Turkey has launched a normalisation initiative with several countries with which it has had problematic relations for the last decade. Egypt has been one of them. The relations between the two countries had hit rock bottom after the toppling of then-President Mohammed Morsi by a coup in 2013. Turkey immediately became one of the staunchest critics of the coup and new President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi's policies against the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders.
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Following Russia’s declaration of war against Ukraine on February 24th, the universe wherein Turkey had imagined its role and place in the world in recent years dramatically changed. Said universe was premised on the assumption of a multipolar world order where Ankara could attain its interests through a geopolitical balancing act between different centres of power, not least between Russia and the West.
Turkey has significantly recalibrated its foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa. After having played a proactive role in the region, for over a year Ankara has gradually softened its assertive foreign policy, as it has grown increasingly aware of the need to defuse tensions, break out of its regional isolation, and mend fences with regional competitors due to international, regional, and domestic shifts.
The successful visit of Israel’s president Isaac Herzog to Turkey on March 9-10 has the potential to be the beginning of a new phase in Turkey-Israel relations. Herzog’s visit can be compared to two previous important visits of Israeli presidents to Turkey. One was the 1992 visit to Turkey by Herzog’s father, Chaim Herzog, which ushered in what was later termed as the “Golden era” of Turkey-Israel relations in the 1990s.
The implications of the recent normalisation process between the UAE and Turkey will not be limited to the future regional balance of power. Over the last decade the two countries had expanded the competition arena beyond the traditional Middle East borders. Following the so-called Arab Spring, the two countries have exploited regional crisis and states' endemic fragility to boost their strategic positions. Accordingly, Turkey and UAE shifted competitive dynamics to third-party contexts.
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