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How Far Can Turkey Challenge NATO and the EU in 2020?

Author: Marc Pierini

Affiliation: Carnegie Europe

Organization/Publisher: Carnegie Europe

Date/Place: January 29 2020/ Brussels, Belgium

Type of Literature: Article

Number of Pages: 11


Keywords: Turkey, EU, NATO, Foreign Policy, Military. 


Scholar and former EU ambassador to Turkey ( 2006–2011) Marc Pierini proposes a scheme for Turkey’s international posture in 2020 and its challenging stances to NATO and the EU. He claims that Turkish politics, both foreign and domestic, are witnessing dramatic changes, which requires response and action from NATO and the EU. The author argues that “New Turkey” challenges the EU and NATO by deploying its military force and pushing maritime boundaries, which contradicts its membership in the North Atlantic alliance. Accordingly, these challenges require a “firm, resolute and yet cooperative policy” to be adopted by both NATO and the EU. Pierini first provides a Turkish domestic scene, which (according to him) is becoming more nationalist due to Erdogan’s rule, economic difficulties, and the historical roots of nationalism in the Turkish heritage. Then, he introduces Turkey’s strong foreign policy in accordance with the “fast-changing” international scene. These “foreign policy initiatives” combined the use of military force with legal posturing. In addition, Turkey remarkably enhanced its military capabilities in the last few years. However, its deployment of Russian missiles initiates a challenge for the NATO missile defense system. Turkey presents the Syrian refugees resettlement plan while threatening the EU by opening its borders to fleeing refugees if the EU opposes the plan or will not pay more for the refugees’ relief. Finally, the article claims that both the EU and NATO should share a “similar imperative” to defend their interests and policies while dealing with the Turkish offensive actions. The article assigns the policy priorities for NATO and the EU and recommends taking all measures to prevent “Turkish unilateral views.” 

By: Yomna Süleyman, CIGA Research Assistant



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