Is Turkey’s Erdogan demonstrating a changing attitude?
Turkey– Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is having a change of heart, the first visible signs being in his foreign policy. Turkey is seemingly warming up to Egypt. The ties between two nations had deteriorated due to Ankara rendering strong support to the Muslim Brotherhood. Now eight years of soured relations have made Erdogan realize that sour relations with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is only damaging interests of Turkey in Egypt as well as Middle East.
In attempt to show his changed and moderated attitude, Erdogan has tightened Muslim Brotherhood activists’ freedom of movement in Turkey. Egypt said that “Cairo would look at what Turkey would do rather than what it was saying.” Cairo is said to be watching closely to be convinced of Ankara’s assurances over relations with the Brotherhood.
Furthermore, Erdogan has evidently softened its attitude towards relations with European Union. Leaving behind his usual defiant rhetoric, Erdogan last week asked the European Union to “please demonstrate the same sensitivity for Turkey’s EU application as you do for Ukraine.”
Erdogan is working towards smoothening relations with Armenia as well. Taking a step in this direction, commercial flights were resumed between Istanbul and Yerevan last month. This is expected to work further towards thawing of relations between the two nations and might lead to opening of land border crossings and bring the two nations closer which have long held strong grudges against each other.
Talking geopolitically over broader range of diplomatic relations, Erdogan has given green flag to inauguration of Dardanelles Bridge that would link Asia and Europe. Initially, the inauguration was scheduled for March 18 – the date marking withdrawal of the Allied Forces from the Dardanelles in 1915 during the First World War. But later Erdogan shifted the date to February 26, his birthday.
The decisions taken by Erdogan recently and the altered attitude in moderation are clear signs that the President of Turkey is moving towards a wiser array of decision making.