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New Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Middle East: Neither so New, Nor so Turkish 29 septembre 2011

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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PapersIEMed/EuroMeSCo, No. 4, September 2011, 26 p.

Ana Almuedo *

This paper argues that the rising international and regional context surrounding Turkey provided Ankara with the capacity for strengthening ties with its neighbours and acting as a regional power. The Middle East power vacuum emerged at the beginning of the 2000s; new security challenges appeared in the regional context; Turkey looked for new markets and emerged as a “trading state”,7 and the EU anchor gave self-confidence, thus laying down the perfect conditions for Turkey to emerge as a regional power,even with international ambitions. What is more, Turkey sees itself as the legitimate spokesperson of the region, even in the position of acting as a mentor for its neighbours. The Arab uprisings taking place from the beginning of 2011 is a very good example. Countries that had risen against their dictators and asked for a democratic regime looked towards Turkey to draw some lessons from its democratic experience. Furthermore, Islamist parties previously forbidden in those countries declared their willingness to follow the steps of the moderate Islamist AKP.

* Ana Almuedo is a Research Assistant at CIDOB – Barcelona Centre for international Affairs

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