states into the Western political order. Tat period wasshort-lived, since it soon became clear that these countriesresented the advent o a new “big brother” and urkey’scapacities to shape their developments were limited.Still, during this decade, a number o developments suchas the Yugoslav wars, urkish military’s increasingly useulparticipations in various peacekeeping operations, and thestrategic alignment with Israel helped re-establish urkey’simportance in U.S. strategic thinking. Tis happened just when the United States was reconrmed as both aneeded and an unreliable, i not dangerous, ally or many urks ollowing developments in Iraq, notably the
creation o an autonomous Kurdish political entity in theNorth.Te challenge or urkey in this period was to ameliorateits democratic credentials, reorm its administrative struc-ture, and liberalize its legal system. Yet upon the death o the reormist President urgut Özal, the custodians o asemi-democratic urkey, notably the military, used theKurdish insurrection and the alleged Islamist threat toturn the country inwards and increase the tone o authori-tarianism. Tis trend would only come to an end aer theUnited States delivered the PKK’s leader Abdullah Öcalan tourkish authorities in Kenya in February o 1999.
Apprehending Öcalan was just the beginning o a numbero important developments in urkish oreign policy aswell. Relations with Syria and Iran, thoroughly poisonedduring the 1990s, took a decisive turn or the better. U.S.President Bill Clinton visited urkey, and urkish-U.S.relations were dened as a “strategic partnership.” Te EU,with the help o a lot o pressure and lobbying by the UnitedStates, reversed its ill-advised decision o 1997 and extendedcandidate status to urkey.At the same time, under the stewardship o ForeignMinister İsmail Cem the rst theoretical and practicalunderpinnings o a multidimensional oreign policy started to take shape, later to be expanded and theorizedby current Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and consis-tently pursued under the AKP governments. Within thetraditionally Atlanticist urkish security establishment, earo the EU-related process o democratization, which mightundermine the authoritarian system led to the growth o a wing with a Eurasianist outlook. Many o those associ-ated with this oreign policy preerence were later chargedwith conspiracy against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.Te attacks against the United States on September 11,2001, resurrected the talk o a urkish model. Against theJihadist dystopia o al-Qaeda, “market-oriented, secular,democratic, Muslim” urkey, a member o the AtlanticAlliance, with warts and all, looked much more attrac-tive. When the AKP came to power, it gave more pizzazzto the model since the party, rooted in urkey’s Islamistmovement, undertook a relentless program o reormation,demilitarization/civilianization, and democratization o theurkish polity. Tis was done with the help o the EU acces-sion process, which was supported by the overwhelmingmajority o the urkish public. Tere was at last, with adecade’s delay, harmony between urkish oreign policy, the values o its security community, and the country’s domesticpolitical arrangements.Te multiple ailures o the U.S. misadventure in Iraq,which urkey objected to rom the beginning and ulti-mately reused to be a part o, shook the regional balance o power. Te Arab state system remained paralyzed and Irangained enormous strategic advantages. As the U.S. inva-sion empowered Iraqi Shi’a and the Kurds, it also broke thecenturies old strategic balance between Shi’a Iran and theSunni world.In this environment, urkey ormulated a policy o engage-ment with all its neighbors by accepting the existing statusquo as given. Lesser identied these conditions as a “benignenvironment” whereby none o the major actors would beable to counter urkey’s designs and policy moves. In act,Ankara pursued policies towards Iran and Syria that wereobjected to by Washington.As the military’s inuence over the making o oreignpolicy waned, Ankara gradually dropped its perennial earsconcerning the assertion o Iraqi Kurdish political iden-tity. Te government’s policies channeled the explodingeconomic energy o the nascent provincial entrepreneurialclasses towards trade and market creation all around,thereby transorming urkey rom a national security stateto what Proessor Kemal Kirişci would call a trading state.
“Turkey’s‘“Demonstrative Effect’ and the Transformation of the Middle East,”
, Volume 13, Number 2, 2011