Turkey and the EU: The Limits of Unconditional Alignment
Turkey and its Western allies have been more effective when they have acted together in dealing with the challenges across the Arab world in 2011. In Turkey’s Black Sea neighborhood, where the EU takes more of a lead role than the United States, there is also an opportunity for synergy. However, this potential is limited by the state of Turkey-EU relations. Even while collaborating with the West, Turkey’s leadership has continued to “otherize” the Western powers, mirroring the shortsightedness of some European politicians. Though Turkish alignment on any given case can hardly be taken for granted, Ankara ultimately does need a pillar of its regional balancing act to rest in the axis of Europe. Turkey and the EU need to have the full spectrum of maneuvering space to deal more effectively with prospective economic, political, and strategic strains looming in 2012.