S400s, sanctions and defiance: explaining Turkey's quest for strategic autonomy and the US response

Yetim H. T., Hazar A.

SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES, vol.23, no.1, pp.179-199, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683857.2022.2095698
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Historical Abstracts, Humanities Abstracts, Index Islamicus, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.179-199
  • Keywords: US, Turkey, Russia, CAATSA, hierarchy theory, negative balancing strategy, HIERARCHY, AUTHORITY, HEGEMONY, ORDER, UNIPOLARITY, ALLIANCES, CHINESE, RUSSIA, POWERS, FORMS
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The United States Congress enacted CAATSA in 2017 to impose various restrictions on traditional rivals of the United States, which, however, was also imposed on a long-term strategic ally, Turkey, in December 2020. How can the application of sanctions designated for strategic rivals and enemies on an ally be explained? This article incorporates the hierarchy theory with Kai He's negative balancing strategy notion, which provides a solid theoretical explanation for patron states' punitive measures against their allies. We argue that CAATSA is part of the United States' current negative balancing strategy, which aims to undermine the power of rising challengers, Russia and China, by preventing (Western) secondary states, including Turkey, from getting (nuclear) weapons from these two countries. In this context, the US used CAATSA sanctions to punish Turkey's non-compliant and autonomous foreign policy behaviour when Russia and China rivalled the US-led order.