Establishing Turkey's Place in the International Arena

Mehmet Arda, a scholar at the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM) in Istanbul, has published a new article. His piece, Turkey—The Evolving Interface of International Relations and Domestic Politics, appeared in volume 22, issue 2 of the South African Journal of International Affairs. The article is an overview of Turkey's evolving role in the international arena, unpacking Turkey’s transition from being a historically status-quo nation to that of a proactive international player. The author supports this assertion with examples from recent developments in Turkey’s foreign policy behavior, including the formation of a middle power alliance with Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Australia (MIKTA), its emphasis on religion as an “explicitly recognised factor of influence on foreign policy,” and economic cooperation with developing countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Syria and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Arda observes that these developments were motivated by the dual objectives of achieving both “economic growth and political influence” domestically, regionally, and internationally. The author concludes, however, that while these changes have made inroads domestically, evidence that Turkey has “attained the leadership role it set out to achieve” internationally is unknown, noting that relations with the EU and the Middle East remain fraught with complications and that Turkey’s economic performance is lower than expected based on its GDP rank. 

The full article is available here.

Photo by Moyan Brenn | CC BY-NC 2.0

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