Problems which the resolutions need PM Erdogan’s masterful diplomacy…


Turkey after the elections: time for consensus and pragmatism

“At the 12th June Turkish Parliamentary elections, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was re-elected for a third time with a landslide victory of almost 50%. This Commentary, by Amanda Paul, looks at why the AKP has been so successful, sums up the likely priorities of the new government both in terms of domestic and foreign policy including assessing the possible impact on Ankara’s ailing membership negotiations with the EU.”

Other foreign policy priorities will include pushing for stability and increased democracy in the
Middle East, including reaching out to the peoples of the region, something Erdoğan stressed in his victory speech and finding a way to reset relations with Israel. While a fresh opportunity to reopen rapprochement with Armenia, which broke down a year ago, would also be optimal, Turkey will need to be far more creative as well as sensitive to Azerbaijani concerns than previously.

Furthermore, now that the Speakers in the US House of Representatives and the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Congress have changed to personalities that do not support the Armenian genocide bill, Turkey may feel less pressure to progress this.

Challenging days lie ahead. The new Turkish Parliament (which is the most representative in history with 96% of votes reflected) will only be effective if all parties are able to work together and produce compromises that reflect the opinions of a broad majority of Turkish society. Finding a way to balance foreign policy priorities with the domestic challenges of finally putting an end to the Kurdish problem and writing the new constitution will not be easy. With both these later issues risking “deadlock” Erdoğan will have to demonstrate masterful diplomacy, vision and compromise.

 

(full analysis)

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Le nouveau Grand Turc

La façon dont le pouvoir politique a su renvoyer l’armée dans ses casernes suscite beaucoup d’intérêt. Après avoir mené quatre coups d’État entre 1960 et 2002, les militaires turcs ont perdu de leur superbe. Ils sont rentrés dans le rang. Les deux gouvernements Erdogan ont réussi à supprimer la tutelle institutionnelle des généraux sur la présidence, la justice, le Conseil de sécurité nationale et les services secrets.

Ce “modèle AKP” pourrait faire florès dans les pays arabes qui se cherchent. Erdogan parle avec fierté de son pays comme de « l’étoile polaire du Moyen-Orient ». En Égypte et en Tunisie, les islamistes revenus d’exil ne jurent que par le “modèle AKP”. Il est symptomatique de constater que le Parti de la justice et du développement, au Maroc, a copié le symbole de campagne de l’AKP – une ampoule électrique. L’emblème de son équivalent marocain est une lampe à huile…

Moins touchée que d’autres pays par la crise mondiale, épargnée par les violences sociales et politiques qui paralysent ses voisins arabes, la Turquie fait valoir son taux de croissance de 8,9 %, une inflation maintenue à 6 %, son évolution “à la chinoise” qui rassure les marchés et les investisseurs. Le premier ministre Erdogan veut profiter de cette embellie économique et de cette stabilité politique pour relancer en priorité le processus d’adhésion à l’Union européenne. Promis par Bruxelles en 2004, sans cesse repoussé, il est aujourd’hui enlisé sous la pression de Paris et de Berlin, qui proposent un partenariat plutôt qu’une intégration pure et simple.

Erdogan et son équipe disent vouloir poursuivre les réformes de fond exigées par l’Union – notamment dans le domaine des libertés. La maîtrise quasi totale du pays le leur permet, sans guère d’opposition interne. Le paradoxe est qu’ils s’ouvriront ainsi les portes de l’Europe en imposant leur loi d’une main de fer.

Même si cette perspective européenne ne semble plus faire rêver les Turcs, Erdogan va maintenant exiger un engagement ferme et définitif de Bruxelles, en contrepartie de ses efforts réformistes, avant la prochaine élection présidentielle (2012 ou 2013). Pour faire de la Turquie – près de 80 millions d’habitants – le nouveau géant oriental de l’Union européenne.

(lire l’article)

Une victoire pour Erdogan, mais nuancée

Quelle que soit la politique arabe que l’AKP a pu conduire au cours de ces dix dernières années – notamment la politique du « zéro problème avec les voisins », et spécialement les relations d’État à État qui impliquaient une normalisation des relations avec les dictatures arabes -, il est clair que la prise de conscience arabe a bouleversé tout cela, et a mis un terme à la normalisation des relations de la Turquie avec ses voisins du sud.

Les Arabes ont vu la Turquie se décider rapidement en demandant à Hosni Moubarak de démissionner, mais ils l’ont vue aussi réagir avec beaucoup d’hésitation face à la politique sanglante de Mouammar Kadhafi en Lybie, et de Bashar al-Assad, en Syrie.

Manifestement, la Turquie a fait passer ses intérêts avant ses principes affichés. Elle a beaucoup déçu dans le monde arabe, en ce qu’elle n’a pas agi rapidement et catégoriquement pour condamner les dirigeants libyen et syrien, et ne leur a pas demandé de démissionner.

Maintenant, dans les derniers jours, nous avons vu Erdogan prendre une position plus proche de ses principes – peut-être un peu tard, mais mieux vaut tard que jamais. Mais il est évident que cela ne suffit pas pour dire que la Turquie a tourné une nouvelle page avec le monde arabe.

J’ai énormément discuté cette semaine avec le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Ahmed Davutoglu, à propos des relations de la Turquie avec le monde arabe.

Je pense qu’il faut nous attendre à une prise de position majeure de la Turquie en politique étrangère, ou à une déclaration, qui soulignera et clarifiera la future politique de la Turquie avec ses voisins, et qui fera comprendre clairement qu’elle change et qu’elle ne sera pas aux côtés de ceux qui négligent, ou qui résistent, au changement dans la région arabe.

(Lire plus)

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Turkey and the Arab Spring: Learning to Walk Again

What Lieberman needs to fear is Turkey’s calm, principled stance, buttressing the new Egypt as it learns how to walk again. Davutoglu says the US’s “one-sided” approach to the Middle East is not the path to solving the problems and easing the tensions, and that “Israel needs to be treated like any other ordinary country in the region.” These are welcomed words to Egyptians and allow the new Egypt to join Turkey in pressuring the Western interloper in their midst into joining the Middle East as an equal partner not as the region’s hegemony.

Turkey’s own democracy is a heated affair, as protests by and imprisonment of journalists in connection with the so-called Ergenekon military plot to overthrow the government continue. Whatever the outcome of this stand-off between the government and its civil society critics, the demonstrations and the openness of the Turkish press cannot be denied.

When the history of this period is written, imperial schemes in the region will require a chapter to be devoted to Turkey, just as chapters will be devoted to the Arab countries. To achieve a meaningful peace in the Middle East, there must be an end to foreign manipulation. Relations between countries must be based not on pressure, intrigues and invasion, but on dignity and respect. That was Erdogan’s subtext during his victory speech when he said, “The Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans have won, just as Turkey has won.”

(full analysis)

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NATO in danger of becoming a “paper tiger.”

Politically, disputes have never stopped emerging regarding NATO’s orientation and the direction of its development after the Cold War. Especially, regarding the issue of taking military actions beyond NATO’s defense area, different member countries or different parties within a member country all have different opinions. Only a part of the member countries participated in most of NATO’s military operations, such as the interference in the civil war between Bosnia and Herzegovina, air strikes in Iraq, sending troops to Afghanistan and the military operation in Libya in 2011.

This lack of participation has been especially evident during this military action in Libya. Since member countries have different views regarding the issues of establishing a no-fly zone and air striking Libya, only less than a half of the member countries participated in the action. Only eight of them, less than one-third, participated in the air strike. Even several member countries that are taking part in the air strike have expressed that they would withdraw because of domestic pressure.

(Read more)

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The Western Balkans After Mladic

A Kosovo that is only partially recognized will remain a bitter problem for regional security in southeast Europe as long as the efforts of the young state and its international supporters for more complete independence are frustrated and delayed. To make matters worse, other existing issues will be further polarized by the lack of a common EU stance.

The non- recognition of Kosovo also represents another failure of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) – in a region where the Union and its transatlantic allies have already invested so much.

The intransigent positions of the five non-recognizing EU states stand in stark contrast to the attitudes of the majority of the Union toward Kosovo. Even if Serbia itself were to accelerate its bilateral negotiations with Kosovo – now a genuine possibility after the new impetus given to EU-Serbian relations by the arrest of Mladic – the lack of a unified EU CFSP would remain a great source of tension.

(full text)

·        Serb Suspicion of Alliance

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Emerging power, valuable friend

Turkey is the strongest and truest Muslim democracy in its region — more than 99 percent of Turks are Muslims, and though Turkey’s modern history is marked by periodic constitutional crises, it has remained a secular constitutional republic since 1923. As such, Turkey is a natural — and strategically important — friend of the United States.

Since antiquity, present-day Turkey has been situated at the crossroads of civilizations. Its complicated position as hinge between “East” and “West” continues to shape its place in the world, evidenced by persistent hurdles to EU membership and complicated relationships with Israel and Iran.

Turkey faces serious international and domestic challenges — continued disputes with Greece, difficult relations with the Kurdish population and room for strengthened freedoms of speech and the press, for example — but Turkey is a model of democracy in the Muslim world.

On Good Friday, my wife and I visited the House of the Virgin Mary, a site venerated by Christians and Muslims alike on Turkey’s western coast. It is believed Mary once lived there, and people of many faiths were assembled to reflect. Despite the congregation’s somber mood, it was a hopeful scene, in striking contrast to the violence that continues to mar countries to Turkey’s south. Turkey’s unique history has laid the foundations for the development of a remarkably strong and pluralistic society.

(full article)

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Turkey reaffirms new course as Erdogan wins third term


The second was all that flowed from the 2001 al-Qaida attacks on the U.S. America’s war’s against radical Islam has made Washington suspicious of Erdogan’s conservative Muslim agenda and Ankara disdainful of the U.S. in return.

That came to a confrontation from which it has not recovered when the Ankara government refused, despite being a NATO ally, to let American troops use Turkey as a staging area for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The third is Turkey’s relationship with the European Union. Ankara began the formal process of working toward EU membership in 2004.

But while Erdogan says EU membership remains a key objective, and growth of the Turkish economy makes it qualified, France and Germany both say they don’t want Turkey in the club.


Read more

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Reminder

Turkey after the Elections:
Implications for Europe, the US and NATO


Welcome

Dr Jurgen D. Wickert
Director
International Political Dialogue
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Speakers

Jorg Dehnert
Project Director Turkey
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

Emily Katkar
Political Officer
United States Mission to the European Union

Facilitation

Toby Vogel
Foreign Affairs Reporter
European Voice

Tuesday, 21 June 2011
12.30-14.30

Venue
Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung
Avenue de Cortenbergh 71 (1st floor)
1000 Brussels

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