By Svante E. Cornell (vol. 2, no. 7 of the Turkey Analyst)
The past several weeks have seen the level of diplomatic rumoring on a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement reach new heights. The Turkish government embarked on this endeavor seriously last Summer, a move that could redraw the geopolitics of the Caucasus in unpredictable ways, depending on how it is undertaken. While the initiative had much to do with Turkish-US relations, the Obama visit paradoxically coincided with Ankara being forced to hit the brakes on the issue, at least temporarily. It has once again been made clear that the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict remains the major security challenge in the region, and that it needs to be tackled head on.
By M. K. Kaya and Halil M. Karaveli (vol. 2, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
According to conventional wisdom in Europe and the United States, Turkey is a “bridge” between the Muslim world and the West, and has been a reliable Western ally for half a century. However, from a Western point of view, recent developments create concerns about Turkey’s direction. It remains to be seen whether President Barack Obama’s administration will be able to rejuvenate the Turkish-American alliance, hurting since 2003, or whether developments in Turkey lead to a fundamentally new situation.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 2, no. 1 of the Turkey Analyst)
The unexpectedly harsh Turkish reaction to the Israeli offensive in Gaza has raised many eyebrows, given the implications of a shift in Turkey’s foreign policy. It remains unclear to what extent Prime Minister Erdogan’s rhetoric is related to a growing sense of Islamic solidarity underpinning Turkish foreign policy, and how much can be related simply to the upcoming local elections, where Erdogan is anxious not to be outflanked by the growing, rival Islamist Felicity party. In any case, the event – and the growing emotional character of Turkish leaders’ behavior – is an indicator of the shifting decision-making structure in Turkish foreign policy, whereby the traditional foreign policy establishment is being marginalized in favor of the Prime Minister’s own inner cabinet.
By M. K. Kaya (vol. 1, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
Turkey’s election to the United Nations Security Council represents a significant achievement for Turkish diplomacy. The fact that more than a hundred and fifty countries cast their votes for Turkey is evidence that the more diversified, multi-dimensional foreign policy pursued by the governing Justice and Development party, AKP, is paying off. However, the Turkish success in the UN portends a development that could eventually result in Turkey becoming less Western-oriented in its foreign policy.
By the Editors (vol. 1, no. 3 of the Turkey Analyst)
In the past month, Turkey experienced high levels of internal and external turmoil. Turkey launched a large military operation in northern Iraq, which created acrimony as the subsequent pullout was questioned by the opposition.. Meanwhile, the country’s internal turmoil deepened. This internal crisis is making the conduct of a coherent foreign policy increasingly difficult, with serious implications for its ability to play a role as a regional power.
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.