BBC diplomatic correspondent, Istanbul
Long before Turkey sought to join the European Union, the European powers were eager to penetrate deep into Turkey's hinterland.
The governing Justice and Development party - the AKP - has crafted a whole new foreign policy for the country.
The relative isolation from its surrounding region, engendered by the frozen boundaries of the Cold War, has gone.
Now there is a new policy of engagement.
Remarkably the Turkish government has good relations with Israel and Syria, with the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah, with Iraq and Iran and of course with the European Union and the United States.