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Turkey An Emerging Global Player

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  • Turkey An Emerging Global Player

    Despite the misplaced panic about Turkey joining Iran in some new Axis of Islamic Evil, Turley shows every sign of emerging as a force for global peace and stability. The repeated electoral victories of the Justice and Development Party have enabled Turkey to accomplish several things, most notable among them being a dramatic reduction in the role of the military in Turkish political life. Considering there have been four military coups in the last forty years, that’s a considerable and positive accomplishment by itself.

    Turkey’s principle foreign policy goal is refreshingly far-sighted: zero conflict with its neighbors. It has reduced tensions with Iran as well as increasing trade, but it has also dramatically reduced tensions with Iraqi Kurdistan and promoted trade there as well. About half the foreign firms working in Iraqi Kurdistan are Turkish, and relations with Turkey’s own Kurdish population have improved. Turkey has reached out to Armenia, although the fault lines run deep there, and has gone far toward improving relations with Greece. Relations with Syria have improved as well and Turkey used that as a platform for brokering informal talks between the Israelis and Syrians over the Golan heights. Those talks looked like they might go somewhere until Israel’s disastrous invasion of Gaza brought everything to a halt.

    The fear that Turkey is turning away from Europe and the west, and toward Iran and fundamentalist Islam, appears* to be unfounded. Turkey rather seems ready to serve as a bridge between West and Middle East, both economically and diplomatically.

    Turkey’s ...


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