World press on Turkey's foreign policy (November 26, 2013)

Hurriyet Daily News published an article by Murat Yetkin entitled "Turkey loses ground in the Middle East and East Mediterranean."

 

"It is obvious that Ankara has to enhance its relations with other capitals in the Middle East and East Mediterranean for its national interests; especially for economic and strategic reasons. In a new atmosphere where Iran, as one of the main oil and gas players in the region and the main pole of Shiite, rather non-Sunni Islamic politics has come to an agreement with P5+1 countries over its nuclear program, better political relations between its region and Europe becomes more vital for Turkey," the article reads.

"But Cyprus is not the only problem and the other three arose in the last three years of Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development (AK Parti) government. Despite the quick rise and fall of the Arab Spring, Erdoğan wants to address the Arab street directly, ignoring their governments in parallel with his “policy of principles,” or ideology-based diplomacy, which could only find a limited echo in the pious Sunni street. That caused a reaction among the governments in the region as the recent move of Egypt by downgrading relations and expelling the Turkish ambassador showed. It would not be correct to put the responsibility on Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s shoulders only; not only because the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Presidency are apparently trying their best to normalize the atmosphere, but also because the Prime Minister’s close aides and he are playing a greater role in Turkey’s foreign policy," the author writes.

"Gül is right when pointing out that the forming of a transportation axis between the Middle East and East Mediterranean to Europe via pipelines through Turkey is in both Turkish national interests and would help European energy security. It should be noted on the other hand that the Turkish government better shift back from its diplomacy with an ideological focus for its national interests, which is causing it to lose ground in this region which has prior importance for the country," Yetkin concludes.

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