ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outreach to previously estranged Arab leaders, and attempts to mend fences with Western capitals whom he criticized harshly in the past, mark a significant turnaround in Turkish foreign policy following the May general elections.
Although not all of the President's followers or Islamist coalition partners are comfortable with this turnaround, many outside observers welcome the new push, while remaining skeptical over its sustainability.
Veteran diplomats and foreign policy analysts have been counseling “normalization” in Ankara’s international dealings for some time now. The attempt to “Islamize” Turkey’s foreign policy, according to them, has come at a high cost.
Erdogan’s unexpected decision to finally back Sweden’s NATO membership and his tour of Gulf states this week are the concrete products of the change he has put in motion.