Skip to content

How Turkey views Brexit Britain: The Past and Future of Bilateral Relations

This Foreign Policy Centre and Aston Centre for Europe seminar will explore how Anglo-Turkish relations have historically fluctuated between animosity and partnership. Following high-profile government visits on both sides in the past two years, the seminar will explore whether the relationship is at the start of a potentially new phase.

Following the Brexit referendum and the July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey, both countries seemed to have approached each other to increase their cooperation in security and trade. While there are new opportunities in bilateral relations, there are also continuous challenges. Both countries have other priorities in foreign policy, such as contrasting relations with Russia and the USA, Britain’s preoccupation with rebuilding relations with Commonwealth countries after Brexit and Turkey’s long-term aims in the Middle East. There are dangers affecting bilateral relations in domestic politics as well, with the impact of the Leave campaign against immigration and anti-Western attitudes in Turkey being the most prominent concerns.

Given these contemporary developments and taking into account the history of bilateral relations, this Foreign Policy Centre seminar, in partnership with the Aston Centre for Europe, examines Turkish perceptions of the UK. In particular, it will ask how Turkish policy-makers and business people view the UK, what expectations they have of post-Brexit relations and whether the UK should meet these expectations. The basis of any long-term partnership rests on mutual understandings and expectations. By shedding light on how Brexit Britain is perceived by Turkish elites, the seminar will serve the purpose of building sustainable cooperation between the two societies not only now but also into the future.

The Aston Centre for Europe operates with the support of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.

When May 14, 2019 6pm-7.30pm

Committee Room 12, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA


Dr Yaprak Gürsoy, Lecturer, Aston University

Sir David Logan, Former British Ambassador to Turkey

Guney Yildiz, Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute in Washington DC

Respondent: Baroness Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat Europe spokesman in House of Lords

Chair: Catherine West MP, Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Listen to an audio recording of the event here.

 Join our mailing list 

Keep informed about events, articles & latest publications from Foreign Policy Centre