Turkey has been a military ally of the United States and the European Union for decades, and both Washington and Brussels consider a stable relationship with Ankara of strategic importance. However, Turkey’s authoritarian turn and continued violation of the rule of law, its stance in the conflicts in Syria and Libya, and its claim for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, among other recent events, have led to a deterioration of relations between the three. At the same time, regional instability in the Eastern Mediterranean has become a reason of concern for all three—although for different reasons.
Since 2019, the Heinrich Böll Foundation offices in Washington, D.C. and Istanbul and the Foreign Policy Research Institute have partnered to bring together regional experts in order to discuss how the precarious security dynamics and alarming humanitarian situation in the region could be better addressed. This publication analyzes the policies of the United States, and the European Union, and Turkey in the region and their impact on the relationship between Ankara, Washington, and Brussels.
Our sincerest thanks to Dr. Aaron Stein and the Foreign Policy Research Institute for their cooperation on this project, as well as the experts who have participated in the virtual workshops and shared their expertise. We also would like to thank the authors for their insightful and thought-provoking contributions to this publication.
The views expressed in this report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Heinrich Böll Foundation or the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
— Kristian Brakel, Cem Bico, and Dominik Tolksdorf (Heinrich Böll Foundation offices in Istanbul and Washington, D.C.)