To an outside observer, Turkey’s behavior since the start of the Ukraine war might seem erratic. When Russia began its aggressive warfare, Turkey condemned the attack and put a planned acquisition of new Russian weapons on hold. The Turkish company Baykar—one of whose executives is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law— provides the Ukrainian military with Bayraktar drones free of charge. But Turkey was also staunchly opposed to the accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO—until it was persuaded to drop its veto.
Turkey helped broker a deal between Ukraine and Russia to allow Ukrainian grain shipments safe passage through the Black Sea, all while adopting Russian payment systems to facilitate business and travel for Russian citizens (a decision that has now been reversed under international pressure).
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