Europe's Road Ahead - Turkey's Plays important part - by Michael Elliott
In the case of Turkey, the question for Europe is not, as with Russia, how to avoid a dangerous rivalry. It is, rather, how to institutionalize relations with Turkey so that it can be Europe's partner in a dangerous neighborhood. At a recent World Economic Forum conference in Istanbul, I was struck both by how creative Turkish diplomacy now is in the whole ring of instability to its east and south, from Armenia right round to Syria, and how much Turks wanted to work with Europeans to extend the area of peace and economic integration which has, since the Treaty of Rome 51 years ago, steadily moved from the North Sea eastwards.
It will take skillful diplomacy and sustained political and economic engagement for Europe to find new and better relations with Russia and Turkey. And here is the key thing: the U.S., however charismatic its new President may be, will be little or no help. Russia and Turkey are Europe's neighbors, not America's. Washington will always see relations with its former superpower rival differently from the way Europe does — as, indeed, was demonstrated in its reaction to the Georgian war.
And that, perhaps, is the best of all reasons why Europe needs to get over its crush on Obama. In the things that really matter to Europe, it doesn't help. Love is a fine thing; but as all who have loved know, it does not solve all the problems that life throws our way.