Turkey's 'Return' to the Middle East

2014-01-01
Turkey’s potential as a regional power in the Middle East has been discussed since the 1990s. This was in contrast with Turkey’s historical reluctance to get deeply involved with this region. This refluctance stemmed from not only Turkey’s own concerns about “being dragged into this conflict-ridden” region, but also the low level of acceptance of Turkey in the Middle East as a regional actor. The situation has changed significantly especially since the 2000s due to both actor-specific and structural factors. The coming of power of Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in 2002 and the transformation of Turkish politics and economy coinciding with the evolution of regional politics in post-2003 Iraq War era led to Turkey’s actorness in the region. In parallel Turkey’s attractiveness increased among both the public and the policy makers in the Middle East, albeit for different reasons. The eruption of the Arab uprisings in 2011, however, once again severely limited Turkey’s influence and power in the region, as well as tainting its positive image.

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Citation Formats
M. Altunışık, Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East. 2014, p. 142.