Turkey under AKP: Foreign Policy towards the Middle East

  • Muhammad Ismail
Keywords: Kemalism, Arab Spring, Gezi Park, Ottoman identity Islamism, Copenhagen Criteria, Cold War, Islamism, non-aligned.


This paper focuses on the important transformation that took place in Turkish
foreign policy during the era of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkey
maintained a non-aligned and non-intervention foreign policy in most of the
republican era. The activism in the regional and global affairs started with the
indulgence and rise of Islamic political parties in the Turkish political system.
Initially, these political parties were far from gaining affirmative control over the
domestic, regional, and global affairs but their influence arose with the emergence
of AKP in Turkey. AKP persuaded the traditional “Pro-Western” foreign policy
during the early days of its government but abandoned its pursuit by acclaiming
that West is not serious in including Turkey in its bloc. It then looked towards the
other alternatives by establishing close ties with the Middle Eastern neighbours.
This paper analyses the transformation of Turkish foreign policy and the reasons
and factors that brought this change.