Turkey's foreign policy options: Europe, the USA or Central Asia?
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Accession to the European Union (EU) constitutes one of Turkey's primary foreign policy objectives. However, to establish whether the country would benefit from becoming part of an integrated Europe, its foreign policy alternatives to EU membership must also be examined. The first part of this article analyses Turkey's changing relations with Europe. Against this backdrop, the article then moves to assess Turkey's partnership with the USA and the potential of maintaining a close relationship independent from Europe. The role of Russia, Turkey's old neighbours and relations with the Turkic states, as well as the potential for attaining a leading role among them, are also considered. The argument is that Turkey may exploit its geostrategic position to pursue its core foreign policy interests and even assume an important regional role. However, Ankara ought to concentrate on what has long been its priority - full Turkish membership of the EU.