The Turkey that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is poised to visit is a very different place from the Turkey that began EU accession talks five years ago. Turkey is now a major player in its own right – in the Middle East and far beyond – and the US and Europe should seek to capitalize on the opportunity that this role represents.
WASHINGTON, DC – The Turkey that German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits this week is a very different place from the Turkey that began European Union accession talks five years ago. For, with those talks seemingly going nowhere, Turkey has begun to broaden its international horizons. Indeed, Turkish foreign policy is now far more proactive and multi-dimensional than at any period since Kemal Ataturk founded modern Turkey out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey is now a major player in its own right, in the Middle East and far beyond. This has caused consternation in both the United States and Europe, leading to growing concern that the West is somehow “losing” Turkey.
Yet Turkey’s “distinctiveness” in the Middle East is not necessarily detrimental to the West. On the contrary, Turkey could represent an important asset to its European and American partners.
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