The activism of late observed in Turkish foreign policy demonstrates a clear preference for a regional approach to international relations.
It has been almost a mantra for Turkey’s new foreign policy elite to promote regional actors’ ownership of economic and security affairs in their own neighborhood. Various such initiatives that Turkey has been spearheading recently in its adjacent regions, including the Middle East, Caucasus, Balkans and beyond, underscore Turkey’s emergence as a regional power willing and able to assume leadership roles in those regions.
Turkey has been pursuing customs and visa liberalization with many of its neighbors, while initiating strategic cooperation councils with others. Similar to Turkey’s initiation of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation in the 1990s, Turkey has also launched a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform. Complementing these efforts are various other bilateral or trilateral processes under its patronage, such as the ones between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, or between Afghanistan and Pakistan.