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EURODIALOGUE

Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies

This foreign policy which was never dissociated from economic and trade considerations, allowed Turkey to play the role of a regional power with all needed prestige, to mediate between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights, between Fatah and Hamas and on the effort to resolve the issue of Iran’s capability to acquire nuclear weapons, leading to the famous deal in which Brazil, the other emerging power, joined as participant. However this imaginative and creative foreign policy, instrumental to Turkey’s economic success, subsequently started to encounter major setbacks. Championing the Palestinian cause has created problems with Israel, despite the desire of Ankara to maintain good relations with both. The outburst of Prime Minister Erdogan towards Shimon Peres in Davos and then the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident not only brought the relations with Israel to a very bad turn, it also raised eyebrows in the American Jewish Community and tarnished Turkey’s image as an honest broker mediating between Syria and Israel. (The latter seems to have led to nowhere.) Equally unsuccessful was the mediation between Fatah and Hamas, finally achieved by post-Mubarak Egypt. The agreement between Iran-Turkey and Brazil came at a moment when the permanent five on the Security Council, after considerable effort to convince Russia and China, were about to agree on sanctions against the Iran regime. It was a decision that had to proceed as the Turkey and Brazil-brokered deal was not stopping Iran’s move towards nuclear weapons. The Arab spring uprising is dramatically changing the content of Turkish foreign policy; Turkey is still teetering as to its direction. Some observers initially thought that after all, it would not be such a bad idea to see a democratically elected Islamic Government coming to power in Tunisia and Egypt, as they are as moderate as the AKP. Suddenly Turkey looked like a model, an example. For Turkey, this would have been a new asset for its policy towards the Arab World. However secular forces in Tunisia and Egypt are too strong and too scared to accept such a development; and the Turkish model for them is not an example to imitate but an example to avoid. Regarding the developments in Syria, after some hesitation, Prime Minister Erdogan took the courageous decision to openly condemn the lethal violence and repression that the regime is using against its own people, despite the Turkey on the European doorstep

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Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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