Since the emergence of the Eastern Mediterranean crisis, there have been a lot of debates and questions regarding the role of the major powers in the potential resolution of this dispute. After Turkey’s calls for dialogue and diplomacy fell on deaf ears in the early days of the crisis, many assumed that one of the major powers would play the role of mediator for this problem.
Recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean have multiple drivers including the race for exploitation of energy resources, long-standing maritime disputes, and the broader geopolitical competition between regional powers. While Turkey’s recent assertiveness of her rights in the Eastern Mediterranean drew renewed attention to the region, this round of confrontation has been long in the making.
In this piece, I will attempt to answer the question that I asked in last week’s column, in which I tried to assess the French approach toward Turkey. I will elaborate on the general view of the Western countries toward Turkey by answering the following questions: Why has the West been otherizing and alienating Turkey? What are the main sources of anti-Turkish sentiments in the West? Why is the West concerned about the democratic institutions in Muslim countries? Is the rise of Turkophobia related to the most recent wave of Islamophobia? Why is the West against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government? Are they worried about the rise of the Turkish state?