Adonis Diaries

Turkey: A Regional Power in the Making in the Near East?

Posted on: October 24, 2008

Note: I do differentiate between Near East (example Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine/Israel) and Middle East region (for example adding Iraq, Iran, and the Arabic Peninsula States) and George W. Bush Administration of Greater Middle East (adding Egypt, Afghanistan, and Pakistan).  It is not just a geographic expansion of influence but a fundamental strategic view among the superpowers.

A Regional Power in the Making in the Near East (December 18, 2004)

Turkey is the new pivotal power in the Near East in the coming decades. Turkey will be asked to exercise its beneficial influence in restoring peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.  It will inevitably join the European Union with the unavoidable important changes that Turkey will have to accept and undergo in matters of democracy, liberty, human rights and social and economical constraints.

This transformation of a powerful neighbor will transcend into a drastic transformation of the societies surrounding Turkey. The benefits are already materializing in closer ties with Syria, pressures on Israel to agree on a Palestinian State and greater normalization with Iran.  Turkey is obviously the main power that can provide autonomy to the Kurdish nationalism spreading among Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Turkey is the main power that can efficiently check US imperialism in the Middle East and any resurgence of Russia militarism. I have great hope in this new power amongst us, especially that the current Turkish government has proven to be far sighted and confident in its power and role in this region.

Since writing this excerpt Turkey felt the need to crawl in a cave and hibernate after surmounting the imminent obstacles to joining the European Union. Turkey thinks that it can relax for a while but it will quickly learn that it has to keep pace with the culture of Europe by struggling to catch up with lost time. Human rights problems are reemerging, demonstrations are being broken by brute force and its dialogue with Syria is not much evident except the frustration of Turkey from the US pressures ordering Turkey not to return the diplomatic visit of its President to Syria. Turkey’s involvement was badly needed in our current problems with the UN resolution 1559 and it failed in this critical moment to demonstrate its regional power. 

Note:  Turkey has failed miserably in being a power broker for a resolution to the Kurdish auto-determination struggle. Instead, Turkey opted to squander her financial reserves and earned good will by waging again a hopeless military campaign on the Kurds.

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October 2008

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