Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (C) takes part in a family photo with European Union and candidate countries foreign ministers during an informal meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels September 11, 2010.? Read more »REUTERS/Yves Herman
In recent months, the two most glaring trouble spots for Turkish foreign policy have been relations with Israel and Iran. In the case of Israel, it’s been the deterioration in relations that has caused trouble for Turkey, while in the case of Iran it’s been the improvement in relations that has proved problematic (at least in terms of relations with western allies). The International Crisis Group has a new report out that takes a clear-eyed look at Ankara’s relations with Israel and Iran and how the changes in those relations are fueling questions about in which direction Ankara is heading. Like other ICG reports, it also offers some very practical suggestions for everyone concerned about how to take things forward. From the report:
Soap operas from Turkey are forging trust and curiosity among residents of Bulgaria, its long-time foe.
Mistrust between Bulgarians and Turks runs deep. The Ottoman Turkish Empire ruled over Bulgaria for some 500 years. Some still look back to 1876, when Ottoman forces committed atrocities against Bulgarians, before the country’s independence in 1908. Today, Matthew Brunwasser reports for PRI’s The World that many Bulgarians have begun to warm to Turkey’s influence because of a not-so-secret weapon: soap operas.
Turkish soap operas are hugely popular in Bulgaria today. One of the main Bulgarian channels shows Turkish soaps six and a half hours a day.