The latest escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh reignited anti-Turkey rhetoric in the international arena. Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's leadership, threw its weight behind Azerbaijan to help the country reclaim its Armenian-occupied territories.
Turkey’s most recent steps in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean raised questions in foreign capitals about that country’s international standing. As Americans grappled with President Donald Trump’s call to delay the 2020 elections, the European media went berzerk over the Hagia Sophia’s reclassification as a mosque. On the one hand, they called on European leaders to respond to “Sultan” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whom they charged with neo-Ottomanist expansionism. At the same time, European reporters appreciate that Erdoğan has been filling the power vacuum that the United States left behind, empowering his country in the process. They also understand that the Turkish president, as an experienced leader, does what his European counterparts fail to do and takes his country to a new level of agency.
President Donald Trump's administration in Washington explicitly supported this ambitious alliance, which portrayed itself as the new powerhouse to reshape the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Muhammed bin Zayed (MBZ), were the leading figures and sponsors of this project.