Chuck Spinney Sends…
As someone who has lived in Turkey for most of the last two years, I have watched the development of her foreign policy with great interest, not to mention a good deal of confusion
It is hard to make sense out this rapidly-emerging, vibrant country of 70 million, increasingly well-educated, industrious people. While its remote interior is still very traditional, Turkey’s coastal regions are already beginning to blossom into an outward looking, modern multinational consumer society, and the effects of rising incomes and education are very visible. In the coastal regions, I would say that living standards are now higher than those of Portugal, about the same as those of Greece, and somewhat lower than those of Spain. To be sure, the interior is poorer, especially as one travels east, but even in the east, there is growing modernity. Everywhere, markets are chock a block with high-quality healthy food and vast quantities middle income consumer goods, and there is fresh water galore, especially in the coastal regions.
The attached op-ed by Patrick Seale is a good summary that brings clarity to much of what is going on with Turkey’s foreign policy and is well worth reading.
But there is more. Not mentioned are Turkey’s bilateral overtures to Russia, Georgia, the Ukraine, and the various Turkic countries in great swath of Central Asia (including the Uighurs in NW China), as well as a bewildering variety of multilateral environmental and economic initiatives in the Black Sea region (involving Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Greece, and Turkey).