Since his sweeping overhaul of Turkey’s political system in 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cemented his near-total control over the country. Simultaneously he pursued an adventurous and bellicose foreign policy across the Mediterranean region, putting Ankara at odds with its NATO allies and the U.S. But amid regional shifts and the war in Ukraine, can Erdogan now rebuild the bridges he has burned?
The struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia has insinuated itself into nearly every regional issue, fracturing international alliances and sustaining wars across the region, while raising fears of a direct conflict between the two powers. Meanwhile, the region is rife with ongoing conflicts, and the long-simmering dispute between Israel and Palestine continues to flare up periodically.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy moves almost always have a domestic angle, and his pivot back to the West since his reelection in May, as well as his return to orthodox economic policies, could all be aimed at one goal: winning favor with urban voters ahead of the 2024 municipal elections.