FeniksPolitik organized its first in-house event on the future of NATO and the challenges it faces in confronting a changing Middle East, the US pivot to Asia, increasing presence of Russia and China in the region and intra-alliance tensions tied to a Turkey in democratic decline.
It is still uncertain whether the US and Iran can succeed in reaching a new nuclear deal; still, Turkey could benefit either way so long as it takes the rights steps in coordination with the US.
Relations between Turkey and the West have been eroded by years of crises, and Turkish President Erdogan’s recent attempts at rapprochement have their limits. Still, while Turkey may be drifting further away from the US, European-Turkish relations have remained remarkably resilient.
Geopolitical, ideological, and socio-economic quandaries will continue to haunt processes of normalization in the Middle East subsequent to the US’s gradual withdrawal from the region. Underlying issues remain unresolved despite diplomatic relaxation, and the power vacuum left behind by the US has the potential to rekindle regional rivalries and trigger proxy wars worse than those seen under the Obama and Trump administrations.
Amid deepening economic crisis, domestic and foreign policy disarray, and the decline of public support for Turkey’s strongman president, discussions on what a Turkey without Erdogan could/should look like are becoming more prevalent. Still, many experts agree that the end of Erdogan’s rule in and of itself wouldn’t usher in an era of democracy, especially without the opposition’s adoption of a pluralist approach.
Erdogan posits that only by admitting Turkey can the EU save itself from uncertainty. But by focusing only on what power the EU might gain by doing so, he fails to recognize the multidimensional nature of the EU’s ontological identity and Turkey’s own shortcomings.
Just a few days after the deadly attack on offices of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, the Constitutional Court accepted an indictment seeking the closure of the party. But what would a closure mean for the role of Kurdish politics in Turkey’s future?
The much-anticipated meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to address even the most pressing issues. For all we know, which isn’t a lot, the leaders will enter into more substantive discussions later. But on what? They didn’t even announce what was spoken about.
Despite his announcements to the contrary, Erdogan knows perfectly well that US-Turkey relations cannot be started anew during his tenure. Therefore, the Turkish president’s goal for this meeting will be to push the breaks on the US’s torment of Ankara.