The forced departure of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in May 2016 and the attempted coup d’état of July 2016 against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government in Turkey were catalysts for a new phase in the country’s foreign policy. The emphasis on the “civilizational” aspects of Turkey’s role in foreign affairs is diminishing and being replaced by a more “transactional”, unplanned, ad hoc type of foreign policy, based on expediency. The ideological preferences of the AKP government are still significant but, as Turkey descends into internal crisis, and the Syrian war continues to take its toll, the interests and survival of the ruling party are increasingly paramount. The author explores the implications of this shift for Turkey’s foreign policy and the country’s role in the MENA region.
The turning point of Davutoğlu’s resignation
The impact of the attempted coup d’état
A shift to expediency in foreign policy
Conclusion: Implications for the MENA region and for Turkey-EU relations