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A retreat in Turkey’s ‘more friends, fewer enemies’ policy?

12 5 1
When Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım replaced Ahmet Davutoğlu in May 2016 as both the prime minister and the chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), one of his first messages was about a substantial recalibration of Turkey’s foreign policy.

Yıldırım’s pragmatic foreign policy understanding suggested “increasing the number of friends and reducing the number of enemies.”

“Turkey has a lot of problems. We have regional problems. The conflicts taking place in our region and the EU, Cyprus, and the Caucasus increase the importance of our country in our region. We are aware of this.

So what will we do? Very simple: We’ll increase the number of our friends and we’ll decrease the number of our enemies,” Yıldırım told his AKP fellows on May 24, 2016 after his election as party chairman.

Yıldırım and his cabinet members began to indirectly criticize outgoing Davutoğlu for the collapse of Turkey’s Syria policy, which had serious consequences for Ankara’s relations with global and regional allies.

For example, former deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş,........

© Hürriyet Daily News