None of them would ever admit it but European leaders will be breathing a sigh of relief now that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been re-elected .
The defeated candidate Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu promised to turn Turkey back towards the West, if he ousted the old autocrat.
But there are few prime ministers or presidents who would be ecstatic at the prospect of welcoming Ankara back into the fold after two decades of Erdogan .
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban did not even wait for the official result before congratulating Mr Erdogan on an “unquestionable election victory”. Only Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was quicker off the mark.
But Mr Orban, who has plenty of enemies of his own in Brussels, sees Mr Erdogan as an ally and role model.
Other European leaders were conspicuously slower, and are considerably less admiring of the Turkish president . The ambivalence is mutual.
There’s no question that Mr Erdogan has made himself a nuisance in Nato. He infuriated Alliance members by blocking Sweden from joining the Alliance over Stockholm’s supposed support for dissident Kurds.
Patience with Mr Erdogan was already strained after Turkey invaded Syria, which hurt relations with Washington and European capitals. Joe Biden has wanted Mr Erdogan gone for quite some time.
In 2019, the then-presidential candidate said the US should support the Turkish opposition “to take on and defeat Erdogan”. During this hard fought campaign, Mr Erdogan accused Washington of meddling in the elections.
Unlike most Nato members, Turkey has refused to hit Russia with Western-style sanctions for its illegal invasion of Ukraine. But it was the distasteful Mr Erdogan who struck a deal with Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky to allow Ukraine to ship grain from its Black Sea ports.
No one else on the world stage can claim such a success, which makes Mr Erdogan a valuable mediator if and when the time comes to talk peace.
Mr Kilicdaroglu, who pledged to turn away from Russia if elected, could never match the president’s pull with Putin. Mr Erdogan dramatically increased the powers of the presidency after a failed coup against him in 2016.
Mr Kilicdaroglu pledged to reverse those reforms and return to a parliamentary democracy and rule of law far closer to Western European norms. But his plans to revive Turkey’s long-stalled accession process to the EU, would have been greeted with barely disguised horror in Fortress Europe.
Even simple visa liberalisation has proved elusive in a bloc where even mainstream politicians wade into the culture war over the “islamisation” of Europe’s “Judeo-Christian” culture.
EU diplomats suggested that Mr Kilicdaroglu would have soon found out Ankara was likely to get a very cool welcome.
Mr Erdogan has long since given up on Turkey joining the EU, having had his fingers burnt in the past when trying to revitalise an application first made in 1987.
That suits Brussels and its member states just fine. The European Union talks a good game about democratic values and human rights. But it had no problem paying Mr Erdogan huge sums to host Syrian refugees during the 2015 migrant crisis.
Turkey also agreed to take back migrants making illegal crossings of the Mediterranean in exchange for more cash.
Mr Erdogan may be impossible to like. But has made himself very useful.