The Interlinking of Turkey's Domestic and Foreign Policy in the AKP's Third Term
In the wake of the AKP’s victory and the resignation of Turkey’s top military commanders six weeks later, there is no longer any doubt who has exclusive control over foreign policy. Turkey now must prove it is able to transcend its long tradition of "democracy without democrats" both internally and externally. The AKP government has won a mandate in its third term to write a new social contract and be a true inspiration for its region. Having spent the last two terms demanding a global role for Turkey, the AKP now has its wish in the "Arab Spring," but must deliver if it wants to be seen a credible mediator rather than simply a rhetorically bombastic and ineffective regional power. Without a harmonic and symbiotic voice, Turkey risks losing the influence it has carefully cultivated over the last decade. Managing the interdependency between a democratizing and fractious domestic political scene with an ambitious foreign policy vision in Ankara for the AKP will be of critical importance.