By Hüseyin Bağcı (vol. 2, no. 22 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s recent international initiatives and not least its “openings” to neighbors with whom relations have traditionally been less than friendly, signal a qualitative as well as quantitative change of what was once a defensive and cautious foreign policy. Turkish as well as international observers are experiencing difficulties as they try to make sense of what is perceived as Turkey’s “new orientation”. Although it may be tempting to conclude that Turkey is being “lost” for the West, the country does in fact remain a principally Western power, albeit one that enjoys a much greater room for maneuver in the international arena than ever before.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 21 of the Turkey Analyst)
With its Kurdish opening, the Turkish government has set out to reinvent Turkey, in order to secure the integrity of the state and consolidate society. The AKP is succeeding in reaching out to the Kurds. However, the opening is being met with stiff opposition from Turkish nationalists, and the AKP will ignore that opposition at its own peril. The Kurdish imperative also plays an important if hidden role behind some of Turkey’s recent, controversial foreign policy initiatives.
By Barry Rubin (vol. 2, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkey-Israel alliance is over. After more than two decades of close cooperation, the Turkish government is no longer interested in maintaining close cooperation with Israel. Nor is it—for all practical purposes—willing to do anything much to maintain its good relations with Israel. The absence of any substantial, public criticism in Turkey of the Turkish government’s break with Israel does suggest the Turkish-Israeli relationship lacked deeper roots in Turkish society, and hence the potential to become a permanent one.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 18 of the Turkey Analyst)
Although uncertainty and complications remain, the agreements signed between Turkey and Armenia indicate the potential in expanding Turkey’s possibilities of access to the Caucasus and Central Asia. Furthermore, the cooperation agreements that have recently been signed among Turkic states are destined to eventually have far-reaching cultural, economic and political repercussions. But in these, a leading role is increasingly taken not by Turkey but by Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
By Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
In its laudable attempts to reduce tensions with its neighbors and to gain a greater influence in the South Caucasus, the AKP government has made itself dependent on forces that it cannot control. Unless Armenia and Azerbaijan strike a deal rapidly, Turkey will inevitably be forced to choose between reneging on its commitment to normalize relations with Armenia or risk a breakdown in its relations with Azerbaijan. In either situation, Moscow will be the geopolitical winner. Western, in particular American, activity to support an agreement on principle between Armenia and Azerbaijan is urgently called for.
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 includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.