Turkey’s Relations with Pakistan: Friends, But Not Allies

Agha Hussain

The “brotherly” tone that Turkey and Pakistan use when speaking to and about each other might give the impression that these two large Muslim-majority states are fast allies. Relations have been growing closer ever since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a policy of explicit support for Pakistan in its dispute with India over Kashmir. But Turkey’s repeated attempts since then to add a geostrategic component to bilateral ties with Pakistan have failed. Against this backdrop, this commentary will analyze Turkey’s diplomatic attempts to draw Pakistan into a more permanent geostrategic partnership. In so doing, it lays bare the obstacles in front of such an arrangement and the potential sources of diverging interests and even geostrategic competition between the two across Eurasia.