Turkey is motivated by a mix of political, economic, and ideological factors. The government feels that Turkey has punched below its weight for too long and has missed important opportunities.
Turkey has the world's 16th-largest economy – its growth between 2002 and 2007 averaged an impressive 6 percent – and believes that continued economic growth depends on actively developing its political and trade relations on a global scale.
But Turkey's leaders also believe that, as heirs of the Ottoman Empire, their country should have a greater say in regional – even global – affairs and play a leading role in the Muslim world. Turkey is less interested in tying itself down to the "West" or the "East"; it wants to be a center of power.
"I believe the thinking now in government circles is that Turkey itself can now be an axis," says Sami Kohen, a foreign-affairs analyst.
The full briefing is here.