The second seminar in Turkish Politics Seminar Series at the UK’s Keele University as a joint project was held on April 21, 2012.
SAM Vice Chairman Dr. Mesut Ozcan addressed the doctoral students at the university campus in a discussion titled Arab Spring: Opportunity or Threat for Turkish Foreign Policy?
Dr. Ozcan stated that the events that are taking place in Turkey’s broader neighborhood pose both threats and opportunities after giving an analysis of Turkish Foreign Politics from late 1990s till the present. According to him, both Turkey’s decreasing security threats and the EU candidature that began to take place simultaneously in 1999 influenced the changing nature of foreign policy.
After explaining the basic tools of proactive foreign policy such as high level political dialogue and economic interdependence, Dr.Ozcan said that Turkey favored a gradual and orderly change in the region up until the people’s uprisings in the Middle East.
Although the turmoil in its surrounding tends to cause instabilities, Dr.Ozcan believes that the situation offers an opportunity of more democracy which will be more beneficial for everyone in the region.
A Q&A session followed Dr. Ozcan’s presentation which provided a fruitful academic discussion.