This book aims to analyze Turkish policy in the Greater Middle East area. The events and discussions that view the region as having a discrete political as well as geographic identity have gained prominence in political circles and in academic analysis. The U.S. Administration's stated goals are to create order and stability in the Greater Middle East area that consists of the countries from North Africa to Indian subcontinent and from Saudi Arabia to Central Asian steppes. Since the September 11 attacks to the U.S., the only country that promoted both security and freedom at home in the Greater Middle East region has been Turkey. Thanks to its dual European and Middle Eastern identities, its political and social modernization and its democratic standards, Turkey is strategically important to both U.S. And European interests in many respects and is therefore a natural key to any plan or concept that aims to promote democracy and raise living standards in this region. With its ability to seconcile democracy and Islam and as well as democracy and security, Turkey is the best candidate to suggest and help initiate internal mechanisms for positive change in the Greater Middle East.
Bülent Aras, a Turkish political scientist, is associate professor of international relations at Fatih University and director of Middle East Project of Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies.