Building the New Silk Road in the 21st Century: the Belt and Road Initiative from a Sino-Turkish Perspective

Gökçay, Ş. E. (2019/2020). Building the New Silk Road in the 21st century: The Belt and Road Initiative from a Sino-Turkish perspective. Belt & Road Initiative Quarterly, 1(1), 43-54.


The aim of this study is to examine the respective positions of China and Turkey with reference to the general cooperation framework, principles, priorities, and mechanisms set out in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The study relies on an analysis of BRI-related documents prepared by the Republic of Turkey and the People’s Republic of China. Of the many documents which reflect each country’s perspective on the BRI, the following two are of particular significance: the Action Plan issued by China’s National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Commerce, and a 2019 report entitled ‘Locating Turkey in the Belt and Road Initiative’, issued by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce. Methodologically, this study is based on qualitative content analysis. Analysis results suggest that China aims at utilizing the BRI to open itself up to the external world in order to achieve an integration into the global economic system. Turkey, on the other hand, is aware of the fact that playing an active role in the BRI could increase its diplomatic maneuvering capacity, both regionally and globally. If Turkey fails to play an active role at the early stages of the Initiative, however, it could possibly loose its change to assume an influential position at later stages.


Keywords:Eurasia; China; Silk Road; Belt and Road Initiative; Turkey