Turkey, in search of a post-Cold War role

by Ian O. Lesser

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The debate about the international role of Turkey and the substance of its relations with the United States and Europe are more active today than at any time since the Gulf War. Turkey has an overwhelming interest in the continued viability of the NATO Alliance. Improvements in its long-standing bilateral relationship with Washington, however, will depend heavily on Turkey's own internal evolution. Turkey's comparative advantage lies in its ability to influence transregional risk and opportunities--an attractive quality from the point of view of a superpower with global interests. But economic and practical bars to Turkish integration with Europe have been reinforced by a deepening of Europe's strategic and cultural reservations.

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Originally published in: Private View, v. 1 & 2, no. 4 & 5, Autumn 1997, pp. 90-95.

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