With twenty months left until Turkey’s legislative and presidential elections, the political debate will be fierce. The West may choose to sit it out rather than see its relationship with Ankara deteriorate even further.
In a bid to gain political ground at home, Ankara has launched multiple military operations in Syria. These have laid the groundwork for a more aggressive, nationalist foreign policy with profound implications for relations with the United States, Russia, and the EU.
Russia’s steady development of military capabilities on the ground, in the air, and at sea has enhanced its overall military posture in the region. This experience, and lack of resistance from NATO, is likely to enhance Russia’s military posture and ambitions outside the Mediterranean.
Russia’s activities in the Mediterranean have created new challenges for Europe’s energy interests and NATO’s defense architecture. Today’s transatlantic efforts should focus on NATO’s policy in the region, the Russia-Turkey relationship, and multilateral conflict resolution in Libya and Syria.
EU-Turkish relations, including on foreign and security cooperation, have recently been in freefall. With European engagement constrained by domestic politics and internal divisions, the future of this relationship lies in Turkey’s hands.
Biden’s recognition of the killing and deportation of Armenians as genocide has caused outrage in Turkey. Dealing with a nation’s past is immensely complex. It can only be done by a country’s leaders and citizens.
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