is a senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Her recent research focuses on Turkish foreign policy within an emerging powers framework, examining the impact of middle powers on the humanitarian and peacebuilding agendas, as well as the construction of states’ identitie...
- Turkey as a humanitarian actor: the critical cases of Somalia and Syria
Pinar Tank , 17 March 2015
- Africa’s pre-eminent peacemaker? An appraisal of South Africa’s peacemaking role in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Milfrid Tonheim , Gerrie Swart , 6 February 2015
- African development: what role do the rising powers play?
Elling N. Tjønneland , 23 January 2015
- Conflicting dilemmas: economic growth, natural resources and indigenous populations in South America
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos , 3 November 2014
- Brazil’s involvement in peacekeeping operations: the new defence-security-foreign policy nexus
Monica Hirst , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 30 September 2014
- The discursive articulation of the concept of the “rising power”: perceptions, stances and interests in Brazil, Russia and Turkey
Licínia Simão , Teresa Almeida Cravo , André Barrinha , Reginaldo Mattar Nasser , 24 September 2014
- South America’s economic and political landscape: recent developments and trends
Alcides Costa Vaz , 17 September 2014
Turkey as an international mediator: opportunities and pitfalls
Pinar Tank, 13 July 2011
Since the Helsinki Summit of the European Union (EU) Council granted Turkey ‘candidate country’ status in 1999 and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the elections in 2002, Turkey has undergone significant shifts in both its domestic and foreign policies. While in its first period in power the AKP’s focus was on drawing Turkey closer to the EU and the domestic reform agenda, the second period has witnessed a shift towards a more proactive regional role and a reformulation of Turkey’s foreign policy. Under the AKP, Turkey has increasingly been regarded as a model for the successful coupling of the country’s Islamic national identity with secular state government. This shift in the Turkish state’s cultural identity contributes to its soft power. However, Turkey’s turn to the Middle East had already begun in the 1980s with the liberalisation of the Turkish economy and the consequent need for new markets, followed by the search for geopolitical relevance in the post-cold war period. The AKP’s role in the Middle East – engaging Iran, opening the border with Syria and building ties with Iraq – while thrusting the country onto the world stage as an international mediator has also raised questions regarding Turkey’s ties to the West. A side effect of Turkey’s Middle Eastern role is the deterioration of its relations with Israel, particularly following the Gaza war in 2008–09 and as a result of the aid flotilla crisis of June 2010. Turkey’s pro-Palestinian stance, while winning hearts in the Arab world, limits its ambitions as an international mediator. An even greater test of Turkey’s regional aspirations is the challenge of dealing with the instabilities resulting from the Arab Spring.