Turkey’s government has undertaken a legislative campaign to vastly increase the state’s power and insulate it from accountability.
American policymakers should squarely face the challenges confronting Turkey, as well as their implications for greater U.S.-Turkish cooperation.
Turkey’s Local Elections: Actors, Factors, and Implications
March 14, 2014
On March 30, 2014, Turks will vote in municipal elections amid an ongoing political conflict within the Islamic conservative movement between two former allies turned bitter foes. Though sharp divisions within Turkish society are hardly new, the fault line along which the current clash is being contested opened up only within the last three years. These elections, however, are unlikely to speed its resolution.
- More Turmoil Ahead for Turkey
- Political Corruption Scandal Spreads in Turkey
- Turkey’s Central Bank: The AKP’s Next Target?
- Nuclear Proliferation: First Iran, Now Turkey?
- Mr. Davutoğlu Comes to Washington
- Without Precedent: Turkey’s Chinese Missile Defense System
In the past decade, Turkish foreign policy has gone through a considerable transformation. Where it had often been status-quo-oriented and reactive, it is now increasingly activist. Whereas Turkey was previously focused predominantly on its ties with Europe and the United States, it has now turned its attention primarily to the Muslim Middle East.
From Rhetoric to Reality: Reframing U.S. Turkey Policy
October 23, 2013
The Middle East remains a major foreign policy challenge for the United States, despite attempts to pivot away from it. A cooperative and strong Turkey could be an important partner in helping rebuild the Middle East. Indeed, there is no other country in the region that the United States can turn to that could potentially play as constructive a role as Turkey might be able to. But for now the reality is different.
After large protests erupted in Istanbul’s Gezi Park and Taksim Square at the end of May, quickly spreading across the country, Turkey dominated the news. But as that unrest died down and as the rest of the Middle East grew even more chaotic Turkey disappeared from the headlines. In the last several weeks, however, we have witnessed the Turkish government beginning to react to the summer’s events. While not as captivating as the earlier protests, several events, ranging from the cautiously hopeful to the slightly peculiar, are noteworthy for what they indicate about the careful balance Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) are trying to strike in their politics, both foreign and domestic.
- Day One: Democratization package
- Day Two: Turkey’s Chinese missile deal
- Day Three: Political outlook
- Day Four: Conflicted record on combating extremism
- Day Five: Turkish-Israeli relations
- Day Six: Actions in Syria
The Road to Damascus: U.S.-Turkish Cooperation Towards a Post-Assad Syria
May 2, 2013
Ridding Syria of President Bashar al-Assad has been the goal of the United States for almost two years. Should this objective be achieved, however, an enormous challenge will still remain: stabilizing and rebuilding Syria in a way that advances U.S. strategic goals and values. However, this will require the cooperation of Turkey—a U.S. ally with keen interests in Syria. Ankara’s interests, however, do not perfectly match Washington’s, posing the challenge for policymakers of finding the right tools to align more closely the two countries’ visions of Syria’s future.
Task Force Members
Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor of Internal Relations, Lehigh University
Research Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program
Ambassador Paula Dobriansky
Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs
Former Assistant for National Security Affairs to the Vice President
Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Executive Director, Freedom House
Founder and President, America Abroad Media
Admiral (ret.) Gregory Johnson
Former Commander of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe; Senior Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center
General (ret.) Charles Wald
Former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command; Bipartisan Policy Center Board Member