Dec 29 2017

Turkey’s Erdoğan attempts late-2017 rapprochement with the West

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan caused some surprise by announcing that the governments of Germany, the Netherlands or Belgium were made up of his “old friends”, the New York Times said.

Together with a reciprocal removal of visa sanctions with the United States, the newspaper said, the Turkish government may be looking to turn over a new leaf in its foreign relations in 2018.

“I asked for (European countries’) support on Jerusalem,” it reported Erdoğan as saying. “We are all on the same page.”

However, it also quoted former EU ambassador to Ankara Marc Pierini as saying that relations with Europe had passed the point of no return over the course of the year, after Erdoğan repeatedly demonised various European counterparts and dubbed them Nazis.

Pierini said that despite a recent UN vote in which the majority of the world’s countries voted to join Turkey in condemning the United States moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, Ankara still had diplomatic problems.

“He’s gone to Greece, made a terrible commotion there for domestic purposes, burned another bridge; went to Poland, a semi-rogue state in the EU; then went to Sudan, Chad and Tunisia. This is diplomatic isolation,” Pierini said.

 

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