Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


International Relations

First Advisor's Name

Mohiaddin Mesbahi

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Thomas A. Breslin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Ronald W. Cox

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Benjamin Smith

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Turkey-Russia Relations, Russian Foreign Policy, Turkish Foreign Policy, Decision Making, Middle Eastern Politics, Post-Soviet Politics

Date of Defense



This dissertation explains the evolution of Turkey-Russia relations in 2001 2020. Turkey and Russia are two of the most critical powerhouses of Central Eurasia. In the past, the Russian Empire played a significant role in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey took part in containing the USSR during the Cold War. In 2001 2020, however, Turkey and Russia invested in bilateral trade and established partnerships in the defense and energy sectors. Two countries also worked together to resolve several regional conflicts, including the Syrian Crisis. Despite this trend’s regional and global significance, the literature suffers from an inadequacy of extensive research on Turkey-Russia relations. Thus, an insightful explanation of their bilateral relations will contribute to understanding the most recent dynamics in the Turkey-Russia nexus and the political dynamics in multiple regions. This research addresses the following question: How did Turkey and Russia’s cooperation prevail over the competition between them in 2001-2020?

To address this question, I consider that the Turkey Russia nexus is a formation created by two ‘composite’ states. They interact with one another at strategic, normative, and economic dimensions in the context of turbulent regional and global political dynamics. I argue that the Western influence in the region was a defining phenomenon over the way Turkey-Russia relations took their form. In 2001-2020, the weakening of the US-led Western hegemonic power in Central Eurasia and the assertive foreign policy strategies of Turkey and Russia caused the Turkey-Russia nexus to develop outside of (and often in opposition to) the Western hegemonic influence.




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