It is no secret that Turkey’s ties with the United States and Europe have been less than warm in recent years. Given his innate Islamist orientation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made his distaste for all things Western apparent since coming to power. The West, in turn, has viewed Erdogan with suspicion, based on his rejection of Western democratic and social values, and his barely veiled efforts to shift Turkey’s strategic focus toward the Islamic world.
The downing of the Russian Su-24 fighter jet by the Turkish air force and the unprecedented tensions this has caused between the two countries appear set now to change that. This incident has underscored Turkey’s reliance on NATO, despite the inbuilt distaste of Turkish Islamists for the alliance.