Turkey's fight against terrorism deserves more encouragement and support from its European partners, according to a new RUSI Occasional paper.
Global terrorism arguably presents the greatest threat to the security of the Turkish Republic, and along with other significant issues that face Turkey today - diplomatic relations with Armenia, consultations over Cyprus and ongoing negotiations over EU accession - this is constructively being addressed by the Turkish authorities.
Turkey is one of few countries to have dealt with such a diverse range of terrorist threats. This experience makes it a crucial partner in the fight against terrorism. Turkey's added value towards combating international terrorism should not be measured solely by its experience of tackling terrorism at home and abroad. Turkey has reshaped diplomatic relations with its neighbours, engaged in a variety of judicial, social, economic and cultural measures to address national terrorist threats, and developed its role in ensuring adequate energy security flows towards Europe.
Bringing all these elements together in this Occasional Paper, the authors highlight how much of Turkey's ongoing contribution to the fight against terrorism is worthy of encouragement and support from Europe. The political, military and security establishments in Turkey, having been challenged to think laterally in attempting to address the terrorist issue, have adapted their strategy to take a strong multilateral approach in solving difficult problems. European allies and partners should help to sustain this in order to produce shared and fruitful results.
Drawing together some of the ideas developed during a conference held at RUSI in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2009, the Occasional Paper discusses in further detail the various dimensions of the terrorist threat in Turkey, as well as the country's response to it.