Turkey’s formerly very successful “no problems” foreign policy crafted by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutogolu buried old arguments with Syria, Iran, and Lebanon and opened billions of new trade for Turkey’s bustling exporters. Turkey’s red hot economy grew 7% last year- almost as fast as China.
But that was before Libya, Syria and Egypt erupted. Turkey’s highly popular prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was forced to take sides . Turkey called for Egypt’s terminally ill pharaoh, Hosni Mubarak, to leave office, but still kept its support with Egypt’s all-powerful army. This was ironic since Erdogan had just waged a decade-long battle to push Turkey’s bullying army out of politics.
By contrast, Turkey reluctantly abandoned Libya’s Gadaffi, and old friend, with whom Ankara was doing about $23 billion in trade, as a lost cause. Erdogan’s response to Syria was similar: Erdogan insists the Assad family must go and be replaced by a Turkish-style democracy tempered with Islamic values of social welfare and justice.
Interestingly, Davutoglu just announced a new “Turkish-Egyptian axis,” thus linking the region’s two most powerful, populous nations. Davutoglu, citing an old Ottoman maxim said, “Turkey will be again placed at the center of everything.”Meanwhile,...