Is Iran turkifying
"We are not the richest country in the world, but we are the most generous," said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavuşoğlu at the beginning of the Corona crisis. Turkey has been supplying and supplying medical equipment on a large scale to many countries around the world. In Ankara's public relations work, this "mask diplomacy" occupied a large part. Two thirds of the world have asked for help and medical equipment has been delivered to 81 countries, enthused the pro-government press in elaborate reports.
In the wake of the Corona crisis, the war in Syria, which has long been the epicenter of Turkish foreign and military policy, has become less explosive. The ceasefire agreed between Erdoğan and Putin at the beginning of March seems to be holding, the warring parties are taking a breather.
But it is a deceptive calm with little prospect of survival. Nothing has changed in terms of the causes of the conflict; the civil war country is far from a political solution.
Turkish retrofitting in Idlib
Meanwhile, the Turks are using the ceasefire to retrofit the areas they control in Idlib province. The military has brought 10,000 troops to Idlib, plus many tanks and vehicles and state-of-the-art air defense systems, reports the information portal Al monitor. The introduction of the Turkish lira as a means of payment in parts of northern Syria is another indication that Ankara is looking to cement its influence.
Resistance to Erdoğan's Syria policy in the international community is muted. In Europe, too, people evidently do not want to mess with him about Syria: "European countries seem quite satisfied with the 'Turkification' of northern Syria west of the Euphrates," writes Semih Idiz in Al monitor. "This attitude is primarily driven by the deep-rooted fear of a new wave of refugees coming to Europe".
Libya in focus
In the meantime, the focus of Turkish foreign policy has shifted from Syria to Libya and the adjacent sea areas: "Libya is the top topic on Turkey's foreign policy agenda," writes Burhanettin Duran in the pro-government Daily Sabah. Erdoğan gambled heavily in Libya. Current developments show that he has bet on the right card.
Last autumn, Turkey concluded two far-reaching agreements with the militarily oppressed Libyan unity government. This involves the delimitation of the maritime sovereignty zones between Libya and Turkey and a military assistance treaty.
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