China Turkey

Turkey, Asia and the EU in a Changing Global Order


Yaşar University Center for Mediterranean Studies, University of East London

Project Members:

Assoc. Dr. Sinan Ünlüsoy, Dr. Defne Gönenç (Yaşar University Center for Mediterranean Studies),
Prof. Vasileios Fouskas (Centre for the Study of States, Markets and People, University of East London),
Prof. Qingan (Angus) Huang (University of East London)

Project Duration: Feb 22 - Dec 22


Assoc. Dr. Sinan Ünlüsoy, email:
Dr. Defne Gönenç, email:

The project aims to discuss how the power shift to Asia occurred over the last two decades, to assess its impacts on Turkey-Asia relations and to examine its consequences for Turkey-EU relations.
Recent scholarship argues that Turkey’s increased interest in establishing relations with Asian powers over the last twenty years is the result of a structural shift in global power from the United States to Asia, especially China and Southeast Asia. As the economic powers of the transatlantic economies – especially the Anglo-American economies – are in a protracted yet continuous decline, Turkey has sought to diversify its economic partners. The more China’s economic dynamism increases, the more it creates conditions for contributing to, and even determining, the macroeconomic indicators of Asia as a whole – including Turkey’s. China’s new Belt and Road Initiative also adds new dynamics – and heated debates – to the Mediterranean. Various commentators across the world are also noting the withdrawal of the US from the Middle East and North Africa and attributing it to the country’s relative economic decline over the last few decades. Turkey has meanwhile been undertaking significant political transformations domestically, such as a shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system. The country’s growing economic ties to Asia, and especially to China, is particularly significant in the context of this changing domestic political landscape because these changes have a higher potential to influence Turkey’s future development and its political and economic trajectory. New dynamics in economic and political relations between Turkey and Asia are certainly leaving their imprint on Turkey-EU relations as well. This project thus proposes to examine Turkey’s domestic changes and foreign policy alterations in globally dynamic circumstances and its impacts on Turkey-Asia relations as well as the policy implications of these processes for Turkey-EU relations.

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