Turkish Policy Quarterly Vol 9, No. 4 (Winter 2010)
"Opportunity Amidst Turmoil in Turkey's Neighborhood"

Nigar Göksel

Nigar Göksel
ESI Senior Analyst

From the desk of the editor

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu

Interview with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is the leader of Turkey's main opposition party, CHP (Republican People's Party.).

In this exclusive interview for Turkish Policy Quarterly, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu outlines his views and his Party's position on the pressing foreign policy choices Turkey faces and the changing needs of the society. Answering questions on issues ranging from minority rights and the governance of religion, to policies towards neighbors and approaches to the uprisings in the Middle East, Kılıçdaroğlu relates the vision that will steer the "new CHP."

TPQ-article: "Interview with Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu"

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Ömer Çelik

Ömer Çelik
Ömer Çelik is Deputy Chairman of AK Party and Chairman of Foreign Affairs for the Party. He is also Member of Parliament.

The recent claims that Turkey pursues a policy of Neo-Ottomanism are unfounded and misleading. Turkey's involvement in regional tensions and conflicts is merely aimed at contributing to solutions and providing assistance to foster peace and stability in its surroundings. Furthermore, Turkey, as a society comprised of communities with different ethnicities and cultures, benefits from the experience of multiculturalism and therefore has the capacity to provide fair and rational guidance to its neighbors in their internal affairs, as well as their bilateral relations with each other.

TPQ-article: "The Efficiency of Turkish Foreign Policy"

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Carol Migdalovitz
Carol Migdalovitz is a retired Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs at the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

AKP (the Justice and Development Party) adeptly uses foreign policy to advance its domestic drive for power. It favors Muslim solidarity, muscular nationalism, and mercantilism to outflank more Islamist and nationalist political opponents. And it favors them even when the choice puts Turkey at odds with the United States, a NATO ally, and the European Union, which it officially aspires to join. These preferences are evident in policies toward Turkey's Arab neighbors and Iran and toward Israel, Cyprus, and Armenia. Recognizing the political motivations for AKP's foreign policies better might enable Western governments to rise to the challenges they pose.

TPQ-article: "AKP's Domestically Driven Foreign Policy"

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Thomas De Waal

Thomas De Waal
Thomas de Waal is a senior associate at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

The Armenia-Turkey normalization process which began in 2008 was the most promising development in the South Caucasus for years but its stalling in April 2010 has made the situation there much worse. Although there is a heavy weight of history around the Armenian-Turkish relationship the most important driver for the process was Turkey's desire to play a greater role in the Caucasus. A revival of the process would actually be in the long-term interest of Azerbaijan and there is still a chance that it can be restarted after the coming Turkish election if certain conditions are met.

TPQ-article: "Turkey and Armenia: A Second Chance?"

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Çiğdem Nas

Çiğdem Nas
Çiğdem Nas is an Associate Professor in the department of Political Science and International Relations at Yıldız Technical University.

Turkey's negotiations for accession to the European Union are going through a difficult period while Turkish foreign policy is in the midst of a rapid change with active involvement in adjacent regions such as the Middle East. As long as Turkey defends norms such as peace and democracy, which are compatible with EU values, the active policy of engagement may contribute to an expansion of the zone of stability and security outside of the EU. Turkey may become a competent carrier and transmitter of such norms and values. However, Turkey needs also to clearly define its priorities in its foreign policy, and achieve a credible balance between its commitments and capabilities.

TPQ-article: "Changing Dynamics of Turkish Foreign Policy and the EU"

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İnan Rüma
İnan Rüma is an Assistant Professor in the department of International Relations at İstanbul Bilgi University.

It is often argued that Ankara has developed a new interest and manifested a growing economic and diplomatic role in its neighboring regions – including the Balkans. This trend is mostly referred to as "new activism" in media circles, and has taken a place in the endless discussions on the success/failure of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government. Furthermore, it has reopened the notorious discussion of so-called "neo-Ottomanism", particularly due to the personal background and speeches of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. This opinion piece aims to analyze the current stage of Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans in order to understand the essence and dynamics of this so called "new activism" and "neo-Ottomanism".

TPQ-article: "Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Balkans: New Activism, Neo-Ottomanism or/so what?"

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