Turkey Adjusts Its Foreign Policy

After hitting some roadblocks, Ankara is reevaluating its foreign relations.

Turkey’s long-term goal is to become a military and economic power with global outreach. Its path to success, however, isn’t a straight line. Crises will inevitably emerge, requiring tactical pauses or a strategic redirection. Today, Turkey is facing mounting challenges in the international system, forcing the country to rethink its foreign policy. It’s therefore making an effort to stop the deterioration of its foreign relations and to stabilize its financial situation, so that it can resume its quest to become a global power. Reviving Its Past Glory Turkey’s claims to great power status have a long history. In the 1930s, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk endorsed the sun language theory – the belief that all languages are derived from an early iteration of the Turkish language. Ataturk, who was a big proponent of Turkish nationalism, wanted to convince European nations that Turkey was one of them. During his time, Turkish historians traced the origins of Turkish nationalism to the Battle of Manzikert in 1071 when the Seljuks defeated the Byzantine army and conquered Anatolia. They emphasized Anatolia’s Hellenistic heritage to advocate that it had a place in Europe. Like Ataturk, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a populist leader and staunch modernizer. Both […]

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Hilal Khashan
Hilal Khashan is a Professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. He is a respected author and analyst of Middle Eastern affairs. He is the author of six books, including Hizbullah: A Mission to Nowhere. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019.) He is currently writing a book titled Saudi Arabia: The Dilemma of Political Reform and the Illusion of Economic Development. He is also the author of more than 110 articles that appeared in journals such as Orbis, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Middle East Quarterly, Third World Quarterly, Israel Affairs, Journal of Religion and Society, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, and The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.