The Turkish government appears more interested in using talks with the EU to resolve Cyprus, than advancing membership. While any progress on Cyprus is desirable, does the switch in priorities from EU membership reveal a discreet, yet nonetheless decisive, realignment of Turkey’s foreign policy and abandonment of Mustafa Kemal’s legacy by Erodgan, Davutoglu, and the AK party?
From AP: “We know our responsibilities,” [Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet ] Davutoglu said, though he insisted that the EU at least help find a ‘comprehensive settlement’ for Cyprus, where Turkish troops are based in the Turkish Cypriot north, a legacy of a 1974 invasion after a coup attempt by backers of union with Greece . . .
“Turkey and the European Union have to stop wasting time on the path to membership to the Union and use this time in a much more productive way,” Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Friday in Brussels.
For a flattering analysis of Turkey’s new strategic orientation, see Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy by Bülent Aras. Dr. Aras makes the following tactful analysis:
There is need to keep the EU membership and reform process on the agenda in a way that facilitates the maintenance of a wide, receptive audience for integral foreign policy perspectives both inside and outside of Turkey.
In other words, it is important to keep EU membership and reform just visible on the agenda, so as to make it easier to pursue other more “integral foreign policy perspectives.”
For a helpful analysis of what these “integral foreign policy perspectives” might actually be, see The AKP’s Foreign Policy: The Misnomer of “Neo–Ottomanism.”