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Türkiye's cards in the world

Raising the stakes
07 May 2024
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Türkiye’s footprint in various regions of the world has expanded. This is evident not only in economic terms but also in the country’s projection of its soft power, reflected in a myriad of educational and outreach initiatives. It furthermore has a rising profile as a regional weapons supplier, particularly of armed drones. Under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ankara is clearly pursuing an ambitious vision in the diplomatic, economic and military spheres.

This Chaillot Paper examines Türkiye’s presence in and interaction with four distinct regions in the world: the Western Balkans; the South Caucasus; the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf region; and Africa. It shows how engagement with these regions serves a dual purpose for Türkiye: diversifying partnerships to counter isolation and asserting strategic autonomy by distancing itself from the West.

Given Türkiye’s increasingly transactional approach to international relations, the EU has a vested interest in understanding its motivations and strategies. Moreover, broader geopolitical shifts make it increasingly important for the EU to forge a constructive partnership with Türkiye, while addressing potential areas of friction.