Over two years have passed since the biggest refugee crisis hit Europe since World War II. Still today, it is important for all countries involved to continue exchanging best practices and to enhance their cooperation. Countries of the Middle East and North Africa, especially Jordan, Lebanon and Libya, are among the most experienced countries in the world regarding migration and refugees. Yet, they are facing major problems to implement integration and humanitarian policies. Libya for instance has become the most important transit country for refugees towards Europe since 2011.
Turkey is perceived very positively throughout the Mashreq and Maghreb. For many inhabitants of the region it is an economic and political model to strive for. However, this trend is progressively declining. Why is Turkey perceived as a model and why is this trend declining? What is the role of Turkey in the region and as a bridge to the West?
The Middle East is going through a period of immense change; the unexpected developments have radically reshaped the region and the future remains uncertain for almost all countries. Especially the tension rising in Syria and the alarming situation in Iraq has become a crucial issue for Turkey and many other countries in the region and in Europe. Turkey plays an important role in the region and has become an actor in the transformation process since the very early stages. It has dramatically expanded its influence in recent years throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, operating as an interlocutor and partner to Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East.