By Gareth Jenkins
September 1, 2022
Recent Turkish calls for dialogue with the Syrian government to try to end the country’s civil war are primarily driven by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s fears about his own domestic political survival ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2023. But they are also a tacit admission of the catastrophic failure of Turkey’s policies in Syria, the costs of which are likely to haunt whoever governs in Ankara for years to come.
By Michaël Tanchum
August 29, 2022
With Russia bogged down in its war against Ukraine, Turkey announced its plans to conduct another military operation in northern Syria. At the July 19, 2022 Turkey-Russia-Iran Summit on Syria, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan found Moscow and Tehran largely unaccomodating of Ankara’s plans in contrast to Turkey’s previous four interventions. Yet Turkey could use a distracted Russia’s inability to restrain Iran’s strategic designs in Syria as the basis to build a new Middle Eastern consensus for a Syrian intervention, as Egypt, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia are each opposed to Iran’s presence in Syria. Aided by the fact that Turkey has recently engaged in a rapprochement with each of these actors, Ankara will need to convince them of two things to receive tacit consent – a new military intervention would indeed blunt Iran’s advances and that further entrenching Turkish control in northern Syria would not empower jihadi militant and Islamist extremists.
By Michaël Tanchum
June 8, 2022
The March 2022 elevation of the Turkey-Uzbekistan relationship to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” provides the Ankara-led Organization of Turkic States with a new geopolitical heft. To preserve its autonomy in the face of Beijing's growing regional dominance, Tashkent has turned to Ankara to act as countervailing force in both economic and security affairs. Combined with the expanding Turkey-Pakistan strategic partnership, this makes Turkey a rising Eurasian agenda setter that will impact the strategic calculus of both Beijing and Washington.