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Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East

Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East

by Soner Cagaptay
Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East

Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East

by Soner Cagaptay


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Gradually since 2003, Turkey's autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to make Turkey a great power — in the tradition of past Turkish leaders from the late Ottoman sultans to Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Here the leading authority Soner Cagaptay, author of The New Sultan — the first biography of President Erdogan — provides a masterful overview of the power politics in the Middle East and Turkey's place in it.

Erdogan has picked an unorthodox model in the context of recent Turkish history, attempting to cast his country as a stand-alone Middle Eastern power. In doing so Turkey has broken ranks with its traditional Western allies, including the United States and has embraced an imperial-style foreign policy which has aimed to restore Turkey's Ottoman-era reach into the Arabian Middle East and the Balkans.

Today, in addition to a domestic crackdown on dissent and jourbanalistic freedoms, driven by Erdogan's style of governance, Turkey faces a hostile world. Ankara has nearly no friends left in the Middle East, and it faces a threat from resurgent historic adversaries: Russia and Iran. Furthermore, Turkey cannot rely on the unconditional support of its traditional Western allies. Can Erdogan deliver Turkey back to safety? What are the risks that lie ahead for him, and his country? How can Turkey truly become a great power, fulfilling a dream shared by many Turks, the sultans, Ataturk, and Erdogan himself?

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780755634774
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 05/20/2021
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 5.46(w) x 8.63(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute, USA.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

List of abbreviations xi

Preface xv

Introduction: A trip to Istanbul 1

1 Osman's dream 9

2 Restoring Turks' dignity - as Muslims 25

3 'Strategic Depth' 41

4 Building soft power 61

5 Europe's slap 73

6 An American affair 89

7 The Syrian disaster 111

8 Menacing Russians 137

9 Competing Persians 155

10 Erdogan's Arab fall 169

11 Uncomfortable Ottomans 183

12 Course correction 199

13 Erdogan vs Trump 217

14 Erdogan's Empire - Part I: East Africa 231

15 Erdogan's Empire - Part II: 'Bayram Belt' 249

16 Turkey and the West: A never-ending love affair 265

Conclusion: How can Turkey become Great? 283

Notes 303

Bibliography 335

Index 357

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