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Turkey: East or West

05/04/2011

On March 25th ICSR’s Egyptian Atkin Fellow, Dr Amany Soliman, hosted her first event – Turkey: East or West. Alongside Amany were three distinguished speakers – Fadi Hakura, an Associate Fellow on the Europe Programme at Chatham House, Yossi Mekelberg the International Relations Programme Director at Regent’s College and Bill Park a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies department at King’s College London.

Issues that were questioned were Turkish domestic politics; it’s implication on foreign policy practice and the new approach taken by the Justice and Development Party and Prime Minster Erdoğan of a deeper Turkish interest in the Middle East and the Arab World.

Reference was also made to the Turkish domestic frustration regarding accession to the EU. Some conclusions were asserted that Turkey was trying to find a dominant role in the Muslim world as a replacement to joining the EU. The Arab Spring is also encouraging Turkey to focus even more to the East, as unfriendly Arab regimes fall.