Later this year, Turkey will host the 2015 Group of 20 Leaders' Summit, the 10th annual meeting of the G-20 heads of government. The country's prominence on the world stage comes at an odd time, when it finds itself surrounded by a widening arc of instability.

Indeed, two geopolitical orders are unraveling in Turkey's immediate neighborhood: the post-Cold War entente with Russia, and the national borders in the Middle East defined by the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement and 1919 Treaty of Versailles.

Never have the European Union and Turkey needed one another more, and yet rarely have they been so distant.