Experts & Staff

Aslı Aydıntaşbaş

Associate Senior Policy Fellow

Areas of expertise

Turkey and Turkish politics; the Kurdish issue (in Turkey and Iraq); democracy; media freedom

Languages

English, Turkish, conversational French

Biography

Asli Aydıntaşbaş is an associate senior policy fellow with the Wider Europe programme at the European Council on Foreign Relation. Her topics of focus include Turkish foreign policy and external ramifications of its domestic politics.

She joined ECFR after a lengthy career in journalism; most recently she was a columnist at Milliyet (2009-2015) and previously a commentator on regional issues in international publications and networks. Aydintasbas’ columns not only delve into issues in Turkish foreign policy vis a vis the Middle East, but also probe issues of freedom and democratization in Turkey. She has written on these issues for publications such as the International Herald TribuneThe Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, ForbesPolitico, and Newsweek.

Aydıntaşbaş hosted the popular daily television programme Karşı Gündem on CNN Türk from 2013 to 2014. Prior to joining Milliyet, she served as a Washington correspondent and later the Ankara bureau chief for Sabah, one of Turkey’s leading newspapers. She covered the Clinton Administration, the United Nations, the Bush Administration, and the Iraq War in 1997-2004 as a Washington and New York correspondent for NTV and Radikal.

Aydıntaşbaş is a graduate of Bates College, where she was the recipient of Maung Maung Gyi Award for Excellence in International Relations and holds a MA in Journalism and Middle East Studies from New York University.

She is based in Istanbul but travels regularly throughout the Middle East and Europe.

EU-Turkey relations after July 15: Turning the page

A complex and explosive mixture of misunderstandings, bad blood and unrecognised but shared interests has brought EU-Turkey relationship to a critical juncture

Friends again: Erdoğan meets Putin

Erdoğan’s visit to Saint Petersburg will likely usher in closer ties with Russia and send strong message to the West – that Ankara has options.  

The amazing speed of Turkey’s foreign policy U-turn

With a Kurdish insurgency brewing at home and US and Russian support for Kurdish forces on Turkey’s southern flank in Syria, an overhaul in foreign policy presented itself as an unavoidable strategic imperative

Sound and fury over Germany’s genocide vote

Turkey’s outrage at the German vote on the Armenian genocide is for domestic consumption – Erdoğan is careful not to derail his deal with the EU or become still more isolated

Publications

Articles

NATO, Gaza, and the future of US-Turkish relations

Turkey’s backing of Hamas has left it out of diplomatic processes and further strained its ties with the US. However, its recent decision to approve Sweden’s NATO membership could be an opportunity for Western diplomats to patch things up

How the West should prepare for the Turkish elections

The US and the EU should refrain from making any interventions during Turkey’s election period – but they may need to respond quickly depending on the results of the vote

Rogue NATO: The new face of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

The SCO is often seen as the anti-NATO, but Putin will struggle to convince the other members – especially the Central Asian states – that his war is more important than Chinese investment

Unsettled: The impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis on the Middle East and North Africa

Heightened conflict in Ukraine could have serious consequences for European interests in the Middle East and North Africa. It could further disrupt energy supplies, exacerbate food insecurity, and help states in the region gain leverage over the US and Europe

War in Ukraine: Erdogan’s greatest challenge yet

Turkey would attempt to sit on the fence if conflict breaks out in Ukraine. But with domestic challenges rising at home, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may not be able to withstand the pressure from either Russia or NATO allies

Cooling-off: How Europe can help stabilise the Middle East

As countries across the Middle East pause to take stock of recent conflicts, Europeans need to do more to support dialogue

West wishes: Turkey’s growing relationship with Ukraine

As the Turkish president continues his delicate balancing act between the US and Russia, the crisis in Ukraine presents new opportunities for Ankara’s transatlantic credentials

Specials

Podcasts

Events

In the media