By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
On September 2, 2011, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic ties with Israel from ambassadorial to second secretary level and suspended all bilateral military agreements between the two countries. On September 8, 2011, in an interview on Al Jazeera, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan vowed that Turkey would provide naval escorts for any future attempts by Turkish aid vessels to breach the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. He also warned that Turkey would “prevent Israel from unilaterally exploiting the natural resources of the eastern Mediterranean.”
By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 15 of the Turkey Analyst)
The turmoil in Syria threatens to deprive Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of one of its most significant foreign policy achievements. Since coming to power in 2002, the AKP has achieved a remarkable improvement in relations with Syria as part of its general goal of “zero problems with neighbors” that underpins its foreign policy. Now the upheaval in Syria is straining ties not only between Ankara and Damascus but also between Turkey and Iran. In addition, Turkey could suffer massive economic loses, increased threats to its border and internal security, and a more complicated regional Kurdish problem.
By Richard Weitz (vol. 4, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
Foreign and defense policies did not figure prominently in the recent general election in Turkey. Most Turks seem satisfied with the more assertive role that their government has assumed in recent years, while Turkey’s weak opposition parties have yet to offer a coherent foreign policy alternative to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Still, Turkish leaders will not be able to escape foreign and defense issues given Turkey’s dependence on its foreign economic ties and its location as a “front-line” state bordering the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans. The situation in Syria is the most sensitive one for Turkey, and it could notably disrupt Turkey’s otherwise harmonious relations with Iran. Another crucial question is how much pull NATO will exercise over Ankara’s foreign and defense policies.
By Ariel S. Gonzalez Levaggi (vol. 4, no. 14 of the Turkey Analyst)
Never before have Turkey and Latin America been closer than they are at present. Latin America has become an indicator of the extension of Turkey’s capacity for global influence. The regular exchange of high level political visits, the increase of commerce and the slow but sustained advance of cultural relations lays the foundations of a political convergence. From a geopolitical standpoint, the most important emerging association is the one between Turkey and Brazil. The relation of the two rising powers is of significant relevance as they promote a multi-polar international order, and it will bestow accrued legitimacy on them at an international level. The re-elected government of the AKP has a great opportunity to further deepen Turkey’s relations with Latin America, generating opportunities for dialogue and participation on the international stage.
By Ely Karmon (vol. 4, no. 9 of the Turkey Analyst)
Against the background of the fall of the autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, the massive demonstrations in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain, the civil war in Libya and first civil disorders in Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, there is growing apprehension in the West and among secular and liberal circles in the Arab world the uprisings could result in the coming to power of Islamist movements.
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.