Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Open Access Report: Turkey and the Arab Spring

Turkey and the Arab Spring: Implications for Turkish Foreign Policy from a Transatlantic Perspective

Source: Istituto Affari Internazionali

From the Foreword:

The Arab Spring reveals a number of contradictions, constraints as well as opportunities for Turkish foreign policy, all of which are of key relevance both to Turkey and to its transatlantic partners.

In the short-term, the Arab Spring has revealed a number of inconsistencies in and weaknesses of Turkish foreign policy, particularly when mapped against the stances of the European Union (EU) and the United States. These weaknesses and inconsistencies may be viewed as by- products of a more proactive Turkish role in its southern neighborhood. Over the last decade, Turkish foreign policy has become more open to engagement with its neighbors, more eager to resolve regional problems and less secularized in nature. Improved relations with Syria, Iraq, and Iran (as well as Russia, Armenia, and Greece) are evidence of this. But this does not mean that Turkish foreign policy has been purely idealistic and norm driven. The Arab Spring has revealed the inherent tension between the normative and realpolitik dimensions of Turkish foreign policy.

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