Mideast to Benefit From Turkey’s Policy Shift

Mideast to Benefit From Turkey’s Policy Shift   Mideast to Benefit From Turkey’s Policy Shift

A lawmaker praised Turkey's decision to shift its foreign policy by seeking to mend ties with Russia, in a signal that it is distancing from western allies, noting that it is in the interest of regional stability.

Ankara's relationship with the US and European states suffered due to developments surrounding the failed military coup in the middle of last month to topple the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"The change in Erdogan's policy, coupled with Turkey's [engagement in] close relations with Iran and the settlement of its dispute with Russia, augurs well for the Middle East, especially with regard to the Syria war," Moayyed Hosseini Sadr also told ICANA on Wednesday.

"A successful coup could have had grave consequences for democracy in Turkey and in the region, and might have triggered a domino effect," he added.

Sadr's remarks came after Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in St Petersburg a day earlier, following eight months of tensions in bilateral ties.

The leaders announced an acceleration in trade and energy ties at a time when both countries have troubled economies and strains with the West, Reuters reported.

It was Erdogan's first foreign trip since last month's failed military coup, which badly damaged Turkey's relationship with the United States and Europe.

The visit is being closely watched in the West, where some fear both men might use their rapprochement to exert pressure on Washington and the European Union and stir tensions within NATO, the military alliance of which Turkey is a member.

Putin said Moscow would gradually phase out sanctions against Ankara, imposed after the Turks shot down a Russian fighter jet near the Syrian border nine months ago, and that bringing ties to their pre-crisis level was a priority.

Turkey has been incensed by what it sees as western concern over a post-coup crackdown and indifference toward the bloody putsch, in which rogue soldiers bombed parliament and seized bridges with tanks and helicopters. More than 240 people were killed, many of them civilians.

Putin's rapid phone call expressing his solidarity to Erdogan in the wake of the failed putsch had been a "psychological boost", the Turkish president said.

Turkish officials, by contrast, warned on Tuesday of rising anti-American sentiment and of risks to a crucial migrant deal with Europe, in a sign of deteriorating relations.

Russia and Iran are allied to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who has been fighting in the past five years against armed insurgent groups, which enjoy the backing of Turkey, Saudi Arabia and western powers.