Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 7, No. 4 (Winter 2008)
"The Atlantic Alliance and Turkey's Neighborhood"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer is General Secretary of NATO.

With a new administration assuming office in the United States, this is the ideal moment to initiate work on a new Alliance strategic Concept. I expect significant inputs from all member states during this process, including a major contribution to the debate from Turkey, given the country's pivotal geographical position and its unique regional expertise. It is essential that we reinforce the concept of Allied solidarity in this new security environment and that all nations are reassured that they will not be left to face these challenges on their own. That is why the new Strategic Concept must provide an updated definition for our "solidarity clause" and a clear understanding of what we mean by collective defense.

TPQ-article: "NATO AT 60: Time for a New Strategic Concept"

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William Park

William Park
William Park is a Senior Lecturer with the Defense Studies Department, King's College, London University.

The Obama administration might rebrand the U.S. in Turkey and reduce the scope for anti-Americanism, but we should be wary of expecting an automatic improvement in the relationship. There are many obstacles to negotiate, particularly with respect to the Middle East. The turn of events, especially in Iraq, might highlight awkward differences. Furthermore, Washington is likely to interpret multilateralism to include support from its friend when its initiatives fail. For Turkey in particular this might bring some difficult dilemmas, and raise questions concerning some of Turkey's diplomatic relationships.

TPQ-article: "Obama, Turkey and the Middle East: Troubles Ahead?"

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Burak Erdenir

Burak Erdenir
Burak Erdenir Secretariat General for European Union Affairs Ministry of State, Turkey.

The recent tragedy in Gaza overshadowed the peace process aiming at a sustainable political solution in Palestine. Lately, efforts have focused on the reconciliation of the ceasefire rather than a lasting peace agreement. Eventually, in her first visit to Israel in March 2009 as the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said the U.S. Government would pursue a comprehensive peace plan, and a two-state solution would be inescapable. This article discusses one of the options for a political solution; the idea of a bi-national state. The idea of a bi-national state does not appear to be a realistic solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After all, the dispute is based on an identity conflict and both people are devoted to maintain their national identity through their own independent state.

TPQ-article: "The Idea of a Bi-National State in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict"

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Niyazi Kýzýlyürek

Gül İnanç & Niyazi Kızılyürek
Gül İnanç is Assistant Professor at Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta. Niyazi Kızılyürek is Associate Professor at the University of Cyprus, Nicosia.

As social, political and economic conditions of nations change, so national memory and national identity, will be redefined in ways that make them relevant to the new set of circumstances in which they find themselves. It is no coincidence (as in other societies) that the Turkish Cypriot community changed its history books in circumstances in which it imagined a different future for itself. Yet, how important this step will be in shaping the future for the next generation remains to be seen. Turkish Cypriots, who have been politically and economically isolated from the rest of the world for the last 30 years, recently took a very big step by returning to the classroom and by reconstructing and representing their past for a better future.

TPQ-article: "The Incoming Obama Administration: Implications For Turkey"

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Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake
Marietje Schaake is a candidate for the European Parliament for D66, the social-liberal party from the Netherlands. Marietje owns a consultancy business and advices governments, businesses, NGO's and cultural institutions on Trans-Atlantic affairs and diversity issues. www.marietjeschaake.com.

America's legacy as the "land of opportunity" has recently been symbolically reclaimed. Barack Obama's election shows that in America, political opportunity is within reach for minorities – holding up a mirror to Europe and Turkey. In reshaping more sustainable futures in answer to the global economic crisis, we should be equally concerned with generating legitimate leadership and inclusive access to political power. There is room for reforms and changes in the political landscapes of America, Europe and Turkey. Equal access for political leaders from diverse ethnic, ideological, class and gender backgrounds is a key challenge for democratic countries in the 21st century.

TPQ-article: "The United States, Europe and Turkey: Lands of Opportunity"

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Piotr Zalewski

Piotr Zalewski
Piotr Zalewski is an analyst at the European Stability Initiative (www.esiweb.org).

On 29 January 2009, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stormed out of a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Davos World Economic Forum. With impassioned Peres defending Israel's offensive in Gaza and an outraged Erdoğan accusing him of "knowing well how to kill people" and, having been cut off by the moderator, vowing never to return to Davos, the event certainly made for pretty good television. Contrary to what some commentators have alleged, however, it did not make for a watershed moment in Turkish foreign policy. Turkey remains anchored in the West – even if its recent policy vis-à-vis the near-abroad is more assertive and more autonomous than ever before.

TPQ-article: "Turkish Foreign Policy: Telling Style From Substance"

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Özgül Erdemli Mutlu
Özgül Erdemli Mutlu is a civil activist, a member of the ARI Movement, and the Director of Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Center of KAGIDER. The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily refl ect any organization.

Prime Minister Erdoğan's increasingly harsh criticism of Israel and his vocal support for Hamas are worth examining. Erdoğan's Davos performance won him praise among Turkish and Arab public but at the expense of sabotaging Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East region. It remains to be seen whether or not the close ties and long-term relationship between Turkey and Israel will survive. But Erdoğan-led Turkey will no longer be seen as the region's honest broker.

TPQ-article: "Prime Minister Risks Turkey's Role as the Region's Honest Broker"

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Daniel Freifeld

Daniel Freifeld
Daniel Freifeld is the Director of International Programs for the Center on Law and Security at NYU School of Law. Previously, he was a foreign policy associate on Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and a program coordinator for the Near East South Asia Center at the U.S. Department of Defense.

United States President Barack Obama will visit Turkey in April 2009. On his agenda will be a number of issues of mutual concern between the two NATO allies. One issue that should be placed high on the agenda is the expansion of the East-West energy corridor and Turkey's role in providing the requisite political and commercial security to bring the Nabucco project to fruition. This would not be the first time the U.S. and Turkey played a critical role in energy security. A decade ago, they championed the development of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Today, the strategic partnership should focus on playing such a role again.

TPQ-article: "Nabucco: Pipeline Politics and the U.S.-Turkey Strategic Partnership"

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Evren Tok

Evren Tok
Evren Tok is a PhD. candidate at the School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is also enrolled in a collaborative PhD. program offered by the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University.

Since the 1990s, Turkey has witnessed the emergence of both rapid industrialization and an opening up to the globe in the cities of the Anatolia region, also known as the "Anatolian Tigers". There is another Turkey beyond Istanbul and Ankara, one that is not backward as is commonly assumed. It remains quite fragmented, and while there is poverty and regional inequality, there is also dynamism. The Europeanization process of Turkey has been instrumental in these cities' growth, but today, due to conditions of the world economy, they are looking towards the Middle East and Africa to expand their businesses.

TPQ-article: "Anatolian Cities and the New Spirit of Turkish Capitalism"

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