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 Michaël Tanchum
March 25, 2020
On March 15, 2020, Turkey and Russia conducted their first joint patrol along the M-4 highway in Syria's Idlib province, implementing the terms a ceasefire accord that ended the direct military confrontation between Turkey and Russia. Ankara will prioritize avoiding further confrontation and cooperate with Moscow in order to consolidate Turkey's position in northern Syria. The degree to which Moscow reciprocates Turkey's gestures in Idlib will be the measure of how much Moscow is able and willing to accommodate Turkey's interests in northern Syria.
By Natalia Konarzewska
March 23, 2020
On January 8, 2020, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attended the opening ceremony of TurkStream, the natural gas pipeline that is envisaged to carry Russian gas to Turkey and then to Southeastern Europe. A month earlier, Erdoğan and Azerbaijan's President İlham Aliyev inaugurated another gas project that Turkey participates in, the Trans Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and which will deliver Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and to southern Europe. Yet TurkStream and TANAP offer mixed prospects for advancing Turkey's strategy to become an energy transit state for Europe because of limitations of capacity and unclear or limited perspectives of expansion. Even though both pipelines are seen as cornerstones of Turkey's gas strategy, they are in fact being brought to completion at a time when Ankara tries to reduce its dependency on pipeline gas and seeks to benefit from the booming liquified natural gas market.
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.