By Aykan Erdemir and Luc Sasseville
April 27, 2020
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ambitions in Syria have resulted in a two-pronged intervention, as Ankara targets the Bashar al-Assad regime in the war-torn country’s northwest and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council in the northeast. The coronavirus pandemic, along with Turkey’s economic crisis, jihadist attacks against Turkish forces in Idlib, and infighting among Turkish proxies will all pose obstacles to Erdoğan’s plans in Syria. It is, however, far from certain that these challenges will have a restraining effect on the foreign and security policy of the Turkish regime.
By Halil Karaveli
April 13, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic might prove to be a disaster that leads to radical change in Turkey by giving new credence to the idea of the social state. So far, the Turkish state has demonstrated a lack of compassion for the plight of the broad mass of the population. But if the pandemic wreaks havoc in the fabric of society, the state may well conclude that its own best interests would be better served by abandoning neoliberal class policies and turning itself into a social state.
By Michaël Tanchum
April 13, 2020
On April 3, 2020, as Turkey passed 20,000 registered cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appeared on television to announce the implementation of a partial shutdown in Turkey, restricting movement in 31 of Turkey's 81 provinces. The new stricter measures came as the increasingly rapid spread of the virus propelled Turkey to the world's 9th highest number of COVID-19 cases and the world's 12th highest number of COVID-19 deaths. With its economy already overstretched by concurrent military interventions in Syria and Libya, Turkey is likely to find coping with the additional challenge of COVID-19 to be untenable.
By Micha’el Tanchum
November 15, 2019
In early September 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan surprised many in the international community with his declaration that it was unacceptable for nuclear armed powers to prohibit Turkey from acquiring nuclear weapons. While many analysts dismissed Erdoğan’s declaration as more rhetorical posturing designed to advance Turkey’s status in the regional security architecture, the president’s remarks reveal Turkey’s perception of its own deepening strategic vulnerability vis-a-vis its regional rivals. Lacking the strategic weapons system to deter Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Israel, Erdoğan’s tough talk signals a shift in its nuclear policy that will likely be revealed in the advancement of its ballistic missile program.
By Cengiz Çandar
November 5, 2019
Turkey’s intrusion into northeastern Syria will have far-reaching consequences for Turkey, the balance of power in Syria and in the Middle East. The Rojava invasion also leaves a durable imprint on international relations at a global scale. It has left the United States in a weaker position, while Russia has strengthened its grip on Syria. Turkey’s dependence on Russia has been reaffirmed. The Russo-Turkish partnership in Syria may not prove long-lived since Moscow and Ankara have different, indeed fundamentally irreconcilable political priorities. It is unlikely that Turkey, dependent on the acquiescence of Russia and with an ailing economy, will be able to establish a permanent military presence on Syrian territory.
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.