Turkey’s Regional Approach in Afghanistan…


A Civilian Power in Action

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Turkey believes that it has managed to develop a genuine, Ankaracentered approach and plan of action for the solution of the conflict, based on Afghan ownership and regional participation. It has emphasized that comprehensive peace-building rests on the integration of all groups into political processes, along with the utilization of civilian instruments.

Turkey hopes to assist the resolution of the problem with a helping hand model, by creating a more conducive regional environment in which Afghan political actors can work towards national reconciliation. However, the regional approach has yet to produce concrete outcomes, as far as pacification of Afghanistan is concerned, which is a must for economic development and political stabilization.

The major challenge before the success of the regional approach is the dim prospects of the Afghan actors’ ability to achieve national reconciliation. A lasting solution to the Afghan conflict lies inside the country and it will be up to the local political actors to decide on the fate of their country. As the resurgence of violence attests, despite the growing recognition of the principle of regional ownership in the region and beyond, there is no clear breakthrough in sight. The new strategy of integrating the Taliban into Afghan political life, supported by the regional countries and the broader international community, has failed to produce a negotiated settlement inside the country, as the withdrawal of international forces is slowly underway.(…)

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This policy brief studies Turkey’s contributions to the resolution of the Afghan conflict by focusing on its regional approach. The brief puts forth the argument that Afghanistan provides a good show-case to demonstrate the elements of a new security culture Turkey has adopted in its post-Cold War transformation. Reflecting the growing power of civilians in the making of foreign policy, Turkey’s security culture has evolved in ways that it has embraced many liberal elements, which can be grouped under the concept of cooperative security. After a review of Turkey’s involvement in Afghanistan in the post-2001 period, the brief traces how the notions of Afghan ownership and regional participation, products of Turkey’s civilian power security culture, have shaped its response to this conflict-ridden country. A special attention is placed on various efforts Turkey has undertaken to regionalize its objective of political stabilization, and social and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan, as well as the question of how its Afghanistan policy figured in Ankara’s relationship with the United States.

Full brief.

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