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Turkey is fairly easy to play in an alliance with Russia (the "juggernaut"). The two of them partition the Balkans and Austria-Hungary, possibly with the help of Italy. Then they go their separate ways with Russia fighting Germany and/or England, while an enlarged Turkey crushes Italy. They need to come to an agreement about the Black Sea, but as long as Turkey builds mainly fleets and Russia mainly armies, they're fine.

A problem seems to arise if Turkey allies with say, Austria-Hungary against Russia. Turkey can get control of the Black Sea and Sevastopol (maybe Rumania). But it needs fleets to cover these areas, and its navy seems to be stretched out between these areas and the Mediterranean. If it tries to move north, it will likely be "capped by whoever (Germany or Britain) has captured Moscow.

Turkey's next natural target seems to be Italy (another naval power), except that it is vulnerable to a counterblow by land from Austria-Hungary in the Balkans. And if Austria-Hungary builds mainly armies, the combined Turkish and Italian land forces might have difficulty reconquering the Balkans even if they were allied.

So how would Turkey avoid getting "boxed in," absent an alliance with Russia?

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Well the answer to the question literally posed in the title is yes. You can be boxed in, but this will not necessarily happen. Hey, even if you do ally with Russia, Austria and Italy can put up an effective blockade keeping you in the corner.

It is certainly a viable strategy with significant growth opportunities to ally with either Austria or Italy. (Maybe you really should be asking Don Scheifler and not me, since he soloed as Turkey off the back of an Austrian-Turkish alliance at the recent World Championships).

The key, as always, is to try to keep your growth paths open while keeping your allies busy so that they can't afford to stab you. Of course the other six players are trying to do the same thing...

To look at the particular senario you bring up of an alliance with Austria. OK so you've got the Russian neutralised and say picked up SEV in the process (which is a great longterm gain), then barring western intervention (and this is the key), you and Austria are favourites to roll through Italy. Yes a stab is a risk, but this is the case in any alliance. Arguably an Austrian stab is less likely to be devastating than a Russian stab, since under normal circumstances Turkish home centres can't be taken without fleet power which Austria is unlikely to posess. Just keep your ally busy and then they won't have the units free to stab you (or you could be the stabber).

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One of my best dippy games so far because the balance of the game was quite open to the end did not start with a Russia+Turkey alliance. If I remember correctly it started off with a Turkey+Italian alliance, but Italy got quickly under the hammer of France (allied with England, which was at war with Russia).

With a strong France and the right moment for Turkey to fall in Italys back a strong alliance Turkey+France was the logical choice. That induced England to side with Russia. And if i remember correctly a very thrilling map-wide land and sea struggle followed.

Alas, in the end France and Russia were successful in stabbing their respected partners simultaneously and wiped out England and Turkey later, but that's diplomacy...

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