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What is Turkey’s relationship with Europe, in particular with the Balkans, which were on the Western limits of the old Ottoman Empire? Turkish businessmen have been rapidly rebuilding their links with the Balkan states – and some saw this as a first step towards rebuilding of bridges with Western Europe. The dream of eventual EU membership was a powerful influence on the early years of the AKP. However, opposition from France - and more recently Germany - have made that dream seem unlikely to happen for a generation. Where can Turkey now turn if not to Europe?
In a three part series the BBC’s Special Correspondent Allan Little analyses the growth of a new internationalism within Turkey, one that is creating a powerful commonwealth of co-operation with neighbouring countries in the Balkans, North Africa and the Middle East: the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. What factors have propelled this change and how is it affecting the politics of this volatile region? Turkey is back as a major international player for the first time since the late 18th Century and it is helping to shape the world that is emerging. Are the heirs of Ataturk the “new Ottomans”?
Picture: The EU and the Turkish flags, Credit: Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images