With a newly elected president and government, Turkey faces many regional challenges that will test the instincts and skill of its new leadership. Will U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq accommodate or exacerbate Ankara’s long-standing conflict with the Kurds?
Will the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government associate itself with American plans to ramp up pressure on Iran? In a period of rising tension, can Turkey reconcile its decade-long security relationship with Israel with a commitment to engaging actors like Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah? And to what extent can the Bush Administration—laboring under single digit approval ratings in Turkey—influence Ankara’s choices?
Brookings hosted a panel discussion with some of Turkey’s leading foreign policy analysts to discuss the regional challenges to a post-election Turkey. Experts included Bulent Aras, professor, Isik University in Sile; Mustafa Aydin, professor, TOBB University in Ankara; and Semih Idiz, columnist for the Turkish daily newspaper Milliyet. Mark R. Parris, visiting fellow and former ambassador to Turkey, moderated.