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Making Sense of Turkish-EU Relations in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring 28 mars 2013

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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GTE Policy Briefs (Istituto Affari Internazionali) n. 8, 28 March 2013, 5 p.

by Bülent Aras *

Both the EU’s recognition of the importance of its value system and Turkey’s rediscovery of its European component in its foreign policy identity have occurred during a period of radical transformation in the Mediterranean region. The Arab Spring has resulted in a process of renegotiation over territory, identity and governance which has eventually fostered the idea of a new regional political community. The EU is in an advantageous position now if it truly wants to build a political community eastwards and southwards. One logical move would be a renegotiation in the EU over Turkey’s role in a new vision for the future of the EU. Turkey’s European identity and policy style will continue to shape its own neighbourhood policy as it is at the centre of a new geopolitical thinking. Ankara sees itself as having an orderinstituting role in its changing neighbourhood and is in a process of recalibrating its policies in this direction. The Turkish and EU models complement each other, and there is no possibility for any other model to compete with these perspectives in the foreseeable future.

* Bülent Aras is chairman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Center for Strategic Research (SAM), Ankara, and Public policy fellow at the Wilson Center, Washington. He is also an adjunct fellow at Istanbul Policy Center, Sabanci University.

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