3Center or American Progress | Ater Turkey’s June Elections
mens look a he world rom quie dieren angles. Tis issue brie will explore he mosimporan opporuniies or U.S.-urkish cooperaion in he region o demonsrae how imporan Presiden Obama’s renewed eors o improve U.S.-urkish relaions are osabiliy and securiy in he region.
Turkish economic expansion in the region
Economic growh is an imporan acor in deermining inuence abroad. urkey’seconomic growh and increasing expors, especially ou o cenral and easern Anaolia, where he rapidly growing ciy o Gazianep is a hub in he cener o he new Levan,have inuenced and shaped is oreign policy.In cenral and easern urkey over 20 ciies now generae over $1 billion o rade each, andemerging small- and medium-sized businesses in ormerly negleced pars o he counry are aggressively developing new markes abroad. Teir producs, many o which are inconsrucion and semi-advanced indusries, such as exiles, are hugely successul in hegreaer Middle Eas. urkish companies are managing a subsanial par o he reconsruc-ion work in norhern Iraq. Syria is anoher major ronier o urkish rade expansion, ashe 2004 Free rade Agreemen preceded a quadrupling o urkish expors since hen.urkey has also quadrupled rade wih sub-Saharan Arica in he pas hree years. All o hese developmens are a clear indicaor ha urkey’s evolving oreign policy hasa lo less o do wih “neo-Otoman” desires han wih very pracical economic ies ohe region. Inernal shis wihin urkey have conribued o he emergence o a middleclass in pars o he counry where i has no exised beore, and his ransormaion hasdirec consequences or he way he counry posiions isel in he region.Tese imporan inernal changes aciliae and drive urkey’s new oreign policy, whichis “boh a blessing and a curse or he counry” as Mensur Akgün direcor o he GlobalPoliical rends Cener in Isanbul noed during a recendiscussiona he Cener or American Progress. Te new oreign policy is a blessing because i grealy enhancesurkey’s regional inuence and economic ies, bu hose policies can become a curse because no regional acor can mainain consisen sandards and moral high ground ashe urkish governmen oen preends.
Distant cooperation: Afghanistan and Pakistan
urkey is an imporan parner o he Unied Saes in is eors o sabilize Aghanisanand creae peace in he region. Is long-sanding hisorical ies o Aghanisan andPakisan and urkey’s membership in NAO enables i o serve as rused inerlocuor beween he NAO coaliion and Aghanisan, and beween Aghanisan and Pakisan, whose relaionship remains srained.