How Turkey’s regional ambitions crumbled

“Confused” may be an appropriate term to describe Turkey’s current foreign policy in the Middle East and in Israel in particular. The source of that confusion – aside from the appalling violence in Syria and earlier in Libya – is Turkey’s own mistakes.

The Turkish government’s inconsistency regarding Israel highlights earlier discrepancies in other political contexts. There was a time when Turkey’s top foreign policy priority included reaching out diplomatically to Arab and Muslim countries. Then, we spoke of a paradigm shift, where Istanbul was repositioning its political center, reflecting perhaps economic necessity, but also cultural shifts within its own society. It seemed that the East versus West debate was skillfully being resolved by politicians of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Ramzy Baroud

Asia Times Online, Hong Kong

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