Turkey’s mercurial leader is clearly a man on the move – and he is taking his country along for the ride. A decade ago a somewhat cautious American ally and Nato member, Turkey today is becoming a force to contend with, particularly in the Middle East, a region it had kept at an arm’s length for decades.
The visit this week to Tehran by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was a rare show of personal, high-stakes diplomacy by a pair of world leaders.
"Diplomacy emerged victorious," Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared on May 17, after his country and Turkey signed its sketchy nuclear deal with Iran. That was something of a reach. But, if not victorious, diplomacy was taking a rare turn on center stage...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened top advisers Tuesday to assess an Iranian nuclear deal with Turkey and Brazil that may stall the new U.N. sanctions Israel seeks against Tehran, officials said. The unscheduled inner cabinet meeting, accompanied by an announcement from Netanyahu's office that ministers were under orders to withhold public comment, reflected Israel's worries about the efficacy of foreign efforts to negotiate with Iran.
Two leaders from two big regional powers, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, took a risk in traveling to Iran and negotiating over the country's contentious nuclear programme. Many said they would fail.
Greece's and Turkey's historical differences have brought them to the brink of war on several occasions, but now leaders from the two nations are trying to bury the hatchet. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been meeting with Greek leaders in Athens to discuss efforts to ease bilateral tensions.
Turkey is growing impatient with being cold-shouldered by the European Union, and resistance to its bid for membership is stoking Ankara’s ambition to turn towards the Muslim world. President Gül said that the EU and its leaders stood at an historic crossroads and had to decide whether or not to welcome Turkey in.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan visits Athens on Friday for talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in what Turkish and Greek officials hope will bring a new era in relations between the often feuding Aegean neighbors.