New Report: Prospects for Turkey

On September 20, Legatum Institute will release a new report I have written on the susbtantial socio-political changes in Turkey and Turkish foreign policy.

The key findings of this report include:

• More than any other political party in Turkey, the AKP represents the reality of Turkey - a country that wants to be an independent global actor with a flourishing democracy and economy, while also striving to maintain its values and culture.

• Eight years of AKP rule have not Islamised Turkey. The AKP has turned out to be one of the most pro-EU, pro-market economy, pro-human rights, and pro-democracy governments Turkey has ever had.

• The AKP’s strong performance on economic and political issues has been tainted by intense clashes within the state structures and with opposition parties, and limited by the party’s own failures in fulfilling its promises and handling opposition.

• Far from an inevitable point of contention, a proactive Turkey with a pragmatic foreign policy seeking to expand its economic and diplomatic ties in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Central Asia has so much to offer not only to an unstable region but also for the US and EU.

• The outcome of the national elections in the summer of 2011, a possible large-scale Kurdish intifada, and potential fallout with key Western and Middle eastern countries due to Turkish engagement with previously shunned states, are key challenges awaiting it.

• Turkey needs close support from the US and the EU to enable a stable maturation, just as the US and the EU need to keep Turkey as a close ally for their own economic and political interests.

A print copy of the report can be obtained from Legatum Institute and a PDF version can be downloaded here .