U.S. Institute of Peace Press

Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World

(click for larger cover)

$16.95 $13.50 (Paperback)

USIP Press Books
December 2007
160 pp. , 6" x 9"

“Timely and lively, Graham Fuller’s latest book makes a valuable contribution to the debate about Turkey and its role in the world. Drawing on a range of interviews in Turkey and the region, it reflects on recent events and trends in a way that is not found in other works on Turkish foreign policy. It is an essential read for those looking to understand the new Turkey—and its meaning for others.”
—Ian Lesser, Woodrow Wilson Center

This timely work explores how, after a long period of isolation, Turkey is becoming a major player in Middle Eastern politics once again. In fact, by acting independently and attempting to reconcile its constitutionally secular form of governance and vibrant traditional culture, it is now for the first time becoming positively viewed by others in the Muslim world as a state worth watching—and maybe even emulating. As a result, Turkey’s dynamic political scene and new search for independence in its foreign policy, however complicating or irritating for the United States today, will nonetheless ultimately serve the best interests of Turkey, the Middle East, and even the West.

Drawing heavily on a range of Turkish and Western sources, this multidimensional, lively, and nuanced volume provides an excellent introduction to one of the region’s most fascinating and complex countries and makes a highly valuable contribution to the current debate about Turkey and its place in the world.


Graham E. Fuller is currently an independent writer, analyst, lecturer, and consultant on Middle Eastern affairs and an adjunct professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He served for fifteen years as an intelligence officer in various countries in the Middle East and Asia, is a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, and later a political scientist at RAND. He is the author of numerous books on the Muslim world and Islam—including two on Turkey—and articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Washington Quarterly, Orbis, and Harvard International Affairs on line.

Browse Inside the Book


  • Part I: Introduction
  • A Snapshot
  • The Argument
  • Strategic Factors of Influence
  • Part II: The Historical Trajectory
  • The Ottoman Experience
  • The Kemalist Experience
  • The Cold War Interlude
  • Turkey Opens to the Middle East
  • The Reemergence of Islam into Society and Politics
  • IDP Policies towards the Muslim World
  • Part III: The Character and Trajectory of Turkey's Relations with Key Regional Players
  • Turkey and Syria
  • Turkey and Iraq
  • Turkey and Iran
  • Turkish Relations with Israel
  • Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf
  • Turkey and Afghanistan
  • Turkey and Eurasia
  • The Turks in Europe
  • Part IV: Pathways of Change
  • Turkey and the United States
  • Future Foreign Policy Scenarios
  • What Can Washington Do?

Related Titles

See our list of new and forthcoming titles.