Turkey and the West: What to Expect in 2019?

Source:Carnegie Europe Date:26Jan2019

In Washington, many voices are questioning the solidity of Turkey’s Western affiliation. The massive financial scheme to help Iran circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran, known as the Zarrab case, and the above-mentioned deal with Russia on S-400 missiles have resulted in a serious breach of confidence. Ankara’s participation in the Astana process—by which Russia, Iran, and Turkey are teaming up to arrive at a political solution in Syria—is also viewed with deep suspicion.

Whether Ankara has a carefully laid-out strategy or not, it is clear that Turkey’s Western anchor in the post-1945 era has shown increasing signs of inconsistency since 2002, when the AKP assumed power. Whether such developments amount to a “pivot away from the West” or to a “power-in-the-middle strategy,” the net result is a growing uncertainty about Turkey’s reliability. And 2019 won’t change that.