Panel 2 – Turkish Foreign Policy Priorities
July 15, 2020
Four years after the July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkey finds itself at a significantly changed geopolitical environment. Since that fateful day, Turkish security and foreign policies have been transformed in unprecedented ways so as to render the country a major player in the region including in Syria, Iraq, Libya among others. As it adopted a new counterterrorism doctrine going after the PKK/YPG as well as ISIS along its borders, Turkey also emerged as a main actor in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf region. While Turkey’s relationship with the US has gone through a rough patch in recent years, recent developments have shown reassuring signs. The country’s robust handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has also underlined Turkish efforts to help allies deal with this unprecedented challenge. Given that Turkey has been active and decisive in so many fronts, how have the Turkish security and foreign policies since the failed coup attempt of 2016 evolved? What are some of the guiding principles and persistent interests? Can the US and Turkey cooperate in a region with so many different forces pulling in different directions?
To discuss these questions, SETA DC is pleased to host two panel discussions on Turkish security and foreign policy on the fourth anniversary of the July 15 failed coup attempt.
H.E. Cevdet Yılmaz, AK Party Deputy Chairman Responsible for Foreign Affairs
Burhanettin Duran, General Coordinator, The SETA Foundation
Moderated by Kilic B. Kanat, Research Director, The SETA Foundation at Washington DC
H.E. Cevdet Yılmaz is currently a Member of Parliament representing Bingöl and a former Minister of Development. Dr Yılmaz graduated from Middle East Technical University and completed his Masters of International Relations at the University of Denver, USA. He completed his Ph.D. at Bilkent University in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and began his duty as a development planning expert in the under-secretariat of the Prime Ministry State Planning Organization. Dr Yılmaz, who was a member of MKYK in the 2nd Extraordinary Congress held on May 22, 2016, was then appoint- ed as the Chairman of Publicity and Media for the AK Party. He was again elected to the MKYK in the 3rd Extraordinary Congress held on 21 May 2017. He is currently the AK Party Deputy Chairman Responsible for Foreign Affairs.
Burhanettin Duran is the General Coordinator of The SETA Foundation and current faculty member at Ibn Haldun University. He received his BA in Political Science and International Relations from Bogazici University in 1993, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Bilkent University in 2001. He was a visiting scholar at George Mason University in 2010-2011. Prof. Duran has been focusing on the transformation of Islamism, Turkish Political Thought, Turkish Domestic Politics, Turkish Foreign Policy and Middle Eastern Politics. In October 2018, Prof. Duran was appointed as member of Turkish Presidency Security and Foreign Policies Council.
Kilic Bugra Kanat is the Research Director at the SETA Foundation at Washington DC. He is also Assistant Professor of Political Science at Penn State University, Erie. Dr. Kanat received his PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University; a Master’s in Political Science from Syracuse University; a Master’s in International Affairs from Marquette University. Dr. Kanat’s writings have appeared in Foreign Policy, Insight Turkey, The Diplomat, Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, Mediterranean Quarterly, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. He is a columnist at Daily Sabah. He is the author of A Tale of Four Augusts: Obama’s Syria Policy.