ISTANBUL — Turkey is confronting what amounts to a strategic nightmare as bombs explode in its cities, its enemies encroach on its borders and its allies seemingly snub its demands.
As recently as four years ago, Turkey appeared poised to become one of the biggest winners of the Arab Spring, an ascendant power hailed by the West as a model and embraced by a region seeking new patrons and new forms of governance.
All that has evaporated since the failure of the Arab revolts, shifts in the geopolitical landscape and the trajectory of the Syrian war.
Russia, Turkey’s oldest and nearest rival, is expanding its presence around Turkey’s borders — in Syria to the south, in Crimea and Ukraine to the north, and in Armenia to the east. On Saturday, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced the deployment of a new batch of fighter jets and combat helicopters to an air base outside the Armenian capital, Yerevan, 25 miles from the Turkish border.