Türkiye’s Eastern Engagement: Framing and Focusing This Ambition Wisely Matters

Türkiye is a long-standing NATO ally that also prides itself on being a founding member of many leading European institutions. Yet, by virtue of its history and geography, Türkiye is at the same time an integral part of Asia; hence, its selfdepiction as the easternmost European and the westernmost Asian country. As Türkiye prepares to commemorate in 2023 the centennial of the proclamation of the Republic of Türkiye, it is adapting to the realities of a multi-polar world order and exhibiting greater interest in the Global South. In 2019, Türkiye announced an initiative coined ‘Asia Anew’, designed to strengthen its interaction with the East. This analysis considers Türkiye’s goal of deepening its eastern engagement to be on the mark. It argues that this ambition needs to be framed in accordance with Türkiye’s western vocation and calls for Türkiye to focus on deepening and widening its cooperation in the South Caucasus and Central Asia in view of the new opportunities that are presenting themselves.

Authors: Alper Coşkun