Middle Easternization of Turkey’s foreign policy: does Turkey dissociate from the West?
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This essay argues that Turkey’s foreign policy has been Middle Easternized. This has mainly been informed by the growing negative impact of political developments in the Middle East—particularly Iraq—on Turkey’s feeling of security at home and abroad. Rather than culminating in a breakup with the West, this Middle Easternization process has resulted in the adoption of a more pragmatic/rational than an emotional/romantic approach towards the European Union and the United States. That objections to Turkey’s accession to the EU have recently increased despite the start of the accession talks appears to have led Turkish policymakers to adopt a more pragmatic approach towards EU membership. Though the accession talks with the EU have formally started, the end result of Turkey’s Europeanization process continues to remain more ambiguous than ever. Though the negative legacy of the March 2003 crisis in US–Turkey relations has been partially repaired, it seems that Turkey and the United States will likely experience growing disagreements over Iraq, the Kurds, Syria, democratization in the Middle East, and Iran in the years to come. The nature of Turkey’s future relations with the West will increasingly be determined by what transpires to Turkey’s south and east rather than west.