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Turkey Navigates between East and West, Shiites and Sunnis 20 avril 2015

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, Turkey-EU / Turquie-UE.
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INSS Insight (Institute for National Security Studies) No. 687, April 20, 2015

Oded Eran & Gallia Lindenstrauss

Despite repeated attempts over more than a decade, Turkish leader Erdogan has failed to command a central role for his country in a region beset by religious, ethnic, and economic controversies. In an attempt to win on all fronts he has alienated friends and foes, as well as NATO allies. The majority of these NATO allies are also members of the European Union; Turkey has long aspired to become a member of the EU, and at least as far as formal statements are concerned, Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party share this goal. However, Turkey’s dream of becoming an EU member is fast fading away. Moreover, it is doubtful whether Turkey under Erdogan is genuinely seeking membership, given the obligations it entails. In the past, part of the allure of the “Turkish model” in Arab public opinion was the fact that Turkey is an EU candidate state. Sans this element, Erdogan’s autocratic tendencies and worrying signs regarding the Turkish economy make the Turkish model much less enviable, and mark one more reason for the relative decline of Turkey’s regional influence.

* Oded Eran, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, served as director of INSS from July 2008 to November 2011, following a long career in Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other government positions.  Gallia Lindenstrauss, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies, specializes in Turkish foreign policy.

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