An Overview of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Balkans: 1990-2016


Insight Turkey Volume 19 No. 1, 2017

Since the end of the Cold War, Turkey has been largely regarded as a very important world actor and this comes not only due to shifts in the geopolitical scene and the creation of new axes regarding the western alliances since the fall of the Berlin wall, but also due to  Turkey’s striking economic, political and social development from the beginning of the 1990’s onwards. During this period, of more than 25 years, not only has the international order changed, but together with this new actors have emerged to taken a solid place in the international arena where alongside Turkey. Together with the changing world order Turkish foreign policy has also changed, reshaped at different stages, following not only the major world historical events but also its internal politics.

In general, Turkish foreign policy has been characterized at times Kemalist, at times Conservative and at times a mixture of both.  Mainly designed by a Kemalist school of diplomacy with strong elements of a modern and reformist approach, where national interest is in the forefront of its formulation and the balance of power one of its main characteristics, Turkish foreign policy started its real era of transformation at the end of the Cold War. In fact, modern Turks could not very well understand the problems and the nature of  communism in the Eastern bloc. This is even though a type of Marxist approach or Marxist philosophy has always existed and been the case in Turkish political thinking especially within the Kemalist groups which have not only been represented just by left or center left in Turkey but also by a very good portion of center right.

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