As we near the end of 2022, I would like to analyze the past 12 months in terms of Türkiye’s relations with other countries. For starters, I can say that this year has turned into a year of defreezing relations with countries that Türkiye had problems with.
We have seen easing tensions with different countries like Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which I think is in the interests of Türkiye. There are also positive steps taken between Türkiye and Armenia and a move is expected concerning the relations between Syria and Türkiye.
So we can say that six areas with high tension have been eased this year, which brings more dialogue and opportunities for all sides. Of course, there still are remaining problems and differences concerning vital problems; however, having relations would contribute to finding a common ground.
Türkiye’s relations with Saudi Arabia deteriorated in 2011 when the Arab Springs began in different Arabian countries. Türkiye’s Libya and East Mediterranean policies were clashing with Riyad’s policies so the disputes expanded.
With Egypt, it was the coup d’etat in 2013 where Türkiye very rightfully condemned the military crackdown on the elected government and the brutal post-coup period. In 2018, the crisis with Saudi Arabia came to a peak when journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
With Egypt, the problems started in 2013 as I reminded you before, but economic relations between the two countries never ceased. Plus, Egypt agreed with Türkiye’s accord with the Libyan government, so there was harmony between the two. However, Cairo dropped out of normalization talks because of the 2022 Türkiye-Libya accord. However, the handshake between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the FIFA World Cup Ceremony in the Qatari capital Doha signaled the end of an era. I think that mending relations is a win-win situation for both sides.
Ties with UAE, Israel
Another country that had problems with Türkiye was the UAE. In 2013, the UAE supported the coup d’etat in Egypt, which was very much opposed to Ankara’s attitude. Then, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan insulting Fahreddin Türkkan, the Ottoman commander known as the “Defender of Medina” for his success in World War I, further hurt ties between the two countries. In 2017, the UAE supported Greece in the Mediterranean conflict; however, with conditions changing, the UAE later decided to ease the tension and asked to visit President Erdoğan.
And with Israel… The tension grew in 2009 with the Gaza war. Then the Mavi Marmara incident happened where Israeli forces killed Turkish citizens on a ship that was bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, and relations were at the lowest level until 2022. However, this year both Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and President Isaac Herzog said that there are efforts to normalize relations. Then after a phone discussions between Erdoğan and Lapid, it was decided that both country’s ambassadors are to return.
There is also the easing tension with Armenia and Syria but I will mention them in my next article.
To sum up, I can say that Türkiye is adapting itself to the changing conditions and entering an era of dialogue again, which I think can be very positive for the country.
Source : DailySabah