Turkey’s foreign policy vision is best captured by its foreign minister’s motto: “Zero problems with neighbors.”
“The claim of the government was to pursue a policy of having ‘zero problems with neighbors,’ and now we are having all sorts of problems with all our neighbors,” said Faik Oztrak, deputy chairman of Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP).
In recent months, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has:
• Agreed to host NATO missile defense radar installations intended to protect Europe from Iranian missiles. Iran, in response, has threatened to take out the Turkish sites if the U.S. or Israel attack its nuclear program.
• Expelled the Israeli ambassador after the Jewish state refused to apologize for a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound convoy that killed nine Turkish nationals.
The conflicts are a sharp departure from last year, when Turkey’s relations with many of its neighbors were at a new high.
CHP elder statesman Faruk Logoglu, who served as Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2001 to 2005, said his country’s foreign policy has failed, adding that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu “cannot point to a single accomplishment.”
“We agree with the government’s goals but not the approach,” he said, railing against sanctions that he argued hurt ordinary Syrians and Turkish businesses.
“But we cannot remain silent if one of our neighbors oppress its people,” the foreign minister said.View Entire Story
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Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
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