There is an old saying in Turkish: “The Turk has no friend but the Turk.” As this country drifts towards isolation under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the proverb is ringing uncomfortably true.
It began with the “Arab Spring”. Turkey placed the wrong bets, backing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and banking on a swift overthrow of President Assad. Now it has no ambassador in Cairo, Mr Erdogan denouncing his Egyptian counterpart Abdul Fattah al-Sisi as an “unelected tyrant”.
And Turkey has been inexorably drawn into the nightmare in Syria, lambasted for allowing foreign jihadists to cross its borders. Ties with Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia have weakened.
And a former strategic partnership with Israel lies in tatters – the ambassador to Tel Aviv has been withdrawn, Mr Erdogan comparing the country’s bombardment of Gaza to “genocide…reminiscent of the Holocaust”.
But now even relations with old allies like the US have sunk. As Washington built a coalition to fight Islamic State, Turkey stayed on the sidelines, refusing to let the US use its airbases here for strikes unless it also targets President Assad.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is building what he calls a “New Turkey”. Others call it a polarised, unhappy Turkey – and one where friends at home and abroad are fading fast.