By Richard Weitz (vol. 5, no. 6 of the Turkey Analyst)
The decision of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping to visit Turkey along with Ireland and the United States during his ten-day world tour before becoming president in about a year underscores the importance Turkey holds for China’s leaders. The AKP government’s desire for new partnerships and Turkey’s eagerness to join other states in benefitting from the strength of the Chinese economy has contributed to this flourishing relationship. Their growing mutual attraction has led them to overlook their diverging policies regarding some regional issues, such as Syria and the status of ethnic Uighur Turks in China, and instead concentrate on cultivating mutual economic and strategic ties. But that situation may not endure. Beijing will have to pay close attention to the power struggle within the governing coalition of Islamic movements in Turkey, and its implications for the future evolution of Turkey’s foreign relations.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
Chinese analysts have been pleasantly surprised by the stupendous growth in their cultural, economic, and political ties with Turkey after the Cold War. They describe both China and Turkey as two emerging powers that are now entering a new strategic partnership that could reshape Eurasia. Chinese scholars consider Turkey an increasingly important country for China due to its growing economy, increasingly independent and influential diplomacy, and pivotal location between Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
The recent, unprecedented joint exercise between the Turkish and Chinese air forces is a signal event. Turkey and China are rapidly developing not only their economic relations, but the two countries have also been drawn closer by a shared ambition to question the Western-dominated world order. Although it is probable that U.S. pressure will ultimately work to constrain Turkey’s potential interest in developing close defense ties with China, the evolution of the Turkish-Chinese relationship may nonetheless have important geopolitical and strategic repercussions.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 6, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkish decision to choose a Chinese anti-missile system demonstrates Turkey’s ambition to forge an independent defense identity. It is another indication that the ruling Islamic conservatives do not feel indebted to the United States. But the decision is also a reminder that the Turkish generals no longer do America’s bidding. Western policymakers who are angered by the Turkish decision to go Chinese in missile defense would do well to ask if the assumptions that have guided their policies toward Turkey during the last decade may have been flawed.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.