This is an outstanding, MUST-READ article from the New York Times published just ahead of today’s presidential election in Turkey. Check it out!
After reading the NYT article, I did some further research and was particularly impressed with the scope of the NYT article. Many argue that under the leadership of Prime Minister, Erdogan (now seeking the presidency) Turkey has shifted towards a policy of Neo-Ottomanism. Neo Ottomanism is a political ideology promoting greater political engagement of the modern Republic of Turkey within regions formerly under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. This is a departure from previous westward policy towards Europe. The previous Ottoman Empire included the Balkans, the Middle East, most of North Africa and the Caucasus. Many in the West see Turkey’s foreign policy as having drifted from the West towards the Middle East and Asia.
Traditionally, Turkey has been a strategic partner for the US, originating from the common desire to limit the power of the former USSR. Turkey is still an important partner in NATA with the second largest army after the US. But in recent times, Turkey has strongly diverged from US foreign policy – most particularly in relation to Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Israel. The NYT article alludes to loose border controls contributing to the development of ISIS.
It looks like Mr. Erdogan will try to create an executive presidency, similar to Mr. Putin’s Russia. With Israel and Cyprus developing offshore oil and gas fields, plus political risks in the Middle East, relations with Turkey will continue to be challenging.
Let me turn this to an open question:
How could Turkey’s executive presidency, with a shift to Neo-Ottomanism impact global geo-politics?