"DEBATING NEW TURKEY" Panel I: Turkish Politics: Quo Vadis? Panel II: Turkey's New Regional Activism Panel III: Turkish-American Partnership Date: December 3, 2010 Venue: Washington, D.C.
There is a lively debate centered on whether Turkey is undergoing an axis shift, meaning Turkey is drifting away from the Transatlantic system and heading towards the Middle East in the most acclaimed dailies and journals of the Western world.
This article considers the August 2008 visit to Turkey by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, and analyzes relations between Turkey and Iran in general. The tensions and crises that followed the 1979 Iranian Revolution are briefly presented in order to provide a better understanding of the present state of relations. Then we draw a picture of the situation after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, bringing widespread changes to Turkish foreign policy. We also call attention to Turkey’s changing role in the regional balance of power, and to the significance of that role both in Turkey’s relations with Iran and with the United States.