"Erdoğan the Good" or "Erdoğan the Bad?" A Conversation with Soner Çağaptay on US-Turkey Relations Following US Withdrawal from Syria

October 25, 2019
Erdogan with crowd

Reilly Barry, a first-year AM student at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy (JMEPP) at Harvard Kennedy School, sat down with Soner Çağaptay after his WCFIA/CMES Middle East Seminar talk to discuss what underlying factors are most influential for policymakers on US-Turkey relations right now, especially in light of Turkish troops’ entry into northeast Syria and targeting of former American partners the YPG.

Despite the seemingly recent wave of American bipartisan critique of Trump’s withdrawal policy, which was hastily announced on October 6, and denouncement of Turkey’s actions, this has been a center point of bilateral tension for years. As mentioned by foreign minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu in 2017, America’s support for the YPG, who Turkey views as a Syrian branch of the internationally recognized terrorist group PKK, was at the time and has remained one of the top three major issues in the bilateral partnership. Read the interview on the JMEPP website.