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Washington Institute for Near East Policy press team

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Sneak Peek

 

Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East

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"Since coming to power in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attempted to make Turkey great again—in the mold of the Ottoman Empire that ruled over three continents before declining in the eighteenth century. In many ways, Erdogan has simply followed in the footsteps of previous leaders who attempted to reassert Turkey’s grandeur in the wake of the empire’s collapse at the end of World War I. His methods, however, have diverged from theirs, aligning less with the tradition of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and late Ottoman sultans. In his attempt to reestablish Turkey as a great power, Erdogan has made a radical break with the Western foreign policy consensus—which had been the foundation of Turkey’s international relations strategy since Ottoman decline. As a result, he has left Turkey encircled by enemies, isolated from allies, and far from greatness..."

"The roots of Ankara’s reaction to Morsi’s ouster, and ultimate break with Cairo, lie as much in Erdogan’s past—namely his traumatic and conflict-ridden relationship with Turkey’s own secularist military—as they do in the events of 2013. A looming fear of 'the coup' resides in Erdogan and his Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, or Justice and Development Party, members, even though he brought the Turkish Armed Forces under his authority in the last decade with the help of the Gulenist police and judicial apparatus via the aforementioned Ergenekon trials."

 

Will Turkey's Purchase of Russian Missiles Rupture U.S. Ties?

Turkey's decision to purchase the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system poses a challenge to U.S. law and upsets longstanding diplomatic practice. Soner Cagaptay discusses interconnected political and military factors that have led to this crisis in U.S.-Turkish relations.

 

Ankara Turns to Moscow: A Pivot in Turkish History

Turkey's decision to risk a rupture with the United States -- and NATO -- in order to purchase the S-400 missile defense system represents a monumental departure from the country's contentious, centuries-old relationship with Russia.