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Turkish Foreign Policy in 2009: A Year of Pro-activity

Since the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy has experienced a fundamental transformation. Turkey’s regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors were reshaped through the adoption of the “zero-problem-with-neighbors” policy. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself, first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 2009 was a year of foreign policy initiatives towards Syria, Armenia, and Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government. And it marked the beginning of more positive and constructive relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey gained substantial ground in becoming a regional hub for energy by undersigning two critical energy deals. Yet, two major issues remain as challenges for Turkish foreign policy: a) the EU accession process, and b) the Cyprus dispute.

Turkish Foreign Policy in 2009 A Year of Pro-activity
The deadlock of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem has the potential to torpedo the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. Therefore, active involvement by the OSCE Minsk Group will be instrumental in the arbitration process towards a solution and in facilitating the
 

Since the early 2000s Turkish foreign policy has been experiencing a fundamental transformation. Turkey’s regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors have been reshaped through the adoption of the “zero-problem-with-neighbors” policy. Turkey’s zero-problem-with-neighbors policy is aimed at maximizing cooperation with its neighbors while minimizing problems in its surrounding regions. Turkey achieved remarkable progress in pursuing this policy during 2009. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 

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