go to top
Turkish President Erdogan and UAE Crown Prince Nahyan shake hands at the presidential palace in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates, shake hands after a signing ceremony at the presidential palace, in Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 24, 2021 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Erdogan Is Giving Turkey’s ‘Zero Problems’ Strategy Another Try

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Twenty years ago, the firebrand mayor of Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, led his party to a landslide victory in a parliamentary election that would transform Turkish politics. What followed were two decades of uninterrupted control of the government by the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, which set out to prove that an Islamist party was not a threat, but could in fact move the country forward.

Soon after winning in 2002, the government launched one of its most intriguing plans: a new policy branded “zero problems with neighbors,” introduced by Ahmet Davutoglu, an obscure academic then serving as the government’s chief foreign policy adviser. “Zero problems” was not a “Kumbaya,” let’s-all-get-along notion. Instead, Davutoglu—who went on to become prime minister and lead the AKP before becoming one of Erdogan’s fiercest critics—argued that by maintaining good relations with nearby governments, Turkey could leverage its position as a bridge between Europe and Asia, between Europe and the Muslim world and between non-Arabs and Arabs. ...

To read more,

enter your email address then choose one of the three options below.

Subscribe to World Politics Review and you'll receive instant access to 10,000+ articles in the World Politics Review Library, along with new comprehensive analysis every weekday . . . written by leading topic experts.