Cover: Turkish Society and Foreign Policy in Troubled Times

Turkish Society and Foreign Policy in Troubled Times

Published 2001

by Ian O. Lesser, Shahram Chubin, Jerrold D. Green


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On April 25_27, 2001, RAND's Center for Middle East Public Policy and the Geneva Center for Security Policy held a workshop in Geneva that focused on the evolving strategic role of Turkey. Participants agreed that the question of identity remains critical for Turkey and its relation with Europe and the West. The turmoil in Turkey_s economy and politics has had the effect of sharpening the national debate about values and identity. Second, the evolution of Turkish society and politics in the coming years will be the leading variable in determining where Turkey fits in the international system. Third, Turkey_s foreign and security policies have become more active and complex in recent years. The country_s policy horizons have expanded, with a recognition of new risks and opportunities. Finally, the current crisis is as much political as economic, and its significance cannot be overestimated: Along with the potential for fundamental reform and the emergence of new political leadership that could facilitate Turkey_s modernization and Europeanization, there also exists the potential for stagnation, turmoil, a nationalist reaction, and the emergence of a more inward-looking policy

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division.

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