Pax Ottomana? The Mixed Success of Turkey’s New Foreign Policy

Turkey does not fit neatly into anyone’s conception of the world order. For centuries, people have debated or fought over whether it is part of Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, or Eurasia. Some see its current government as careening toward “Islamist fascism”; others believe it is integrating into a basically pluralistic, secular, globalized international order. Does its fast-growing economy, the 17th largest in the world, make it a rising international power on a par with Brazil, China, India, and Russia? Or is it a minor player that is overextending itself? Although Turkey has an important secondary role to play in many major areas of U.S. concern, such as stabilizing Afghanistan and Iraq, it is essential to none. In short, Turkey is unusually vulnerable to being misunderstood, particularly since the Turks themselves often seem unsure about what exactly they want their country to be.
This past summer, Turkey trod on two hot-button U.S. policy interests, Iran and Israel, thus putting its new “zero-problem” foreign policy in an uncomfortable spotlight. As soon as the Turkish government was seen as having stepped outside the U.S.-led agenda, commentaries about its new orientation spread in major U.S., European, and Middle Eastern newspapers and journals. “It isn’t Ottoman Islam that these Islamist Turks seek to revive,” Harold Rhode, a former longtime U.S. Department of Defense official, wrote in one of the Jerusalem Issue Briefs series in May. “Their Islam is more in tune with the fanatically anti-Western principles of Saudi Wahhabi Islam.” Articles in the United Kingdom’s Daily Telegraph and Canada’s Globe and Mail expressed similar concerns. The New York Times ran an article with the headline “Turkey Goes From Pliable Ally to Thorn for U.S.,” and its columnist Thomas Friedman, describing a recent trip to Istanbul, found “Turkey’s Islamist government seemingly focused not on joining the European Union but the Arab League — no, scratch that, on joining the Hamas-Hezbollah-Iran resistance front against Israel. . . . I exaggerate, but not that much.” A new round of the “Who Lost Turkey?” debate got under way between U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso: Gates blamed Brussels for discouraging Turkey in its negotiations over joining the EU; Barroso blamed Washington for turning Turkish public opinion against the West with the invasion of Iraq.
HUGH POPE is Turkey/Cyprus Project Director for the International Crisis Group and the author of Dining With al-Qaeda: Three Decades Exploring the Many Worlds of the Middle East.

EU to extend EUR 36.8m to Armenia

According to the news office of for the National Security Council of Armenia The European Union will render EUR 36.8m for the implementation of the program for the reconstruction of Yerevan metro and small towns water supply systems of Armenia. This issue was discussed during the meeting of the Secretary of the National Security Council of Armenia Arthur Baghdasaryan with the head of the European Policy Department of the European Commission’s Office of Support and Sooperation of Sarah Rinaldi. The meeting was also attended by Head of European Commission delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Raul de Luzenberger. An agreement was reached on the EU assistance in the implementation of the program, worth 36.8 million euros, to improve water supply in small towns in Armenia, the infrastructure will be restored to clean water, underground will be upgraded.

Armenian nuclear smuggler ready to name suppliers

Russian Kommersant newspaper writes that one of the arrested Armenian citizens detained in Georgia for uranium smuggling expressed readiness to name suppliers and producers of the material if sentence is commuted. “However, Tbilisi is confident that smuggled uranium was supplied from Russia,” the newspaper says.
It is yet unclear whether Georgian law enforcers agreed to the deal. Representative of Georgian Internal Ministry Shota Utiashvili stated that they know suppliers, though “original source” has not been found yet. He expressed confidence that uranium was produced in Russia.
However, the experts consider that Russian origin of uranium is not obvious. Anatoliy Dyakov, Director of the Center on Disarmament, Energy, and Ecology, told the newspaper that taking into account level of enrichment, uranium could be used in testing reactors located in one of the former USSR institutes.

Armenia Fund Telethon to Air November 25

In the United States alone the potential audience for the Telethon raising funds for drinking water and irrigation projects in Artsakh, Armenia Fund’s “Water is Life”, is around 55 million households in the states of Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Armenian Foreign Ministry comments Turkish President

Commenting on Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s statement about the necessity to continue the dialogue for settlement of the problems between the parties press-secretary of Armenian Foreign Ministry Tigran Balayan said to ArmInfo correspondent, ‘Armenia’s stance is to ratify the Protocols without any pre-condition and fulfill them. The talks have been finished. ‘

Australia’s First Armenian Mayor Gearing Up For Positive Change

According to groong.usc Artin is confident that his election will impact on Armenians in Australia, especially young people, by encouraging them to be more involved in community life.
Artin has grand plans aimed at further helping develop Ryde, making it more attractive as the place to work and live in. He cites as an example a recently opened multi-stage shopping center that ranks as one of the most ambitious in the region.
Right now, he has more compelling tasks at hand, Championing accountability and transparency in the region.

Armenia to Foster Energy Cooperation With Iran

Iranian news agencies report that during a visit to Esfahan petrochemical plant in Iran Armenian deputy minister of energy and natural resources Ara Simonyan said energy is the key direction in Armenian-Iranian relations and that cooperation in energy sector will create favorable conditions for expansion of bilateral contacts in other sectors as well.
Ara Simonayn was accompanied by deputy director of Iranian National Oil Products Company Mohammad Hasan Ahbarishad.
The two countries will also build hydraulic power plants on the rive Arax and a fuel pipeline from Iran to Armenia.

Bako Sahakian will address the Orange County World Affairs

Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian will address the Orange County World Affairs Council on Friday, November 19 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
Sahakian will speak about the current situation in the South Caucasus in a talk titled, “Turmoil in the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia- Post Soviet Union – A Nations’ Right for Self Determination.”
A 6 p.m. reception will follow dinner at 7 p.m. and the presentation at 7:45. Admission is $60 for members and $75 non-members. Reservations may be made at worldaffairscouncil.org. The Pacific Club is located at 4110 MacArthur Boulevard
Newport Beach, California 92660