Etiket arşivi: Turkey-EU relations

Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy Quandary

July 16, 2019

On July 5, The Atlantic published an article by Thomas Wright, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. The title was “Trump Couldn’t Ignore the Contradictions of His Foreign Policy Any Longer”. (*)

The article provides interesting insight on the evolution of President Trump’s foreign policy. What attracted my attention more than anything else was the very first paragraph: Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

Turkish-American Relations Under Strain

January 29, 2018

On May 16, 2017 Presidents Erdogan and Trump had talks in Washington. A few days before the visit I had said:

“…neither Ankara nor Washington can afford a too rocky relationship with too many ups and downs. They need one another and a reasonably steady relationship. So, the uneasy, unhappy alliance will continue.” (*)

I may have been over-optimistic. At present, the two capitals can’t agree even on the gist of a phone call between the presidents. Okumaya devam et

Obituary for Turkey’s EU Accession Process

January 7, 2017

Turkey remains in diplomatic isolation. Once, the government called this “precious loneliness”, a price Ankara was prepared to pay no matter what for its “principled foreign policy”. However, this policy of needless defiance coupled with the decline of Turkish democracy has become unsustainable. Okumaya devam et

Moving Toward Unsplendid Isolation

March 27, 2017

Turkish government’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy was nothing but a public relations stunt. Its “regime change Syria” project has turned into a major foreign and security policy disaster, as predicted.

At present, Ankara’s relations with Washington are under clouds of uncertainty because of differences over Fethullah Gülen’s extradition and YPG’s role in combating ISIS. Secretary Tillerson, addressing the Ministerial Plenary for the Global Coalition Working to Defeat ISIS on March 22, said: “Turkey has pushed ISIS off the Turkey-Syria border through Operation Euphrates Shield. This entire border is now inaccessible to ISIS, and we will ensure that it stays that way…”   What that means exactly will no doubt be high on the agenda of the talks Secretary Tillerson will have in Ankara at the end of the month. Criticism directed by Ankara at the gone Obama administration continues and is probably seen as an indirect way of sending messages to its successor. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy in Disarray

March 14, 2017

First, it was “zero problems with neighbors”. Then, it was regime change in Syria. Ankara was so determined that it shot down a Russian fighter-jet provoking a major crisis with Moscow. In May 2016, following an unavoidable government reshuffle, the motto became “more friends and fewer enemies” and that appeared to make sense. Reconciliation with Russia thus started to move forward, at a cost of course. The future of relations with the Trump administration remain uncertain because of the question of Fethullah Gülen’s extradition as well as America’s collaboration with the YPG. And now, Ankara is burning bridges with its traditional European allies who are also Turkey’s major economic partners and home to millions of Turks. The first was Germany (*) only to be followed by the Netherlands not to mention the others. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Relations with the West

January 9, 2017

In early April 2009 Mr. Obama visited Ankara on his first trip abroad as US President. His address to the Turkish Parliament was full of praise for Turkey’s “strong, vibrant, secular democracy”. In May 2013, Prime Minister Erdogan visited Washington. Remarks made by the two leaders at their joint press conference reflected nothing but a cordial and strong relationship. Four years later, we have a different picture (1).  Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Troubled Relations with Europe

August 15, 2016

In retrospect, one of EU’s major foreign and security policy mistakes was the blunting of whatever momentum Turkey’s accession process had. It goes without saying that this was also Turkey’s failure. Had both sides acted with foresight, even with an open-ended process, Turkey and the EU could have been at a different point in dealing with today’s myriad of Middle East problems. Turkey would have become a channel for promoting democracy in the region. And, Turkey and the EU would have engaged in more genuine cooperation to deal with the Middle East turmoil, beyond the controversial “refugee deal”.

At present, Turkey’s relations with the EU can at best be described as mutual dislike/distrust. The accession process exits only on paper. Okumaya devam et