the Second flotilla to Gaza may look like a domestic election stunt… A foreign policy roundup…

Turkey warns Israel over new Gaza flotilla


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, seen here in 2011, has warned Israel against another act of bloodshed in international waters after activists announced plans to send a new aid flotilla to the blockaded Gaza Strip.(AFP/File/Ferenc Isza)


Turk is favourite to take over at IMF

by Graeme Wearden

Kemal Derviş heads the list at bookmaker William Hill, with an Indian and a German in second and third position

Turkish politician and economist Kemal Derviş is the early frontrunner to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the International Monetary Fund.

William Hill is offering odds of 5/2 on Derviş, the former Turkish finance minister, becoming the IMF’s next managing director. He is followed by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman of India’s Planning Commission, at 5/1.

Germany’s Axel Weber is third favourite at 7/1. Singapore’s Tharman Shanmugaratnam ? who was promoted to deputy prime minister earlier on Wednesday ? and former UK prime minister Gordon Brown are both available at 8/1.

Turkish economist is I.M.F. contender


International Herald Tribune, Friday, May 20, 2011, p. 6

By Landon Thomas Jr., London

Architect of turnaround in his country has a track record and solid support From the beginning of Greece?s never ending sovereign debt crisis, George Papandreou, the embattled prime minister, has sought outside advice from any number of Ivy League economists and slick policy entrepreneurs.

Press freedom ? the new accession criterion?

by Centre for European Reform

by Katinka Barysch

Countries that want to join the EU need to show that their democracies work well. However, press freedom ? a key ingredient of any pluralist democracy ? is under threat in most of the countries that are now queuing for accession. Independent newspapers and broadcasters are being squeezed out of the market. Critical journalists are being sacked, beaten or locked up. Without curious and courageous journalists, crime and cronyism flourish, public debate is stunted and politicians feel unaccountable. The EU could do more to protect media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey.

Flotilla group calls for UN escort, a ‘stunt’ says Israel

by ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
As a new aid convoy to Gaza readies to sail at the end of June, organizers say they are willing to have their cargo inspected and their ships escorted by international observers. Israel dismisses the move as a ‘publicity stunt,’ while supporters of the flotilla in the EU have questioned the legal necessity of such an escort


Gaza aid flotilla to sail again

Cargo ships will again try to break through Israel blockade to bring aid to Gaza.
Jodi HiltonMay 16, 2011 07:09

ISTANBUL, Turkey ? The organizers of last year?s Freedom Flotilla, which tried to thwart an Israeli blockade and deliver aid to Gaza, but which ended in tragedy, is trying it again.”

Irans President Ahmadinejad shakes hands ...

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) shakes hands with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul May 9, 2011. Ahmadinejad is? Read more » REUTERS/Bulent Kilic/


A Year After Israeli Raid, 2nd Flotilla to Set Sail for Gaza

A group of 15 ships carrying humanitarian aid and activists from 100 countries will travel to Gaza next month, in a second attempt to break the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Why Washington must look to Ankara | Michael Shank

from World news: Turkey | by Michael Shank

Turkey’s economic strength and diplomatic stature are growing fast. The US needs to nurture closer ties

America has yet to figure out whether Turkey is friend or foe.

With conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan, and tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia, Turkey’s generous military and aid contribution pleases Washington. With Armenia, Israel and Iran, however, Turkey spurns Washington for refusing the genocide label, stalling negotiations and opposing sanctions, respectively. Coupled with a co-mingling of political Islam and neoliberal economic policies, and you have Washington on alert, always angling this ambiguous ally, edging her to go west, instead of east.

Turkey’s prime minister rethinks country’s role in Middle East | English | NEWS | DayPress

Alican Tayla : « Le printemps arabe n?aura pas d?impact sur l?entrée de la Turquie dans l?UE »

by ACTURCA, 9 mai 2011

Sophie Forcioli

Spécialiste de la Turquie à l?;Institut de relations internationales et stratégiques (IRIS), Alican Tayla revient sur les révoltes des pays arabes et le rôle de la Turquie vis-à-vis de ses voisins.

Différents observateurs estiment que la Turquie est aujourd?hui dans une situation délicate vis-à-vis de ses voisins. Pourquoi?

Turkey?s portrait in Washington, D.C.

I have been travelling in Turkey and in the US for the last couple of weeks and could not write my regular columns. On May 9 at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Washington, D.C., I attended an important conference.


Yiannos Charalambides: The big bet : will the Turkish accession to the EU threaten the European cohesion?


Agence Europe, Bibliothèque européenne n° 914, 17 mai 2011 (extrait)

Michel Theys

La question de l?éventuelle adhésion de la Turquie à l?Union européenne suscite très souvent ? trop souvent même ! ? des prises de position où les émotions et les passions l?emportent sur la raison. Rien de tel dans cet ouvrage qui, au-delà de son titre « Le grand pari », voit un juriste et politologue offrir un tableau clinique des effets, positifs comme négatifs, qui résulteraient d?un élargissement de l?Union à ce grand pays, tant pour les Turcs que pour les Européens. Cette approche est rigoureusement scientifique en ce qu?elle s?appuie notamment sur différentes théories des relations internationales (réalisme, réalisme structurel, fonctionnalisme et néo-fonctionnalisme, l?auteur ayant l?honnêteté de reconnaître son penchant pour la première d?entre elles, lui qui accorde aussi une place de choix à l?approche théorique de Robert Gilpin selon laquelle « les changements qui se produisent dans le système international entraînent le renforcement ou le déclin de ce dernier et peuvent même conduire au conflit et à la guerre »).

EU-Turkey trade surpasses 100 bn euro


Kuwait News Agency (Kuna)

19 mai 2011, Brussels

Trade between the European Union and Turkey has more than tripled since 1995 and trade now exceeds 100 billion euro yearly, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule told the the European Business Summit in Brussels Wednesday evening. Foreign direct investments of the EU into Turkey reached around 6.7 billion euro in 2010, he noted speaking on the topic « Turkey : Building bridges for prosperity. »


The new Middle East and Turkey


The Huffington Post (USA) May 17, 2011

Dr. Josef Olmert *

In March of 1941, Nazi Germany seemed to overrun the Middle East and deprive Britain of its historic and hegemonic role in the region. The British government under Winston Churchill made an offer, supposedly very enticing to the Turkish Government. « Help us to occupy Syria, and we will share the spoils with you ? the north of the country to you, the south to us. »

Arab Spring, Turkish Summer?


Foreign Policy In Focus (USA) May 16, 2011

By Richard Javad Heydarian *

Turkey is emerging as an attractive model for the new generation of democrats in the Middle East and North Africa. Turkey, as a bastion of Islamic moderation, economic dynamism, military might, and foreign policy creativity, has inspired many who envision a prosperous and free Arab world.

Does Arab Spring mean Turkish Fall?


Today?s Zaman (Turkey) 15 May 2011, Sunday                            Türkçe

Şahin Alpay

If you look at what is written about Turkish foreign policy by Western, and especially American, observers nowadays, you will find that in many of the commentaries the thesis that the Arab Spring ? referring to the global wave of democratization after the end of the Cold War finally reaching the Arab world ? is leading to the failure of Turkey?s foreign policy, which is based on the principle of ?zero problems with neighbors,? pursued by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since it came to power in 2002.

EU Conference ‘Spoke Up!’ for Turkish Journalists in Prison

from Bianet :: English
Journalists in prison and internet censorship were discussed in the “Speak Up!” conference in Brussels on 6 May. Nadire Mater, Firket İlkiz and Yaman Akdeniz were among the seven guests invited from Turkey.


LDC conference: time for new approaches says civil society

from World news: Turkey |

UN conference on the least developed countries considers how development aid has failed the most vulnerable states

The dominant approaches to development have failed the world’s poorest citizens and now the paradigm must change. This is the strong message coming from over 2,000 non-governmental organisations gathered at the civil society forum for the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul, Turkey.

Least developed countries: Furious networking brings results | Mark Tran

from World news: Turkey | by Mark Tran

As politicians make worthy speeches about improving the lot of the poor, people from developing countries are busy making useful business connections

Gregor Avril, from Haiti, was dubious about attending the UN conference for least developed countries (LDCs) in Istanbul this week. The executive director of Haiti’s association of industries had been invited by the UN Global Compact, the UN’s voluntary corporate responsibility initiative that is reaching out to the private sector, to take part in the trade fair that forms the private sector track of the conference on LDCs. There are also civil society, government and parliamentary tracks.

Least developed countries: CSR giving companies kudos | Mark Tran

by Mark Tran

The UN Global Compact is changing company behaviour for the better in least developed countries

The UN Global Compact, launched in 2000, seeks to persuade companies to adopt business practices in line with universally accepted principles in human rights, labour practices, environment and anti-corruption.

The compact is corporate social responsibility put in practice at a global level and represents an attempt by Kofi Annan, UN secretary general when it was created, to get big business onside.


The Arab Earthquake: What Happens When Stability is Actually Rigidity

from WhirledView

By Patricia Lee Sharpe

Even if you believe that Israel?s Palestinian policy is unfortunate, you?ve got to sympathize with Israel today.  Israel was happily playing divide-and-dictate while aggressively promoting settler real estate on the occupied West Bank.  And then the world changed.  Can Israel adjust? Can the U.S.?

Least developed countries: UN conference endorses ambitious plan to lift millions out of poverty | Mark Tran

from World news: Turkey | by Mark Tran

Civil society groups wary as conference puts emphasis on private sector to halve number of LDCs over next 10 years

A UN conference on the world’s poorest countries adopted a plan of action on Friday stressing the importance of foreign investment and the private sector in lifting millions from poverty.


The Effect of Arab Spring on Turkish Ambitions

by Jenny White

A brief, sensible and rather upbeat essay by Hugh Pope about what various Arab revolts in the region have meant for Turkey?s foreign policy ambitions. Setback or opportunity? How has Turkey responded in each case? Is there a Turkish model? (click here)

The Quote of the Week:?Turkey-EU Relations: The Limitations of Europeanisation Studies? by Didem Buhari-Gulmez

from Changing Turkey in a Changing World by Changing Turkey

Excerpt from  Didem Buhari-Gulmez (2009) ?Turkey-EU Relations: The Limitations of Europeanisation Studies?, The Turkish Yearbook of International Relations, Vol. 40: 91-121.

?In this article, it is argued that studying Turkey?s relations with the European Union requires a more sophisticated approach than that is provided by the Europeanisation scholarship. It is plausible to claim that Europeanisation studies have abounded following the officialization of Turkey?s EU candidacy in 1999 at the Helsinki Summit. As an official candidate, Turkey has enacted significant reforms in a wide range of policy domains. Thus, Europeanisation studies aim at highlighting the triggering role of the EU within Turkish context. However, these studies have several deficiencies.

Le groupe bancaire joue son avenir en Turquie


Le Figaro (France) 17 mai 2011, p. 22

Anne de Guigné à Istambul

« Non, Dexia ne vendra pas sa filiale turque DenizBank » . Pierre Mariani, le patron opérationnel de la banque franco-belge, ne se lasse pas de le répéter : la reconstruction de Dexia passe désormais par Istanbul. Cette filiale aux oeufs d?or n?était d?ailleurs à ses yeux pas négociable l?an dernier, quand il s?est agi de convaincre la Commission européenne d?accepter l?aide d?État dont a bénéficié le groupe pendant la crise financière.

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