Turkey Rising: Increasing Confidence in Times of Conflict

As the saying goes, history may not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes. This adage is the thrust of much of Graham Fuller’s recent book Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East. Early in the text, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu describes his nation’s resurgence as “the return of history,” and the echoes of Ottoman-era preeminence haunt the rest of the book. Fuller, a former CIA official, delivers an accessible, well-researched book that explores the nuances of an increasingly confident Turkey and its modern ambitions within the Middle East. The author traces the roots of modern events through the Cold War and colonial administration of the Sykes-Picot era and into the prolonged period of Ottoman decline, when Istanbul’s regional influence began to wane. By shading current geopolitics with their historical beginnings, he convincingly explores the layers and contradictions of power in Ankara.

Andrew Burns
October 01, 2014

A Review of Turkey and the Arab Spring: Leadership in the Middle East by Graham Fuller (Vancouver, BC: Bozorg Press, 2014), 408 pages.