Signs of Change in Turkish Foreign Policy?

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Leading experts examined Turkey’s challenges, as it seeks to navigate between its established alliances and partnerships and its aspirations to build new ties with emerging actors in order to maintain its push to become a significant regional power.

Following years of deteriorating relations with the European Union, the United States and Israel, Ankara appears to be interested in improving ties.  Turkey’s recent diplomatic outreach follows signs of a return to a more responsible fiscal policy under a new Central Bank Governor, yet another effort to regain international confidence in Turkey’s economy. While these conciliatory steps have been positively received, the long list of differences continues to cast a shadow over Turkey’s relations with allies and neighbours. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is already signalling the possibility of a tougher approach to US-Turkey bilateral ties. Are we seeing the start of a new era in Turkish foreign policy, or are recent Turkish overtures a temporary manoeuvre to head off potential US sanctions and attract investment as the country faces serious economic difficulties? 


  • Asli Aydintasbas, Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Omer Taspinar, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute 
  • Hannah Lucinda Smith, Author of Erdogan Rising 

The discussion was chaired by Dr Ziya Meral, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI 

This event is organised as part of International Security Studies’ Unpacking the MENA programme led by Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi. 

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