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Foreign Policy and Self-image: The Societal Basis of Strategy Shifts in Turkey 17 septembre 2012

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Turkey / Turquie.
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SWP Research Paper, 2012/RP 12, September 2012, 31 p.

Günter Seufert *

Turkey’s new foreign policy skilfully escapes self-depletion in an altered foreign trade strategy as well as exclusive definition by a specific ideology of the ruling government It is the result of an irreversible process, during which a new economic elite successfully advanced new political and academic elites, its close ideological allies, and the self-perception of state and society underwent a fundamental transformation.

The supplanting of the political elite and integration of major conservative groups within the economic and academic elites has resulted in a new normality in the population’s perception of the country and its approach to foreign policy. Today, not only the government and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu view Turkey as the region’s potential political and economic centre; the majority of Turkish citizens has also warmed to this image of their homeland. This has a far more lasting impact on Turkey’s position in relation to Europe than on its connection to the USA.

* Dr. Günter Seufert is Senior Associate in SWP’s EU External Relations Division.

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