Turkish-Iranian relations have always defied any general characterisation. The two neighbours have never had a straightforward alliance, feud, cooperation or rivalry. Instead, their relationship always carried all these elements simultaneously. There have been times in which the relationship has seemed to be tilting one way or another, and this has generated more debate, controversy and confusion about the nature and future course of the relations between the two countries.
We are now passing through such a period. Turkish-Iranian relations are now being seen as moving towards cooperation, if not alliance-building. Such a characterisation, however, is premature and is reading too much into diplomatic niceties.
In recent times, the diplomatic traffic between Ankara and Tehran seems to have intensified. As recently as August, a large Iranian military delegation headed by military chief of staff Mohammad Hossein Bagheri visited Ankara, meeting their military counterparts as well as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.