Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

After the AKP gained power in 2002, Turkey’s newly assertive “zero problems with neighbors” foreign policy strategy sparked debate in the Arab Middle East. This grand strategy revealed Ankara’s ambitions as not only a regional player, but also as a democratic “model” for a liberal political system able to incorporate a strong Islamic party. Arab fascination for Turkey reached its peak between 2009 and 2010 after Prime Minister Erdoğan’s condemnation of Israel’s military operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. This, along with the Mavi Marmara incident, sparked admiration across the Arab world. Over the last few months however, Arab fascination has been severely tested and now support for the “Turkish model” appears to be waning. This is the result of apprehension over Turkey’s strategic choices in different areas such as the Syrian crisis and the events in Egypt.

 

CONTRIBUTOR
Jean-Loup Samaan
Jean-Loup Samaan
From the Desk of the Editor Since the founding of the Turkish Republic, competing conceptions of Turkish identity have existed. Among many examples, the role of Islam has been contested, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms have clashed, and various identity-based movements have ebbed and flowed, shaping political cleavages. National identity contestation has also spilled over into Turkey’s relationship with its Western...
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