Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, the Turkish Democracy Project (TDP) calls on the international community to confront President Erdogan’s deepening alignment with Russia, while a new report reveals the connections between Russian and Turkish oligarchy.
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Erdogan has positioned himself as a neutral mediator between Russia and Ukraine. Yet this neutrality belies the Turkish President’s extensive cooperation with the Putin regime, including reports that Ankara is poised to purchase a second round of Russia’s S-400 missile system. Erdogan has consistently refused to join fellow NATO allies in sanctioning the Russian state or associated oligarchs, companies, and banks.
TDP’s new report highlights the role of oligarchy in supporting the rise of both Erdogan and Putin. The report reveals how both autocrats have relied on empowering a few wealthy supporters in order to gain control of their countries’ economies, civil societies, and media. Their similarities reveal a values-based alliance that Erdogan can no longer claim with his fellow NATO members.
Commenting on the necessity to spotlight Turkey’s collusion with Russia in the upcoming UNGA, Madeleine Joelson, executive director of the Turkish Democracy Project said:
“The United Nations General Assembly provides the international community with a critical opportunity to confront President Erdogan over his cooperation with Vladimir Putin. The Turkish President’s self-styled “neutrality” in the Ukraine conflict is shallow and self-serving, while his admiration for Putin’s authoritarian state runs deep. Erdogan has copied Putin’s playbook in taking over the Turkish state while asset-stripping its economy. The window to revive Turkish democracy is closing, and failure will inevitably lead to stronger Turkish-Russian alignment.”