From good neighbor to model: Turkey's changing roles in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring
Halistoprak, B. T.
Sula, İ. E.
International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK)
93 - 113
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The recent Arab uprisings have forced many actors to reconsider their positions regarding Middle Eastern politics. Role theory provides a viable tool to explain changes in actors’ foreign policy behaviors, presuming that states’ foreign policies are shaped by the ruling elites’ foreign policy role conceptions. This article analyzes Turkish foreign policy roles with regard to the Middle East and North Africa before and since the Arab uprisings that began in December 2010. We argue that these uprisings caused Turkey to change its emphasis from roles built on soft power instruments to harder roles requiring material capabilities. We also discuss the implications of this change with reference to theories of international politics.