Editorial: The Turkish puzzle

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks last week in Astana, Kazakhstan.

They jointly announced the projected completion in six months of Turkey's Akkuyu nuclear power plant.

In his official remarks, Putin proposed to Erdogan that their two countries collaborate for Turkey be transformed into a major energy hub, capable of providing Europe with a natural gas alternative.

Chania Airport passenger traffic soared in first nine months

The next day, Erdogan hastened to clarify that this alternative hub will be established in Eastern Thrace, almost across from the Greek port city of Alexandroupolis, which has already developed into an energy and geopolitical base that is important at many levels.

In any event, the tight embrace of the two leaders is a given, as is Turkey's shift toward the East, although that does not mean that Ankara will cease bargaining with the West and Europe.

By all appearances, Tayyip Erdogan has adopted Vladimir Putin's conception of a multi-polar world.

In that framework, he is pursuing a specific role for himself and his country, but he also wants to cover all the bases.

Τhat is demonstrated by his procurement of advanced American fighter jets and weapons.

Erdogan's talks with Putin were proceeded by the sudden visit to Istanbul of US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan for a meeting with Erdogan's advisor and closest confidant, Ibrahim Kalin.

In talks that lasted many hours, the two covered much ground and all major running issues were placed on the table, including tensions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

That was followed, with the help of American urgings and mediation, by the historic Israel-Lebanon agreement to...

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