Turkey toward the 21st century
Bertrand M. Patenaude
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The purpose of this thesis to analyze the effects of the end of the Cold War and the collapse of communism on Turkey's long-standing regional and international strategic role/importance and its foreign and security policies. After providing the reader with the background information about the foundation of the republic and the evolution of its foreign and security policies throughout the Cold War years, the thesis asserts that Turkey has attempted to adjust to the changes that the end of Cold War introduced into international relations by pursuing two complementary objectives: (1) to preserve and further strengthen the old ties and relationships that it built during the Cold War years with the West, which meant largely Western Europe and the United States; (2) to limit the damage that regional conflicts might eventually inflict on its own domestic stability and welfare. Following the analysis of whether or not Turkey has been able to achieve its objectives, this thesis concludes that Turkey does not see either Central Asia or the Middle East as a real alternative to the West despite all the exclusionary signs that it receives from Europe and the strained relations with the United States, and that Turkey still needs the military, economic and political cooperation and assistance of the West to overcome the challenges that are awaiting it in the next decade which will carry it into the 21st century. And the West has compelling reasons to provide the assistance and cooperation that Turkey seeks.
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