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Center for Strategic Research 24/04/2013 Turkish Foreign Policy and Transformations in Regional Governance

IPLI hosted a panel with top researchers from the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) at the Master of Public Affairs [Sciences Po - Paris]. SAM is a think tank affiliated with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its goal is to serve as a consultative body to provide Turkish Foreign Policy decision makers with scholarly and scientific assessments of relevant policy issues facing Turkey. The esteemed panelists were Dr. Mesut Özcan, the Deputy Chairman and Dr. Saban Kardas, Professor of International Relations.

The discussion began with a brief overview of Turkey's foreign policy evolution in the Middle East and North Africa and continued with an analysis of regional transformations that are causing Turkey to adapt its foreign policy strategy to accommodate shifts in regional governance, including the often discussed 'zero problems with neighbours' policy. This policy required emphasis on maintaining and brokering peace while keeping an avenue for talks open, through commercial and/or diplomatic channels.

The panelists mentioned four major processes that governed the change in Turkish foreign policy. These include:

i) drifting to more MENA centric policies following the Arab Spring that require Turkey to take a stronger position concerning relations with some of its neighbours

ii.) The changing nature of threats in the region and new political cleavages

iii.) The new definition of Turkey's relationship with Western countries

iv.) A growing emphasis on democracy

After their talk Dr. Özcan and Dr. Kardas then opened the floor and fielded questions ranging from the Turkish policy towards the Caucasus and the influence of Russia to their own views on the causes of the Arab Spring. The lively discussion was followed by dinner with the panelists which was attended by selected students.

To learn more about current Turkish foreign policy you can read IPLI's ongoing Turkey Policy Brief Series.

IPLI hosted a panel with top researchers from the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) at the Master of Public Affairs [Sciences Po - Paris]. SAM is a think tank affiliated with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its goal is to serve as a consultative body to provide Turkish Foreign Policy decision makers with scholarly and scientific assessments of relevant policy issues facing Turkey. The esteemed panelists were Dr. Mesut Özcan, the Deputy Chairman and Dr. Saban Kardas, Professor of International Relations.

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