Turkey wants to press the point that it is not an unreliable NATO ally and disprove the suspicion that it is in cahoots with Russia. The ratification of Finland’s NATO membership aims at debunking theories that Turkey is delaying the approval process of NATO’s Nordic enlargement in order to please Russia. In fact, the anti-Russian steps that Turkey has taken since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are more than meets the eye. Turkey represents the main NATO asset in counterbalancing Russia in the Black Sea which has become a new center of gravity for NATO strategy and operations. But Turkey’s loyalty with NATO does not mean that it will soon ratify also Sweden’s membership, even if the opposition wins the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
By Barış Soydan
March 24, 2022
While the disaster that struck Turkey on February 6 has brought attention to the collusion between political power and construction companies, the fact that the opposition maintains the same unhealthy relations with business where it’s in charge and its reluctance to address the concerns of the poorer classes preclude deeper, systemic changes if it wins the election. But without holding out the prospect of major social and economic reform, it remains to be seen whether the opposition succeeds in beating Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
By Barçın Yinanç
March 9, 2022
The Nation Alliance reasserts Turkey’s place in the West and as a Western democracy. In case of victory, the Turkish opposition alliance will orchestrate a careful distancing from Russia and reset Turkey’s relations with its Western allies. What the main Turkish opposition alliance holds forth is a return to the decades-long principles of the Turkish republic that will be marking its centenary this year. These include, notably, the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other nations. The opposition pledges to “put an end to practices based on domestic political calculations and ideological approaches in foreign policy.”
By Reuben Silverman
January 31, 2022
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has served in his post longer than any other member of the president’s current cabinet. In fact, first appointed in 2014, he has now served in the position longer than any other Turkish politician in the past seventy years. Yet, despite this long involvement, Çavuşoğlu himself is seldom discussed. There are no grand ideas associated with him as there were with his predecessor Ahmet Davutoğlu (2009-2014). Were he to be replaced in a cabinet reshuffle tomorrow, it is unlikely that he would establish a party of his own as Ali Babacan (2007-09) and Davutoğlu have both done. Nonetheless, like his predecessors, Çavuşoğlu embodies his era. Thinking about his time in office can help us reflect on the past decade of AKP foreign policy.
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.