The theory behind Turkey's foreign policy, as summed up by Turkish academic-turned-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, is the "zero problems with neighbors" policy. As such, Turkey has put increasing effort into resolving longstanding tensions in its regional relations. The results have admittedly been spotty. Bilateral ties with Syria, Iran and Kurdish Iraq are notable successes. The rapprochement with Armenia is still a work in progress. The historic friendship with Israel has suffered dramatically from Turkey's decision to take a more vocal position on the question of Gaza. But in theory, it's a great approach to 21st century foreign policy, which is going to put an increasing premium on regionalism, whereby a Middle Power can be a big fish in a medium-size pond.
But this quote from Turkish President Abdullah Gul, from a N.Y. Times piece on Turkey's moves at the U.N. General Assembly, also caught my eye: "If you look at all the issues that are of importance to the world today," Mr. Gul said in an interview on Tuesday, "they have put Turkey in a rather more advantageous position."
Gul was referring in part to geography, but the geography really doesn't do much without the "zero problems" approach. Together, the two ideas highlight how being in a position to help resolve problems is going to be an increasingly better measure of power and influence in the global arena moving forward.