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Relations between Turkey and the Middle East have been in existence for a long time. During the period of the Ottoman Empire, in particular, this region was governed by Turks. Following the establishment of the Republic of Turkey before 2002, the relationship of Turkey with this region experienced a sharp downturn, because Turkey at that time emphasized its relations with the West, either this involved the United States or Europe. The relationship started to be on the rise again as a result of the exportoriented policy of President Ozal, which encouraged the Turkish to return to this region. Besides, the rise in violence perpetrated by the Kurds in Turkey and the neighboring countries has become their common problem stimulating the Turkish role in this region. Turkey’s relations with the Middle East have resumed prominence after the Justice and Development Party came to power in 2002. Emphasizing a friendly and proactive foreign policy, Turkey has reshaped its relations with all countries in the region. But after the Arab Spring, trends in the relationship have turned to be predominantly security-based. At the same time, in view of the context of internal politics in each country, merely a positive policy is not enough. This article then attempts to discuss the dynamics of relations before and after 2002 in order to see the development and position of Turkey in the Middle East.
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