The Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMF) is the most recent state-led institution to promote Turkey’s cultural diplomacy and soft power. This commentary contextualizes the Turkish Maarif Foundation in Turkish foreign and domestic policy and outlines a vision through evaluating its activities over the past three years.
The effectiveness of the Muslim world in finding a solution to the Darfur conflict is open to debate. While many Muslim countries denied the existence of a genocidal conflict, arguing that the reports were a Western plot, some tried to go beyond the dichotomy of the West’s insistence on genocide and its outright rejection by the Muslim world. This article discusses Turkey’s Darfur policy in terms of ‘the war on terror’ discourse and Turkey’s developing multidimensional foreign policy and the restrictions arising from such a policy. It argues that Turkey’s approach has had the characteristics of both a convergence with and differentiation from that of the Muslim world. Turkey intended to go beyond current debates by creating a new ‘language’ on Darfur but failed due to its ineffective media policy and the limitations of its multidimensional foreign policy. Nevertheless, Turkey’s involvement may be seen as an example of passive quiet diplomacy in a highly complex international environment.