The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) analyses political and social developments in Turkey and relations between Turkey and Europe. Its tailored formats and products supply information to relevant political decision-makers and the public in Germany and Europe. CATS also creates confidential venues for informal exchange between important actors.

CATS aims to provide input for shaping long-term relations with Turkey, to contribute to strategy-driven and coherent Turkey policy in the EU and its member states, and to help place the relationship on realis-tic foundations. Turkey is understood as an actor with pronounced regional – and occasionally global – ambitions.

Alongside its own research, CATS will intensify European/Turkish networking in the field and create a shared framework for discussion about the EU’s future relationship with Turkey (CATS network). This will make CATS the hub and curator of an international network of think tanks. CATS will collaborate with European and Turkish think tanks and distribute project funding and scholarships.

CATS research priorities:

  • Turkey’s relationship to Europe and the EU
  • Turkey’s role in the global system conflict
  • Turkey’s positioning in the Middle East and relations with the Islamic world
  • Turkey’s partnerships with emerging powers
  • Social, political and economic developments in Turkey


With its broad foreign policy expertise, SWP is well-placed to ensure that the regional and political con-ditions and dynamics that shape Turkish politics are always taken into consideration.

CATS began work in September 2019, initially focussing on the task of setting up the research division. A conference with European partners in November 2019 marked the official launch.

The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) is funded by Stiftung Mercator and the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Centre for Applied Turkey Studies of SWP coordinates the CATS Network.

SWP Comment

Daria Isachenko
Turkey–Russia Partnership in the War over Nagorno-Karabakh

Militarised Peacebuilding with Implications for Conflict Transformation


Daria Isachenko
Türkei-Russland-Partnerschaft im Krieg um Bergkarabach

Militarisierte Friedensstiftung mit Folgen für die Konflikttransformation


Working Paper

Doruk Arbay
The Modernization of the European Union's Customs Union with Turkey

Turkey's Pro-Customs Union Rhetoric and Recent Approach of Turkish Political and Business Decision-Makers


Katarzyna Czupa
Poland and the EU–Turkey Customs Union