Turkey and Black Sea Region Security
- Prof. Dr. Mitat Çelikpala, Professor of International Relations and Dean of Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, Kadir Has University
- Mr. Paul Ivan, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre
- Dr. John Manza, Assistant Secretary General for Operations, NATO
- Ms. Alina Inayeh, Director Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
While much attention is devoted to Turkey’s actions and objectives on its southern border, its role in the Black Sea region often is overlooked. However, in many aspects, Turkey is a key actor there. Aside from the strategic importance of the Bosporus strait for all countries bordering the Black Sea, Turkey is the superior naval force there, providing a crucial advantage for NATO in attempting to secure the region. Due to the Turkish-Russian rapprochement in recent years, NATO members, the European Union, and states invaded by Russian forces, like Georgia and Ukraine, have grown increasingly alarmed. Turkey on the other hand, attempting to carve out leverage by moving closer to Russia, tries to downplay these concerns, stressing that it considers the annexation of Crimea illegal. Moreover, it remains to be seen how Turkey will cope with having Russia strongly involved in its northern and southern neighborhood. These circumstances and developments raise the question of shifts in the involved actors’ policies to address the new situation. How is Russia utilizing the annexation of Crimea and its improved relations to Turkey? How far does Turkey go in hedging between NATO and Russia? How does NATO in turn cope with increased uncertainty in the region?
The discussion will attempt to assess the state of affairs in the Black Sea region, look at Turkey's role regarding its neighbours, and analyze the consequences for the transatlantic alliance in securing the region.
This roundtable discussion is part of a series of events and analyses organized as part of the GMF-TOBB Fellowship on Turkey, Europe, and Global Issues, launched by GMF in partnership with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in 2017.
Please note that this event is invitation-only. The discussion will be under the Chatham House rule. If you have any questions, please contact Jorge Felix at [email protected].