Deep Dive in the Black Sea: Turkey’s Role and Potential in the Region

map of black sea

Deep Dive in the Black Sea: Turkey’s Role and Potential in the Region

By College of International Security Studies
George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (May 12, 2022) - The Marshall Center organized an online Regional Security Seminar on April 28 to explore Turkey’s role and potential in the Black Sea Region.

The Russian attack on Ukraine brought the Black Sea region back to the attention of the security calculations of regional and global powers and put the region on the priority list of policy discussions.

Historically, the Black Sea has been the subject of interest for global actors, and the region has become a battlefield of empires for centuries. With a 1329 km coastal line and having the only two straits (Bosporus and Dardanelles) connecting the Black Sea to the Aegean and the Mediterranean, Turkey is one of the significant actors in the Black Sea security debate.

The Regional Security Seminar on Turkey’s Role in the Black Sea examined the Black Sea security structure by focusing on the recent Russian attack on Ukraine and analyzed Turkey’s role in the region to support the establishment of a more stable and peaceful regional security structure.

Dr. Cüneyt Gürer, professor of Transnational Security Studies at the GCMC, moderated the event with panelists, Dr. Dimitar Bechev, Oxford School of Global & Area Studies, Dr. Işık Gürleyen, IES Abroad Freiburg Center European Union Program, and Dr. Mehmet Yeğin, German Institute for International and Security Affairs. 

The event provided a historical strategic situation of the Black Sea in the power competition of regional and global actors, how region connects Turkey to other actors and the impact of domestic condition of Turkey to its regional policy choices.

Panelists also looked at Turkey’s approach to both Russia and Ukraine during the war, analyzed the background of Turkey’s policies, and compared them with the country’s potential to bring stability to the wider Black Sea region.

For more information about the key takeaways of the event click here.