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Turkey at the Turning Point


Valin

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turkey-at-the-turning-pointVia Meadia:

Mar 7 2016

 

Four big stories are coming to a head right now in Turkey that will affect the future of that country and two vital regions, Europe and the Middle East.

 

First, a possible entente with Iran: Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu flew to Tehran on Saturday, where he met with President Hassan Rouhani. Both declared that the two nations, which have backed opposing sides of the Syrian Civil War, must put aside differences. “It is extremely important for Turkey and Iran to develop some common perspectives in order to end our region’s fight among brothers, to stop the ethnic and sectarian conflicts,” Davutoglu said. Rouhani echoed the need for “cooperation” and “lasting peace,” adding pointedly that, “We believe regional issues should only be resolved by the regional countries and nations.” Both also spoke of building trade ties in a post-sanctions world.

 

Meanwhile, the Turkish justice ministry submitted a measure to Parliament that would lift the immunity of the leaders of the Kurdish HDP Party. The leaders have immunity as Members of Parliament; Erdogan is now alleging that the HDP (which thwarted AKP ambitions in the first of two elections last year, but not the second) is an offshoot of the PKK, the armed Kurdish group.

 

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In a way, Erdogan seems to be returning from his “neo-Ottoman” foreign policy of a few years ago to a “neo-Kemalist” stance: reducing his interest in Middle East matters beyond Turkey’s control while doubling down on the internal security of Turkey. And what about what the United States thinks? Sadly not much of a factor these days in the minds of regional powers.


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