By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 3, no. 20 of the Turkey Analyst)
The reaffirmation of Turkey’s continued active membership in NATO should reassure those who have been worried that the ruling Justice and development party (AKP) is abandoning Turkey’s westward strategic ties and embracing an eastern orientation. Nonetheless, an evolution of Turkey’s strategic identity cannot be ruled out since the current Turkish government has been abandoning many other long-standing foreign policy tenets.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey has presented a unique challenge to the efforts of NATO and the EU to restructure their roles, missions, and capabilities to address Europe’s 21st-century security challenges. It is impossible to construct an effective European security architecture without addressing Turkey’s role. Yet, finding an appropriate place for Ankara in the evolving EU-NATO balance has proven exceptionally difficult given the country’s continued exclusion from the EU and the dispute between Turkey and the government of Cyprus. Turkish officials have waged a protracted battle to secure some influence on EU security decisions as well as to compel Greek Cypriots to reach a political settlement with their Turkish minority. In pursuit of these ends, they have proved willing to block EU-NATO cooperation on important security issues.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
One reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to skip this week’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington is that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made clear that he planned to raise the issue of Israel’s covert nuclear weapons program at the meeting. The Israeli government has long refused to confirm its possession of its widely suspected nuclear arsenal. One irony of this development is that Turkey itself is commonly recognized as having dozens of nuclear weapons stored on its territory. The most profitable non-proliferation tool in Turkey’s case would be to assure Turks that they will play an essential role in NATO’s security policies and that their preferences will have a major impact in shaping the alliance’s nuclear policies.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 3, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
By dint of geography and its strategic relations, Turkey has assumed a pivotal role in Europe’s future ballistic missile defense (BMD) architecture. The United States has been lobbying Ankara to participate in its program within a NATO framework, while Iran and Russia have encouraged Turkey to keep its distance from Washington’s BMD plans. Turkish officials have strived to balance these competing forces while leveraging them to advance Turkey’s own regional security interests.
By Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 4 of the Turkey Analyst)
The struggle for the control of the Turkish state, pitting the military against the Islamic conservative movement, has implications for Turkey’s external relations as well, not least for those with the United States. Misgivings about American intentions account in great part for the lure of Eurasianism, the search for eastern alternatives to NATO membership, among the military. Although it is a dead end in strategic terms, Eurasianism risks compounding the ideological de-westernization of Turkey.
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.