Turkey Faces East

New Orientations Toward the Middle East and the Old Soviet Union

by Graham Fuller

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This report explores the roots of Turkey's eastern orientation and the prospects for Turkish relations with the Middle East and former Soviet Union. The study finds that although Turkey has for years been at the geopolitical tail-end of Europe, it is now in the center of a newly emerging world. New relations to the south, east, and north are becoming increasingly vital to Ankara's interests. The study also finds that because U.S. interests in the region are less important with the end of the Cold War, U.S. influence over Turkey will probably be less. Still, the study recommends that because of the constructive role Turkey can play in the region, Turkey should be tied closely to the European Community and that effort should be taken to prevent a wall from emerging between "Christian" Europe and a Muslim Middle East--a wall that could intensify a North-South struggle in the decades ahead.

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