This study presents a theoretically informed account of the institutional evolution of the G20 since its foundation in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. In so doing, it highlights the strategic intentions of the Bush-Obama administrations in the U.S. and their counterparts in Europe to design and empower the G20; as well as the reactions of the major emerging powers who saw the G20 as a platform to challenge the status quo from within, and “middle powers” trying to intermediate in between. Afterwards, the main items of Turkey’s political and economic agenda as the rotating president of the G20 in 2015 are highlighted. In this context, the respective position of the G20 within the global governance architecture and Turkey’s demands to include issues such as energy, food security, development of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and institutional links with the least developed countries (LDCs) will be taken under the spotlight.