The coup attempt has generated a great deal of debate over Turkey’s future. Much of the discussion on this issue is focused on the personality of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the struggle between his supporters and their opponents. Truly understanding the current status of Turkey and where it is likely headed in the future, however, requires moving away from individuals and groups and examining objective geopolitical forces that shape a country’s behavior. This is why we try to make sense of Turkey by examining the imperatives and the constraints it faces.
In order to survive and prosper all nations – regardless of which personality or group is leading them – must achieve certain objectives based on the confluence of their geographies, demographics and available resources.
Turkey’s imperatives include: consolidating control over the Sea of Marmara and Anatolia; securing the ability to pursue goals unilaterally; neutralizing threats beyond its borders; bring