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  • Author: Amanda Paul
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since EU membership negotiations began in 2005, Turkey has faced a range of obstacles, which have led to an impasse in the talks. As a consequence, domestic reforms have slowed, support in the country has dropped as Turks have become increasingly disillusioned with the process, and trust between the two partners has been eroded. Moreover, all this has happened at a time when Turkey has become increasingly self- confident and the EU is suffering from an economic and political malaise. With an economy much stronger than a number of EU member states, and with Ankara playing an increasingly important role on the global stage, many Turks believe that Turkey is better off staying outside the EU. In an effort to rebuild trust the EU has launched a “new positive agenda” that includes taking steps to implement visa liberalization, and a change in leadership in France has also increased hope in a improvement in relations.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Cengiz Aktar
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: What do Turkey's democratic transformation, its future EU membership and its growing position in the Middle East signify for a Europe which is experiencing severe difficulties in its relations with Islam? Answers to these questions will determine the EU's future policy towards Turkey both as a candidate for membership and as a full partner of the EU and its Member States. Only after such a soul searching can a new era of genuine partnership start between Turkey and its future European partners. Recently the European Commission, in consultation with Turkish authorities, the European Council, as well as members of Turkish civil society, has launched a brand new initiative called the Positive Agenda. The objective is to revive the stalled relationship between the EU and Turkey by rebuilding confidence and normalizing the process. If successful the Positive Agenda could let the EU revisit its basic principles that have made recent enlargement rounds beneficial to the stability in Eastern Europe. To that end it may consider proposing to Turkey a clear date for accession without which no initiative could be conclusive and sustainable.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey redefined its geographical security environment over the last decade by deepening its engagement with neighboring regions, especially with the Middle East. The Arab spring, however, challenged not only the authoritarian regimes in the region but also Turkish foreign policy strategy. This strategy was based on cooperation with the existing regimes and did not prioritize the democracy promotion dimension of the issue. The upheavals in the Arab world, therefore, created a dilemma between ethics and self-interest in Turkish foreign policy. Amid the flux of geopolitical shifts in one of the world's most unstable regions, Turkish foreign policy-making elites are attempting to reformulate their strategies to overcome this inherent dilemma. The central argument of the present paper is that Turkey could make a bigger and more constructive impact in the region by trying to take a more detached stand and through controlled activism. Thus, Turkey could take action through the formation of coalitions and in close alignments with the United States and Europe rather than basing its policies on a self-attributed unilateral pro-activism.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: BEKEN Saatçioğlu
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the EU's December 2004 Brussels decision regarding membership talks with Turkey. While the Brussels Council launched accession negotiations with Turkey, the adopted Framework for Negotiations formulated exceptionally stringent membership terms. This is a puzzle for normative institutionalism because prior to Brussels, Turkey had sufficiently complied with the EU's liberal democratic membership criteria and systematically engaged in “rhetorical action” to “entrap” the EU in its liberal, inclusionary enlargement discourse. It is argued that the puzzle is explained by how the EU member states' enlargement preferences played out in an intergovernmental bargaining context when it came to the inclusion of Turkey.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Azuolas Bagdonas
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Why does Lithuania support Turkey's accession to the European Union? The article analyzes some of the key domestic factors and the strategic thinking behind Lithuania'a continuous support. Domestically, the political culture of the foreign policy elite and the permissiveness of public opinion allow treating Turkey's accession as a foreign policy issue, subject to cost-benefit calculations. Short-term calculations involve mutually advantageous deals between Turkey and Lithuania. Long-term assessments focus on how Turkey's membership would affect global, regional, and intra- European dynamics of power relations. The article suggests that, in the context of lasting foreign policy objectives and concerns, Turkey is attractive to Lithuania primarily due to its geopolitical roles: its traditional transatlantic alignment, its function as a transit hub for energy supplies to Europe, and its potential to become a great power, engaging in regional competition with Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Bill Park
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Notwithstanding its somewhat misleading title, this book focuses exclusively on the representations of Turkey in the French debate about Turkey's EU accession bid. Part I of the book focuses on the historical dimension and context of the French debate. Part II goes on to apply Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to this debate. CDA is concerned with “the relationship of language to other elements of social processes and power” (p.15), and draws on the contents of speeches, debates, media reports, and the like. The book adds to the growing literature on the role of identity in politics, and on how these are constructed. In particular, it explores the relationship between Self and Other in the French political discourse on Turkey.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: William Hale
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In the ever-increasing stream of academic studies of Turkey's foreign policy, no aspect is better covered than Turkey's relations with the European Union. In fact, this reviewer counted no less than twelve books on this subject published in the last five years, excluding this one! Furthermore, there are more books on Turkey- EU relations than all the other books on Turkish foreign policy all together. To justify another addition to an already long inventory, the author must believe he has something new to say, or at least is covering aspects not addressed by others. While Dr Usul's book offers a useful summary of the literature on the role of external actors on democratisation in general, and the emerging policies of the EU in creating democratic conditionality for candidate states, his coverage of the Turkish experience adds little to the existing body of literature, and is out of date.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Mehmet Yegin
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In the recent decade, the number of think thanks in Turkey skyrocketed. Those numbers should not cause overexcitement since along with the serious think tanks many others consist solely of a catchy name and an internet website. Indeed, the think tank sector is a fledgling one in Turkey. The position of think tanks in the policymaking process has not yet been consolidated. They do not have billion dollar budgets as their counterparts in Europe and the Americas. Thus, they mostly do not have the ability to recruit fulltime researchers that allocate their priorities according to their research agenda. Along with these problems, their reputation is not as well established. Since the think tank culture is new in Turkey, some people are questioning their value and influence, while others are more cynical about their purpose and international links.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ermin Sinanović
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is a compilation of essays on various aspects of Salafism, written by leading scholars and experts, mostly European based, on this global phenomenon. Unlike many books written in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, this contribution does not directly dwell on the “why do they hate us” type of questions, nor is it primarily concerned with such issues as terrorism, radicalization, or counter-insurgency. Instead, it offers an in- depth study and understanding of global Salafism from both the macro and micro perspectives, which are aimed at arriving at a (g)rounded awareness of this particular strand of contemporary Islam.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Bülent Uçar
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book presents the results of the collaborative research project “Muslims in Europe and their Societies of Origin in Asia and Africa” which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the “Social sciences in societal dialogue” initiative. The project, which received a total of €1.3 million in funding over a three-year period, was concluded in 2009. The book, which was edited by senior researcher Dietrich Reetz, summarizes the results of a series of subprojects that were presented to the public during the conference “Living Islam in Europe: Muslim Traditions in European Contexts” which took place be- tween May 5 and 7, 2009, in Berlin. Some of the most important results of these sub- projects were subsequently published in a single volume by the Waxmann publishing house. Numerous academics from the Centre for Modern Oriental Studies (ZMA) in Berlin, Hamburg University, the Europa-University Viadrina, and the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg actively participated in the project. The subprojects investigated a) Muslim groups with roots in Asia and Africa in Europe, and b) the role of Islamic educational institutions in European countries.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia, Berlin
  • Author: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay is an attempt to revisit Samuel Huntington's controversial thesis about a clash of civilizations. Though the author has been an early critique of Huntington, he finds substantial evidence that corroborates Huntington's central thesis when he analyzes the American policy toward the Middle East through the prism of the clash of civilizations paradigm. He suggests that the pattern of double standards that are witnessed in American foreign policy toward the Middle East is an integral part of a world where supposedly immutable differences based on civilizations form the primary source of conflict. In order to support his argument the author draws on examples from several cases, such as the American policies toward the Israel-Palestine issue, America's position on Iran's nuclear enrichment program, American reaction to the Israeli raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, as well as Turkey's longstanding candidacy for membership in the European Union. In all, he finds startling double standards that fit Huntington's paradigm, for as he pointed out double standards are an integral part of a mindset that sees conflict in terms of clashing civilizations.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Deniz Bingöl Mcdonald
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines whether the presence of imperial legacies in Central and South-eastern Europe affects their foreign policy stances and public opinion towards Turkish accession to the EU. It first discusses the boundaries of the ideational factors affecting the perception of Turkey, namely the historical legacy of the Ottoman Empire as a European power in Eastern Europe. Secondly, it looks at the ideational factors in how Turkish foreign policy, more specifically Turkey's EU membership, is perceived by Eastern and South-eastern European political elite and public. The author finds that in places where the Ottoman Empire is perceived in more historically distant terms, the more positive or neutral views are of Turkish membership. It concludes with a juxtaposition of Eastern European stances with Turkey's new foreign policy strategies. It recommends that Turkish foreign policy should not neglect advocacy in the western part of the old Ottoman sphere of influence where new EU members lie. These may indeed by transformed into new allies to support Turkey's bid against the opponents among older EU members.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Abdurrahim Sıradağ
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the causes and dynamics impacting the development of the EU's security policy on Africa. The changing global structure in Africa has influenced the EU's foreign and security policy in Africa. The new global actors, such as China, India, Brazil, and Turkey have recently consolidated their political and economic relations with both African states and organisations with an impact on the EU's approach to the continent. At the same time, the new challenges, like international terrorism and immigration, also left their mark on the EU's policy in Africa. This article argues that the EU members' economic interests have played a central role in developing the EU's security policy towards Africa. Meanwhile, the new global threats and challenges and the emergence of new actors in Africa have also had an impact on the formulation and implementation of the EU's security policy in Africa.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Turkey, India, Brazil
  • Author: Jeffrey C. Dixon
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Is Europe converging in terms of policy development? How has the global financial crisis affected this and policy development in Europe more generally? What policy differences exist between European Union (EU) member states and other European countries? These and other questions posed in this volume are largely motivated by an attempt to understand the implications of the EU's Lisbon Strategy, which the editor, Ipek Eren Vural, defines as “a medium term development plan to facilitate transformation of the European economy, and to coordinate the economic and social policies at the national level” (p. 2). On the basis of this strategy and the Open Method of Coordination (OMC), or “governance tool” to pursue the economic and social “pillars” of the strategy (p. 2), there is reason to expect some convergence in Europe. Focusing primarily on the abovementioned social pillar within what Vural labels as institutional, intergovernmentalist, and neo-Gramscian frameworks in her introduction, this volume explores a wide range of issues/policies, including (un-) employment, poverty, flexicurity, pensions, welfare states, and gender equality. Drawing on time-series data from Eurostat as well as other data sources, the contributors generally find that the Lisbon Strategy was not successful in achieving its social policy aims; it was also undermined by the global financial crisis. There has been some policy convergence in Europe, but this varies by the type of convergence, the time period examined, and the specific policy domain. This review will briefly summarize and analyze the parts of this book and conclude with some final thoughts about the volume as a whole.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Özden Zeynep Oktav
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Socrates' pupil Chaerephon once asked an oracle “who is the wisest of all men?” The oracle responded that Socrates is the wisest of all because of his self-awareness. According to philosophers from Socrates to Montaigne, Spinoza, Kant, true wisdom and full knowledge may be a utopian fantasy. In a world of uncertainty where mistakes are unavoidable facts of daily life for citizens and politicians alike, how politicians will be able to avoid foreign policy mistakes is the main concern of this book. There are some other questions of crucial importance which the book deals with: What are foreign policy mistakes and how and why do they occur? The answers to those questions are available in this book and it concentrates on the concept of power. Regarding the concept of power, the main question is “kto-kovo?” (Lenin's famous question, “who controls whom?”) The answers to the question “what are foreign policy mistakes?” and conceptualizing foreign policy mistakes are quite blurry and complicated. There may be lots of different kinds of mistakes, such as violating moral rules, lack of cognitive judgment, and policies costing too much and having unanticipated and undesirable results. The mistakes can be classified as omission (too little/too late) and commission (too much/too soon). For example, mistakes of omission are evident in the British policies towards Germany which failed to deter Germany's occupation of Sudetenland in 1938 and to reassure the Russians that they would negotiate an alliance against Germany. This failure of the British decision makers led to a non-aggression pact between Stalin and Hitler in 1939. The Katyn Forest massacre exemplifies best how Soviet Russia misperceived the gains in cooperating with Germany in the removal of Poland from the map of Europe because according to the authors, the Soviet decision to execute Polish POWs and bury them in the Katyn Forest is a foreign policy decision that falls into three domain; morality, intelligence and policy. It was a violation of international law, based on a diagnostic judgement blinded by ignorance of the future and by communist ideology, which led to a prescription for a policy action that alienated future allies.This, at the same time illustrates the mistake of commission (too much/too soon) and moral failure. Foreign policy choices are not only concerned with rational choices, but, as Axelrod and Jarwis clearly defined it, they also stem from some sources of mistakes such as subjective cognitive maps, heuristics, attribution errors, desires to maintain cognitive consistency and avoid cognitive dissonance, selective attention, and other emotional or cold cognitive biases. Khong explains why human beings are “creatures with limited cognitive capacities” by emphasizing that leaders, like every human, tend to turn to historical analogies for guidance when confronted with novel foreign policy challenges. However the issue is that the result is often a foreign policy mistake since this only helps the leaders “access analogies on the basis of surface similarities”.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Europe, Poland, Soviet Union, Germany
  • Author: Mehmet Babacan
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Our analysis will discuss Turkey's changing direction, if any, in terms of its trade orientation. This paper argues that Turkey's trade sector has maintained its long-standing direction towards the major European Union (EU) member countries with only minor setbacks, while new dimensions in bilateral trade have emerged not only due to Turkey's changing foreign policy considerations but also global economic transformations. Moreover, this paper argues that Turkey's trade partners are subject to these changes, as the epicentre of the global economy shifts, i.e. to the East. In the first section, a brief introduction with regards to Turkey's foreign trade under the AK Party's administration -since 2002 will be provided. The second section will discuss the scope of regional and worldwide changes in trade patterns and analyze the recent shift in Turkey's trade orientation in the context of Asia's economic and political rise in early 21st century. The Third section will focus on the role of political dynamics in Turkey's trade sector and structural issues.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ursula Wokoeck
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Drawing on contemporary archival and manuscript sources, Marc Baer unfolds the most fascinating story of Sultan Mehmed IV. Although his reign was remarkably long (1648-87), he has almost been forgot- ten or depicted dismissively as weak and foolish. Aiming to retrieve that lost history, the book's central theme is conversion – of Muslims to “proper” Islamic practices, of Christians and Jews to Islam, and of space. Thus, the reader encounters the Kadızadeli movement that first rose to prominence in the 1650s. The movement advocated a revivalist pietism, in the sense that it called for the effective prohibition of unlawful innovations.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Kemal Kirisci
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A string of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt followed by those in other countries have rekindled the issue of Turkey constituting a model for reform and democratization in the Arab world, a point raised by many Western and Arab commentators. Independent of this debate, what is lacking in the literature is an analysis of how come there is a “demand” for the Turkish model. This article develops the concept of a “demonstrative effect” and argues that it is this “effect” that makes the Turkish model of interest to the Middle East and that this “effect” is a function of three developments: the rise of the “trading state”, the diffusion of Turkey's democratization experience as a “work in progress”, and the positive image of Turkey's “new” foreign policy. The concluding part of the article discusses several challenges Turkey has to meet so that its “demonstrative effect” can have a positive impact.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Hiroshima
  • Author: John Haldon
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is a welcome contribution to the study of the last centuries of the existence of the Byzantine state, the 'empire' that until its demise in 1453 had dominated the Bosphorus and the link between Europe and Asia Minor, even though its political authority was minimal from the early years of the 14th century. Yet authority and legitimacy aside (for the Byzantines always saw themselves as the legitimate heirs to the Roman empire) it exercised both a fascination for those around it as well as an having an importance and, until quite late on, an influence far in excess of its actual military or economic power. Necipoğlu's book focuses on the politics of the empire, more particularly on the ways in which different groups within the empire adopted, fought for, or abandoned particular views of their situation within Byzantine society and in the wider world, and more particularly in the context of the influence, cultural, military and economic, of the regional powers around it. The empire's Latin neighbors in the southern Balkans on the one hand, along with the central Balkan powers of Serbia and Bulgaria (albeit minimally for the period in question), and the rising Ottoman power in Asia Minor and then Thrace on the other hand, frame this portrait, and the chronology is set by the last almost-century of the empire's existence, from the 1360s and 1370s to the 1450s. But the author's real interest is not foreign relations or military events, but rather the ideological, one might even say psychological, make-up of the various groups and factions within Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and in the southern Peloponnese, which can be detected in the sources of the period.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Balkans
  • Author: Nina Ergin
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is a welcome contribution to the study of the last centuries of the existence of the Byzantine state, the 'empire' that until its demise in 1453 had dominated the Bosphorus and the link between Europe and Asia Minor, even though its political authority was minimal from the early years of the 14th century. Yet authority and legitimacy aside (for the Byzantines always saw themselves as the legitimate heirs to the Roman empire) it exercised both a fascination for those around it as well as an having an importance and, until quite late on, an influence far in excess of its actual military or economic power. Necipoğlu's book focuses on the politics of the empire, more particularly on the ways in which different groups within the empire adopted, fought for, or abandoned particular views of their situation within Byzantine society and in the wider world, and more particularly in the context of the influence, cultural, military and economic, of the regional powers around it. The empire's Latin neighbors in the southern Balkans on the one hand, along with the central Balkan powers of Serbia and Bulgaria (albeit minimally for the period in question), and the rising Ottoman power in Asia Minor and then Thrace on the other hand, frame this portrait, and the chronology is set by the last almost-century of the empire's existence, from the 1360s and 1370s to the 1450s. But the author's real interest is not foreign relations or military events, but rather the ideological, one might even say psychological, make-up of the various groups and factions within Byzantium, especially in Constantinople, Thessaloniki and in the southern Peloponnese, which can be detected in the sources of the period.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia