Turkey’s shifting diplomacy

Turkey’s shifting diplomacy

While the United States and Europe have been struggling to find a path forward in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Afghanistan and Iran, the strategic ground upon which their assumptions about the region rest has begun to shift dramatically.

Most significantly, Turkey has finally shrugged off the straightjacket of a tight U.S. alliance, grown virtually indifferent to E.U. membership and turned its focus toward its former Ottoman neighbors in Asia and the Middle East.

Though not primarily meant as a snub to the West, this shift does nonetheless reflect growing discomfort and frustration with U.S. and E.U. policy, from the support of Israel’s action in Gaza to Iran to the frustrated impasse of the European accession process. It also resonates more closely with the Islamic renaissance that has been taking place within Turkey. [continued…]

Editor’s Comment — Has Turkey grown virtually indifferent to EU membership? I don’t think so. Much more plausible is the likelihood that in pursuing its strategy “zero problems”, Turkey is merely following the paths of least resistance.

The indifference to Turkey’s EU membership is rooted inside Europe and among politicians who are pandering to the Christian right. Unless Europe utterly forgets its secular roots, sooner or later it will recognize that Turkish membership of the EU is in everyone’s interests.

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