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Graham Fuller, on a new Turkish Republic

Graham Fuller

In 1982, after twenty years in the Foreign Service having worked mostly in the Middle East Graham Fuller was appointed the CIA's National Intelligence Officer for Near East and South Asia at the. In 1986, he moved up the Agency chain, becoming Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, with overall responsibility for all national level strategic planning.

In 1988, Fuller left government. Soon thereafter, he began writing on the Middle East, Central Asia, and having served there as a diplomat on Turkey. In 2008, he authored The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World, the first English-language book to offer a comprehensive analysis of Turkish foreign policy under the AKP government and its implications for US interests in the Middle East.

Fuller sets the scene by highlighting, like Robins, the role that ideology and nation-building have played in the Turkish Republic's foreign policy until the 1990s.

"Decades of Kemalist oriented history instruction indoctrinated the country to think negatively about the Islamic world in general and the Arab world in particular."

"While the republic did face genuine external enemies, Kemalist ideology tended to incorporate a fear of external powers and conspiracies as a key element in its world outlook. This paranoia toward the outside world helped both to preserve Turkey's domestic power and to justify an authoritarian approach to guarding the nation against external threats."


The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World

Fuller sees the birth of a new Turkish foreign policy.

"New social classes within Turkey view their Islamic and Ottoman heritage with greater respect and pride, diluting the country's old, elitist, strictly western orientation."

"The Turkey that the West has grown comfortable with over the past half century actually represents a transient geopolitical aberration from a long term norm to which it is now returning."

"No matter what the future holds, one thing is certain: Turkey as the old, predictable and loyal American ally is a thing of the past."

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