Turkey’s Role in the Middle East: An Outsider’s Perspective

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Series Details Vol.12, No.4, October 2010, p1-8
Publication Date October 2010
ISSN 1302-177X
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Owing to a changing geopolitical environment and a new foreign policy approach, Turkey’s policies towards and role in the Middle East have undergone substantial changes since 2003. The most important facets, from a European perspective, are Turkey’s efforts to improve relations with its direct Middle Eastern neighbors, and to play a mediating role between different, sometimes quite difficult, players in the Middle East. In general, Turkey has been more successful in improving its relations with proximate neighbors than in settling disputes between other states and non-state actors in the Middle East. As long as Turkey maintains good relations with all players in the Middle East and understands the limitations to its role, it can substantially contribute to positive change in the Middle Eastern landscape. This will also allow more coordination and cooperation between Turkey and the EU with regard to their overlapping Mediterranean and Middle Eastern neighborhoods.

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