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The 'Sunnification' Of Turkish Foreign Policy

Turkey once hoped to be a peace broker in the region, but is now increasingly seen as inflaming sectarian divisions and instability, writes Semih Idiz.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pauses during the 49th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 3, 2013. Senior politicians along with the leader of the Syrian opposition are in Munich providing a rare opportunity for talks to revive efforts to end the civil war in Syria.       REUTERS/Michael Dalder (GERMANY - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS) - RTR3DALG

When the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002, one of its main plans was to use Ankara’s open channels of communication with practically all parties in the Middle East, together with Turkey’s growing “soft power,” to mediate in all kinds of regional disputes and contribute to stability in this turbulent part of the world.

This vision was further energized after Ahmet Davutoglu was appointed foreign minister in May 2009. He wasted no time in implementing his highly encouraging “zero problems with neighbors” policy. It appeared to be working, too, when it emerged that Ankara was negotiating a deal between Israel and Syria.

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