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Strategic Posture Review: Turkey

Wednesday, April 1, 2009
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Throughout the Cold War, Turkey remained a staunchly secular Western ally, serving as a NATO buttress against the Soviet Union. But in the aftermath of the November 2002 elections that brought the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power, its foreign policy orientation has undergone a gradual shift.

The AKP initially emphasized Turkey's European ambitions, doing more than any previous government to move Turkey closer to EU accession. Yet in recent years, the AKP's drive for EU membership appears to have lost momentum, while the previous domestic consensus on the country's strategic priorities has broken down amid increasing uncertainty about Turkey's role in its region and its relationship with the West. The AKP's efforts to position Turkey as an interlocutor for the Muslim world have been viewed with suspicion at home, by the secular military establishment, as well as abroad, by Turkey's neighbors who remain wary of any rebirth of Turkey's past imperial ambitions. ...

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