16:41 GMT +317 June 2019
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    Pro-Erdogan supporters wave Turkish national flags during a rally at Taksim square in Istanbul on July 18, 2016 following the military failed coup attempt of July 15

    Erdogan’s New Turkey Has Country’s Foreign Policy Course Up in the Air

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    Turkey will cultivate its friendship with Russia and could even restore ties with Armenia following a botched attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, political analyst Ivan Preobrazhensky told Deutsche Welle, adding that Ankara's relations with the US and Europe will likely deteriorate.

    Washington has long viewed Turkey as its key ally among Muslim nations, but this status is now in question.

    Indeed, "how beneficial is a military alliance with the decapitated Turkish military that has lost a major part of its high and midlevel officers and more importantly the respect of the Turks?" the analyst asked.

    President Erdogan has delivered on his promise to cleanse the armed forces following the coup that took place on July 15. Approximately 60,000 military personnel, politicians, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, journalists, teachers, law enforcement officers, etc. have been fired, suspended or detained in the massive purges so far.  

    "Secondly, Turkish authorities seem to be intent on damaging relations with the US. They demand that Washington extradite Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. They have also voiced their discontent that the US is working with the Kurds in Syria," the analyst added.

    Ankara has insisted that Gülen, who has lived in the US since 1999, is behind the coup. The influential scholar has denied these allegations.

    Relations between Turkey and the US will not be the same, but it is nothing compared to Turkey's ties with Europe, the expert observed. It has long been a rocky relationship that now risks sliding into a deep freeze, particularly if Ankara reinstates death penalty

    It is against this backdrop that Turkey and Russia will continue their rapprochement. But there could be more to it. If unconfirmed reports in the media are to be trusted, Russian intelligence services were the ones who warned the Turkish strongman about the looming coup, the analyst said.

    Ankara and Moscow were deeply divided over Syria, but now "one cannot rule out that both countries could join efforts to decide the fate of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad," he added.

    Preobrazhensky also pointed to the "most unexpected" implication of Turkey's Islamization – a potential thaw with Armenia.

    "Regardless of how angry Erdogan was when the German parliament voted to recognize the Armenian genocide, the fight against this assessment of events that had taken place a century ago was to a large extent a project pursued by the followers of President Kemal Ataturk, primarily the military," he explained.

    For his part, Erdogan has already tried to restore ties with Armenia once, so "a second attempt is not out of question," the analyst suggested.

    Azerbaijan "should keep this in mind," the analyst observed, adding that Baku risks losing its position among Ankara's closest friends. "In fact, no one should forget that it will be a completely different Turkey that pursues new and often unexpected foreign policy."

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    Tags:
    purge, Turkey Purge, military coup, coup attempt in Turkey, Fethullah Gülen, Fethullah Gulen, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Europe, United States, Armenia, Russia, Turkey
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