What this brief overview argues is that Turkey has consistently tried to avert recourse to intervention and war in the Middle East and to promote diplomatic approaches that rely exclusively on soft power.

More than a thousand young activists were flown here earlier this week for a conference on “the Islamic Awakening,” Tehran’s effort to rebrand the popular Arab uprisings of the past year. But there was a catch. No one was invited from Syria...That inconvenient truth soon marred the whole script.

Second, the rapid and frightening militarization of the conflict has seriously reduced the space for public diplomacy, as Embassy personnel (and Ford himself) have few opportunities to get out to engage.

January 18, 2012

The formidable soft power of the UAE was on display this week in Libya when Etihad Airways' inaugural flight from Abu Dhabi to Tripoli was accompanied by a large delegation of government officials and businessmen.

The effective use of soft power in all its forms is another important resource in our work. We intend to cooperate with civil society institutions, the expert community, business circles and mass media. We will actively use the potential of organizations established last year and other opportunities that we have with civil society in addition to traditional diplomatic instruments.

January 1, 2012

Turkish politicians exaggerate Turkey's hard and soft power, so much so that they sometimes do not refrain from chiding other states. In theory, a little bit of exaggerating is useful in guiding public attitudes to important issues.

In yet another display of democracy and "People Power," the unarmed protestors in Syria have set off two bombs in Damascus...The US media -- even some alternative and antiwar sources -- do not bother to exercise even a touch of skepticism when the rebels who seek regime change in Syria...

False narratives, even heartfelt ones, will only keep conflict buzzing. Stratfor's findings may be the first time a mainstream US-based intelligence-gathering firm openly questions the existing narrative on Syria. It begs the question: what are we basing our policy initiatives on if our underlying assumptions are inaccurate?