Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has expressed reservations about the possible imminent accession of Finland and Sweden to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This step had been trumpeted as a done deal in the context of the Ukranian war.

Ankara is safeguarding its relations with Russia, considering that its victory over Ukraine is inescapable. At that point, Moscow will control the entire Black Sea and Syria, de facto encircling Turkey. The latter does not intend to align itself with the United States, but rather to pursue an equidistant path between the United States and Russia. The strategy of the Kemalist military staff, which had caused the Ergenekon scandal in 2008, is again being implemented.

Ankara is secretly negotiating with Damascus a possible withdrawal from Syria in exchange for a solution to the question of Kurdish terrorism. By the same token, it is forsaking its European dreams as well as its Ottoman ambitions. The Muslim Brotherhood, including the Palestinian Hamas, have been requested to leave the country. On the contrary, Ankara is busy revitalizing its links with the States which have a Turkish population or where Turkish is spoken (which does not sit well with China whose Uyghur population is Turkish-speaking, but is not ethnically Turkish).

Turkey’s opposition to NATO expansion comes as Italy begins to shift its stance on the war in Ukraine.