by Walter Russell Mead
January 28, 2014
The Turks must face the reality that their Byzantine predecessors learned: Turkey cannot thrive without allies and its foreign policy must be based on choosing alliances rather than on carving out a great power position of its own. This does not mean that Turkey is inevitably going to choose a western orientation. Russia, Iran, and perhaps one day India or China offer alternative paths for Turkish foreign policy. However, although the Young Turks sided with Germany rather than Britain in 1914, Ataturk understood that once it had divested itself of its imperial, non-Turkish territories, Turkey had little to fear and much to gain from an alliance with distant, stability-seeking maritime powers. It seems reasonably likely that when the dust settles in Ankara once again, Turkey will feel more secure with a good relationship with the maritime West.