Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
After the Storm

After the Storm

Ratings: (0)|Views: 374|Likes:
The debate on the course of Turkish foreign policy heated up again in the wake of the Gaza flotilla catastrophe and Turkey’s no vote at the UN Security Council on sanctions against Iran. To argue as some do that Turkish foreign policy is guided solely by ideological considerations and by Islamic solidarity betrays a careless, ahistorical, and far too partisan a view of the current government’s record.
The debate on the course of Turkish foreign policy heated up again in the wake of the Gaza flotilla catastrophe and Turkey’s no vote at the UN Security Council on sanctions against Iran. To argue as some do that Turkish foreign policy is guided solely by ideological considerations and by Islamic solidarity betrays a careless, ahistorical, and far too partisan a view of the current government’s record.

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: German Marshall Fund of the United States on Aug 11, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less





The debate on thecourse of Turkish foreign policyheated up again in the wake of 
 the Gaza fotilla catastrophe and
Turkey’s no vote at the UN Secu-rity Council on sanctions againstIran. To argue as some do thatTurkish foreign policy is guidedsolely by ideological consider-ations and by Islamic solidaritybetrays a careless, ahistorical,and far too partisan a view of thecurrent government’s record.
 After the Storm
by Soli Özel
July 30, 2010
, DC
In a recent On urkey piece,“Rethinking urkish-Western Rela-tions: A Journey Without Maps,” IanLesser convincingly explained why urkish oreign policy choices may notalways be in total harmony with thoseo its allies, particularly the UnitedStates. He argued that developmentswith Iran must be seen as the outcomeo urkey’s aspirations as a regionalpower in a world where such powersdo not always or even generally ollowthe policies o the West automatically.Lesser goes on to state that urkish-American relations will be shaped anddened in the uture by these alteredcircumstances, and that “comprehen-sive notions o strategic partnership…risk sounding hollow in the currentenvironment.”In other words, rather than alliesacting in unison on every issue,there will be selective partnershipsdepending on the case at hand. Whereinterests clash, one should expectless than total cooperation and a loto bargaining beore an agreementon a common policy is reached. Tisreects quite a shi in the relativepowers o the United States and urkey in their bilateral relations. At the endo the Cold War, Washington couldexpect and usually did get the juniorpartner to ollow its lead. Nowadays,Ankara pursues its own interests ina more determined way. Tis neces-sitates a redening o what constitutesthe common interests o the two coun-tries and where each will yield to thedemands o the other. Tereore, oneach separate topic, the two sides needto bargain anew and strike new deals.Tis shi in the working relation-ship stems rom urkey’s emergenceas a regional power, albeit a vulner-able one due to the still unresolvedKurdish problem. Tis new proleand the direction o urkish oreignpolicy reect three undamentaldynamics: the shi in the strategiccenter o gravity o the internationalsystem rom Europe toward the East,notably the rising importance o the wide area between the Caspianbasin and the Persian Gul to whichurkey is a neighbor with historicalties; the changing strategic balance inthe Middle East and the Persian Gul partially as a result o both the U.S.-led war in Iraq and the disarray o the corroding Arab state system; and,nally, the internal transormation o urkey where, in addition to geopo-litical assertiveness, a new economicdynamism and an emerging provincialentrepreneurial class push or engage-ment with surrounding regions.Some o these dynamics have beeninuential since the mid-1980s. Much
The Balkan Trust for Democracy
o what the AKP government is doing is indeed a continu-ation o trends that began either during the rule o the latePresident urgut Özal or in the latter hal o the 1990s. Acursory look at the speeches and writings o the late İsmailCem, the ormer oreign minister, will show that many ideas currently identied with the AKP government havebeen expressed earlier. What truly distinguishes the currentgovernment rom its predecessors is its innate and tirelessactivism in all the regions that surround urkey and itsunwillingness to be le outside o any development in the vicinity.It is in view o these realities that one must debate the issueo urkey’s place in the West and whether or not its oreignpolicy has been hijacked by an ideologically committedparty intent on taking urkey in a dierent direction.
* * *
In the wake o the Gaza otilla disaster and the UnitedNations vote on Iranian sanctions, the urkish govern-ment saw and understood the limits o its prowess and theboundaries o its autonomous room or maneuver. At theend o the day it proved less easy to break relations withIsrael, even or this government. Aer all, the radicalismo the government’s discourse appears to have backred,as a signicant part o the public showed unease with thehijacking o the Gaza issue by radical Islamists. On Iran,urkey’s realization that it ound itsel isolated nally sank in, even i this is not to be openly acknowledged and eventhough there will be some continued role or Ankara to play on this issue.Finally, and perhaps paradoxically, the importance o urkey’s Western ties and its place in the Atlantic alliance asthe anchor o urkish oreign policy was enhanced withinthe country in the wake o these developments. Tere wasa realization that it serves urkey’s purposes ar better tomove in a more coordinated ashion with allies, particularly with the United States. A sense that urkey might be pulledinto the quagmire o the region without its Western anchorwas enhanced, partially because o the incessant debateabroad about its direction.In an interview with Newsweek, Ahmet Davutoğlu, urkey’soreign minister, put the matter most succinctly: “We are apart o the West. I the West sees us as outside and an objectthat can be lost or won, their logic is wrong. We have anequal right to speak in NAO as any other country. No onehas the right to see the Western alliance as its domain andname another as inside or outside o it. I Western valuesare so power, economic interdependency, human rights,then we deend them. We, however, are now acing a test.Nine civilians were murdered on the high seas [during theotilla incident]. Are we going to voice objection whenhuman rights are violated by an Eastern or Muslim country but remain silent when Israel violates human rights? I thisdouble standard is a Western value, we are not or it.” Inthe rest o the interview though, when addressing urkey’spolicies towards Muslim countries, Davutoğlu made himsel  vulnerable to charges o double standard as well. When hedealt with the human rights record o Muslim countries andhis government’s record o dealing with the likes o Sudan,Iran, and others, he betrayed a bias based on religiousafnity, but the gist o his argument in this particular quota-tion resonates with the urkish public.Te reneging o major members o the EU on their prom-ises to urkey, combined with urkey’s own domesticstruggle to dene its identity and the urkish public’sperception o American policies, account or this reserv-edly antagonistic approach to the West. Under the circum-stances, the EU’s internal ocus, and the resulting lack o impact on urkey’s domestic developments, the country’srelations with the West will primarily consist o bilateralrelations with the United States. In that regard an interviewgiven by the outgoing American ambassador James Jerey highlighted the administration’s outlook vis-a-vis urkey’srecent oreign policy steps.Ambassador Jerey argued that “the question about[urkey’s] orientation is one that could have been posedto De Gaulle’s France in the 1960s…nobody questionedwhether France was part o the West and many people inurkey take umbrage o that and it’s their right to… there-ore, we don’t worry too much about the big picture but interms o urkey’s specic set o policy options under givengovernments, sometimes we agree, sometimes we don’tagree.”President Obama, who since the beginning o his termtried to build a tighter relationship with urkey, addressedall these issues in a recent interview with the Italian daily 

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->