Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called it the policy of "zero problems". Turkey mended fences with Syria, developed a good working relationship with Iran, sought an agreement with Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq, all with the aim of building extensive trade ties with the region it had once neglected in favor of pursuing the elusive membership of the European Union.
Non-intervention in internal affairs of other countries was a cornerstone of this policy, assuaging the traditional suspicion of regional governments towards Turkey, while winning the respect for its economic prosperity and an apparently successful marriage of moderate political Islam and democracy.
But the upheavals of the Arab Spring since early 2011 demanded that Turkey rethinks its role in the Middle East. From a trusted partner of its authoritarian Arab neighbors, Turkey became a champion of democratic change in Syria and rushed to develop ties with the new elected governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
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