Once oriented mainly toward Europe and no more than a (wary) bystander in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Turkey became one of the region’s aspiring heavyweights in just over a decade. The country is bound to the neighborhood through blood and cultural ties, even if its distinct Turkish character sets it apart from the Arab world. Despite a shared history and geographical proximity that could have ensured strong commercial and diplomatic links with states formerly part of the empire, Turkey’s traditional establishment and elites long saw exposure to a conflict-ridden Middle East primarily as a liability. It was only in the 1980s that Turkey started developing closer trading, cultural, and people-to-people ties with the surrounding region.… Seguir leyendo »
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