Turkey and the West

Ambassador Mark
Parris
, former
US Ambassador to Ankara and current Brookings visiting fellow, discusses
Turkey’s relations with the West.
 The Turkish parliament is set to pick a new president next month and elections
for a new parliament will follow by November.  Based on current polling,
Turkey could have a president,
government and parliament under the control of a single party — the ruling AK
Party — inclined to loosen the strict barriers set up by Ataturk between
religion and state. US troops
engaged in Iraq rely heavily
on Turkey’s Incirlik airbase for
resupply. Any Turkish military intervention in northern Iraq,
to pre-empt cross-border terrorism by Turkish Kurdish PKK terrorists, would
greatly complicate Gen. David Petraeus’s efforts. What role can
Turkey play in regional
policy towards Iran? What are Turkey’s current prospects for EU
accession? How is Turkey coming to terms with its own
history and what debate is there across Turkish society on the events of
1915?

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