The war in Ukraine has the effect of ending Turkish isolation. Since February 24 everything has changed for Ankara and the Turkish-Atlantic controversies are for now shelved. Western unity towards Russia offers Turkey the opportunity to provide its know-how with which it has been able to build a competitive and cooperative relationship with Moscow over the past few years, hovering over Syria, Libya or the Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict. Turkey is regaining international importance and has so far been the only country that has managed to bring Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers to the same table since the beginning of the conflict.
The dependence of Turkey on Russia by Vladimir Putin, over time, has become stronger than that of other NATO partners.
The Turkish leader's margin of manoeuvre could gradually narrow as the war progresses, eventually forcing him to choose between the West and Russia, which the Turkish president is trying to avoid. Ankara managed to sell its armed drones Bayraktar TB2 to Kyiv without cutting diplomatic ties with Russia.
Despite the sanctions the world has put on Russia, Turkey remains one of the few transit hubs still open for Russians who need to travel outside the country.
Numerous Russians opposing Vladimir Putin's policies are using Istanbul as their escape, however, it must be borne in mind that the negotiations discreetly take place and often their true content does not correspond to what is said at the press conference. However, the negotiations taking place offer an opposite reality to news in the media. The meeting between Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba was praised by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who thanked Turkey for its efforts. Turkey is also coordinating with Israel; a further stage in the normalization between the two countries after the break occurred at the time of the Israeli military attack on the "freedom flotilla" towards Gaza in May 2010, in particular the boarding to the ship Mavi Marmara that has made 8 Turkish victims.
Herzog's trip to Ankara and Istanbul sealed this new asset of relations. There has also been a significant opening towards Greece with the meeting between Erdoğan and the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mītsotakīs.
Thanks to the conflict, Ankara has become a must: the Polish President Andrzej Duda follows the recent visit of the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, even though the Greens of the German government coalition are still very critical of the Turkish leader's policy.
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