Analysts: Egypt Crisis Underscores Decline of Turkish Regional Influence

Turkey and its ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) had long sought to provide a so-called “Turkish model” for the region, providing an example of “a modern, moderate Muslim state that works.” Ankara’s aspirations had been met with “early enthusiasm” in some corners of the Western foreign policy community.

Erdogan was an early and consistent supporter of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted last week after the military responded to what has been described as the largest national protests in human history. Ankara responded to the army’s actions with outrage.

AFP’s Ankara-based reporter Fulya Ozerkan this weekend investigated the likely cascade effects of Morsi’s removal, as it might affect Turkey’s status as a model for the region. The results for the AKP are not great:

“Working myself in the Middle East, I doubt there ever was a global ‘Turkish model’ in the eyes of the Egyptians,” Marc Pierini, a scholar at Carnegie Europe, told AFP. “The only model Egyptians see in Turkey is the economic policy where Turkey has indeed achieved both discipline and growth since 2001,” he said…

Ozdem Sanberk, a veteran diplomat and former foreign ministry undersecretary, believes that Turkey has not lost its credentials to become a role model “but the AKP’s foreign policy diagnosis toward the Muslim world has proved to be wrong. In the Middle East… Turkey has been alienated. It is clear as of today that Turkey does not know the Middle East unlike it claims,” he told AFP.

[Photo: infinitedimension1 / Youtube]