POSTED ON May 8, 2023

TSC Insights: Will Elections Set Turkiye on a New Course?


Among foreign policy watchers, Türkiye’s upcoming vote for president and parliament could be the most consequential election of 2023. Türkiye’s current leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been president since 2014 and, before that, served as prime minister from 2003 to 2014. In many ways, he has fundamentally reshaped Türkiye’s foreign policy, elevating Ankara on the world stage and cultivating a neo-Ottoman approach to world affairs. If Erdogan wins, foreign policy is likely to follow the status quo. But an Erdogan victory is no fait accompli, especially given the precarious state of the Turkish economy and the challenges responding to the devastating earthquake in early February. If Erdogan loses to challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), it could fundamentally transform certain aspects of Turkish foreign policy, including Türkiye’s relationship with the West.


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