NATO and Turkey in the post-Cold War world: between abandonment and entrapment
For the last two decades two fears have largely shaped Turkey's view of NATO. These are fears of entrapment and abandonment. Both are symptoms of a type of security dilemma that is peculiar to military alliances and coalitions. Both fears had their origins in the Cold War in the context of Turkey's 60-year-old NATO membership. They also led to the pursuit of autonomy in Turkish foreign policy both as a response strategy and as a strategic choice in its own right. While the former version featured a heavy dose of reliance on military means or hard power the latter version de-emphasized the military option in foreign policy and relied instead on soft power. A multitude of dynamics accounts for variations in the Turkish approach to NATO for the last two decades: Geography and regional considerations the transatlantic dynamics NATO's restructuring and transformation and Turkey's domestic dynamics. It may be suggested that NATO membership now looms large in the strategic calculations of the new Turkish elite in the aftermath of the Arab Awakening. This development might be the harbinger of the end of an era marked by fears and the pursuit of autonomy in Turkey's approach to NATO.