How the Two Countries Are Competing After the Arab Spring One of the most controversial elements of Turkish foreign policy has been the attempt by the Justice and Development party … Շարունակել կարդալ
Turkey and Iran are two of the Middle East’s oldest and most powerful states. Both aspire to play a greater role in a new regional order. Major geopolitical developments in … Շարունակել կարդալ
The closing panel yesterday at the Middle East Institute’s Third Annual Conference on Turkey, on “Turkey’s Leadership Role in an Uncertain Middle East,” found plenty of uncertainty in Turkey’s role … Շարունակել կարդալ
On Monday February 27th, 2012, WikiLeaks began publishing The Global Intelligence Files, over five million e-mails from the Texas headquartered “global intelligence” company Stratfor. The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011. They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal’s Dow Chemical Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency. The emails show Stratfor’s web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.
Tehran initially viewed the rise of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey with much enthusiasm. It has turned into a nightmare. Turkey’s shift against the Assad regime in Syria, and its manifest ideological appeal in a changing Middle East, now has Iranian leaders viewing Ankara as a key part of a U.S. scheme with the Arab States in the Persian Gulf aimed directly at them.
On the whole, no. The mildly Islamist Justice and Development (AK) government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, is right to pursue a policy, first enunciated by Ahmet Davutoglu, now foreign minister, of “zero problems with the neighbours”. This is a big improvement on previous governments that largely ignored their own backyard. Turkey remains a bastion of NATO, with the biggest army after the United States and a vital American air-force base at Incirlik. It is EU members like Cyprus, France and Germany—and not Turkey—that have done most to stall Turkish negotiations to join their club.
Both newspapers, which belonged to the Doğan Media Group and have now been taken over by the Demirören-Karacan venture, have devoted professionals, but the ceremony had a somewhat bitter, uncertain air to it. Some of them felt sad that they were traded like serfs in the Middle Ages without being asked or consulted.
In the wake of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation and the continuing protests against ruling regimes throughout the Middle East, a debate is under way about whether Turkey’s path should stand as an example for Muslim governments.
While some secular Turks regard the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as populist and Islamist, Western observers in Turkey view the country’s model as desirable, now that Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah announced they back Egypt’s protesters.
Mr Gul insists his country’s European ambition is undimmed by such sentiments. The Islamist AKP government has lately turned eastwards, fixing some troubled relationships with near neighbours and claiming a role as a powerful regional actor. It has fallen out with Israel and voted against United Nations sanctions on Iran. Ahmet Davutoglu, its hyperactive foreign minister, sometimes sounds a little too keen for western tastes on a new Ottoman Caliphate.
To the president’s mind, there is nothing here that subtracts from the aim of joining the EU. He says this is an ambition transcending politics in Ankara at any given moment. Turkey is taking a strategic view – looking 20, 30, even 50 years ahead.