Overcoming Systematic Punishments: A Neoclassical Realist Approach to the US-Turkey Relations After the S-400 Crisis

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Turkish–American relations have always had tough and contested times. In most of these issues, both states are influenced by domestic political dynamics. After the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and American support to YPG/PYD in Northern Syria, the Turkish-American relationship entered new turbulent times. After these developments, Turkey realigned itself with Russia in the region. In 2017, Turkey signed a S-400 acquisition deal with Russia as a major air defense system. This deal deteriorated Turkish-American relations further, which led to the termination of F-35 deliveries and even to sanctions. This research will contribute to the literature of neoclassical realism as a profound case study. Then it will move on to Gideon Rose’s neoclassical realist ‘Innenpolitik’ analogy to understand both Turkish and American domestic dynamics in this crisis. This research will end with the implication of Randal Schweller’s ‘Underbalancing Theory’ to explain this crisis-prone structural anomaly. It will help the readers of this article to understand how this bilateral relationship could re-normalize again as a stable alliance.


About the Author:

Nobuhide Mert Matsumoto

Nobuhide Mert Matsumoto is a Bachelor’s graduate from Marmara University, Communication Faculty, Journalism Department and Political Sciences and International Relations Department with a double-major degree. Currently, he is a master’s student in International Relations at the Institute of Social Sciences in Marmara University, Turkey. He has additional works on Realism, Asia-Pacific, war studies, security studies, nuclear weapons, and digitalization.