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Turkey's Policy in the Black Sea Region: Oscillating between Pragmatism and Opportunism


Nona Mikhelidze examines Turkish strategic objectives and priorities in the Black Sea region with particular attention to security, trade, and energy issues. She examines whether Ankara’s policymaking has been driven by strategic partnerships with neighboring countries or by a pragmatism that has been often perceived as opportunism. Russian assertiveness in the Black Sea region, the ensuing Russian recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, along with the Russian annexation of Crimea have posed new challenges for both European and American foreign policy in the Black Sea region. Mikhelidze sees an opportunity for Turkey, as a regional power with close ties to major players in the region, to be a broker in providing energy security, and to mediate in conf lict resolution in and beyond the region.