Despite policies that are contentious — and have indeed been contested — in many areas (beginning with the economy), in late May 2023 President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected for a third term as Turkish head of state. Many European leaders were probably wishing for change, hoping to see relations ease between Ankara and the European Union — if not, indeed, the Atlantic Alliance. But the Turkish people had other thoughts: it will therefore be necessary to come to terms with this situation.
In this context, Jean-François Drevet, takes stock of the nature and current state of relations between Turkey — a pivotal country between Europe, Asia, Russia and the Middle East — the European Union and the USA, which has once again become essential to European defence by its role in NATO. He begins by assessing Ankara’s stances in economic affairs and its diplomatic strategy, particularly in relation to Moscow. He then points to the developments that are occurring in the way Washington and Brussels perceive Turkey on the international scene, stressing that it is ‘no longer so indispensable’ as is generally believed. Lastly, he underscores the elements that might lead to a re-boot in relations between Ankara, Brussels and Washington, fostering a certain easing of tensions, but for that the Western nations will have to convince Recep Erdoğan to ‘give up the neo-Ottomanism’ that drives him and probably also show him greater firmness.