Erdoğan Emerges as Unexpected Winner in Ukraine War"
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has brought unexpected benefits for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has leveraged his position as a key mediator between Russia, Ukraine and the West, and as a result, has helped boost the Turkish economy and bolster his domestic political power.
Turkey has profited from selling drones to Ukraine, which helped turn the tide of the conflict in its early stages. Erdoğan's close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has also put him in a prime position to broker diplomatic breakthroughs, including prisoner exchanges and grain exports from Ukraine's Black Sea ports. Meanwhile, Russian oligarchs are investing in Turkey to avoid Western sanctions.
Erdoğan has also used the conflict to gain new leverage over NATO, threatening to block Finland and Sweden from joining the mutual-defense bloc. The US hopes to use the sale of new F-16 fighter jets to persuade him to approve the alliance's expansion.
As Turkey finds itself at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, Erdoğan is working to transform the country into a global military and diplomatic power. Though he has faced criticism for his increasingly authoritarian rule, the Ukraine conflict has helped restore Turkey's international standing and provided a much-needed boost to its economy.