Turkey's changing neighbourhood policy

Gencer ÖZCAN
2004 Milletleraras  
Turkey's relations with its neighbors have been steadily improving. The tense relations of the mid-nineties were in stark contrast to the good neighborly relations that Ankara has succeeded in cultivating with its contiguous as well as with its second-belt neighbors for the last five years. The improvement of relations with Russia, Syria and Iran, former rivals for several reasons, is exemplary. The successive Turkish governments seem to have held the common policy that relations should be
more » ... ions should be governed by the principles of good neighborliness. Trust, engagement and dialogue, rather than confrontation and containment, appear to be the leitmotivs of the present rhetoric. In order to grasp the reasons that paved the way for such an overall improvement, one has to look at two aspects of Turkish foreign policy: Success in putting down the Kurdish insurgency and increasing prospects for accession to the EU. This paper will take a closer look at the reasons of the amelioration of relations with a number of troubled neighbors (Russia, Iran, and Syria) and to delineate the main elements of this transformation.
doi:10.1501/0002673 fatcat:juaavjpv2bfizhvwgl6brxk2vm