Türkiye's Foreign Policy | A Century of Strategic Transformation

This book examines the century-long transformation of Turkish foreign policy, with each chapter dedicated to analyzing different regions and explaining the priorities and strategies of Türkiye within the context of its historical transformation.

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Türkiye's Foreign Policy A Century of Strategic Transformation
Diplomatic engagement instead of normalization

Diplomatic engagement instead of normalization

Recent developments have brought the ongoing discussions on normalizing Türkiye-Syria relations back to the forefront. Following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, Syrian leader Bashar Assad, according to the Syrian News Agency, stated, “Syria is open to all initiatives for Syria-Türkiye relations based on its sovereignty over the entire territory of the country and the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations.” Similarly, the Syrian News Agency quoted Lavrentiev as saying that Russia supports all initiatives for Syria-Türkiye relations, adding: “We see that the conditions for successful mediation are more favorable than ever. Russia is ready to work to advance the negotiations. The goal is to succeed in restoring relations between Syria and Türkiye.”

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In response to a question from journalists, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently gave positive signals about "normalization" with Bashar al-Assad. This statement, which coincides with a series of talks at the technical level mediated by Iraq, is important in terms of timing. If two neighboring countries find a solution to their problems by talking, it may make it easier to be ready for regional and global crises. At this point, it is useful to focus on the reasons underlying Türkiye-Syria normalization and the expectations of the parties.

In the dynamic landscape of global politics, Türkiye’s bid for membership in the BRICS group – which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – represents a strategic move poised to reshape its future. Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan’s recent attendance at the BRICS meetings in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, underscores Türkiye’s efforts to refine its foreign policy. Although Türkiye has not yet formally applied for membership, Fidan expressed interest in joining BRICS during his recent visit to Beijing.

The recent visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan to China marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Turkish foreign policy within the shifting strategic landscape of Eurasia. As Türkiye aims to balance its strategic partnerships and expand its influence, this visit underscores crucial discussions and potential impacts on foreign policy.

The visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Türkiye on May 13 has sustained cautious optimism in Greek-Turkish relations.

Historical Landmark in Türkiye-Iraq Relations and Opportunity for Strategic Partnership

This study argues that the problems between Erbil and Baghdad, and their prolonged existence prevent Türkiye from deepening cooperation with Iraq in terms of security, water issues, and economic relations

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Historical Landmark in Türkiye-Iraq Relations and Opportunity for Strategic Partnership
Significant momentum in Turkish foreign policy

Significant momentum in Turkish foreign policy

Türkiye’s foreign policy has been gaining momentum in recent months as a series of developments bolster each other, taking place in quick succession.

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The debate on Turkish foreign policy's "axis," "strategic autonomy" and "normalization" policy was recently revived by Parliament's approval of Sweden's NATO membership, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Cairo trip and Türkiye joining the European Sky Shield Initiative.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to Egypt marked the completion of yet another stage in Türkiye's normalization policy. The two countries thus agreed to brush aside their 12-year disagreement in an attempt to join forces anew. There is little sense in bringing up past statements to talk about concessions and U-turns.

Türkiye and Egypt stand at a pivotal historical moment in the evolution of their bilateral relations. Following 12 years marked by rivalry and conflict, the visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Egypt has the potential to open a new chapter in Ankara-Cairo relations. This visit offers both nations the opportunity to forge a novel model of cooperative relations on numerous contentious issues. More importantly, it could herald the onset of strategic cooperation in the realms of defense and security, areas in which such collaboration was previously nonexistent. Before the joint news conference in Cairo, the two leaders signed the Joint Statement on the Restructuring of High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council Meetings, signifying both countries’ readiness to recalibrate their relations.

Following Türkiye’s ratification of Sweden’s NATO membership in the Turkish Parliament, the U.S. State Department notified Congress of a $23 billion (TL 698.52 billion) sale of fighter jets to Türkiye and an $8.6 billion sale of advanced F-35 fighter jets to Greece, another ally in the NATO. The sale to Türkiye includes 40 Lockheed Martin F-16s and equipment to modernize the existing fleet of 79 F-16s. Greece will receive 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and related equipment.

This commentary delves into the evolution of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS), highlighting its transformation from a consultative mechanism to a robust international entity with geostrategic significance. The paper examines key developments such as the Shusha Declaration, the impact of the Second Karabakh War, and the strategic partnership among Turkic states in the context of global geopolitical dynamics. The paper focuses on Azerbaijan’s vision of the development of the Turkic unity, some historical aspects, which preceded the idea of the Turkic unity, and contemporary trends in the regional and global politics, which gave impetus to the enhancement of the OTS. The conclusion highlights the importance of Turkic unity as it stands out more prominently in the complex geopolitical environment and posits that trends make it necessary to strengthen and develop cooperation among the Turkic states.

The Turkish national defense minister affirmed Wednesday the ongoing commitment of Türkiye to revitalize the Black Sea Grain deal.

As uncertainty, competition and conflict gain momentum within the international system, Türkiye engages in diplomacy to play a more defining role in global and regional crises.

The current international landscape is experiencing a profound transformation, marked by escalating crises and increasing globalization of conflicts. Amidst intensifying global and regional competition and growing uncertainties, we find ourselves in an era of widespread anxiety. Predicting the future in such times is a formidable challenge, yet it’s crucial to envision what the world of tomorrow might resemble. Addressing today’s challenges requires both study and foresight. "SETA Security RADAR: Türkiye’s Geopolitical Landscape in 2024" aims to project the future trajectory of Türkish foreign, security, and defense policies in light of current dynamics.

In this new volume of SETA Security Radar, we analyze the main dynamics shaping Türkiye’s security and geopolitical landscape with references to the most significant foreign policy and security issues throughout 2023.