Turkey: an awkward partner

Erdogan speaks at Islamic summit
Istanbul, April 15, 2016: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; its participants made new commitments to fight terror and support Palestine (source: dpa)
  • As Turkey internally weakens , its policies have become unpredictable
  • In the region, the country sinks deeper into local conflicts
  • President Erdogan's confrontation with Russia is the most destabilizing

As Turkey’s unstable internal politics have lurched toward repression, its foreign policy appears to have lost direction. The escalating war with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has pushed resolution of the Kurdish question into the distant future, while terrorist strikes and a conflict with Russia have dragged Ankara deeper into the Syrian quagmire. Meanwhile, the suppression of voices critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised doubts about just how far the rule of law applies.

Where is Turkey headed? This question is being asked in Brussels, Berlin and Washington. Since 2011, Turkish politics have been unpredictable.

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