ON-Lion Letter
The German Marshall Fund of the United States' (GMF's) fifth annual Brussels Forum was held in March.  The Brussels Forum is a high-level meeting of the most-influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders to address pressing challenges currently facing both sides of the Atlantic.

In preparation for Forum, GMF commissioned a series of policy papers and essays from a number of high-level thinkers both inside and outside the organization.  One of the papers was prepared by three fellows of the Transatlantic Academy -- a permanent, ongoing mechanism for a select group of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic and from different academic and policy disciplines to examine a single set of issues.  GMF, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius and the Robert Bosch Stiftung of Germany, and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially support the Transatlantic Academy. 

In "A Neighborhood Rediscovered:  Turkey's Transatlantic Value in the Middle East," Academy fellows Kemal Kiriþci, Nathalie Tocci, and Joshua Walker examine the conditions under which Turkey's new global role can represent an asset for Turkey, the Middle East, the United States, and the European Union.  Kiriþci is a political scientist at Boðaziçi University in Istanbul, Tocci is a senior fellow at the Istituto Affari Internazionali in Rome, and Walker is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University.  Transatlantic Academy fellow Ahmet Evin participated in an off-the-record session on Turkey at the Forum.

"Turkey no longer represents a Cold War bulwark or a bridge for the projection of Western interests," Kiriþci, Tocci, and Walker write in the paper.  "It is increasingly a player in its own right in the Middle East and beyond.  This has caused consternation in the United States and Europe, leading to the idea that the West is 'losing Turkey.'"

In the paper, they argue that "Turkey is belatedly engaging the Middle East by mediating conflicts, developing economic relations, and liberalizing the movement of people, all initiatives aimed at promoting peace, prosperity, and openness.  By contributing to the integration of the Middle East into the global system, Turkey’s democracy and liberal market economy are also having a demonstrative spillover on its southern neighbors, however modest.

"Developing channels of cooperation with Turkey in order to tap into Turkey's potential to contribute to regional peace and stability in the Middle East," they conclude, "is thus imperative for the United States and the European Union."
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