In recent years, Turkey has experienced a dramatic shift in its social, economic, and polit- ical dimensions, fundamentally transforming what was once a relatively stable country in an otherwise very volatile region.
Following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, as well as constant internal instability, Pres- ident Erdoğan’s administration has increasingly centralized power, often at the expense of democratic values, human rights, peace and stability. Regional and international develop- ments including the emergence of the refugee crisis from the Syrian civil war, the rise of theextreme right, erosion of democratic values in Western countries, and an embodiment of au- tocratic regimes such as Iran and Russia – have all exacerbated the grip of President Erdoğan’s power across Turkey.
In departing from the values shared by both, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU), Turkey continues to part away with the Euro-Atlantic family of nations, in particular in areas such as the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms.
In July 2019, the United States and other NATO partners decided to suspend and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the F-35 aircraft program, prompting experts to conclude that “Turkey has, for all intents and purposes, abandoned the West,” and Western nations should “prepare to move on without President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”1 In a dramatic step for the Turkish long-stalled EU bid, the European Parliament has repeatedly called, since 2016, for an official freeze of the membership process. The country’s leadership as a response has intensified its anti-Western narrative, mostly against the United States and, to a lesser extent, against the European Union and its member states.
This report will entertain the question of the extent to which President Erdoğan and his policies are a threat to regional and global peace and security. The review will be examining various social, economic, and political dynamics and elements involving President Erdoğan and his administration at the nationwide, regional, and international scale. Ultimately, the purpose of this report is to convey the current political and social situation in Turkey from a non-govern-mental perspective to relevant global and regional organizations including the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), the Council of Europe (CoE) and other relevant stakeholders. Additionally, this report seeks to raise discussions amongst civil society and policymaking cir- cles concerning Turkey’s status quo, aiming at enabling necessary institutional revisions and necessary progress.