Turkey’s Puzzle with a Divided GCC

The longevity of the Gulf crisis presents challenges to Turkey’s regional policy. First, Ankara’s strong support of Qatar makes Turkey a party to the conflict rather than a mediator, further diminishing its soft power capacity on the Arab street. Second, Turkey’s long-term goals, such as reaching a Free Trade Agreement with the GCC and cooperating in the Gulf defense sector, look unrealistic now, unless the parties involved can reach a durable resolution. Third, a Turkish-Iranian rapprochement is further strengthened as the Qatar crisis becomes more enduring. Turkey’s long-term interests in Iraq, however, strongly overlap with Saudi interests, thus demanding Ankara-Riyadh cooperation. READ MORE

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