, Volume 91, Number 3

Bill Park

This article explores the policy choices and political stances that lie behind Turkey’s growing isolation both from its western allies and its regional neighbours. It details Ankara’s approach to a range of current issues in its region—particularly relating to Syria but also Iraq, Libya, Iran, Russia and Israel—and seeks to trace these approaches back to the world-view of the country’s ruling party and its leading figures, most notably President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu. It also assesses Turkey’s reactions to the complex regional circumstances that have confronted Turkey in recent years. It considers the content and impact of some of the rhetoric emanating from Ankara, especially where it is directed towards the West. The article asks whether and why Turkish foreign policy has acquired an anti-western tone, and also looks at the extent to which its dealings with its neighbours can be explained by sectarian considerations or by pro-Muslim Brotherhood leanings. It then goes on to speculate about Turkey’s future relationship with NATO and to a lesser degree the EU. It considers the prospects for an improvement in Ankara’s relationship with its western allies, or whether Turkey– US relations in particular are now likely to be characterized by ‘strategic drift’ and a more transactional and contingent approach to alliance relationships.

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