12 April 2013
Unlike his predecessors, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken on a much more robust and aggressive foreign policy with the country's neighbors. From supporting the Arab Spring movement to spearheading negotiations over Iran's nuclear program and supporting the Syrian opposition in its uprising against the Assad regime, Ankara is attempting to mirror its rising economic influence in the realm of foreign policy. But what are the implications of such a dramatic shift away from the "Good Neighbor" policy that has served Turkey so well for decades?
Since Erdoğan has taken office, Turkish foreign policy has become decidedly less passive and noninterventionist. The Prime Minister lashed out at Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2009 over what he believed was excessive force used by the Israelis against the Palestinians; tensions continued to rise during the flotilla crisis the next year. More recently, Erdoğan referred to Zionism as a "crime against humanity" during a speech to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Vienna.