Understanding the new Turkey from within
“What does Turkey think?” is a collection of nine essays by Turkish experts and political figures from different backgrounds – Islamists, secularists, Kurds and liberals. The essays examine how questions of identity, democratisation and Ankara’s evolving foreign policy are seen from within the new Turkey.
The authors of “What does Turkey think?” are Dimitar Bechev, Mustafa Akyol, Ayşe Kadıoğlu, Orhan Miroğlu, Şahin Alpay, Hakan Altinay, Osman Baydemir, Ibrahim Kalın, Atila Eralp, Zerrin Torun, Suat Kınıklıoğlu, Soli Özel and Ivan Krastev.
“What does Turkey think?” was made possible by the support of Stiftung Mercator, and is a collaboration between ECFR, Stiftung Mercator, the Sofia-based Centre for Liberal Studies (CLS) and the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM).
There are three key areas of public discussion:
1. Can the new Turkey deal with its internal diversity, reconcile historical tensions and heal deep wounds?
2. Is Turkey moving in the direction of consolidating democratic achievements, or is it threatened by a populist tyranny of the majority or even authoritarian rule?
3. Why is Turkey acting independently of the West, and is it a partner or rival for the EU and US, particularly in its own neighbourhood?
Many Turks feel alienated by the EU’s increasing reluctance to admit Turkey as a member. As a result the EU is absent from many internal Turkish debates, although it still matters in crucial ways:
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“Turkey is now an actor, an economic pole, and perhaps an aspiring regional hegemon. Shunned by the EU, Turkey has paradoxically become more like it: globalised, economically liberal and democratic.”
Dimitar Bechev, editor and ECFR senior policy fellow.
“The new dynamism in Turkish foreign policy over the last decade has prompted a range of questions. To answer such questions, one needs to understand the changes in Turkish domestic politics, in surrounding regions and in the global order over the first decade of the 21st century.”
Ibrahim Kalın, Senior Advisor to Prime Minister Erdogan on foreign policy and public diplomacy.
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