Looking at the current Turkish foreign policy: perceptions and misperceptions

Looking at the current Turkish foreign policy: perceptions and misperceptions

Mitat Celikpala (Kadir Has University) and Soli Özel (Kadir Has University)


Turkish foreign policy appears to have been in a state of change. It was trying to rely more on soft power elements in the 2000s, radically shifted to a more aggressive position including sending troops to Syria and muscle flexing in high seas of the Mediterranean. In line with its new perception of its role in the world, Turkey has increasingly asserted itself as a rising actor that is determined to make a contribution to regional and global issues. In the process, Turkish foreign policy has been transformed, not only in its content, but also in the instruments and mechanisms for formulating and conducting foreign-policy agenda. Furthermore, Turkey developed a special dialogue with Russia and Iran while distancing itself from its Western allies.

Dr. Mitat Çelikpala is Professor of International Relations and Vice-rector at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eurasian security, energy and critical infrastructure security/protection, Turkish foreign and domestic policy and the Caucasus. Prof. Çelikpala is the board member of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), the International Relations Council of Turkey and the Managing Editor of the Journal of International Relations: Academic Journal. He previously served as an academic advisor to NATO’s Center of Excellence Defense against Terrorism in Ankara (2009-2012), especially on the regional security and the critical infrastructure protection; and was the board member to the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), Turkish General Staff (2005-2011); Academic Adviser to the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), Turkish Foreign Ministry (2002-2010) and Caspian Strategy Institute, Istanbul Turkey (2012–2013). He was a Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, UK (2005-2006). He has written for a number of academic publications including Middle Eastern Studies, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey and Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. He also contributed many conference papers on Turkish foreign policy, Turkish-Russian relations, Eurasianism and Turkish geopolitics.

Soli Özel holds a BA in Economics from Benningon College (1981) and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-1983).

He is currently a senior lecturer at Istanbul Kadir Has University. He was a Bernstein Fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School and a visiting lecturer in the Political Science Department of Yale. He has been a columnist at Nokta magazine and GazetePazar, Yeni Binyıl, Habertürk and Sabah newspapers. Currently he writes for T24, DuvarEnglish and Yetkin Report as well as the blog of Institut Montaigne. He held fellowships at Oxford, the EU Institute of Strategic Studies and was a Fisher Family Fellow of the “Future of Diplomacy Program” at the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He taught at SAIS, University of Washington, Northwestern University and Hebrew University. He was a Richard von Weizsacker fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin between 2015-2017 and a visiting fellow at Institut Montaigne in Paris in 2018.

Most recently he published “US-Turkey Relations since WWII: From Alliance to Transactionalism”, The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics co-authored with Serhat Güvenç and “The Economics of Turkey-Russia relations” co-authored with Gökçe Uçar for EDAM, “How the Syrian Civil War shifted the balance of power in Turkish-Israeli relations”, co-authored with Selin Nasi, “The Transatlantic Drift and the Waning of Turkey’s 'Strategic Westernness’ for Heinrich Böll Stiftung, co-authored POLITICS OF POPULISM: POWER AND PROTEST IN THE GLOBAL AGE” with Evren Balta The Crisis in Turkish-Russian Relations, “The Kurds in the Middle East” with Arzu Yılmaz, in SIPRI Yearbook 2017.  An article co-authored with Serhat Güvenç, “US-Turkey relations 1945-2020: From alliance to transactionalism” will be published in an edited book on Turkey by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.


Date de l'événement 14/10/2020 6:00 pm
Places Illimitée
Inscrit.e.s 30
Lieu Zoom meeting


Mitat Çelikpala

Kadir Has University

Soli Özel

Kadir Has University


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