If a different president in Turkey were to win the 2023 elections and take power some policy changes could be possible but might be limited in areas of core or longstanding national security concern, an updated US Congress report says.
“Turkey: Background and U.S. Relations” which was released just before the year’s end was drafted by the Congressional Research Service focuses on Turkey and the complexity of the country’s relations with the US.
The report cites, among the major issues rocking bilateral relations, Turkey’s relations with Russia, the NATO accession path of Sweden and Finland and disagreements over the Syrian Kurds, Greece and Cyprus.
One of the issues analysed in the report is the possibility of a change in Turkey’s foreign policy should a new president get elected.
Various predictions and assessments have been made as to whether the foreign policy of a new president, coming from the opposition, would be different from the one followed by Erdogan.
“Due to the widespread nationalist sentiment among the population and most parties in Turkey, a new president may find it difficult to change Turkish policy on some of the issues related to the country’s security,” it said.
“These issues are Syria and Iraq (Kurdish militancy, refugee issues and the influence of other countries), Greece and Cyprus (disputes in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean) and Russia and Ukraine (conflict and regional and global implications).”
The report then noted that where changes can be made is on domestic and economic issues. And the changes will reflect the preferences of Erdogan and the AKP more than anything else, i.e. they will be on tactical rather than substantive issues.