April 2024 : Complex diplomatic agenda for Turkey


Against a difficult economic backdrop, Turkey’s April agenda is a busy one. Despite this, President Erdoğan is seeking to position himself as a key diplomatic leader in the region. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues his dangerous balancing act.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statements on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s imminent visit to Turkey are a reminder of the delicate diplomatic dance in which Ankara is engaged. Despite the anticipation of Putin’s visit, it cannot be dissociated from Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which forms an important geopolitical backdrop to the event.

The agenda for Putin’s visit, outlined by Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, includes discussions on issues such as the gas platform, the state of Akkuyu nuclear power plant Russia is building in Türkiye, the war in Ukraine and Black Sea grain exports. Particularly controversial is Turkey’s attempt to revive the Black Sea Grain Initiative, from which Russia withdrew in 2023, reflecting Moscow’s reluctance to engage in such cooperative efforts.

In addition, his upcoming visit to Iraq, focused on solving water-related problems, highlights Turkey’s regional interests and challenges. Turkey’s dependence on water from the Tigris River, as evidenced by its construction of the Ilısu Dam, puts it in direct conflict with Iraq’s demands for a larger share of the river’s flow, particularly affecting the southern province of Basra. Erdoğan’s commitment to addressing water management issues reflects both domestic concerns and regional tensions.

Erdoğan’s statements depict Turkey’s complex diplomatic game. Turkey is navigating between allies and adversaries while facing pressing regional issues such as water shortages and conflicts in neighboring countries.

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