Turkish Policies

Erdogan’s Pivot to Erbakan’s Faction: Motivations, Challenges and Prospects

Ahmed Nadhif | 15 Mar 2021

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is going through a state of disintegration in its traditional social base since 2013 in the wake of disagreement with the Gülen movement led by Fethullah Gülen. Huge segments of the Turkish conservative class started to shun AKP. In the summer of 2016, the botched coup attempt deepened this rift after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forged an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as part of the People's Alliance. This has led to the rise of the nationalist tendencies inside AKP and policies of the Turkish regime while traditional leaders started to leave the party. However, AKP defeat in local elections in June 2019 has clearly shown this base disintegration, especially when Erdogan’s ruling party lost Istanbul mayoral elections in front of its historical rival the Republican People's Party (CHP) after 25 years of controlling this position. Since then, Erdogan has been looking for a new formula to run in the upcoming elections, whether by cementing his alliance with the nationalists or by looking for new allies. The Turkish president is also trying to restore his historical conservative base. To this end, he has been trying for some time to woo his old mentor, Necmettin Erbakan’s movement. This paper analyzes Erdogan’s tendency for rapprochement with Erbakan’s movement by clarifying its indicators, motives, and challenges facing AKP leadership to conclude this alliance, and its future consequences.

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Turkey’s Economy: Review of 2020 and Main Challenges in 2021

EPC | 26 Jan 2021

​The Turkish economy was hit by a major crisis in March 2018 and was only able to get out of it relatively at the end of 2019 after painful financial measures were taken through raising the bank interest rate and narrowing access of foreign investors and speculators to the Turkish lira, and thanks to the global financial situation that led to increased search for investment opportunities, which drove some of those investments towards Turkey. No sooner had the Turkish economy slightly recovered than it suffered a more severe blow in 2020 as a result of the recession due to the coronavirus crisis. This paper assesses the course of the Turkish economy in 2020, and tries to explore its most prominent challenges in 2021.

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Turkish Expansion in the Region: Motives, Restrictions and Prospects

​Ahmed Diab | 10 Nov 2020

Numerous indicators show that Turkey intends to continue its expansion in the region and that this expansion has become part of Turkey’s political and strategic doctrine to consolidate regional influence under the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This paper sheds light on the incentives and drivers of the Turkish trend towards increasing regional expansion, the constraints and challenges facing it, and its potential consequences and future prospects.

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Can Africa become a platform for US-Turkish partnership?

EPC | 21 Sep 2020

The potential role Turkey could play in Africa -- mainly in the context of countering Chinese economic influence -- emerged as a question in a webinar organized by the Turkish-American Business Council (TAIK). TAIK is led by Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, a Turkish industrialist with strong connections and a business partnership with the Trump family, particularly with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, through his ownership of Trump Towers in Turkey. Under such circumstance one has to ask pertinent questions: Is a strategy of Turkish-American cooperation to counter Chinese influence in Africa based on sound assumptions? Does Turkey have major influence in Africa? Is there strategic convergence between Turkish-American interests? As we will see the premise underpinning the feasibility of Turkish-American cooperation in Africa remains uncertain and speculative.

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Turkey’s Expansion in the Sahel, the Sahara and West Africa: Motivations and Ramifications

Ahmed Askar | 24 Aug 2020

Turkey continues its relentless pursuit of developing its African relations, especially in the Sahel and Sahara region and the western part of the continent, with the aim of building multiple partnerships in order to achieve its strategic objectives that centre around finding a foothold in this strategic part of the continent and contributing to the re-engineering of the regional equation in the Sahel and Sahara. Naturally, this is done in light of the urgency of some issues that are intertwined in defining Turkey's relationship with the Arab world, Europe and Africa, such as the growing phenomenon of terrorism and terrorist organisations in the Sahel and West Africa, the continuing illegal migration crisis to Europe, as well as the scrambling of some European powers in the Sahel and Sahara, such as France and Germany, in addition to Turkey’s continuous attempts to influence the Libyan file with the aim of strengthening its influence in Libya and encircling the strategic interests of local, regional and international powers that are opposed to Turkey's negative role there.

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Turkey’s Intervention in Libya: Determinants and Challenges

EPC | 04 Aug 2020

Turkey's signature with the Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj of two memorandums of understanding to define maritime rights and security and military cooperation between the two countries in November 2019 marked a turning point in the Turkish intervention in the Libyan arena. The operation has become a direct, open and qualitative intervention, as a result of which Turkey increased its military support for the GNA forces. In addition to providing them with sophisticated weapon systems, it also provided them with Turkish military advisers and Syrian mercenaries loyal to it. This contributed to transforming the course of the battle and the success by the GNA forces in evicting the forces of the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Field Marshal Haftar from the cities of the West Coast, Tripoli and its suburbs, the al-Watiya air base, and the city of Tarhuna, and their retreat towards the city of Sirte and the military base of Jufra in central Libya.

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Turkey’s Lira Crisis: Feasibility of Traditional and Non-traditional Solutions

EPC | 17 May 2020

The financial crisis broke out in Turkey for cumulative reasons even before the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. While the negative effects of the global pandemic will emerge during this summer in Turkey, the pandemic has destroyed government hopes and plans for economic recovery, albeit relatively, this year. This paper looks into the reasons for the current Turkish lira crisis and the solutions available to the government to overcome it or manage it for a longer period.

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Turkey’s Presence in the Red Sea: Forms, Objectives and Prospects

EPC | 23 Mar 2020

In recent decades, a new form of competition has emerged in the Red Sea region, as emerging regional powers have sought to expand their geopolitical and economic influence over a larger area of land and sea. Among them, Turkey is motivated not by some sort of major geostrategic vision, but rather by its economic and commercial interests, combined with a sense of national prestige. Competition for supremacy and prestige throughout the wider Middle East is an essential part of Erdoğan’s ambitious vision of a powerful Turkey. The Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have an important role to play in this regard, as does the wider issue of Turkey’s influence in Africa, which has significant untapped economic potential for the country.

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Risks to the Turkish Economy in 2020

EPC | 11 Feb 2020

The Turkish economy has been shrinking as a result of the economic and financial turmoil that has gripped the country since March 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, it experienced weak growth. However, despite the market movement and the positive growth seen since, the crisis continues to have an impact, and no real solution has yet been found. In contrast to the weak growth and relative stability of the Turkish lira, the high rates of unemployment and of inflation continue to have a negative effect on the economy.

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Turkish-American Relations between Erdogan’s Visit to the White House and Fundamental Issues

EPC | 20 Nov 2019

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a warm welcome at the White House from President Trump on Wednesday. This façade of good relations between the two countries is highly deceiving, however. Any sense of victory Turkey claims after this visit is bound to be illusory. In reality, the two countries are wide apart on substantive issues, and the two presidents are very lonely at the top.

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Current Condition and Outlook of Turkish Economy

EPC | 14 Oct 2019

This paper aims to analyze current condition and outlook of Turkish economy in regard to private sector debt problem, macroeconomic policies of the government, transparency of the national accounts and US-Turkey relations.

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