By Natalia Konarzewska
March 4, 2022
Turkey insists on maintaining close relations both with Russia and Ukraine, but this balancing act has become near-impossible to maintain after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A week into the invasion, Kyiv received a new batch of drones from Turkey that have already proved their effectiveness against the Russian forces. Even though Turkey will seek to maintain a balance as far as possible, its strong military ties with Ukraine speak of its geopolitical ambition to contain Russia. Turkey’s relation with Russia is transactional, while its commitment to the defense of Ukraine is an expression of Turkey’s strategic vision and its adherence to the geopolitical goals of the Western alliance. That will ultimately prove decisive.
By Natalia Konarzewska
August 16, 2021
Turkey is strengthening its military cooperation with Poland and Ukraine. Poland has recently acquired a batch of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 armed drones. The emerging Turkish-Polish-Ukrainian axis is a powerful demonstration of Turkey’s determination to defy Russia. Turkey seeks to placate the United States and to prove its usefulness for the Western alliance in the Second Cold War with Russia.
By Alan Makovsky
July 2, 2021
The day after the June 14 Biden-Erdoğan summit, one former Turkish official opined, “Before this meeting, I thought that saving US-Turkish relations is Mission Impossible. Now I think it’s only Mission Extremely Difficult.” That reaction pointed to the result of the summit: a net gain, if only a tentative one, for the Turkish President, when no gain at all had been expected.
By John C. K. Daly
October 21, 2020
Dissatisfaction with Turkey has intensified to the point that the U.S. administration is considering abandoning İncirlik air base near Adana. Turkey in turn has threatened to expel the American military from İncirlik air base if the U.S. Congress imposes sanctions on Turkey for purchasing the Russian S-400 antiaircraft system. As Turkey has now activated the missiles, the future of İncirlik is at best unclear.
By Michaël Tanchum
June 23, 2020
On June 18, 2020, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the alliance is opening an investigation prompted by France's allegation that one of its naval frigates was targeted for attack by a Turkish naval warship in the Mediterranean as the frigate sought to interdict a civilian Turkish vessel suspected of transporting weapons to Libya. Although Turkey denies the allegation, the incident represents a new escalation in the rising tensions between Turkey and France already inflamed by France's increasing naval cooperation with Cyprus. Following the recent success of Turkey's military intervention to preserve Libya's Government of National Accord, Ankara reportedly plans to establish an air base and a naval base in the country. Reorienting the strategic architecture of the region more in Turkey's favor, the two Libyan bases will greatly boost Turkey's engagement with the nations of North Africa and the Sahel. Facing a potential loss of influence in Africa, France may choose to align more deeply with Turkey's rivals in Libya.
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.