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Policy Forum

Snap Elections, Syria Incursions: Turkey's Challenges and Risks

Rich Outzen, Aaron Stein, and Gonul Tol

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April 28, 2018


Watch a live webcast as experts and policymakers grapple with the weighty implications of Turkey's early elections at home and its military intervention in Syria's Afrin pocket.

President Erdogan recently announced that Turkey would hold snap elections in June, even earlier than most analysts had predicted. With only two months to go before the vote, the country will soon enter a political whirlwind punctuated by dramatic domestic developments. Meanwhile, Turkey's cross-border incursion into Syria's Afrin pocket is drastically reshaping the local balance of power, with the Assad regime and Iran determined to undermine Ankara's interests despite U.S. and Russian support for the intervention. To discuss these growing challenges and risks, The Washington Institute is pleased to host a Policy Forum with Rich Outzen, Aaron Stein, and Gonul Tol, to be moderated by Soner Cagaptay.

Watch a live webcast of this event starting at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Col. Rich Outzen is a senior U.S. Army advisor and a member of the State Department Policy Planning Staff. Previously, he served as an instructor at the National Defense University, where he taught courses on strategy and the Middle East.

Aaron Stein is a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. His research interests include U.S.-Turkey relations, Turkish foreign policy, the Syria war, and nonproliferation issues.

Gonul Tol is founding director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Turkish Studies and an adjunct professor at George Washington University's Institute for Middle East Studies.

Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. His numerous publications include the 2017 book The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey.