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Turkey ends 2017 with positive news on foreign policy

15 11 2

Most of 2017 was difficult and troubled for Turkish diplomacy, with crises and tensions on multiple fronts - from the United States to Europe and the Middle East.

In the first half of the year, Turkey’s ties with prominent European countries were seriously damaged after Germany and the Netherlands banned Turkish politicians from campaigning ahead of the April referendum on shifting the country to an executive presidential system. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likened the measures taken by the German and Dutch governments to “Nazi” policies, amid reports describing him as a “dictator” in the Western media.

Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. also severely deteriorated in 2017, despite a change in the White House. Ties particularly worsened after the arrest of a Turkish national working as a local employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul on terror charges. Both countries restricted visa proceedings against each other’s citizens in October following the arrest.

However, in the last few weeks there have been signs of the normalization of Turkey’s relationship with the aforementioned countries as well as others.

The latest and most important happened on Dec. 28, when Turkey and the U.S. announced that they will resume normal visa proceedings in a bid to end a nearly three-month crisis, which had created inconvenience for ordinary citizens on both sides. Although there are differences in the narratives of the two sides about how this crisis was brought to an end, both sides seem committed to continuing a policy of engagement in order to not further damage bilateral ties.

Turkish Foreign Ministers Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and U.S. Secretary of........

© Hürriyet Daily News