Thursday, June 17, 2010

Shift vs. Drift

I have a briefing up today on the Christian Science Monitor's website that looks at the development of the new role Turkey has been carving out for itself both regionally and globally. From the briefing:
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.

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