Turkey – Between Brussels and Shanghai

An interesting development…


Altay Atli

At a time when the relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) have hit an all time low, with the European Parliament voting in favor of freezing accession talks with Ankara, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks that Turkey “should not be fixated on the idea of joining the EU” and consider “other opportunities such as the Shanghai Five” have reignited the debate whether Turkey is breaking away from the liberal West and moving towards the authoritarian East.

Not only is this debate not new, it is actually going on since at least the late 18th century beginnings of Ottoman modernization, it also often misses the point that Turkey can be, and in fact is, a part of both the West and the East at the same time. This is not a choice; rather a condition determined by Turkey’s geographical position, history, economy, cultural…

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