The Myth of Erdogan’s Power
Far from a sultan, the Turkish president is hemmed in by the nationalists who back him—and they don’t want him to get too close to Russia.
This month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intimated that his country might consider leaving NATO. Meanwhile, on a visit to Moscow last week, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu referred to Russia as a “strategic partner”—a first. This talk is empty. Erdogan may well be angry at Washington, but ultimately, Ankara is going to have to do whatever it takes to restore its ties with the West. Doing so might not be enough to pull the country out of its economic crisis, but Erdogan has few other options if he wants to avoid a potentially worse political meltdown: He depends too deeply on forces in the Turkish state that will have difficulty stomaching a permanent shift away from the United States and toward Russia.
Turkey’s election reveals the durability of nationalism
Suat Kiniklioglu was formerly deputy chairman of external affairs for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) before parting ways in 2012. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Security & […]
Illusion’s End: Erdoğan and Turkey’s Coming Economic Chill
The rapid depreciation in the value of the Turkish Lira since the beginning of 2018 is the product not only of the collapse of any remaining vestiges of investor confidence […]
Why Turkey is Authoritarian: From Atatürk to Erdogan
For the last century, the Western world has regarded Turkey as a pivotal case of the ‘clash of civilisations’ between Islam and the West. Why Turkey is Authoritarian offers a […]
Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdoğan’s Re-election?
The Kurdish question may serve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, helping to secure his re-election. The election campaign has demonstrated that Erdoğan no longer energizes the masses; after fifteen years in […]
Turkey’s Emergency Election: The Primacy of Raison d’etat
It is not President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s “power hunger” that accounts for Turkey’s snap presidential and general election. Instead, raison d’état is behind this event, which will enshrine presidential rule. […]
Turkey and the West: How Bad is it?
The U.S. suspension of visa services in Turkey is an indication of the depth of the fissures between the West and Turkey. While Turkish bureaucrats are trying to maintain functioning relations with the West, there are growing calls in Washington, Ankara and Berlin to redefine Turkey policy. Is Turkey headed for an incremental divorce with the West?