Turkey between the United States and Russia
Surfing on the Edge
Nur Çetinoğlu Harunoğlu, Ayşegül Sever, Emre Erşen
Current debates on Turkish foreign policy flamed by Turkey’s purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia throws into question Turkey-US relations and poses a challenge to Turkey’s membership in NATO, which has been regarded as the most important symbol of Turkey’s alliance with the West. However, Turkey’s maneuvers between the US and Russia are not unique to the present era as they can be traced back to the Cold War period. In fact, Turkey’s alliance with the West did not prevent Turkey from establishing special relations with the Soviet Union. This book, which is spurred by Glenn Snyder’s theory on alliance politics, indicates that Turkey’s foreign policy moves shaped in accordance with the fear of abandonment and the fear of entrapment with regards to its relations with the US, did not only stay within the boundaries of the Cold War, but further moved beyond that era. The authors argue that Turkey’s maneuvers to balance the US with Russia in the historical context constitute a strong element of continuity and a significant pattern in Turkish foreign policy. Yet, the authors underline that the motives behind this legacy have changed in the 2010s due to the transformations occurred within global, regional as well as domestic contexts.