Navigating U.S.-Turkey Tensions: Erdogan’s Multipolar Vision

Dr. Ian Lesser

Navigating U.S.-Turkey Tensions: Erdogan’s Multipolar Vision

Member-only Briefing

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET


In October, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, threatened to expel 10 ambassadors, many from NATO member countries, over criticism of the imprisonment of Osman Kavala, the Turkish businessman and pro-democracy activist. This latest salvo in increasingly tense relations with the U.S. and Europe comes as Turkey grapples with the 40 percent loss in its currency in this year alone. What is Erdogan’s vision for Turkey domestically, regionally, and in its relations with Washington? How serious is the Turkish economic crisis? What measures need to be taken to stabilize foreign relations with Turkey? Join us for our member-only discussion on Tuesday, December 7th at 12 PM ET, with Dr. Ian Lesser, Acting President of The German Marshall Fund of the United States.


Dr. Ian Lesser

Ian Lesser is acting president at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and a member of GMF’s executive team, managing programs across the organization. He also serves as executive director of the Brussels office of GMF, and leads GMF’s work on the Mediterranean, Turkey, and the wider Atlantic.
Prior to joining GMF, Dr. Lesser was a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and vice president and director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He came to the Pacific Council from the RAND Corporation, where he spent over a decade as a senior analyst and research manager specializing in strategic studies. From 1994-95, he was a member of the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process.
A frequent commentator for international media, he has written extensively on foreign and security policy issues. Dr. Lesser was educated at the University of Pennsylvania, the London School of Economics, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and received his doctorate from Oxford University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. He serves on the advisory boards of the Delphi Economic Forum, Atlantic Dialogues, the NATO Defense College Foundation, and Turkish Policy Quarterly, and has been a senior fellow of the Onassis Foundation in Athens and the Luso-American Foundation in Lisbon.





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