EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The harsh measures taken by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the failed coup attempt last year have led to a deepening crisis with a host of Western states, first and foremost with Germany. Since the coup attempt, relations between Ankara and Berlin have been at an unprecedented low. However, in light of their history of close relations, the volume of stable economic trade over the years, and Turkey’s ability to stabilize the waves of immigration to Europe, the countries may yet find a channel of communication in order to contain the crisis.
In the wake of the failed coup attempt against him last year, Turkish President Erdoğan has sought to consolidate his status and convey a message of unity under the banner of democracy against “Turkey’s enemies at home and abroad.” In practice, however, Turkey is experiencing profound internal upheaval. With the object of tightening the regime’s grip on power, the authorities are persecuting public figures and members of the media.
The coup attempt and its failure constitute a political turning point for Turkey. Erdoğan’s oppressive measures have contributed to the strengthening of Islamic and anti-Western circles inside Turkey and exacerbated Ankara’s friction with the West, which strongly opposes the regime’s trampling of individual rights. In addition, geopolitical fluctuations and Washington’s enduring weakness in the Middle East have prompted Ankara to warm its relations with countries such as Russia, Iran, and Qatar, a shift that can have a great impact on Turkey’s energy ambitions and economic needs.
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