Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2012

The Political Economy of Regional Power: Turkey under the AKP

André Bank, Roy Karadag

September 2012

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


In 2006/2007 Turkey became a regional power in the Middle East, a status it has continued to maintain in the context of the Arab Spring. To understand why Turkey only became a regional power under the Muslim AKP government and why this happened at the specific point in time that it did, the paper highlights the self‐reinforcing dynamics between Turkey’s domestic political‐economic transformation in the first decade of this century and the advantageous regional developments in the Middle East at the same time. It concludes that this specific linkage – the “Ankara Moment” – and its regional resonance in the neighboring Middle East carries more transformative potential than the “Washington Consensus” or the “Beijing Consensus” so prominently discussed in current Global South politics.