Turkey obviously has two main domestic issues to address as it moves forward. We say "as it moves forward" because no nation ever solves all of its domestic problems before it assumes a greater international role. One is the ongoing tension between the secular and religious elements in its society. This is both a domestic tension and an occasional foreign policy issue, particularly in the context of radical Islamists, where every sign of Islamic religiosity can alarm non-Islamic powers and change their behavior toward Turkey. The other is the Kurdish problem in Turkey, as manifested by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group.
The first problem is endemic in most societies these days; it defines American politics as well. It is something nations live with. The PKK problem, however, is unique. The Kurdish issue intersects with regional issues. For example, the question of Iraq's future involves the extent of autonomy enjoyed by Iraq's Kurdish region, which could have an effect on Turkish Kurds. But the major problem for Turkey is that so long as the Kurdish issue persists, foreign powers opposed to Turkey's rise will see the Kurds as a Turkish weakness and could see covert interventions into the Kurdish regions as an opportunity to undermine Turkish power.
Turkey is already wary of Syrian and Iranian efforts to constrain Turkey through Kurdish militancy. The more powerful Turkey gets, the more uncomfortable at least some in the region will become, and this actually increases Turkey's vulnerability to outside intervention. Therefore Turkey must address the Kurdish issue, since regional unrest and separatism fueled by outside enemies could undermine Turkey's power and reverse its current trend toward becoming a great power.
There is a paradox, which is that the more powerful a nation becomes, the more vulnerable it might be. The United States was undoubtedly safer between the Civil War and its intervention in World War I than any time since. So, too, Turkey was likely safer between 1991 and today than it will be when it becomes a great power. At the same time, it is unsafe to be simply a junior ally to a global power given to taking risks with other countries.
The idea of safety among nations in the long run is illusory. It doesn't last. Turkey's current strategy is to make it last as long as possible. This means allowing events around it to take their course on the reasonable assumption that at present, the outcome of these events doesn't threaten Turkey as much as Turkish intervention would. But as we have said, this is a transitional policy. The instability to its south, the rise of an Iranian sphere of influence, a deepening of Russian influence in the Caucasus and the likelihood that at some point the United States might change its Middle East policy again and try to draw Turkey into its coalition -- all of these argue against the transitional becoming permanent.
Turkey is interesting precisely because it is a place to study the transition of a minor country into a great power. Great powers are less interesting because their behavior is generally predictable. But managing a transition to power is enormously more difficult than exercising power. Transitional power is keeping your balance when the world around you is in chaos, and the ground beneath you keeps slipping away.
The stresses this places on a society and a government are enormous. It brings out every weakness and tests every strength. And for Turkey, it will be a while before the transition will lead to a stable platform of power.