Burak Bekdil: The enemies of Turkey’s enemies

After years of intense work, Turkey’s foreign policy wizards have finally created a new version of the cliché stratagem, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Most enemies of Turkey’s enemies are Turkey’s enemies, too. Then there are Turkey’s former allies which are now its foes, a geostrategic stance which, once upon a time, a prime ministerial (and now, presidential) foreign policy adviser described as “precious loneliness.”

Turkey’s regional nemesis, Syria, was its best regional ally. Now Turkey is at war with both Damascus and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is also fighting Damascus. ISIL is also fighting various fractions of Kurdish separatists whom Turkey has fought since 1984. Turkey’s enemy, ISIL’s other enemy, the Lebanese Hezbollah, is also increasingly hostile to Turkey. ISIL’s and Hezbollah’s longer-term enemy Israel is also Turkey’s enemy, along with Egypt, another common enemy of ISIL and Hezbollah.

On the brighter side of things, Turkey has been able to create several temporary alliances in its region based on hostility for itself. All of which is a powerful message to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, Turkey’s only remaining allies, that relations with Turkey can swing to the opposite spectrum of friendliness at any moment, for any region-specific reason…

(Chart above is an attempt to indicates alliances, enemies and neutrals involving the Middle East, from The Guardian)

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