Together with Soli Özel, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow and Professor at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, we would like to spend an interactive Lunch Talk discussing the meaning of the upcoming Turkish elections and Turkey’s political role in the future. Will Turkey move towards the unrestrained Presidentialism that President Erdogan prefers or will its Parliamentary system get a boost? Is there a subtle yet an unmistakable shift in Turkish foreign policy?
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for new elections after coalition talks failed to form a government. Opponents argue that the President himself played an important role in causing this impasse. Although early polls suggest a similar outcome on November 1 as before, the pre-election environment will this time be determined by violent confrontations between government forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as well as Turkey’s war on IS terror.
The Turkish participation in the coalition that fights IS could potentially mean a reiteration of Turkey's commitment to the Western security system. Recent developments have shown that the challenges ahead are as much the EU's as they are Turkey's. On the one hand, Turkey's ability to affect Middle Eastern order proved to be limited. On the other hand, Europe's need to more constructively engage with Turkey was dramatically exposed by the refugee crisis. Turkey is both a Middle Eastern and a European power. As such it could play an important role not just in the emerging balance of power in the Middle East but could also help Europe to manage the Syrian crisis which is no longer confined to the region but became a domestic European problem.
The event will be held in English.
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