War & Peace: Turkey’s Trials and Errors
War & Peace: Turkey’s Trials and Errors

War & Peace: Turkey’s Trials and Errors

This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope are joined by veteran Turkish diplomat Ambassador Selim Yenel for a close look at Turkey’s newly assertive regional policy and how to get key relationships with allies in Europe and the U.S. back on track.

S2 E10: Turkey’s Trials and Errors

Ankara’s assertive foreign policy choices delight many at home. But they can puzzle and anger its counterparts as Turkey experiments with increasingly militarised postures in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, the South Caucasus and the ongoing wars in Libya and Syria.

Ambassador Selim Yenel, Turkish ambassador to the EU until 2017 and now president of the Istanbul-based think-tank Global Relations Forum, joins Olga and Hugh to help make sense of what is driving Ankara in a changing world. Together they dive into the making of a regional power, the costs of undercutting dialogue with hard-power moves, the imperative of undergoing reforms at home, and what can be done to revive Turkey’s EU accession process. 

Arguing that Turkey’s recent shifts have been more reactive than proactive, Ambassador Yenel urges all sides to cool down rhetoric and calls for a return to more empathetic diplomacy. Even if NATO member Ankara has made mistakes – for instance in the purchase of S-400 ground-to-air missiles from Russia – he says others have too, and thus Turkey deserves to be met halfway.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more information, explore Crisis Group’s Turkey page and visit the Global Relations Forum website.