Turkey and the Middle East
Hugh Pope debunks the idea that Turkey is turning towards Iran or seeking to lead an "Islamic bloc":
In truth-as International Crisis Group argues in its new report Turkey and the Middle East: Ambitions and Constraints-Turkey's rising profile in the Middle East is a complement to and even dependent on its ties to the West. The attempts to grow the regional economy, create interdependence and foster peace have the potential to stabilize an area that has been threatening to it in the past. And Turkey's main motivation for doing this is not the resurrection of an Ottoman-style caliphate, but the fact that its interests are directly damaged by instability in the Middle East, and secondly its desire to secure and encourage new markets for its rapidly expanding industries.
In other words, Turkey is following the policy of a normal confident state: watching after its interest, stabilizing its neighborhood, and redressing the regional balance. But many other states in the region either act over-confident and constantly project and perceive threats (Israel, Iran), act only for short-term tactical goals (Syria), act with hyper-sensitivity and wounded pride (Egypt, Algeria, Morocco) or are so penetrated as to not be able to project a state policy (Lebanon). To find the quietly confident states, look at their economy and soft power.
The ICG report is here.