Emmanuel Macron's push in Brussels for European strategic autonomy directly clashes with Recep Tayyip Erdogan's long-term expansion strategy in several key areas.
Turkey today evolves very fast, due to the joint influence of external factors and internal dynamics that are sometimes difficult to grasp.
The beginning of negotiations to adhere to the European Union allowed the Turkish government to pursue a series of political reforms in order to conform to the criteria demanded by Copenhagen. After many years of severe structural adjustment the Turkish economy benefits from outstanding growth rates that confirm its status as a promising emerging market. Turkish civil society also seems to acquire and strengthen an autonomous voice in the debates to come.
However, there are many uncertainties that are here to stay. As this process of change is still unfinished, the permanent state of political crisis comes at the expense of economic stability. Institutional models and political culture are undergoing a phase of mutations whose outcomes are difficult to predict. Experiencing a rural exodus and new forms of social mobility, the Turkish population is aware of the important consequences these profound changes have on the social contract and national consensus. On a diplomatic level, Turkey is oscillating between the ardent European demands, exercises of power that may lead to a loss in sovereignty, and the other tempting alliances that could strengthen its status as a regional power that cannot be ignored.
Far from simplifying the Turkish mosaic, the intensification of its relations with the European Union seems to complicate it: new subject positions emerge that emphasize the need to create new tools of understanding. We must look at contemporary Turkish reality with a new eye in order to spot these new actors, factors of mobilization and lines of cleavage that weigh on Turkey’s choices.
Conflicts in the EastMed: From Germany’s and France’s Conflicting Strategies to a Dual Approach Briefings de l'Ifri, September 3, 2021
On July 20, 2021, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan celebrated with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Ersin Tatar the 47th anniversary of the Turkish military intervention in Northern Cyprus. This ceremony marks the strategic reinvestment of the Cypriot file by Turkey.
Back to “the Tradition”: Turkey’s Changing Position from a Federal to a Two-State Solution to the Cyprus Conflict Notes de l'Ifri, July 2021
When it came to power in 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) defended a bicommunal, federal solution for Cyprus, and supported the Annan Plan to reunite the island.
France vs. Turkey in the EastMed: A Geopolitical Rivalry between a “Keeper” of the Old Order and a Challenging Emergent Power Briefings de l'Ifri, May 2021
The Franco-Turkish standoff is first and foremost a geopolitical contest for influence in the EastMed area. It must be understood in light of Turkey’s rise as an emergent power in quest for geostrategic autonomy and France’s unease with Ankara’s growing assertiveness in a region that Paris...
Mavi Vatan, the "Blue Homeland": the Origins, Influences and Limits of an Ambitious Doctrine for Turkey Etudes de l'Ifri, april 2021
Turkey’s activism in the Eastern Mediterranean now appears to be guided by an ambitious legal and geopolitical doctrine, based on the claim of a vast maritime domain – the “Blue Homeland” or Mavi Vatan in Turkish.
Turkey: An Emerging Power without the Resources to Match Its Ambitions Politique étrangère, Vol. 85, No. 4, Winter 2020-2021
Turkey is adopting an increasingly hostile stance towards Western countries. Its activities in the eastern Mediterranean and in Libya demonstrate this.
Is Escalation Between France and Turkey in the Middle East and Beyond Inescapable? Geneva Center for Security Policy, Syria Transition Challenges Project, November 2020
In recent years, France and Turkey have been on opposing sides relating to Middle East concerns.
Turkey-China Relations: Ambitions and Limits of the Economic Cooperation Asie.Visions, n° 116, octobre 2020
At first glance, China and Turkey have many interests to cooperate. The deployment of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Turkey's colossal investment and financing needs, as well as President Erdogan's mistrust of the West, appear as many converging interests. Yet economic cooperation...
Turkey’s New Gas Discovery in the Black Sea and Its Potential Implications Editoriaux de l'Ifri, October 1, 2020
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey’s biggest gas discovery ever on August 21, 2020. Initial findings show that the estimated reserve capacity is 320 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas.
Since 1983, the QUAD gathers every year, the SWP, RAND Corporation, Chatham House and Ifri. The QUAD was set up during the Euromissile crisis and brings together European and American diplomats, military officers, journalists and research fellow to debate on current geopolitical issues.<...>
A videoconference around Dorothée Schmid, head of Ifri’s Turkey / Middle-East Pogram.
In the first of our foreign policy meeting series “Ruptures in the Neighborhood: The Impact of Turkish Foreign Policy in its Neighboring Countries and Beyond,” we will focus on the Turkish foreign policy (TFP) in the Balkans. In line with the overall goal of the series, we will aim to get an...
The Syrian imbroglio has arguably proved to be the most consequential foreign policy topics for Turkey in decades, structurally impacting Ankara's vision and priorities as well as its regional engagement.
Turkey and the Middle East: A New (Dis)Order in the Middle East: Stakes for Europe and Turkey Séminaire & Table ronde
Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of the World War I, efforts by both regional or international powers to build a sustainable regional order in the Middle East have failed. While some debate on the best conceivable order for the region, others argue that we should...
Iran : The Revolution's Legacy, Understanding the Current Political, Economic and Cultural Dynamics of Iran Séminar & Roundtable co-organized with Lettres Persannes under the Sponsorship of Senator Joël Guerriau
Since the nuclear agreement was reached in July 2015, Iran has returned to the forefront of international relations. However, the complexity of Iranian society remains hardly understandable for Western observers. At a time when both Iran and the world are opening to each other, in order to...
Being both the country of refuge and of transit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey plays a key-role in the Syrian refugee crisis. The agreement between Brussels and Ankara to manage the flow of migrants, signed with German approval, caused much debate. It also pushed the question of Turkey’s...
Still candidate for EU membership and major ally to envision a long-term stabilization in the Middle East, Turkey seems weakened by internal flaws and threatened by spreading regional conflicts. Two weeks after a tense legislative scrutiny, what are the political and economical perspectives...
Competing claims have left Ankara isolated. Its efforts to stall projects threaten billions of dollars in investment. Europe’s top diplomat smiled for the camera as he took a helicopter flight over the disputed waters of the island of Cyprus at the end of June.
Turkey has decided to suspend the opening of several French studies departments in its universities, in a context of bilateral tensions after the publication of a "manifesto against new anti-Semitism" last month, calling for the correction of some parts of the Quran. Dorothée Schmid, head of...
Turkey is looking to revive a fragile ceasefire in Aleppo, and the planned evacuation of civilians, which brokered with Russia. But why is Ankara, a staunch opponent of Damascus, interested in helping to create an outcome that would benefit President Assad? Amanda Morrow put the question to...
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP suffered a stunning defeat in the latest parliamentary poll with the party losing its absolute majority for the first time in 13 years. The question now is whether it can hold on to power....
A l’occasion de sa visite de travail en France, l'Ifri a accueillie le 31 octobre à l’Automobile Club de France, le Président de la République de Turquie, Recep Tayyip Erdogan....