A diplomatic row between Sweden and Turkey escalated this week. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Sweden that it should not expect Ankara’s backing to join NATO, after protesters burned the Quran outside the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm last week. Now, NATO officials are scrambling to defuse the tensions.
In early January, the United Arab Emirates’ foreign minister met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. And a once unthinkable meeting between Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Assad is now also in the works. Clearly, 2023 has begun with the momentum for normalizing ties with the Assad regime growing.
Turkish arms exports surged past $4 billion in 2022, up nearly 36 percent from 2021, with exports accounting for 98 percent of the arms contractor Bayraktar’s sales. Clearly, Turkey has arrived as a major arms exporter, but what are the implications of these exports in terms of its choice of partners?