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Turkey and the European Union in the Middle East: Reconciling or Competing with Each Other?

Focusing on the Turkish Middle Eastern foreign policy from the perspective of European Union (EU)-Turkey relations, this paper argues that Turkey's recent activism and attractiveness in the region is attributable to its dual reform and accession process both of which are tied to the EU's anchoring role and leverage over the country. Turkey has self-consciously taken the advantage of its domestic transformation by emulating the EU in its own neighborhood policy. However, to the current stagnation of the accession process and the deepening of Turkey's domestic crisis is now added the new context of the Arab revolutionary movements. The central thesis of this paper, however, is that Turkish foreign policy and rising actorness in the Middle East should not be, solely driven by an interest-driven pragmatism. It should also seek a normative reconciliation with the EU and its process of enlargement.