Turkey's Foreign Policy: A Potential Shift with Kilicdaroglu's Possible Election Win

Presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu

GAROWE ONLINE - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been in power for 22 years, may face defeat in the upcoming election as opinion polls predict a victory for the opposition's joint presidential candidate, Kemal Kilicdaroglu. This raises questions about the future of Turkey's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and its relationships with the US, Israel, and NATO.

Middle East Eye reports that Kilicdaroglu's foreign policy would be based on non-intervention in neighbors' domestic affairs, impartial foreign policy, and adherence to international norms.

Kilicdaroglu's chief advisor on foreign affairs, Unal Cevikoz, states that a Kilicdaroglu-led government would be determined to normalize its relations with the international community, the EU, and NATO. The focus would be on dialogue and a non-interventionist approach, possibly changing Turkey's policy in Libya and Syria.

Somalia, in particular, is mentioned as an area of concern. Kilicdaroglu questions Turkey's involvement in the country and its military presence in Qatar. Turkey's military base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, opened in 2017, can train 1,500 soldiers at a time. This was seen as a counterbalance to the influence of countries like the UAE in the Horn of Africa.

Kilicdaroglu, the opposition's joint presidential candidate, has expressed concerns about Turkey's foreign policy adventures, asking, "Why are we in Somalia? There is no reason." A potential election win for Kilicdaroglu could lead to a review of Turkey's involvement in Somalia and other countries, possibly signaling a shift in foreign policy priorities.

Kilicdaroglu's foreign policy could impact relations with Israel, Egypt, and the Gulf states. He has previously stated that he would hold Israel and Saudi Arabia accountable for actions taken against Turkey in recent years. The opposition leader also promised to review Turkey's ties with regional neighbors, stating that his government would like equal relations with everyone in the region.

While the future of Turkey's foreign policy remains uncertain, a potential election win for Kemal Kilicdaroglu could signal significant changes in the country's relations with its neighbors and the international community.

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