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Food for Thought


Addressing the Turkish Dimension in Creating a Euro-Atlantic Security Community - Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI) 


Building a Euro-Atlantic Security Community has many dimensions, including the multiple and diverse sides of security—from its political-military aspects to economic, environmental, and energy security, as well as human security in the form of good governance and respect for the rights of individuals.

Other dimensions involve the evolving role and significance of key actors. On that front, none  is more important than Turkey and the dramatic changes in its role in the Euro-Atlantic region. The Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative’s Working Group on Turkey, which brought together experts from Turkey and from elsewhere in the region, examined the new assertiveness in Turkish foreign policy, Ankara’s growing influence within its critical immediate neighborhood, and its evolving relationship with other key portions of the Euro-Atlantic region. The report that follows assesses each of these elements. It then recommends measures to be taken by the Turkish government and Turkey’s partners in the Euro-Atlantic region to fit the Turkish component into the construction of a stronger Euro-Atlantic Security Community.

The Euro-Atlantic Security Initiative (EASI) was tasked, in the words of the commission’s basic concept, with creating a Euro-Atlantic Security Community “free of opposing blocs and gray areas.” The community should be a vast space in which “disputes would be expected to be resolved exclusively by diplomatic, legal or other nonviolent means, without recourse to military force or the threat of its use” and in which all countries “would be bound together by a shared understanding of the major security challenges facing member states and ready to respond to them with effective organization and action.” If that is the objective, then integrating Turkey into the enterprise is key.


Turkey has obvious and unique geostrategic significance for the Euro-Atlantic area, given its location at the intersection of the Black and Mediterranean Seas and aside the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Caspian basin. A population of 75 million makes Turkey by far Europe’s most populous Muslim-majority country. It is a dynamic business and commercial powerhouse; its economy outperformed China’s in 2010; and, were it in the European Union (EU), for the last ten years Turkey would have been its fastest growing member.

Scarcely any issue crucial in the construction of a Euro-Atlantic Security Community lacks a Turkish  dimension. Speak of energy security as a critical component of a Euro-Atlantic community and Turkey’s role as a vital player in the development of the new southern corridor supply route into Europe immediately arises. Turkey is an important factor for such political-military issues as the future of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), missile defense cooperation, and the disposition of nonstrategic nuclear weapons. As the Euro-Atlantic states deal with historic changes in the broader Middle East, Ankara has great potential to help shape events, and its diplomats are active players in the Balkans at a time when the attention of others has shifted elsewhere. Turkey also has a major presence in the post-Soviet space and will play an important role as that region’s countries deal with political, economic, and security challenges. Ankara’s positive relations with Moscow and its stake in resolving conflicts in the Caucasus can be assets in stabilizing that area and integrating both it and Russia into the wider Euro-Atlantic region. Location and exposure make Turkey’s cooperation and capabilities vital in the struggle against terrorism, illegal immigration, organized crime, drug trafficking, and other illicit trade.


So too does Turkey figure prominently in the historical obstacles that must be overcome if North America, Europe, and Russia are to make of themselves a common economic and security space. Overcoming tensions and mistrust rooted in long-standing grievances between countries represents another critical step along the way to integrating the Euro-Atlantic space. Unless deep-seated sources of tension in Turkey’s relations with key neighbors fade, the larger objective will remain severely constrained.


In the not too distant past, Turkey’s effectiveness as a world or even regional player often appeared limited by internal weaknesses and the burdens of history and culture. Among the former were economic failings and a fractured political system that hampered effective government and led to military control. The latter included an incomplete relationship with Europe, circumscribed ties with Russia, and an estrangement from the Arab world, the Balkans, and Armenia. As a result Ankara often “punched below its weight” in international affairs. In many cases, it was seen as a marginal complicating factor rather than a driver or source of solutions. Today, Ankara’s engagement and presence appear in a markedly different light.

Ankara is energetically articulating a Turkish view, a Turkish interest, and a Turkish role on an astonishing array of issues, and then asserting itself in a manner not observed since Ottoman times. Based on its own internal social, economic, and political transformations, which have roots in changes that began in the 1980s and that have accelerated dramatically in the last decade, the country has developed an image and an influence in the volatile region around it that are enlarged and important.

Hence, it is of no small importance that Europe, particularly the European Union, has too long kept Turkey at arm’s length. Whatever the complex issues that weigh on Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU, the absence of an EU strategic vision for its relations with Turkey has grown critical, as Turkey’s relations within the Euro-Atlantic region reach a decisive turning point. Turkey is now more important than ever to the larger Euro-Atlantic community and that community is more important than ever to Turkey.


What Turkey brings to a potential EuroAtlantic Security Community is, while crucial, also complicated and controversial. The country is pivotal in four regions that matter to Euro-Atlantic security—the  Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Therefore, the way it defines its role and executes its foreign policy bears significantly on how developments within these regions will affect the peace and welfare of the larger Euro-Atlantic region. But the exercise of that role at times has stirred misgivings in allied capitals—the May to June 2010 blowup with the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom on Iran being the most obvious example. On that issue and others, new Turkish activism has not always brought consistent or unmixed successes. Ankara’s ability to influence events has, at times, been limited. For instance, the risky and so far fruitless confrontation with Israel over Gaza remains, and despite increasingly strong remonstrances by the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria’s violence against activists within its borders continues.

When Turkey acts in ways divorced from the actions of its longtime friends and allies as well as from others in the Euro-Atlantic space, it is less successful in achieving its goals; Turkey in concert with others will accomplish more on crucial regional and global matters. Achieving this harmony is not, of course, only up to the EU or the United States but is also a task for Ankara. Thus, expectations of Turkey, as the states of the Euro-Atlantic seek to act in concert to reinforce regional stability and development, are as great as Ankara’s expectations of others. As the Euro-Atlantic states deal with 
historic changes in the broader Middle East, Ankara has great potential to help shape events.

There are also domestic considerations. Almost universally, Turks are proud of their country’s historic  reemergence in world affairs for the first time in nearly one hundred years and resentful of those who criticize it, particularly when those critics’ policies—in Iraq, Afghanistan, and on Israel-Palestine, among other issues—seem to Turks to have been deeply flawed. At the same time, Turkey’s own society is polarized. Suspicion of Prime Minister Erdogan, his colleagues, and their agenda runs deep. Antipathy about and opposition to many specific policies toward Israel, the Arab world, Iran, the United States, and Russia are substantial. Turkey’s ability to play an effective role and fashion more effective partnerships with the other Euro-Atlantic states depends in real measure on how these internal tensions are resolved, and the degree to which Ankara is seen to be acting at home and abroad in ways consistent with its modern secular and democratic character.

The Turkish dimension of the Euro-Atlantic enterprise, therefore, has two sides, and dealing with both in a balanced and frank fashion constitutes—for Turks as well as their Euro-Atlantic partners—the core challenge.


I. Turkey and the European Union

Like Russia, Turkey is a crucial European player whose relations with a key European institution are  problematic and whose imperfect integration into European structures remains a challenge that clouds the vision of a Euro-Atlantic Security Community. But whereas Russia is decidedly skeptical about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Turkey’s political culture and public have for decades expressed an eagerness to be part of the EU. That eagerness has not been reciprocated in all European capitals. Whether opposition to Turkey’s entry reflects fears over bringing more Muslims into the community, jealousy that a state the size of Turkey will diminish the power and influence of others in EU institutions, or a genuine conviction that imperfect democracy and alienated neighbors make Turkey unfit for membership, the underlying reality is that much of Europe does not have a good understanding of contemporary Turkey—or, in fact, a desire to understand it. 

Turkish-EU relations are characterized by paralysis, if not enmity. Far more negotiations chapters are offlimits than are open to negotiation, and, since no chapters can be closed, the talks, as they drag on year after year, lack an obvious end point. Fewer and fewer Europeans now speak about how and why Turkey should be part of the EU. The same holds true for Turkey, where leaders in Ankara have largely failed to make the case to their public of why it is a vital national interest to be a part of the EU. To the contrary, their repeated complaints about double standards and moving EU goalposts have halved public support for Turkey’s EU accession project in just six years. So few Turks now expect the country will ever gain admission to the EU that this prospect’s apparent hopelessness seems barely to be a political issue. Starved of oxygen on all sides, the negotiations are slowly suffocating.

The Turkish-EU relationship is fraught with structural and political problems. The 2004 decision to admit Cyprus even in the absence of a peace settlement there meant that Nicosia could veto any affirmative EU step in the talks with Turkey and that it could use Turkey’s accession process as leverage in its UN-led negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots. The Cyprus issue has also amounted to a fig leaf behind which EU opponents could hide. Indeed, barely a year after their historic October 2005 decision to open accession negotiations with Turkey, EU leaders were maneuvered into circumscribing those negotiations by Cyprus and Ankara’s other EU critics.


The fact that Turkey is an accession country means that relations with it are structurally “owned” by the enlargement directorate, limiting or at least crowding out a larger EU strategic foreign policy dialogue with Ankara. The conversations that the enlargement commissioner has with his Turkish counterpart cannot substitute for those that the high representative for foreign affairs and the Turkish foreign minister have only inadequately. Dialogue on specific issues, such as the Arab Spring or Caspian gas and energy, is pushed to the side and left unconnected to any broader vision for EU-Turkish relations.

This is not easy to fix. Ankara wants to be treated like every other country negotiating accession with the EU but also believes—correctly—that it is different and should be recognized as such. It is hard to have it both ways, and Ankara remains wary about developing relations outside of the accession context, not least for fear that doing so will be seen as accepting the secondbest “privileged partnership” to which French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel want to consign it. As a result, the EU keeps Turkey at arm’s length and renders itself more insular in the process. The EU should instead recognize that Turkey is an important window on Arab and other largely Muslim countries and communities with which the union’s own relations have foundered. Turkey, in turn, deprives itself of the EU connection and synergies that would augment its regional role, influence European thinking and actions on key issues, and perhaps lead to better outcomes on issues where both share interests.

II. Managing and Resolving Regional Conflicts around Turkey 

Ankara’s has not been a historically easy neighborhood. Throughout much of the Cold War, as Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, Turks thought of their country as having “three sides of seas and four sides of enemies.” He sought to replace that with a policy of achieving “zero problems with neighbors.” Indeed, well before the Justice and Development Party government was seated in 2002, Turkey set about overcoming historically friction-ridden relationships, beginning with Syria, Greece, and Armenia. At a time when others could not or would not take up the promotion of resumed negotiations between Syria and Israel, Turkey stepped into the void and made progress in 2007–2008. It played a helpful role with Qatar and others in mediating an end to Lebanon’s presidential crisis in 2009. After sitting on the sidelines following the U.S. invasion of Iraq and allowing too much of its policy toward that country to be held hostage by terrorism organized by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its supporters in northern Iraq, Turkey from March 2008 largely embraced the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, involved itself in Iraqi internal political  issues as a balance to Iran, achieved rapprochement with the Iraqi Kurds and their leader Massoud Barzani, and successfully developed trade and investment with the region. The inclusion of Turkey proved important for NATO’s confrontation with Muammar Qaddafi, even though the Turks’ military role in Libya was passive. In the Balkans, Turkey has been welcomed by Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia. It found a role for itself in promoting dialogue between Bosnia and Serbia, with which ties have flourished, and Ankara has involved itself in easing the complex Pakistan-Afghanistan relationship.

True, these initiatives have come with limitations. Work in 2009–2010 to mediate the Iran nuclear  issue led to a confrontation with others over the Turkey-Brazil-Iran uranium swap deal and Ankara’s vote against expanded United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran. Israel-Syria mediation and back-channel efforts in the conflict between Israel and Hamas (including on the fate of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for five years and released in October 2011) collapsed after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead into Gaza, a change of government in Israel, the Mavi Marmara flotilla confrontation, and sharp public rhetoric by key leaders. The deterioration of relations with the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu in 2010–2011 suggests that any renewal of a Turkish mediating role with or among Israel, Syria, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, or the Hamas regime in Gaza will be a very long time coming. 

Work to increase Ankara’s role in the Caucasus foundered after the sidelining of a 2009 agreement with Armenia to normalize ties and deal with the difficult legacy of the Armenians’ fate at Ottoman hands during World War I. The setback in Turkish-Armenian relations has had the indirect effect of slowing a bilateral rapprochement and a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan. 

Still, Ankara’s attempts at reconciliation and mediation serve a larger strategic objective whose action elements are potentially a natural complement to the European Union’s European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), including its European Mediterranean Partnership (EMP). If it is to make headway on issues of immediate interest—including Cyprus—while also enhancing its external role, Turkey needs to exercise leadership in promoting stability as well as intercourse within and among these regions. To accomplish this, Ankara has significant soft power tools. They include promoting freedom of movement through visa-free regimes, the development of joint social and cultural projects, and large trade and investment resources. This is precisely the approach and these are many of the tools at the heart of the EU’s ENP/EMP. By most accounts the returns to Turkey’s efforts exceed those to the EU, suggesting both lessons to be learned and success to be valued.

III. Dealing with the Arab Spring 

A new and vital extension of Turkey’s role on the Euro-Atlantic’s southern front, Ankara’s constructive engagement with the Arab Spring is potentially as important to Euro-Atlantic security as the actions of other powers, including the United States and the European Union. True, like others, its history has been more with leaders now ousted or under siege than with the Arab public. Its influence is spread unevenly, being much weaker in the Maghreb than in the Eastern Mediterranean, and until recently was overlaid with historical resentment of Ottoman subjugation and Turkish paternalism. But Turkish culture and ways have become increasingly familiar and popular in neighboring Arab states, not least because of the wide viewership of Turkish television, the image Prime Minister Erdogan has generated by standing up to Israel, and also Turkey’s acceptance of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing Bashar al-Assad’s oppressive regime.

While democracy promotion, an important component of the European Union’s EMP and of America’s approach to the region, has seldom been an operationally articulated dimension of Turkish policy, leaders in Ankara have made increasingly clear in recent months their view that democracy is essential for long-term regional stability, and they have pressed regional autocrats to respond to the public will or find themselves swept away by it. Aspects of Turkey’s development aid programs have focused on good governance, women’s rights, and broader political participation. Ultimately, while it is commonplace to add to this list the hopefilled notion that Turkey, as a modern Muslim-majority society, can serve as a model for a Middle East struggling to find a new identity, Turkey’s real contribution at this level is more likely to be as an object lesson based on its successes and failures in managing the four-sided challenge of reconciling Islam, secularism, democracy, and modernization.

But the Arab Spring plays another way, too. Part of the case for including Turkey in the EU is the need for a strong and closely linked Ankara to secure Europe’s southeastern borders. However, with the Arab world’s future even more uncertain than in the wake of the Iraq war, Turkey looks exposed on the front lines of turbulence, the end of which cannot be predicted. Why, EU members may ask, bring this turbulence to new EU borders? Better, it might seem, to keep Turkey a buffer state. And to the extent security concerns make Turkey an essential frontline partner, it is in any case a NATO member, implicitly diminishing the importance of the EU connection.

IV. Energy 

Turkey lies at the nexus of a complex network of transit routes for oil and gas flowing to Europe from the south. As a result, Ankara will have an important say on whether the pipelines constructed enhance European energy security in an economically optimal fashion, whether they are built cooperatively or competitively, and whether the Russian dimension of Caspian energy contributes to or hinders this process. Today’s issue is gas, and Turkey will play a significant role in decisions on whether new, larger-volume pipelines from the Caspian to Europe are built, and, then, which ones are built—Nabucco, the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy, or the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. It will also play a large part in the related issues of where new gas will go in Europe and whether second-stage Shah Deniz gas from Azerbaijan will be developed and brought to Europe. The same is true of other potential new gas from Iraq and Turkmenistan. Were the obstacles to drawing Iran into Europe’s energy grid one day to be lifted, Turkey would be its obvious transit corridor to Europe, too, and possibly a key developer of Iran’s vast South Pars gas field.

The outcome in each case, and the extent to which Turkey (and others) succeed in becoming energy-trade exchanges and hubs, will have a lot to do with whether and how energy competition develops in Europe, with obvious implications for Russia and Russian interests in Europe and Central Asia. To the extent that new gas via the southern corridor and a new series of regional gas interconnectors in southern and eastern Europe progress, gas-to-gas competition will increase within Europe, benefiting consumers and adding pressure on Russia’s Gazprom to move toward a more commercial approach to gas sales.

Yet, Ankara’s hard-line, self-contradictory, or at least confusing, negotiating tactics on Caspian gas and the pipeline issue have seemed to undermine EU energy security goals, slowed decisionmaking on these projects, and alienated both Europeans involved in the project and Azerbaijan. Ankara’s agreement with Azerbaijan in late October 2011 on Shah Deniz gas sales to Turkey and transit of volumes onward to Europe resolved many of these contradictions, but a number of issues remain to be worked out.

V. New Threats 

Terrorism, drug trafficking, and illegal migration have become major security preoccupations for virtually every Euro-Atlantic state. Geography means that Ankara has a critical role to play in curbing these new threats, even while the country’s location as well as its openness and freedoms make fulfilling that role difficult. Law enforcement cooperation, it appears, has developed more fully on narcotics trafficking and terrorism (for example, with the United States on al-Qaeda and with Russia on groups affiliated with Chechen rebels) than on migration, where porous borders, the extraordinarily close proximity of the Turkish shore to Greek islands, and historical grievances, claims, and resentments have hindered cooperation.

A major objective of the European Union’s ENP and EMP is to reduce the danger of terrorism, constrain the operations of transnational organized crime, stem the flow of narcotics, and manage the impact of migration. At a more basic level, freedom of movement, as has long been known, is a critical element in fashioning a community. If a Euro-Atlantic Security Community is to be a serious objective, Turkey’s emphasis on promoting visa-free relations with its neighbors—particularly Syria—along with the question of visa-free travel between Russia and the EU, represent an opportunity. But it is an opportunity with serious potential complications that need to be assessed in a regional, and not just a bilateral, context.

VI. Turkey-Russia Relations 

Increasingly elaborate relations between Ankara and Moscow are a positive factor for advancing the idea of a more integrated and effective Euro-Atlantic Security Community. Without gainsaying occasional areas of discord—energy, mutual suspicions over one another’s actions in the Caucasus, and Russia’s 2007 CFE Treaty suspension—the level of economic and energy cooperation between the two, their potential to work together or in parallel in dealing with tensions in the Caucasus and the Balkans, and the steps they have taken to put Cold War attitudes behind them both set a positive example and create a potential element to help overcome Europe’s divides.

But this positive picture sometimes looks different in other Euro-Atlantic capitals. The image of Ankara’s seeming deference to Moscow has jarred Western officials long accustomed to Turkish deference on matters related to Russia, whether the matter is Turkey’s awarding of a nuclear power plant tender to Russia or other nontransparent bilateral energy deals, the enforcement during the August 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict of Montreux Convention rules that curbed NATO and U.S. naval support for the Georgian government, or the stiff-arming of efforts to plant a stronger NATO flag in the Black Sea following the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the alliance. That these pictures have not always comported with reality has not mattered. And for Russia, Turkey remains an integral part of NATO, seems now to support U.S. and NATO ideas on missile defense, and is an antagonist on the CFE Treaty and the broader issue of Europe’s future security arrangements. At a practical level, the two countries cooperate too little on regional matters and clearly also compete with one another, including in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and even in Abkhazia, where Turks would like to see their ethnic kinsman develop options other than reliance on the Kremlin.

Finally, one of the obstacles to transforming the Euro-Atlantic region into a cohesive space is how to overcome competing projects of economic integration. Russia’s efforts to promote both a customs union and the Eurasian Economic Community in the post-Soviet space c omplicate the process of integrating these states with—never mind into—the EU. Turkey’s efforts to promote its own economic integration in surrounding regions, such as through its free trade agreement with Georgia, pose a generically similar problem. Here Turkey, like Russia, is central to another crucial opportunity that comes with complications: how to secure the advantages flowing from greater economic cooperation and integration among clusters of states without impeding the merger of all states within the Euro-Atlantic region into a greater economic whole.



To enhance Turkey’s role in helping to build a Euro-Atlantic Security Community, we recommend initiatives in three dimensions.

I. Turkey and the EU

Although frustrated by the current stalemate in the accession negotiations, the Turkey-EU relationship remains crucial. It will be decisive in shaping Turkey’s place in and approach to the broader Euro-Atlantic region. It will be an important mechanism for coordinating and collaborating on issues of great importance in European capitals and in Ankara, of which Libya and Syria are two current, prominent examples. A better relationship and fuller dialogue at all levels is more likely to contribute to progress on accession than are poorer relations and a constricted conversation on important international issues. Both sides—as well as the larger Euro-Atlantic community—would benefit were Turkey and the EU to upgrade their foreign policy dialogue. To that end we recommend that:

• Turkey and the European Union should establish a broad and regular foreign policy dialogue that is separate from the accession negotiations but framed in ways clearly distinct from a “privileged    partnership” or any other alternative to accession.

• This dialogue should be given a strong base by including Turkish leaders on an ad hoc basis in EU summits devoted to foreign policy issues; by ensuring the Turkish foreign minister’s participation at  Gymnich meetings; by regularizing the four-way meetings among the EU high representative for foreign affairs, the enlargement commissioner, and the Turkish foreign and EU affairs ministers; and by frequent consultations on specific issues among senior EU and Turkish officials in capitals and in the field.

• Substantively, the EU-Turkey dialogue should include issues that affect the interests of both and should be wide-ranging, including matters beyond Turkey’s immediate periphery such as those regarding China, Pakistan, and Africa. Ankara should not be excluded from EU deliberations on issues in which it has an interest and is active, such as Bosnia, Syria, and Iran, to take three current examples.

• EU member states and Turkey should examine the advantages and feasibility of including Turkey as a nonvoting member in the EU Political and Security Committee.

• In order to enhance the effectiveness of such a dialogue and to put the Turkish-EU relationship on better footing, initiatives should be taken to begin breaking the Cyprus impasse, including as a first step the unblocking of Cypriot trade (from both Greek and Turkish sides of the island) with Turkey and the EU.


II. Turkey and the Management and Resolution of Regional Conflicts

Turkey has played an active role in mediating conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond and has a potentially salutary role to play in dealing with evolving events in the new Middle East. In order to maximize the positive synergy between Turkey and other states and organizations in the Euro-Atlantic region, we urge that:

• The EU should more actively strive to draw a variety of Turkish actors (ministries, agencies, and nongovernmental organizations) into the formulation and implementation of the new European Neighborhood Policy and as a direct participant in the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument, allowing Turkey to share its development experience within an EU framework. Turkey should respond positively to such EU efforts.

• Turkey should be drawn more closely into the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Minsk Group’s effort to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and should more fully coordinate its regional initiatives with the Minsk process.

• The normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations should resume, and the EU should find ways to support it. Not only will this help address a long-standing historical grievance within the Euro-Atlantic region, but it will also help expand Turkey’s conflict prevention and resolution role in the Caucasus.

• Practical steps should be taken to normalize Turkey-EU security and defense cooperation, as well as NATO-EU cooperation where both organizations are active.

• Turkey should coordinate more closely with the EU and others in the Euro-Atlantic community on its mediating efforts in Middle East, the Balkans, and elsewhere.


III. Turkey and the Euro-Atlantic Political-Military Agenda 

Turkey figures in every effort to provide a more stable and cooperative defense and security environment in the Euro-Atlantic region. It has important interests in a renegotiated Adapted CFE agreement, in issues related to nonstrategic nuclear weapons, and in European missile defense. It plays an important role in Black Sea security arrangements and undertakings. It is on the front lines in the defense against terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking, and other illicit trade. To enhance cooperation in this sphere, we recommend that:

• The Euro-Atlantic states, before simply abandoning the one-sided flank limitations in the CFE Treaty and when negotiating further conventional arms control in Europe, should consider the creation of “safety zones” in their place in which all parties’ armament levels, military exercises, and troop reinforcements would be limited and regulated.

• If a natural attrition of its forward-based European nuclear deterrent occurs, NATO should ensure that Turkey is not left isolated as a single host for B61 nuclear weapons.

• The United States should consult regularly with Turkey as it proceeds with the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense effort.

• NATO and Turkey should continue and enhance information sharing and operational collaboration between Turkey’s Operation Black Sea Harmony and NATO’s Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean.

Click here for further information about EASI and EASI Working Group on Turkey

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