Saturday, October 28, 2017

Why is Turkey so eager to be led down the Belt and Road?

Nicol Brodie, ANU 

East Asia Forum - 28 October 2017  

Ankara and Beijing are quickly becoming friends. Between souring discourse with the European Union, differing views on Syria and accusations of human rights abuses, Turkey’s formerly strong ties with NATO (its security benefactor) and Germany (its biggest export partner) have chilled. Amid this fallout, the Turkish Foreign Minister promised in August to eliminate any anti-Chinese media reports in Turkey, stating ‘we see China’s security as our security’. In May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in Beijing.  This emergent relationship reveals the shared interests of China and Turkey as well as Beijing’s knack for picking out nations who are looking for alternatives to the West.