Last June was a striking month in terms of international relations. The marathon, which started with the G7 Summit, continued with the NATO summit, the USA-EU summit, and finally the meeting of US President Joe Biden and Russian Leader Vladimir Putin and the EU Leaders' summit. While various topics were discussed at the summits, from cooperation to the common security perception, an important factor emerged for Turkey: This time, high-pitched signals were given to take part in the Western wing, which would not be possible in Turkish foreign policy anyway.


For Turkey, the most important result of the EU-USA and NATO summits is the approval of the indispensable cooperation between Europe and the USA. As a matter of fact, it is understood that EU leaders, who faced the impression that NATO's influence had been diminished during the period of former US President Donald Trump, were shaken by the Biden administration taking the helm again. An image emerged that Biden's discourse that he will put human rights and democracy at the head of global relations, which he developed when he came to power, and that the struggle of authoritarian and democratic regimes will be inevitable in this context, is also being implemented at these summits. It is not known whether Biden had a special process of persuading the EU leaders, but the striking point in both the NATO statement and the EU-US statement was to reveal the existence of an inevitable Western alliance, especially against China - and of course, Russia. In fact, it would not be wrong to talk about a strengthened NATO in the context of the tightening of the ranks of member countries, which even France now accepts after the interpretation of "NATO is brain dead”. Turkey, as a NATO member country, had to take the bend firmly; staying out of such an alliance would regularly upset her own balance. The most important moment for Turkey was President Erdogan's half-hour meeting with US President Joe Biden during the NATO summit. While no statement was made from the White House after the meeting, the impression was created that the talks were pretty positive. It was also important that the 1915 events, which Turkey was particularly concerned with, recognized by the USA on April 24 as a "genocide", did not come to the agenda during the meeting, as it enabled the relationship between them to take place in a more moderate climate. In short, Turkey cared so much about meeting with Joe Biden that it became more important to be side by side with the US President in a photo frame and to give the impression of having good relations with the US.


The foreign policy trend reflected by Turkey during these summits also shows that it has taken a sharp bend in its current foreign policy. Turkey, which could not directly respond to Biden's call to form an alliance under the umbrella of democracy and human rights by excluding China - and Russia - from the framework, is making innovations in its foreign policy on a few issues that it considers important in order to maintain cooperation in the strategic context. The first of these is that it shows moves that can be seen as moderate in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the second is the moves to reconcile with the NATO member EU countries that it has problems with. Another important issue is Turkey's willingness to take over the management of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, with the departure of the United States. Hard to predict whether this move in Afghanistan will add to Turkey or take it away from Turkey in the long run is well calculated among foreign policy makers, but it is clear that the reason for this voluntary move is to give a vitamin effect to relations with the United States. In other words, Turkey finds the cooperation-enhancing effect it needs in order not to stand against the USA by undertaking a mission in Afghanistan. When it comes to relations with the USA, another subject that should not be overlooked is undoubtedly the S-400 issue purchased from Russia. Of course, it cannot be expected that Turkey will give up the S-400s immediately while trying to improve its relations with the United States. Considering both the cost and inevitably that Russia will not accept the return of the S-400s, it may be the beginning of a difficult process for Turkey. In such a situation, Turkey needs to maintain its good relations with both countries. However, the fact that the S-400s are still not activated and that there is still no prediction about their fate shows that there is a slight deviation in its policy when purchasing S-400s. Besides all this, if we go a little earlier than the summits, anchoring ships and holding multilateral negotiations to reduce the increasing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean; Taking a more moderate stance on the Libyan issue and not focusing on the maritime authority agreement as much as before; Steps to repair relations with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; Bilateral contacts with Greece; After the escalating relations with France, bilateral talks that moderate the atmosphere… All these developments can be considered as steps to create the ground for reconciliation with the West. So how do the EU and the US handle this foreign policy trend of Turkey? Issues such as the fact that Biden did not bring the 1915 issue to the agenda during the meeting and French President Macron's previous bilateral meeting with Erdogan at the NATO summit show that they approached Turkey in a more deliberative manner. This is more or less what the results of international summits tell us for Turkey.


While these steps are taken in foreign policy, how does this situation reflect on domestic politics? In fact, it is difficult to talk about any change from the inside. There is not much change in the situation both in terms of discourse and in domestic policy moves. The important points to be pointed out in the rhetoric of the government do not stand out. Before he went to meet with the United States, Erdogan was going to talk to Biden about recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide", that is, the discourse was again given at a high pitch. The rhetoric that the S-400s purchased from Russia are not abandoned still continues. It is also impossible to talk about the internal reflection of improvement steps in relations with the EU, where a new discourse has not been developed. Even Turkey's membership to the EU was almost forgotten. Another point is the issue of human rights, which is one of the most suppressed issues of the government in domestic politics. Turkey, which has remained silent about Biden's alliance around democracy and human rights, is compromising its foreign policy and seems to continue to do so. However, it does not come to mind to develop policies that address the internal human rights issue. Nevertheless, if we see Turkey stuck in foreign policy in the coming days, it may be inevitable that cases such as Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş will come to the agenda of the government again. As a result, although Turkey's recent foreign policy is not reflected in its current domestic policy, it is clear that Turkey gives indications of returning to its own identity in foreign policy. However, the important issue is that it seems like a compulsory decision taken to be self-saved from isolation from a strategic point of view, rather than a foreign policy choice. As a matter of fact, Turkey, which has been a NATO member for nearly 70 years and is also a member of the Organization of European Cooperation and the European Court of Human Rights, has to take some sharp steps to strengthen its cooperation with the USA and prove that it is still a reliable partner of NATO, thus correcting the negative Western perception towards Turkey. But while doing this, the Russian factor will always be on the table.