union, with the hope that Brussels will cancel the sanctions imposed on Turkey after the gas exploration crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean and the intervention in the Libyan conflict. After all, European investments constitute two-thirds of global investments in Turkey, and the recent sanctions have caused great damage to the Turkish economy. Further, Erdoğan had to salvage one of his country’s largest commercial markets for food and industrial products, Egypt, by taking measures to woo the Egyptian government over, including silencing an Egyptian opposition satellite channel broadcasting from Turkey. In short, Erdoğan abandoned his long-time partners in search of new adventures and hope for more power. Now that his grandiose conquests have failed, he has finally realized the importance of friendships on a rainy day. –Faisal Mohammed Bin Sabt (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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