By Toni Alaranta
January 31, 2018
No substantial “Eurasian turn” of Turkish foreign policy is likely – or at any rate likely to be lasting. However, the deterioration of the Turkish-Western relations has nonetheless helped bring about an unholy alliance of various “anti-Westernists,” secularist-nationalists and Islamists, which is anything but insignificant in terms of domestic politics. The regime has been bolstered, as it can now count on being supported by at least some secularist nationalists in the name of “anti-imperialism.”
by Suat Kınıklıoğlu
May 10, 2017
Turkey and Russia have recently both turned to an aggrieved nativism that delegitimizes democratic opposition. This nativism is nationalist, anti-elitist, protectionist, revanchist/irredentist, xenophobic and "macho". Despite three decades of post-Cold War transition both countries have failed to be at peace with themselves; have not been able to adjust to their neighboring regions and come to terms with their respective histories.
By Toni Alaranta (vol. 8, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
There is widespread expectation that “normalization” and democratic consolidation will follow the June 7 election, which deprived the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of its majority. The talk about “normalization” and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan becoming “isolated” presupposes that Turkey’s democratic travails emanate exclusively from Erdoğan’s power hunger, and that once this factor is eliminated, the AKP will once again become the “normalizing force” it allegedly was previously. However, “normalization” would mean abandoning not only Erdoğan but the very political narrative disseminated by the AKP during its years in power, and thus the mission of the party.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 7, no. 13 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkish government has recently been seeking to improve its ties with Iran. Even when bilateral relations were most tense, as in 2012 and 2013, Turkey and Iran declined to break relations comprehensively. They continued to pursue robust economic exchanges while compartmentalizing their regional security differences. The past year has seen decreasing differences between Ankara and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program. The declining prospects of Ankara’s anti-Iranian allies in Syria and the advent of an unexpectedly virulent militant Sunni insurgency in Iraq also contribute to creating a new regional dynamic. The Turkish-Iranian relationship is multi-faceted and although recent developments may have brought the two countries closer again, their relation is set to remain beset by complications and contradictions.
By Halil Gürhanlı (vol. 7, no. 12 of the Turkey Analyst)
As the the Sunni militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), keeps expanding its sphere of influence deeper into Iraq, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of Turkey is facing a very real fear. Its neo-Ottoman dream of becoming a regional hegemonic power revered by ideologically affiliated governments in the Middle East is turning into a nightmare. The rise of ISIS is a painful reminder for Turkey that its Middle Eastern policies are bound to cause unpleasant side effects.
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.