Expert Roundtable 2:

Turkey’s Grand Strategy: Regional and Global Challenges

Turkey’s regional security environment remains a challenging one as the region’s ongoing conflicts, most notably in Syria, continue to pose security and humanitarian threats. The tensions in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea also pose potential threats to Turkey’s national security objectives. Moreover, Turkey faces internal threats from terrorist organisations which have international links, primarily from FETÖ and the PKK.

The global security landscape has been mutating as the world continues to shift from unipolarity to multipolarity. The liberal order has also faced challenges as multilateralism, international institutions, and democratic norms have been gradually losing legitimacy. Emerging rivalries between great powers, most notably between the US and China, have become the defining feature of the world’s current state. The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the ongoing transition. Such changes in the global and regional security environments present both challenges and opportunities for Turkey. To address these challenges and take advantage of the emerging opportunities, identifying grand strategic priorities and resources to meet these objectives is key. With its demographic, economic and military resources, and soft power capabilities based on its democratic legitimacy, cultural and religious assets, Turkey is in a position to develop strategies to cope with these challenges and advance a new perspective on international affairs. This session will discuss the main tenets of Turkish grand strategy, focusing on Turkey’s national security objectives and related resources.

Discussion Themes

• How is Turkish foreign policy adapting to the ongoing transformations in international affairs?

• Given ongoing regional and global challenges, what are Turkey’s core national security interests and primary security threats?

• What are the main sources of Turkey’s military power necessary to meet its security objectives?

• How can Turkey’s enterprising and humanitarian foreign policy contribute to sustainable peace and development in the region?


• Luke Coffey – Director of Allison Centre for Foreign Policy Studies, The Heritage Foundation

• Anas El- Gomati – Founder and Director, Sadeq Institute

• Valeria Talbot – Senior Research Fellow; Co-Head of the Middle East and North Africa Centre, ISPI

• Özden Zeynep Oktav – Professor, Istanbul Medeniyet University

• Ali Bakır – Assistant Professor, Ibn Khaldon Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences, Qatar University

• Tarek Megerisi – Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations