Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Is Turkey Out of Control?

Author: Graham E. Fuller

Affiliation: Former Senior CIA official

Organization/Publisher: Graham E. Fuller

Date/Place: December 2, 2020

Type of Literature: Opinion Article

Word Count: 2296


Keywords: Turkey, Ottoman Empire, Grand Geopolitical Vision, Muslim World




“Turkey is out of control. Time for the US to say so”. This title as it appeared in Politico states that the US and European political elites have long suffered from a ‘controlling country.’ According to Graham, the Western approach towards Turkey is purely Western-centric, i.e. how Turkey should behave according to the West, but not recognizing Turkey’s legitimate national security interests in world politics. Graham emphasizes Turkey’s significance in global politics as the imprints of the Ottoman Empire’s influence on world politics could be seen in Turkish politics. He argues that Turkey is a step ahead of Ottoman political thought. Secondly, Turkey’s grand geopolitical vision under President Erdoğan makes Turkey acclaimed as a power in Europe, the Balkans, in the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, in North Africa, in limited other locations in Africa, in the Caucuses, in Central Asia, in Eurasia, and among the greater Muslim World. Thirdly, in the Muslim world, treating Saudi Arabia and Iran as the influential rivals is overrated. The author views that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the true geopolitical foes. Though Iran and Turkey have sectarian differences, the differences never tend to launch a war. Moreover, Turkey and Qatar enjoy good bilateral relations, especially where Turkey has provided military support to Qatar as its strong strategic partner in the region, preventing a Saudi takeover of the country. The Saudi kingship, on the other hand, is incapable and cannot get a Muslim leadership position like what Turkey has already carved out. Moreover, Turkey’s stance on Palestine and its redline anti-colonial agenda in the Middle East puts Ankara on the same stand as China. However, the Belt Road project might bring China and Turkey to a stand-off. The author reminds readers that Turkey’s NATO membership gives it a grandstand in European geopolitics, which has made it even stronger, and that its military strength and location make it a critical member of NATO who should not be isolated. 

By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate



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