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On June 12th Turkey will hold a general election. Polls indicate that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) led by Prime Minister Erdogan is expected to win its third consecutive majority. AKP’s domestic political agenda has had a direct effect on its foreign policy and will continue to affect Turkey’s allies.
As a NATO member and a candidate for European Union membership, Turkey is an important ally to the United States and Europe. Ankara’s contributions to the war in Afghanistan and to NATO’s future missile defense plans make it a strategic partner for countering external threats. However, Turkey’s increasing ties to Iran, Syria, and Hamas, and its hostility towards Israel have strained its traditional relationships and roused U.S. concerns of Ankara’s reliability. Reports of media repression, political dirty trick campaigns and opaque energy deals exacerbate Washington’s and Brussels’ concerns.
The outcome of the Turkish elections will have implications for the country’s political model, U.S. foreign policy in the region and for Turkey’s future in Europe. Please join our panel of experts in analyzing the elections and their implications.
More About the Speakers
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.
Senior Research Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy, The Heritage Foundation
Steven Cook, Ph.D.
Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Former Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service
Senior Policy Analyst, European Affairs