On October 30, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a joint press conference in Iraqi Kurdistan, saying:
It is time for Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to rebuild the
Middle East. Therefore, it is time for everyone to take brave steps.
This does not automatically mean equality for Turkish Kurds, of course, and yet, it seems an improvement over the Turkish military attacks of last winter and suggests a real openness in
In a partial answer to those who may think Erdogan is overextending his country, Turkey is moving forward with plans to become the regional energy hub by cooperating with Kazakhstan and Russia.
At the same time as
Although Erdogan may yet face domestic opposition to his effort to move
Erdogan spelled out part of what a Turkish-led moderate bloc would mean a few days before his late-October visit to
We are not in favor of presence of weapons of mass destruction in
and in our region. But it is not fair and unjust to put pressure on Iran while someone else in the region has such weapons. The world must assume a fair attitude. In that case a totally different environment of confidence will emerge. Iran
The vision of a single set of rules to govern regional nuclear rights would fundamentally shift interstate relations, where the region is currently dominated by
Going beyond nuclear rights, Erdogan laid out a general principle that could, if accepted in
has a long-standing political tradition of its own. You cannot ignore Iran and any attempt to encourage negative approaches to Iran will damage efforts to ensure peace in the region. Iran
A Turkish commentator reassured Washington (whose own invitation to Erdogan was postponed because of “a Turkish holiday,” thereby affording Erdogan time to consolidate ties with Iran and Iraq first) by soothing that the new warmth in Turkish-Iranian relations does “not signify a shift toward an Iran-oriented foreign policy.” Perhaps not, but it does signify a shift toward acceptance of Iran as a legitimate player combined with a hint that Iran might facilitate its acceptance by some unspecified shifts of its own. In noting politely that “
But a Turkish-sponsored Western-Islamic compromise remains far in the future, for such a compromise would entail a highly uncharacteristic voluntary Western pullback from its current aggressively militant stance. The astonish shortsightedness of the West in refusing to participate in NATO war games in NATO partner Turkey without the presence of non-NATO Israel and the hostile reaction to the U.N. report on Israel’s war crimes in Gaza bode ill for Erdogan’s hopes to be a regional peacemaker.
And that’s not the sum of the obstacles in Erdogan’s path by far. His hopes of success also hinge on his ability to persuade
’s primary purpose in this visit is not to act as a mediator between Turkey and the West but to deliver an independent Turkish message to the Iranian authorities that Iran is not being convincing about the civilian intentions of its nuclear program to the international community. However, Iran insists it will engage Turkey on this issue as a country which empathizes with Iranian sensitivities. Iran
But Erdogan has a good shot at persuading
perceives no limitation or restriction on the expansion and development of its brotherly relations with Republicof Iran . Turkey
In addition, Ahmadinejad’s just-announced decision to participate in the November 5-9 meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference in
Potential Western Benefits.
Whether or not the West will come in sufficient time to appreciate the opportunity
If Washington is indeed determined to learn from the Dec. 2008 Gaza experiment the lesson that the right way to deal with the Muslim world is military suppression of those who refuse to subordinate themselves to Western preferences plus obdurate refusal to allow independent Muslim entities to participate as equals in the global political system, then that may indeed be the result.
Before the Israeli rightwing cheers too loudly, it might contemplate the implications of a