Turkey and Neighbourhood

Turkish Reforms, A Wake-Up Call for Israel*

0 2

By Mehmet Celebi | 18 December 2010


 

Turkish_israel_flag

On September 12, 22 million Turks voted a resounding “Yes” and thus endorsed a constitutional amendment package that could open wider the door to democratization in the Middle East.

Turkey’s 26-point referendum—which will enhance civil liberties and individual rights—was watched closely by hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world, and serves as yet another opportunity for the country to show leadership in the region. As a prominent Arab scholar told me recently “If Turkey fails, what alternative is there for the Muslim and Arab world?”

Of all the countries in Turkey’s immediate neighborhood, Israel should take the most heed. More than three months after Israel’s deadly attack on the Turkish flotilla, tension between the two countries is still unsettled. Yet one thing is clear: Turkey has the upper hand.

The nuclear deal that Turkey, much to the dismay of the West, recently signed with Iran, co-brokered by Brazil; its mediation between Russia and Georgia after the 2008 war; its ongoing role as broker for talks between Pakistan and Afghanistan; its intervention in convincing all sides to select a consensus President and subsequently Prime Minister of Lebanon; and its success in persuading Iraqi Sunnis to participate, rather than boycott, the elections­—are all clear indications of Turkey’s burgeoning role as a trusted diplomatic player on the world stage. In addition, it has lifted visa restrictions and signed “free-trade zone agreements” with several countries in the Middle East, and launched strategic dialogues with a number of Arab governments.

Even the EU, where Turkey’s 40 year membership bid has been vacillating, has recognized Turkey’s key global role recently.

Recently, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb underlined Turkey’s growing influence by calling its foreign policy reach “one of the top five countries in the world today”.

“Arguably, today Turkey is more influential in the world than any of our member states together or separately,” Stubb said. “It has a great influence in the Middle East, in the African Horn in the Persian Gulf, in Iran. It’s a truly global player and we need to work together with Turkey right now on foreign and security policy.”

Nothing was clearer during my recent visit to Jordan and Israel with prominent Chicago-based Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders. I was especially struck by Jordan’s intense support of Turkey—from remarks by government officials of the highest level, including former Prime Minister and current Deputy President of the Jordanian Senate Fayez al-Tarawneh, to the general attitudes of the public. Their tone signals how far Turkey has come in its relations with its Arab neighbors and suggests the influence it can wield to help resolve regional conflicts.

Arab leaders and intellectuals I met unmistakably welcomed Turkey’s rise in the region as a counter-balance to more than 30 years of Iranian efforts at hegemony. In particular, these officials genuinely believe Turkey is not seeking to dominate the region, but rather bring peace that will help boost its rapidly growing and record breaking economy.

 

Want to Read More?

 

Then, Please Click here to Download

 

Political Reflection (PR) Magazine (PDF | 4.638 KB)

 

* Published in the Fourth Issue of Political Reflection Magazine (PR).

About the author / 

CESRAN Int.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CESRAN Blog

  • Outbidding in Times of Uncertainty – Post-conflict transitions and competitive violence.

    Large bombings, only days apart, in Bogota and Derry/Londonderry have put paid to any notions of a simple peace process in either country. These events show that the two very different conflicts display many of the same dynamics. Both countries have seen increasingly fragmented peace processes, with multiple non-state actors and intransient splinter groups vying…

  • The inherent dangers of secrecy in the US foreign policy

    Since the Vietnam War, officials of the United States have increasingly abused the essential democratic safeguards of accountability and an informed citizenry in apparent attempts to protect themselves from being held accountable for their actions. They use secrecy and disinformation to prevent the American people from obtaining the information they need to evaluate their government’s…

  • 18th Issue of Political Reflection Magazine is Out Now!

    Vol. V | No. I – January-February-March 2019 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-06…..World News by Furkan Sahin 09-14…..The Ideological Potential of Climate Change: (Post) Politics in the Age of Global Warming by Miguel Angel Zhan Dai 15-18…..Yemen Civil War: A Conflict That Has Never Ended by Dr. I. Aytac Kadioglu 21-25…..NATO: The Shifting Sands of an Alliance by…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 76th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 152nd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…

  • New Issue is Out Now!

    Vol. IV | No. V – October-November-December 2018 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 04-06…..World News by Furkan Sahin  08-20…..Terrorism in Syria and Beyond: An Interview with Prof. Alain Gabon by Dr. Rahman Dag 22-24…..Erdogan’s Best Shot is Still in the West by Dr. Murat Ulgul 26-30…..Raqqa vs Kobani – Terrorism vs Revolution by Dr. Rahman Dag 32-34…..Future of…

Newsletter