When violence flared between Armenia and Azerbaijan a month across the area of Nagorno-Karabakh, the worldwide community immediately called on both sides to end hostilities — except Turkey.
Unlike France, Russia, the United Nations, and the US, Ankara publicly endorsed one facet — Azerbaijan — also provided military support.
And though it has resulted in the nation becoming increasingly isolated, Western nations have hardly any tools made to reel it back in.
“What we’ve seen over the last decade is a transformation of Turkish foreign policy together with all the vision, the understanding, which Turkey should split a level of tactical freedom from the traditional partners in the West, especially the US,” Sinan Ulgen, also a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Europe think tank, told Euronews.
Turkey’s growing assertiveness and goal to establish itself as a regional power stems in part from”accumulated frustration constructed over the previous decades” using its Western spouses, Ulgen explained.
Washington’s intervention in Iraq in 2003 and venture using Kurdish forces — that Turkey regarded as a terrorist business — at Syria angered Ankara as did the postponed accession talks with the EU.
But national politics also hugely contributed to the shift in its foreign policy.
A more shaky connection with the EU
Each overseas intervention has had another objective. In Syria and Iraq, the goal was to weaken Kurdish teams — which have been endorsed by the US — and also block the stream of refugees. In Libya, the most important objective has largely been to preserve or strengthen its sway whilst at the same time securing a maritime border agreement from the Mediterranean, which fueled tensions with the EU.
Ankara continues to be in a standoff with Greece and Cyprus within the last couple of months over exploratory drilling at the Eastern Mediterranean, such as in waters also maintained by Athens or Nicosia.
The bloc has called on it to prevent its”illegal” energy and drilling mining activities in the region and threatened earlier this month which sanctions will be imposed in December at the latest should dialogue within the issue does not progress.
“The basic position of Turkey about the Eastern Mediterranean hasn’t changed. It was the same before Erdogan also it’ll be the same following Erdogan. That can be by and large a country coverage, a bipartisan policy,” Ulgen emphasized.
“Had the connection with the EU been sort of steady, more effective, more forward-looking, clearly we wouldn’t have seen this situation,” he went on.
“There isn’t a lot. Further off and less near, Pakistan,” Scazzieri explained.
“The main complaint we hear quite frequently domestically,” Ulgen enlarged, is that”a more assertive foreign policy hasn’t led to a scenario where Turkey has cultivated and improved its regional venture.
“On the contrary, it has resulted in a scenario where Turkey finds itself isolated “
The sustainability of the policy is problematic.
Turkey was”very successful” about the military entrance, Scazzieru explained, warning, nevertheless, of a threat it might become overstretched. He additionally noted that Ankara’s time in Syria could be restricted”given that [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and Russia wish to retake the entire nation.”
However, for Ulgen, since Turkey’s foreign policy is connected with all the national agenda, the present model could be sustained to some degree.
“This regional topography affects the national political agenda since it tends to fuel the story that Turkey is under siege, that its interests have been assaulted by a coalition of nations and consequently Turkey requires a solid foreign policy, even more reliance on challenging energy and strong leadership to conquer these challenges,” he explained.
The US and EU have done little to suppress Turkey’s overseas ambitions because the Trump government reduced interest in Syria and Iraq after the defeat of this so-called Islamic Condition terror group and Brussels’ slow, bureaucratic, procedure.
A change of government in Washington could result in a more profound US position towards Ankara that”can alter the dynamics in the area,” Scazzieri noted.
Europe-wise, nevertheless, “there is not any desire to impose sanctions on Turkey since, after all, it’s a NATO member, an economic partner, along with a secure nation in an unstable region,” he contended.
But if EU sanctions are enforced, these are very likely to be”shallow”, Ulgen explained. “People will not have a direct effect on Turkey, on the contrary, it is going to create additional acrimony and additional distance Turkey in the EU”.
“We will need to say unambiguously the EU botched this match concerning Turkey,” the scholar continued.
Turkey’s pro-reform schedule” has been jettisoned” by accession talks being postponed and the bloc’s”strategic blunder” of accepting Cyprus to its fold before political branches on the island was settled.
“Now the EU finds itself not able to have some effect on Turkish behavior” and the connection is”asymmetrical” with a couple of frameworks of favorable collaboration setup.
“The only real one is that the refugee bargain, and even there, I believe that the power relationship would be to Turkey’s benefits,” he explained.