Turkish Double Speak: Realism Trumps Idealism in The AKP Era
by Guest Blogger for Steven A. Cook
July 30, 2013
The article below, about the AKP’s foreign policy in the Middle East, was written by my friend and colleague, Aaron Stein. I hope you find it interesting.
In September 2011, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was being hailed from Marrakesh to Bangladesh for his country’s handling of the Arab revolts. Ankara was an adamant supporter of the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and, after being presented with the equivalent of a diplomatic fait accompli from its Western allies, supported the military intervention in Libya. On the whole, Turkey’s rhetorical embrace of Arab democracy positioned Ankara as the natural “face” of the new Middle East and as a potential model for the three countries in transition. Yet, after a brief moment of Pax-Turkana in the region, Turkey’s transcendent foreign policy began a rapid decline. While Turkey’s democratic and economic progress were often cited as the reasons for Turkey’s growing regional role, Ankara has never included democracy promotion as a key pillar of its regional strategy.
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