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Deciphering Erdogan's seeming pro-West shift in foreign policy

Ankara’s abrupt desire to mend fences with the West appears driven by domestic calculations, but even if its intentions are genuine, it lacks the institutional capacity to pull off such a U-turn.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31:  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) meets with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on March 31, 2016 in Washington, DC. Erdogan is in Washington to attend the Nuclear Security Summit. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Turkey’s eagerness to revive dialogue with Western partners has markedly increased since November, a month marked by two milestone events for Ankara — Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential elections and Berat Albayrak’s departure from Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry, which resonated as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s acknowledgement that the Turkish economy was on the brink of collapse.

In the most recent manifestation of this effort, a high-profile Turkish delegation resumed long-stalled talks with Greek counterparts Jan. 25 on complex territorial disputes between the two neighbors and fellow NATO members. The talks took place shortly after Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with top European Union officials in Brussels, where he talked enthusiastically about the need to strengthen ties between Turkey and the EU.

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