Two years ago, Turkey was on its way to being a player in Central Asia, a major power broker in the Middle East, and a driving force in international politics. It had made peace with its regional rivals, partnered with Brazil to take a serious stab at a peaceful resolution of the Iran nuclear crisis, and stepped in to avert a major escalation of the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia by blocking U.S. ships from entering the Black Sea.
Today it is exchanging artillery rounds with Syria. Its relations with Iraq have deteriorated to the point that Baghdad has declared Ankara a “hostile state.” It picked a fight with Russia by forcing down a Syrian passenger plane and accusing Moscow of sending arms to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. It angered Iran by agreeing to host a U.S. anti-missile system (a step which won Turkey no friends in Moscow either). Its war with its Kurdish minority has escalated sharply.
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