NATO Enlargement and Türkiye's Partnership with the West

Hosted by Contemporary Turkish Studies and the LSE IDEAS



Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe

Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe

Lisel Hintz

Lisel Hintz

Tacan İldem

Tacan İldem


Yaprak Gürsoy

Yaprak Gürsoy

Bringing together experts and practitioners, this panel examines Türkiye’s past and future role within NATO in light of the organisation’s 75th anniversary, its recent enlargement and current challenges. 

For 75 years, NATO has played an important role in the collective defence and security of the Euro-Atlantic area. Despite facing many challenges, including questions of cohesion within the Alliance, it remains intact and looks stronger than it has for years. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 has brought unprecedented public interest in NATO’s role in European security. The benefit of NATO’s collective defence has led Finland and Sweden to end decades of neutrality to seek membership.  Recent developments in the Middle East and the South Caucasus have further highlighted the possible role NATO can play for peace in Europe’s neighbourhood. 

Speakers will address the following questions:

  • How is NATO transforming to enhance its deterrence and defence capabilities against current and future challenges?
  • How has Türkiye contributed to European security and defence, and what is its role in an evolving NATO?
  • How can we interpret Türkiye’s more recent actions within NATO and during enlargement from the perspective of its national identity and broader foreign policy goals?


Sinem Akgül Açıkmeşe (@sinemacikmese) is Professor of International Relations and Jean Monnet Chair on Hybrid Threats in the EU at Kadir Has University. She is European Institute alumna (’02) and is currently a Senior Fellow at the Centre in Modern Turkish Studies at Carleton University. She has published extensively on security studies, Turkish foreign policy, EU foreign and neighbourhood policies, Turkey-NATO and Turkey-EU relations. Her most recent co-edited book is One Hundred Years of Turkish Foreign Policy (1923-2023): Historical and Theoretical Reflections (Springer, 2023). 

Lisel Hintz (@LiselHintz) is Assistant Professor of European and Eurasian Studies at Johns Hopkins SAIS. She studies the arenas in which struggles over various forms of identity – national, ethnic, religious, gender – take place. Her regional focus is on Turkey and its relations with Europe, the US, and the Middle East. Her recent publications on the subject include her monograph, Identity Politics Inside Out: National Identity Contestation and Foreign Policy in Turkey (OUP, 2018) and co-authored article, “Symbolic Amplification and Suboptimal Weapons Procurement: Explaining Turkey’s S-400 Program” Security Studies (2022).  

Tacan İldem (@TacanILDEM) is a retired diplomat, who served as NATO Assistant Secretary-General from 2016 to 2020. Prior to this, he also served as the Turkish Ambassador to the Netherlands, Permanent Representative to NATO and the OSCE. In 2020, he was appointed by NATO Secretary General as one of ten independent experts to support the NATO 2030 initiative. Ambassador İldem is a recipient of the decoration of Grand Officer of the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity and the Medal of Gratitude of Albania. Currently, he is the chairman of the independent think tank EDAM, based in Istanbul. 


Yaprak Gursoy (@ygursoy), Professor of European Politics and Chair of Contemporary Turkish Studies, LSE

More about this event

Contemporary Turkish Studies focuses on the politics and economy of Turkey and its relations with the rest of Europe. The programme aims to promote a deeper understanding of contemporary Turkey through interdisciplinary and critical research, teaching and related public activities.

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy. LSE IDEAS Turkey and the World aims to contribute to academic and policy debates on contemporary trends in Turkish foreign policy. 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSETurkey

*Header image: iStock, photo ID:1497729779, credit: Olga Kaya.

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