In “The Clash of Civilizations,” Samuel Huntington categorized Turkey as a “torn” state between the West and Islam.While this categorization is overly simplistic, it points to Turkey’s problematic identity that is reflected in its foreign and security policymaking between East and West. This complicated landscape is seen in Turkey’s quest to balance its security dynamics as it works to address energy challenges and climate change risks.
The state of affairs between Turkey and the West, the United States in particular, reflect a test of solidarity. There are increasing concerns over Turkey being an “unreliable” ally given the divergence of interests on a number of regional challenges in the Middle East. This is especially the case in Syria where Turkey argues that its allies are not sensitive to its national security concerns, leading to unilateral action and alternative alliances, such as a strategic partnership with Russia and a new nuclear energy program.