Summary of Turkey and the West

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Turkey and the West book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

7 Overall

7 Importance

7 Innovation

7 Style


Recommendation

Only a decade ago, Turkey seemed an oasis of tranquility and Western-style liberalism in the Middle East. No longer. These days, under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey is as a belligerent force, and certainly no friend of Western values. Erdoğan could change, writes Turkey expert Kemal Kirişci, but such a dramatic about-face seems unlikely. In this study – written before the election of June 2018, which saw Erdoğan win another five-year term – Kirişci laments Turkey’s turn toward authoritarianism as a missed opportunity. The Untied States and the European Union were tantalizingly close to having a like-minded ally in the Middle East, a secular Muslim nation that could show the rest of the region how to run a democracy and a free-market economy. Alas, Kirişci writes, that dream now seems farfetched. Erdoğan has cracked down on Kurds, journalists and other foes, and anti-Western conspiracy theories circulate widely. getAbstract recommends this study to readers seeking insight into Turkey’s politics and the rise of populist nationalism.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Turkey turned away from Western values,
  • How Turkey’s relationships with its neighbors and allies have shifted over time, and
  • What Turkey’s future may hold.
 

About the Author

Kemal Kirişci is a senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project at Brookings, where he focuses on Turkish foreign policy and migration studies.

 

Summary

A Fraught Alliance

Turkey, under the leadership of its former Prime Minister and current President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is widely seen as an opportunity lost. For a time, Turkey drew closer to the United States and Europe, forming important economic ties and pursuing the sort of reforms that endeared the nation to proponents of the liberal world order. But as Erdoğan has tightened his hold on power, Turkey has reversed course, turning away from religious freedom and civil liberties and otherwise alienating the US and the EU. When, for example, Washington allied with Kurdish opposition groups in Syria – which Ankara dubs terrorist cells – Erdoğan accused the US of creating “a pool of blood” in the region. The dispute undermined efforts to broker peace in Syria and drove the two nations further apart. Meanwhile, Turkey and the EU have feuded over the Syrian refugee crisis and over Europe’s response to a 2016 coup attempt that failed to oust Erdoğan from office.


More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

False Dawn
False Dawn
8
Scenarios for the future of the EU-Turkey relationship
Scenarios for the future of the EU-Turkey relationship
8
The Remarkable Scale of Turkey’s “Global Purge”
The Remarkable Scale of Turkey’s “Global Purge”
8
The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
The Killing of Osama Bin Laden
8
The 21st Century Gold Rush
The 21st Century Gold Rush
10
How Syria Came to This
How Syria Came to This
8

Related Channels

Comment on this summary