Turkey's New Foreign Policy: Becoming a Regional Power During EU Accession

Tristan Karyl Hicks, West Virginia University


Since the 1990s, Turkey's role in the international arena has transitioned from one of a relatively weak state into one of a significant regional power. The bulk of this transition has taken place concurrent with economic and political changes, driven largely by Turkey's accession process to the European Union. This thesis uses New Institutionalisms theory to examine the relationship between the EU accession process and Turkey's rise to regional power, highlighting Turkey's high economic growth, its foreign policy shift towards soft power and its increased democratization. This new regional power is then analyzed with New Institutionalisms theory through three case studies focused on Turkey's regional neighbors: Iraq, Iran and Russia. This thesis expands the current literature on Turkish regional relations through its comparative analysis with a highly diverse group of states. The usage of New Institutionalisms theory beyond its usual realm of application---that of European integration---demonstrates its flexibility and benefits as an analytical tool.