Turkey seems to have officially recognized Iraqi Kurdistan…

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu releases a white ...

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu releases a white pigeon during the opening of the new Turkish Consulate in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad October 31, 2009. REUTERS/Khalid al-Mousuly

Turkey: Time to Rebuild Middle East


Source: Turkish Daily Mail
Date: Saturday, 31 October 2009 0:24
Tags: Turkey and Middle East, Middle East, Kurd, Kurdish, Iraq

ARBIL – Turkey extended a regional peace drive to Iraqi Kurds when Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with top Kurdish officials in a landmark visit to Arbil.

?It is time for Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to rebuild the Middle East. Therefore, it is time for everyone to take brave steps,? Davutoglu told a joint press conference with Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani late on Friday. Barzani praised Davutoğlu’s visit, saying it is even more significant now as the Middle East is passing through such a sensitive time.
Davutoğlu’s visit to Arbil, the first by a Turkish foreign minister, is a sign that a taboo maintained in Turkish foreign policy until recently is no longer in place.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (R) holds a joint conference ...

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (R) holds a joint conference with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Arbil, 310 km (190 miles) north of Baghdad, October 30, 2009. Picture taken October 30, 2009. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

Is Obama passive-aggressive toward Turkey or just bad with dates?

from FP Passport by David Kenner

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently in Tehran with his “friend,” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as the two leaders discuss ways to bolster the bilateral ties between their two countries. While Turkey’s realignment towards Iran and Syria is by now familiar, it is possible that the Obama administration might be more annoyed at this development than it has let on publicly.

Which way will Turkey turn, East or West? (Deutsche Welle)

from Yahoo news
Turkey makes no bones about its aspirations to act as a bridge between East and West, but a string of recent events have left the West wondering how stable any such construction might be.

Turkey warned over Cyprus reunification standstill

from EurActiv.com
Cypriot Foreign Affairs Minister Markos Kyprianou warned today (29 October) that Ankara would negatively affect its EU accession bid if did not begin complying with its obligations to normalise relations with Nicosia in December this year.


President of Cyprus Pessimistic on Unity

from NYT > Turkey by By STEPHEN CASTLE
The president of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, warned the European Union against appeasing Turkey in the way Germany was treated before World War II.

Risking a silent veto from Cyprus – Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

EU and Cyprus: Two issues for Turkey – Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

EurasiaNet Eurasia Insight – Turkey: Kurdish Peace Initiative Builds Momentum

Ankara’s Road to Damascus

from Istanbul Calling by Yigal Schleifer

I have a new piece up on the Christian Science Monitor about how Turkey’s foreign policy ambitions are forcing it to confront some of the “domestic” problems that for decades have been no go areas for the country. Without solving these issues (Kurdish, Armenian and Cyprus problems, in particular), Ankara’s ability to achieve many of its foreign policy goals in the region could be severely limited.

From the article:

Behind the scenes of Turkey?s support for Iran

A plane carrying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad needs to refuel while returning from an overseas trip. After a quick research, it’s determined that the best place to land is at the airport in India’s capital, New Delhi.


Is there a change of axis?

Once again we?ve come across the same question: Is Turkey changing its axis in foreign policy? What kind of explanation can be provided for why a foreign policy that has been in effect for seven years and has clearly declared basic principles continues to face this question?

New era in Greek-Turkish relations


Only two days after new Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was sworn into office following a landslide victory in elections that swept his party, PASOK, into power did he return a courtesy call from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him. Papandreou was not immediately available when Erdoğan first called.

Turkey?s place: contradictory approaches


For some time, Turkey has been signing treaties with Russia, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and a few Central Asian states aiming to develop cooperation in the domains of energy, commerce and security.

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