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Turkey’ re-imagined neighborhood policy after the « Arab Spring » 19 avril 2012

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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Actuelle de l’Ifri (Ifri) 19 avril 2012, 5 p.

Joshua W. Walker *

Turkey’s emergence in the 21st century as a regional power has been in the making for the last decade, but only fully crystallized in the wake of the “Arab Spring” in 2011. Unlike regional powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia that actively supported counter-protest movements to deflect attention away from their own domestic shortcomings, Turkey’s vibrant civil society nudged the government onto the side of the Arab street even at the expense of investments made with previous regimes. Given Turkey’s recent economic success and democratic character in a Muslim context, Ankara’s courtship of the newly emerging Arab democracies in the Maghreb region has been notably successful in contrast to underlining tensions with its own neighbors that has limited the potential of Turkish influence.

* Joshua W. Walker is a Transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, responsible for the Turkey program and Japan portfolio of the Asia program. He is also a visiting scholar at George Mason University’s Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, nonresident fellow at the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University and a Truman National Security Fellow.

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