Turkey's 'Return' to the Middle East

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.


Worldviews and Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East
Altunışık, Meliha (2009-03-01)
Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East has become highly contested in the last two decades. The changes in the international and domestic environment have led to the emergence of competing ideas as to the elements of Turkish foreign policy in this region. This article argues that these ideas ultimately represent worldviews as they start with different assumptions about what Turkey is, what the basis of Turkey's interest and involvement should be in this region, to what extent Turkey should engage the Mid...
Turkey as an 'Emerging Donor' and the Arab Uprisings
Altunışık, Meliha (2014-09-02)
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which came to power in 2002, has increasingly been using aid as an instrument of foreign policy, including in the Arab world. This increased with the Arab uprisings and has peaked with the ongoing civil war in Syria, reaching $2 billion in 2012. Despite substantial changes in the amount and geographical coverage of aid after the 'Arab Spring', there are also substantive continuities in Turkey's aid policy. The AKP has been focused on security and stability...
Turkish-Syrian relations—where are we going?
Tür Küçükkaya, Özlem (2010-03-01)
2009 witnessed a series of developments showing the depth of the relations between Turkey and Syria. Not only in the political and security fields but in the economic relations as well the two countries deepened their relations at an unprecedented level. Just to name a few of the remarkable developments over the last year, the two countries held a joint military exercise, signed a technical military cooperation agreement, established a Turkish-Syrian High Level Strategic Cooperation Council and lifted the v...
Turkish - British economic relations 2002 - 2012 : an intensely political relationship
Angliss, John; Boyar, Ebru; Department of International Relations (2012)
Over the last ten years Britain and Turkey have sustained an unusually harmonious economic relationship. However, this has not been the outcome of undirected free markets and the effective exploitation of comparative advantage. Instead, it has come about as the result of a series of political compromises. This analysis looks at how the relationship has evolved on a variety of political levels: through international organisations, state-to-state diplomacy, the direct state sponsorship of British business in ...
Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans amidst 'soft power' and 'de-Europeanisation'
Alpan, Başak Zeynep; Ozturk, Ahmet Erdi (2022-01-01)
Since the beginning of the 2000s, extensive academic research has echoed one popular opinion, 'Turkey is back to the Balkans'. These studies have been scrutinizing the complicated role of Turkey in the Balkans, usually drawing upon the use of soft power by the former. This impact in the region remained intact during the 2010s, although the overall Turkish foreign policy in the 2010s has been highly securitized and de-Europeanized, losing its soft power character that had been its trademark starting from the...
Citation Formats
M. Altunışık, Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East. 2014, p. 142.