Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan boards a plane with his wife, Emine, in Istanbul, January 2017.

On January 7, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim visited Baghdad, marking a milestone in its warming relations with Iraq. Four months ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had warned that Turkey’s deployment of troops to the Iraqi town of Bashiqa threatened to trigger a “regional war.” Turkey, which claimed for its troops the consent of the Kurdistan Regional Government, shot back that Iraq’s sudden concern with Bashiqa had “malicious” intent. An escalating war of words led to the mutual summoning of ambassadors and an Iraqi call, in October, for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. But during the January visit, the prime ministers of Iraq and Turkey stood together and declared that they would “solve the issue” of Bashiqa, in addition to strengthening bilateral trade, security, and economic cooperation.

Ankara’s about-face follows a dramatic year for the country, in which an attempted military coup, escalating attacks

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