Has Erdoğan made Turkey a ‘subject’ in the Middle East and North Africa?

Zafer Kizilkaya, Sofie Hamdi, Mohammad Salman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite being often recognized as a middle power, Erdoğan and his aides have firmly believed that Turkey was not a real ‘subject’ in international relations and could only become one under Erdoğan’s rule. This paper examines Turkey’s claims to institute itself as a ‘subject’ in regional politics through the concept of ‘actorness’. The article details the two major policy choices that represent Ankara’s emergence as a subject, evaluates them with respect to the key attributes of actorness in international politics and discusses the implications of Turkey’s militarised and assertive policies for its status in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The paper argues that while Turkey’s quest for ‘subjectness’ has provided the country with some hard power capability and autonomy, it has not produced consistent and coherent policies, damaging its credibility and attractiveness in the eyes of the countries in the MENA region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1254-1273
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Contemporary European Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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