Turkey, Erdogan and 2023
This year Turkey celebrates its 100th anniversary; 2023 will also bring a summer with elections that could see (according to some polls) President Recep Erdogan replaced. Yet, according to Ziya Meral, don’t expect to see a huge change in foreign policies no matter who takes power. Like other Western states, Turkey has been balancing interests and values since the creation of the republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Since that founding Turkey has been rarely from the headlines – most recently in relation to migrants to Europe, shooting down foreign war planes that intrude into their airspace, buying Russian surface to air missile systems, or manufacturing drones for militaries round the world, Turkey remains is fiercely independent in its actions. The country’s leaders have, over generations, sought to walk a tightrope between placating Western demands and acknowledging the differences it has as a state, a culture and a people from those in Europe. Nor have they been afraid to make difficult decisions that upset the balance, and the expectations of Western diplomats – as well as those from further abroad. So what will 2023 bring?