Turkey and the challenge of the new Middle East

Thu 31 Jan 2013, 18:00 - 19:30

Thursday 31 January 2013, 6-7.30pm, followed by a reception Venue: The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

A revitalised relationship between Turkey and her Middle Eastern neighbours, building on their shared cultural and historical legacy, has been a key feature of the foreign policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party. This has resulted in closer ties not just commercially and politically, but with the wider Arab public as well.

Unrest in the Middle East has, however, put this relationship at risk. Trade has been disrupted and relationships with now-discredited Arab regimes have been superseded by uncertainty.

The panel will aim to identify the key challenges and options available to policy makers in these dangerous and unpredictable circumstances  where regime change, instability and, in the case of Syria, violence and civil war have challenged Turkey’s interests and influence as a rising regional power.

Sir Timothy Daunt (Chair) served in Ankara from 1960-63. After postings in London, New York, Paris and Brussels, he returned to Turkey as Ambassador in 1986-92.

Yaşar Yakış is a former Foreign Minister of Turkey, and a former ambassador to the UN Office in Vienna, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. He is a founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

Rosemary Hollis is Professor of Middle East Policy Studies at City University. She was previously Director of Research and Head of the Middle East Programme at Chatham House.

John Peet is Europe Editor of The Economist. Before joining The Economist he was a civil servant, working for the Treasury and the Foreign Office from 1976 to 1986.


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