The Turkey Analyst
Vol. 2 no. 11, 5 June 2009
Vision or Illusion? Ahmet Davutoglu's State of Harmony in Regional Relations
M. K. Kaya and Halil M. Karaveli
During the nearly seven years of rule by the Justice and development party, AKP, Turkey has deepened its relations in particular with the Muslim Middle East, what has been termed its “strategic depth”. The main theorist of Turkey’s evolving foreign policy priorities, Ahmet Davutoglu, was recently appointed foreign minister. Davutoglu has already had a pivotal role as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief foreign policy advisor. As foreign minister, he will be directly responsible for the further implementation and for the ultimate testing of his ideas. They rest on an assumption of the possibility of achieving a state of harmony in Turkey’s regional relations, an assumption that is likely unrealistic.
Turkish-American Relations: Easing Relations, Uncertain Future
The relationship between the United States and Turkey has traditionally relied heavily on military cooperation. However, President Barack Obama’s April trip to Turkey created an impetus to build a stronger economic connection – provided that businesses find a profitable incentive to work together. But the most significant step toward “normalizing” relations between the countries came when the U.S. recognized that the separatist Kurdish organization PKK poses a threat not only to Turkey but also to America, and Iraq, as well. It was a step destined to ease the tension that has characterized, even poisoned the U.S.-Turkish relationship since the invasion of Iraq.
What the Columnists Say
The question of an alleged Israeli involvement in the clearing of Turkish minefields on the Syrian border and the subsequent leasing of the area to an Israeli company have occupied the Turkish political agenda during the fortnight. Prime Minister Erdogan has encountered strong opposition within his own party. Speaking of past, “fascist” practices of mistreating and expelling minorities from Turkey, Erdogan has seemed to confirm suspicions about a pending offer to Israel. The minefield debate is the latest sign that anti-Israeli sentiments loom large in the ranks of the AKP, as well as among the Turkish public in general. It also fits into a larger picture of Turkey as a country increasingly in the grip of religious, ethnic and ideological intolerance of the “other”.
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NEW Silk Road Paper published
Prospects for a 'Torn' Turkey: A Secular and Unitary Future?, by Svante E. Cornell and Halil M. Karaveli, October 2008.
The Turkey Analyst
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It is published weekly, and includes a topical analysis, as well as translations and summaries of selected Turkish news reports. It is edited and compiled under the supervision of Svante E. Cornell, Halil M. Karaveli, and M. K. Kaya.
The Turkey Analyst occasionally publishes guest analyses, which are normally solicited. Submissions are nevertheless welcome.
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The Joint Center
The Joint Center, created in 2005, is the product of the merger of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and the Silk Road Studies Program, at the Stockholm-based Institute for Security and Development Policy.
The Turkey Initiative
The Joint Center launched a Turkey Initiative in 2006 in order to improve understand of Turkish domestic and foreign affairs in Europe and the United States.
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