From Tension to Normalisation: The Changing Nature of the Turkish-Gulf Relations

    The Arab Spring of 2010 disrupted Gulf-Türkiye relations, halting their potential transformation into a strategic partnership. While both sides shared common objectives, they diverged on regional issues. Surprisingly, smaller Gulf states departed from their usual alignment with major actors like Saudi Arabia and Iran in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The rift between Türkiye, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, coupled with a close alliance between Türkiye and Qatar, was born out of the Arab Spring and the subsequent Syrian crisis. Recent efforts to mend ties between Türkiye and Gulf nations, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE, signal a shift towards “multidimensional regional cooperation.” President Erdoğan’s initiative aims to create a peace, stability, and welfare belt, bolstering Türkiye’s position in the region. This shift is driven by Türkiye’s proactive foreign policy, evolving global dynamics, and changing US attitudes in the region, alongside the actors’ geopolitical and economic interests.

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