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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.

 

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Jean-Loup Samaan
Jean-Loup Samaan
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Foreword Following the violent dissolution of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, there had been a shared sense of hope for a more peaceful future for the European continent. Unfortunately, this comfortability disappeared after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to march against the Ukrainian forces throughout the border on 24 February 2022. This marked a turning point not only for the...
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