Turkey’s Role in the Ukraine-Russia Crisis

Turkey is struggling to balance Ukraine on the one hand, with which it has been developing lucrative economic and military ties; and Russia on the other, which is a critical supplier of natural gas and a significant trade and security partner. Complicating this balancing act even further are Turkey’s commitments to NATO, juxtaposed with President Erdoğan’s critique of the West for lacking leadership to manage the conflict, and its refusal to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea. As the world is intently and anxiously waiting for the next act in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Turkey’s policy towards all of these actors – Ukraine, Russia, NATO, Crimea – remains elusive.

What are the security implications of the possible outcomes of the crisis for Turkey? Are there roles Turkey can play on the fronts of deterrence and diplomacy? What will various potential outcomes mean for the future of NATO?  To discuss these pertinent questions, the YPIR Network hosted Professor Serhat Güvenç as a speaker on February 24, 2022. Güvenç is a Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University. Previously he held fulltime, adjunct and visity faculty positions at Istanbul Bilgi University, the University of Chicago, Koç University and Boğaziçi University. Prof. Güvenç’s research interests include Turkish foreign and security policy and Turkish naval policy and history.

What are the ramifications of Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine for the United States, Europe, and Turkey?

What is the significance of the Montreux Convention in the context of a Russian naval buildup in the Black Sea?

What are the consequences of Russia’s actions for Turkey’s policy in the South Caucasus and Central Asia?

Is Russia’s move against Ukraine sustainable in the medium and long term? What is Russia’s endgame?


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