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Why recent steps with Israel, Russia won't really change Turkish foreign policy

Ending the Mavi Marmara crisis with Israel and extending an apology to Russia is not enough for a true change in Turkish foreign policy as long as it remains in the grips of Islamism and sectarianism.
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan arrives for the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland July 9, 2016.    REUTERS/Kacper Pempel - RTSH1FR

According to some Turkish and international observers, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making a U-turn from his confrontational foreign policy these days, moving to a more moderate one. The argument is based on two developments in June. The first is the agreement Turkey reached with Israel after protracted secret negotiations to restore bilateral ties, which had been in a state of a near cold war since the Mavi Marmara crisis in 2010. The second development is the letter Erdogan sent to Russian President Vladimir Putin apologizing for the November shooting down of a Russian fighter jet, which had allegedly violated Turkish airspace along the Syrian border.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is also making overtures toward Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's administration in Egypt, which he had declared "illegitimate" after Sisi's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in July 2013, but these efforts have yet to bear fruit.

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