Turkey’s New World
The Washington Institute
One of the most important developments of the past decade, for both the Middle East and neighboring regions, is the emergence of Turkey as a regional power. Several factors account for Turkey’s transformation: more prosperity, a stronger military, weaker neighbors, and a broadening of foreign policy priorities that has seen Ankara build up its ties with the Turkie states of the former Soviet Union and, dramatically, with Israel.
Turkey’s policies toward neighboring regions also have an important impact on U.S. policy. Indeed, Turkey has been central to countless U.S. policy initiatives over the past decade. In addition to the Gulf War and Operation Northern Watch, Washington and Ankara have been partners in NATO, the Middle East peace process, Bosnia, Kosovo, energy transport plans in Azerbaijan and Central Asia, and counter-terrorism efforts. Richard Holbrooke once aptly remarked that Turkey “stands at the crossroads of almost every issue of importance to the United States on the Eurasian continent.”
As the only Muslim-majority state in the Western alliance and the only Western ally in the Islamic Conference Organization, Turkey is a “pivotal state” par excellence. This book of essays by regional experts, covering the kaleidoscopic concerns of Turkish foreign poliey, will enlighten U.S. foreign-policy students, scholars, afificionados, and professionals alike about one of the world’s most strategically located nations and most important emerging powers.
Alain Makovsky is a Senior Fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Makovsky has written widely on both Turkish and Middle Eastern affairs, as well as U.S. regional policy concerns. He joined the Institute in 1994 after eleven years in the U.S. State Department, where he served in a variety of capacities, including division chief for southern Europe in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, political advisor to the Turkey-based Operation Provide Comfort, and advisor to the Special Middle East Coordinator.
Sabri Sayari is the executive director of the Institute of Turkish Studies (ITS), a private, nonprofit educational institution based at Georgetown University that promotes scholarly research on Turkey in American universities. Dr. Sayari also teaches at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He currently serves as the chair of Turkish Area Studies at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute and has published widely on Turkish polities, including issues related to democratization, political parties, the polities of economic reform, and foreign policy.