The Evolution of Russian-Turkish Relations: Ideational Convergence and Pragmatic Cooperation

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AYAR B., Arslan O.

International Organisations Research Journal, vol.18, no.3, 2023 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 18 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.17323/1996-7845-2023-03-07
  • Journal Name: International Organisations Research Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Eurasian politics, ideas in IR, multipolarity, pragmatic cooperation, Russian-Turkish relations
  • Ankara University Affiliated: Yes


Moscow-Ankara relations have been experiencing an unprecedented level of partnership simultaneously with a plethora of disputes between the actors. They have managed to continue cooperation without letting the emerging disagreements cause crises similar to the Su-24 Jet incident of 2015. This study examines Russian-Turkish relations since 2016 to expose how this alignment emerged and how the two actors operate in this partnership. After reviewing the literature that highlights the limitations and fragility of the cooperation, the authors shed light on the ideational convergence that allowed the alignment, arguing that it served as the basis of the current pragmatist and personalistic relations. Moreover, four main characteristics of this alignment are explained: 1) risk-aversion as the priority; 2) reliance on personalistic relations between the leaders; 3) focus on resolving issues among themselves instead of including nonregional actors; 4) economic pragmatism. Then, the risks that can potentially cause a collapse of this partnership are discussed, emphasizing the danger caused by the accumulation of unresolved disputes and political uncertainties in bilateral relations. Authors argue that under the current conditions, the partnership is fragile and will be tested by the upcoming challenges.