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Can Ankara’s sudden change of heart on NATO save the day in Idlib?

Ankara’s abrupt U-turn to reembrace NATO appears driven by conjunctural necessity to balance Russia in Idlib and Libya rather than a new realization of structural dependency between Turkey and NATO.

On Feb. 18, Turkey marked the 68th anniversary of its NATO membership with enthusiastic messages of commitment to the alliance and a series of laudatory events, which could have drawn little attention were they not in sharp contrast to the dismissive atmosphere of last year’s anniversary.

Neither Ankara nor the media seemed to care about the 67th anniversary of the country’s NATO membership last year. The occasion was passed over with a mundane statement by the Foreign Ministry, while the year 2019 in general was abuzz with debates, mostly in the pro-government media, on whether Turkey should leave the alliance. 

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