By Fuat Keyman
SETA Policy Brief, No. 39, December 2009
Turkey’s rapid transition from a buffer state position to a pro-active and multi-dimensional diplomatic activism has led to ambiguities on the aim, intention and realism of the recent Turkish foreign policy. These ambiguities have turned into increased skepticism in certain parts of the western audience about the direction of Turkey. This essay contends that there are three forms of these skepticisms, two of which either are unable and inadequate to comprehend the new dynamics of Turkish foreign policy or don’t offer fair criteria to judge Turkish foreign policy. Instead, it offers three objective criteria, namely the environment, capacity and strategy, to examine both viability of the new pro-activism and its potential direction. Further, the study suggests that the sustainability of this multi-dimensional and constructive foreign policy activism requires Turkey to have European Union anchor as the main axis of its foreign policy and a consolidated democracy.