October 03, 2011
EGF EXPERT VIEW
The Turkish leadership has committed itself to a tough position on Israel, Cyprus and Syria, and any backtracking or sign of weakness will seriously affect its credibility at home, with regional partners, the “Arab Street” and other major global powers, as well as high stakes involved in the Eastern Mediterranean.
This represents a policy of principle, consistent with the values and goals the government pursues, but is also a risky one, which if not well managed may lead to some undesirable hot confrontation. The power comes with responsibility if it will be effectively harnessed.
This commentary provides the backdrop, against which the recent events are taking place, speculates on the main drivers of the Turkish government, how other international actors view this simmering crisis, and concludes with a call for
Turkey to lead an OSCE-type structure.
Mehmet Öğütçü | A former Turkish diplomat, OECD, IEA staffer, and currently multinational company executive, based in London.