Turkey is one of the most economically and politically powerful states in the Middle East and it has recently been taking steps to fill the leadership vacuum that exists in the region.
The flotilla incident is the culmination of a slow drift in Turkish-Israeli relations. As the Israelis are increasingly subject to international opprobrium, Turkey’s strategic importance in the region is ascendant.
As the number of countries with the ambition to play a role in world affairs increases, Washington must decide whether to deal with them as legitimate global players or treat them as meddlers to be dismissed.
Turkey is an increasingly important player in the Middle East. It has embraced modern economic realities and has created a space for the coexistence of democracy, secularism, Islam, science, individuality, and community all in the same society.
The agreement reached by Iran, Turkey, and Brazil to ship ship some of Iran's low-enriched uranium to Turkey is similar to the nuclear fuel deal negotiated last year, but Iran's nuclear capabilities have since progressed and the new agreement may not satisfy the United States and its allies.
The Turkish government’s 2009 initiative toward its Kurdish minority was both a major development in the long saga of Turkey’s relations with its Kurds and a testament to the distance the Turkish government has traveled in its policy toward Iraq.
Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are deadlocked, with serious consequences not only for the nations involved in the conflict, but also for the Armenia-Turkey reconciliation process.
Turkey’s ruling party has an opportunity to free Turkey from a political system heavily influenced by the military and move towards a functioning democracy that could have an enormous impact on the entire region.
Turkey's constitution, imposed by the military in 1982, must be redrafted if the country is to move towards a more responsive political system and avoid repeating the cycle of paralysis followed by heavy-handed military and judicial intervention.
Armenia and Turkey have a chance to move forward from their troubled past by ratifying the historic protocols signed in October 2009. While the governments in both Yerevan and Ankara face strong opposition to the protocols, a failure to ratify the agreement could have disastrous consequences for the entire region.