Will Erdogan and Meloni be able to find a common language? News. Last Minute AFRICA, France, Greece headlines and events
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Italy’s newly elected far-right Prime Minister Georgia Meloni seem to have come to an unexpected deal on Africa and immigration. VOA correspondent Dorian Jones reports that his relationship with Meloni is one of the partnerships Erdogan is trying to develop with far-right leaders in Europe.
During the meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni during the G20 summit in Indonesia, there were always smiles and warm handshakes.
While policies such as Meloni’s call to stop building mosques in Italy and Erdogan’s positioning as a defender of Muslim rights are diametrically opposed, some experts say the two leaders can find common ground.
Foreign Policy Institute expert Hussein Balci notes that Tayyip Erdogan is an Islamist Turk and Meloni is a Christian Italian, saying that thanks to this, the two leaders understand each other very well. Balgy argues that this is the reason why the two leaders talk about religious and nationalist values rather than democratic values, and he believes that for this reason the two leaders will understand each other better than the others.
One of Meloni’s priorities is to prevent immigration from Africa, most of which goes through Libya.
According to Aya Burweila, an expert at the Hellenic National Defense University, Turkey has a strong relationship with Libya’s government of national unity. This gives Erdogan an important trump card.
Claiming that Turkey now has a base in western Libya, the expert recalls that Ankara controls all critical infrastructure in western Libya. Burweila also points out that the western part of Libya is one of the most important points of human trafficking to Europe.
However, it is noted that Rome may have to pay a price for strengthening its relations with Ankara at a time when tensions arise between Turkey and Greece over sovereignty disputes. Turkey’s relations with Egypt are also tense. Egypt is an important trading partner of Italy.
Jalel Harchaui says you shouldn’t piss off Egypt over Italy’s ongoing hydrocarbon trade with Egypt. For this reason, the expert, arguing that a distinction should be made between Turkey and Italy, adds that Italy is not satisfied with the existence of such conflicts.
Both Meloni and Erdogan have a strained relationship with French President Emmanuel Macron. Finally, the Italian authorities turned the ship with the immigrants back from their ports, and then the ship docked in France and disembarked the immigrants there.
Turkish and Italian leaders are also challenging France’s economic interests in Africa.
Erdogan has worked for years with right-wing European leaders such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Sabanci University professor of international relations Sanem Aydın Düzgit also draws attention to Erdoğan’s smooth relationship with anti-Islamic autocrats like Orban. For this reason, the expert says that Meloni’s right-wing extremism is not a problem, adding that Erdogan may see it as a benefit, as he prefers a fragmented and useless Europe.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, also called the Third Bosphorus Bridge, is the newest bridge in Istanbul and was built by an Italian company. Trade is the basis of Italian-Turkish relations. The leaders of the two countries seem determined to build relations on this basis.
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