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From Turkey’s perspective, Kurdish autonomy is starting to look like a good thing. The portions of northern Iraq and Syria that are under Kurdish control are stable and peaceful -- a perfect bulwark against threats such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). And that is why Turkey has been on good behavior with the Iraqi Kurds, is working on its relations with the Syrian Kurds, and might finally be breaking the impasse with the Kurds in its own territory.
Turkish officials had high hopes of using soft power to establish their country as a leader in the Middle East. But the civil war in Syria revealed that Turkey is no match for Iran and that it needs U.S. protection more than ever.
The ruling AKP won Turkey's recent legislative elections, but lost the supermajority it has enjoyed since 2002. This will force the party will to seek consensus on domestic policy, but may allow it to harden its eastward-leaning foreign policy.
Since the days of the Ottoman Empire, a fine balance between the Islamic side of Turkey’s identity and its secular, nationalist side has driven Turkish foreign policy. Now the AKP has upset that balance and left Turkey searching for a new role in world affairs.