The accusation that the AKP is trying to establish an Islamist state is out of touch with reality.


 
 
 
Erdogan is trying – as no other Turkish Prime Minister before him – to make use of the strategic value of being the only Muslim country to maintain close relations with Western states and Israel on the one hand, and Arab states and Iran on the other. This gives Turkey the opportunity to act as a mediator, both between Syria and Israel and between Iran and the United States.
 
The fact that these attempts have had little lasting success up till now is only partly the result of Turkey’s undiplomatic, indeed clumsy behaviour; it is also the result of political mistakes by other countries involved in the conflict. One can however also conclude from the failure of its mediation attempts so far that Turkey is overestimating the strength of its potential influence.
 
 

 

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