A round up in Turkey's foreign policy issues…

A German court’s visa regulation about Turkish visitors is notable….

Israeli Chief of Staff officially apologizes because of Gen. Mizrahi’s statements…

Mr. Obama will not likely to use the word "genocide", so that there is less tension between TR-US recently.. 

There more op-eds about Turkey’s new foreign policy attempts and more questions arise whether Turkey leaves the "Western" front or not…

and there is more of course… 


German court expected to respect EU visa ruling

By Turkish Digest

"German court expected to respect EU visa ruling
ANKARA – Turkey expects a German court to take into consideration the European Court of Justice, or ECJ’s ruling about two Turkish truck drivers, whose access to Germany to provide a service was denied without a visa."

Boston Globe Turkey’s strained ties to the WestIf Erdogan wants to restore his reputation as a statesman and a reliable partner of the West, Turkey must repair its ties with Israel, normalize relations with Armenia, and welcome ships from Cyprus. (By David L. Phillips, Boston Globe)

Do We Understand Turkey?
Ian LesserDownload File, Format: PDF, Size: 1348 KB

Brookings – Mark Parris Prospect for U.S.-Turkish Relations in the Obama Era

Turkey and the EU: A never-ending story

Turkish people in favor of joining the union, but don’t think it could become reality

by Carolin Biebrach

Almost 50 years ago, Turkey started its first effort to join the European Economic Community. As of 2009 the republic has its first full-time negotiator in the European Parliament; but a membership still seems far away. The political advantages of this membership are clear: more stability, economic strength, increased trade, and institutionalized rights for individuals.

Dear Prime Minister Erdogan

By Jenny White on Jews in Turkey

An open letter to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan from American Jewish Committee (AJC) Executive Director David Harris:

Dear Prime Minister Erdogan,

I write as a friend of Turkey.

‘Turkey and Armenia nearing major breakthrough in relations’

By ALİ ASLAN KILIÇ on Interviews

Suat Kınıklıoğlu, deputy chairman for external affairs for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), has said Turkey and Armenia are within reach of
 a major breakthrough, thus an Armenian resolution at the US Congress at this time would be "extremely detrimental" to these unprecedented efforts for normalization.

Armenian expert: US will refrain naming 1915 incidents as "genocide"

By Turkish Digest

"Armenian expert: US will refrain naming 1915 incidents as ‘genocide’
U.S. President Baracak Obama will refrain from naming the 1915 incident as ‘genocide’ since his country will need Turkey’s support for Afghanistan policy, the latest key factor in U.S. foreign policy, an Armenian expert claimed on Saturday."

Talking Turkey and the EU in Stockholm

In Columnists

Last week I visited Stockholm, where I lived throughout much of the ’70s. The occasion was a meeting organized by the Swedish-Turkish Association of Parliamentarians at the Swedish parliament last Thursday.

Is Baykal sincere about the EU?

In Columnists

Rather effortlessly, you would be able to claim that Brussels became part of the campaign area for the local elections. First, it was Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, prime minister and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), who was then followed by his adversary, Deniz Baykal, the leader of the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

CHP’s ‘EU initiative’

By SEMIH İDIZ on Turkish Press Review

Of course, it would be possible to analyze the latest “EU initiative” from the CHP in jeering tones. But we really do believe that the entire matter of the EU must be seen through the perspective of Turkey’s interests, interests which transcend any political parties. For this reason, we find the recent visit by CHP leader Deniz Baykal to Brussels, despite the fact that he was five years late in making this visit, important.

Closer to Russia, farther from the West? by EMRE USLU & ÖNDER AYTAÇ


President Abdullah G&u
uml;l’s visit to Russia may indicate a new era in Turkey-Russia relations. Dailies reported that Gül’s visit to Russia could extend Turkey-Russia relations beyond economic activities.

Choosing where to stand – International Herald Tribune

Detractors of Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insist that his Justice and Development Party is really a Trojan horse for an Islamist agenda."

Turkey’s growing influence in the Middle East

Turkey’s growing stature in the Middle East has "the potential to make it more attractive to the European Union," argues Sinan ?lgen, chairman of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, in the spring 2009 edition of Europe’s World.

Obama found to be pro-AK Party!

In Columnists

It is no secret that a clique of Turks and American were continuously lobbying against the political government in Turkey during the Bush era. While the defendants who are currently being tried in connection with the Ergenekon case in Silivri were busy paving the way for a military coup, the members of this clique were trying to secure Washington’s approval for these anti-democratic plans and create legitimacy for them in international circles.

On Mr. Baykal in Brussels and a future Turkish constitution

In Columnists

Those of our readers who regularly follow our Saturday columns will have noticed that I am a true believer in the pendulum of power. From time to time every government must have the chance to recharge its batteries and rethink its policies by sitting on the hard benches that are reserved for the opposition.

How will Obama’s presidency affect Turkish foreign policy? by CENAP ÇAKMAK


Newly elected US President Barack Obama may have a structural impact upon Turkish foreign policy if, as he promised in his campaign, he promotes a multilateral world, complying with international law and relying on negotiations and peaceful means rather than coercion in resolving global problems.

EU cautious on Turkey’s reform promises

In Columnists

In the space of one month, and after an interval of five years, both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, swept into Brussels, bringing with them pledges and promises.

What does a ‘powerful partnership’ mean?

By SAMI KOHEN on Turkish Press Review

During President Abdullah Gül’s "state visit" to Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin clarified that Turkey was "one of Russian foreign policy priorities."

Israeli army chief apologizes to Turkey over general’s remarks

The Israeli army chief telephoned this week his Turkish counterpart to apologize for the harsh remarks made last week by the country’s Ground Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi, The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday. The Turkish military confirmed Friday reports of the phone conversation. (UPDATED)

Note of protest to Israel

By TAHA AKYOL on Turkish Press Review

The commander of Israel’s land forces, Gen. Avi Mizrahi, has really been angered to the point of delirium. Commenting on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent words spoken to Israeli President Shimon Peres at Davos, Mizrahi said, “Erdoğan should look in the mirror,” and then went on to say: “They massacred the Armenians and now they are doing the same thing to the Kurds. And they occupied Cyprus.”

On Israel

By ERDAL ŞAFAK on Turkish Press Review

While speaking to a handful of journalists accompanying him back from his pre-election campaign trip to Sivas, Erdoğan laid out for us three basic foundations in Turkish-Israeli relations: 1. Anti-Semitism is a crime against humanity.

Why Israel’s rejection of ‘peace’ hospital offer angered Turkey – Haaretz – Israel News

No problems in ongoing Turkish-Israeli military cooperation: official

There were no problems in Turkish-Israeli relations and in the ongoing projects carried out by the two countries, Turkey’s undersecretary for the defense industry said on Monday.

Turkey-US relations to improve if no wrong steps on Armenian issue

Turkey hopes the new Washington administration will understand the importance of the country before it takes a step to recognize the Armenian claims regarding the 1915 incident, the Turkish ambassador to the U.S. said.

What is behind Turkey’s antagonism toward Israel? – Haaretz – Israel News

By Anat Lapidot-Firilla
Tags: Gaza, Erdogan, Turkey, Israel

There are many different theories about Turkey’s increasingly harsh criticism of Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. Some have suggested that the hostility is grounded in the internal struggle between Turkey’s secular military and the country’s Islamist ruling party. By this logic, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s attacks on Israel are meant to embarrass the army, which has extensive links with Israel’s military establishment. Others view Turkey’s vocal support for Hamas as indicative of an explicit decision on the part of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to pull the country out of its alliance with the West – while drawing closer to Iran."

Indeed, Erdogan’s statements about Israel have to be seen in the context of Turkey’s changing self-perception vis-a-vis its neighbors and the rest of the Muslim world. Turks increasingly propound a vision of their nation as the moral leader of both. They see themselves assuming a burden inherited from their Ottoman forbears, whose empire stretched from North Africa to Europe and Central Asia, a mission that includes fostering regional peace and stability, as well as economic prosperity.
The "Turkish man’s burden" requires both taking a more critical stance toward Israel and being seen as protector of the Palestinians. Mediating between Israel and Syria is the other side of the same coin of Turkey’s changing self-perception………….

More democratic foreign policy

In Columnists

The current state of Turkish-Israeli relations shows us once again that in order to be a more powerful and influential country, Turkey needs to make its handling of foreign policy affairs more democratic and transparent.

La nouvelle génération des Turcs en Allemagne espère un avenir meilleur

By acturca on société

Agence France Presse, 9 février 2009

Richard Carter

Akin est né à Berlin, il y vit et y travaille depuis 43 ans et pourtant, il assure qu’il ne se sent toujours pas chez lui en Allemagne.

“Je me sens Turc et je me sentirai toujours Turc dans mon coeur malgré mon passeport allemand”, dit-il. Il possède une friperie à Kreuzberg, le quartier de la capitale allemande surnommé “le petit Istanbul”.

The liberal turn in Turkish foreign policy

In Columnists

For decades Turkish foreign policy was informed by a "siege mentality" that saw Turkey as surrounded by enemy nations with territorial ambitions over the country. The geopolitical position of Turkey was exaggerated to explain why foreign enemies had their eyes on it. This laid the ground for a perception of the external world in adversarial terms. The foreign policy elite believed that Turkey was located in a region where everyone was at war with everyone else, as in a Hobbesian state of nature.

Armenians’ Excessive Aggression Somehow Created a Consciousness of Armenian Issue in Turkey

Laciner: "Armenians’ Excessive Aggression Somehow Created a Consciousness of Armenian Issue in Turkey which did not exist before."


* Interview with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner, Director of the Ankara-based Turkish think tank USAK (International Strategic Research Organization) by Dilek AYDEMIR (JTW)
Q: Armenian Diaspora has been trying to impose their allegations on genocide to Turkey for decades. Do you think Diaspora will succeed in their cause?

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