Type ‘Who lost Turkey?’ into a search engine and you will find that many pundits are searching for a culprit.
Versions of this question show up in a myriad newspaper headlines, mostly from American publications but not solely: Qui a perdu la Turquie?, Le Monde, 2020; Europa hat die Türkei verloren, Der Spiegel, 2017; ¿Quién ‘perdió’ a Turquía?, El Pais, 2010.
Yet the question tells us more about those asking it than it does about today’s Turkey. Those posing it count on Ankara to follow the lead of Washington or Europe’s capitals, something a quick glance at the history books shows is improbable. It is time to reset expectations.
Turkey has always done things its own way: building bridges one moment, bridgeheads the next.
Turkey does its own thing
Hugh Pope and Nigar Goksel profile a country deemed too autocratic, too Muslim and too wayward to join the European club