Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Re-election: Implications for India-Turkey relations

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election as the President of Turkey holds significant implications not only for the Turkish people but also for various countries around the world. In this critical analysis, we will delve into what Erdogan’s victory means for India, a key regional player in South Asia.

The relationship between Turkey and India has witnessed ups and downs over the years, and Erdogan’s continued rule is likely to shape their interactions in the future.

Shifts in Foreign Policy:

Erdogan’s prolonged tenure as Turkey’s leader has been marked by a notable shift in the country’s foreign policy approach. His assertive stance on international issues, particularly related to the Muslim world, has garnered attention and raised concerns in various quarters. Erdogan has positioned himself as a leader advocating for the rights and interests of Muslims worldwide, which resonates with a significant segment of the Muslim population in India.

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, May 28, 2023
Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, May 28, 2023 | Photo Credit: Khalil Hamra/AP

Impact on India-Turkey Relations:

Erdogan’s victory is likely to have both positive and negative consequences for India-Turkey relations. On one hand, his emphasis on the rights of Muslims may generate a sense of solidarity among Indian Muslims who have faced challenges and discrimination. This sentiment could potentially lead to an increase in people-to-people exchanges, cultural ties, and collaboration in areas of mutual interest.

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However, Erdogan’s more assertive foreign policy, especially his vocal support for contentious issues in the Muslim world, could strain the relationship between India and Turkey. For instance, Erdogan’s stance on Kashmir, where he has expressed concerns about the rights of Muslims, has been met with criticism from India. This could create friction between the two countries, particularly if Turkey chooses to interfere in India’s affairs.

Trade and Economic Cooperation:

Trade and economic cooperation form an essential aspect of bilateral relations between nations. Turkey and India have a trade relationship that has fluctuated over the years. Erdogan’s victory may have implications for trade ties between the two countries.

Erdogan’s government has pursued an ambitious economic agenda, and his continued rule could offer stability and predictability for Indian businesses seeking to invest in Turkey. However, potential differences in policy priorities and Erdogan’s focus on increasing self-reliance could impact the trade dynamics between the two nations.

PM Narendra Modi meets the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, in Osaka
PM Narendra Modi meets the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit, in Osaka | Photo Credit: PTI

Geopolitical Realignment:

Erdogan’s prolonged rule and his evolving foreign policy approach have led to a geopolitical realignment, both regionally and globally. Turkey has sought to establish itself as a major player in the Middle East and has shown a willingness to challenge traditional power structures. This realignment may impact India’s diplomatic engagements in the region, particularly in terms of navigating complex relationships with countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, where Turkey has significant influence.

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Conclusion:

Erdogan’s victory in the Turkish presidential election holds implications for India across various dimensions. While his emphasis on the rights of Muslims may resonate with a section of the Indian population, his assertive foreign policy and potential interference in India’s affairs could strain bilateral relations.

The evolving geopolitical landscape, influenced by Erdogan’s continued rule, also necessitates a recalibration of India’s regional engagements. As India navigates these shifts, it will be crucial to carefully assess the impact of Erdogan’s victory and work towards maintaining a balanced approach that safeguards India’s interests and ensures stability in the region.

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