Turkey's new foreign policy vision

19:24, December 21, 2010      

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West or East, this is a question Turkey is often being asked today.

A Muslim nation bridging European and Asian continents, Turkey has long been taken as Europe's periphery since the West-inspiring republic emerged from the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

Today, seeing no promising hope of becoming a member of the European Union (EU), Turkey started to gain momentum in re- engaging with its Middle East neighbors, making the West dubious about its identity.

Turkish leaders and observers say what Turkey demonstrates is an all-rounded foreign policy vision in answer to a changing regional environment, rather than a shift of axis from the West to the East.

"Turkey's orientation and strategic alliance with the West remains perfectly compatible with Turkey's involvement in, among others, Iraq, Iran, the Caucasus, the Middle East peace process, and Afghanistan," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu wrote in an article for the Foreign Policy magazine in May.

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