Turkey is today undergoing significant political turbulence. President Erdogan’s popularity is in decline and the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears increasingly vulnerable to internal divisions and falling popular support after losing major cities in the latest municipal elections. The AKP is also highly dependent for its parliamentary majority on the support of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) – a small anti-Kurdish ultra-nationalist party.
The political environment in Turkey is also witnessing an increase in populist and nationalist inclinations. In addition to economic recession and the depreciation of its currency, critical realignments have also occurred in Turkish foreign policy; the country is rapidly moving away from the West and pursuing what looks like a military–strategic rapprochement with Putin’s Russia.
This paper discusses the nature of the political and economic crises facing the Turkish regime; explores Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy dynamics; and reviews the future strategic directions open to Ankara.