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Split Three Ways on Ukraine: Turkey in a Changing Regional Order 4 juin 2014

Posted by Acturca in Russia / Russie, Turkey / Turquie.
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PISM Strategic File, No. 10 (46), June 2014
The Polish Institute of International Affairs

by Pinar Elman *

With its low-level involvement in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Ankara repeated its customary formula of refraining from disrupting relations with Moscow, but also sought to maximise the benefits from its position, in order to recover its declining power. Yet this is not a voluntary strategy, so much as an effort by Turkey to make the best of a bad hand. The crisis between Russia and the West affects Turkey’s security concerns, economic interests and wider domestic and foreign policy ambitions. Although non-involvement has so far carried few direct costs, Turkey needs to leverage its low-profile position, not least to ensure NATO solidarity, and indeed might soften its position in internal NATO debates. And yet this might in turn create a new conflict of interests: Turkey needs to maintain its soft power capacities, not least in order to hook into the EU, while the EU needs to deepen Turkey’s integration in order to develop a cohesive answer to the new circumstances.

* Pinar Elman is an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs.

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