Turkey has weathered exceptionally turbulent times in recent years and continues to face serious domestic and foreign policy challenges. Following the so-called “e-coup” warning of a possible military intervention, civil-military tensions climaxed during the summer of 2007. A year later, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was nearly shut down by the Constitutional Court. The AKP’s landslide electoral victory in July 2007 was followed by another crisis over the presidency. In addition, PKK extremist attacks have been sharply on the rise. How should the next U.S. administration manage Turkish-U.S. relations? Where is Turkish domestic politics going? What is Turkey’s foreign policy outlook?
On October 28, the Brookings Center on the United States and Europe and the SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research hosted a conference to examine Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy challenges and prospects. The conference featured a keynote address by Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. After the keynote address, Ibrahim Kalin, founding director of SETA; Nonresident Fellow Omer Taspinar, director of the Turkey Project at Brookings; Visiting Fellow Mark Parris, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey; and Talha Kose of George Mason University moderated a series of discussions featuring a distinguished group of Turkish and American experts, officials and scholars.