Turkey stands at a crossroads in its own development: will it forge a path further into economic growth, or will it be sucked into the decline faced by its neighbours to the West?
Geographically, Turkey also faces the strategic push and pull of 3 regions: Europe to the West, Russia and its former Soviet satellites to the East and the Middle East to the South. Navigating its path towards the turn of the next decade will be complex and fraught. A “zero problems with neighbors” foreign policy strategy has been written off as wishful thinking; as alliances among friends and enemies alike shift around Turkey’s periphery, it faces difficult choices at every turn. As its economy matures, Turkey is desperate to avoid finding itself on the wrong side of history as a result of selecting the wrong partners. Thus it deploys a unique strategy of liminality to mitigate its perceived risks.
This visual summary available here is the publically accessible component of a series of research deliverables created for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Netherlands’ Ministry of Defense on the future of Turkey’s external relations with 3 key regional neighbors.