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  • Author: Stephanie J. Nawyn, Nur Banu Kavakli Birdal
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This analysis offers an evaluation of the last three elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. These three elections included the regional parliamentary elections in September 2013, and the local and federal elections held simultaneously in April 2014. The KRG, as a federal region, exists in the north of Iraq where Kurds have managed their own affairs through a regional government since 1992. The KRG elections have very little in common with elections in the rest of Iraq. Compared to the rest of Iraq, the “region” has experienced a very different trajectory during the last two decades. As a postwar region, the KRG strives to solidify a stable democracy in a landlocked region, which suffers from minimal economic capital and weak democratic culture.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Kilic Bugra Kanat
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The transformation of Turkish foreign policy has become a closely followed subject, fueling important debates on the underlying reasons, resources, actors, outcomes, and nature of the policy progress. This change has also introduced new challenges to those who have adopted generic models to understand and explain Turkish foreign policy. This article will examine and discuss the main causes that have complicated the study of Turkish foreign policy during this period, such as simultaneous changes in the nature and conceptualization of the international system –the end of the unipolar world, the emergence of new power centers - and domestic transformations in Turkey, including active civilian control of military, the emergence of an attentive public opinion in foreign policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Ranj Alaaldin
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Iraq held parliamentary elections in April, the country's first vote since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in December 2011. Although turnout was impressive and a democratic culture has settled in Iraq, outstanding challenges, including terrorism, sectarian divisions and regional conflict, are unlikely to be rectified by the elections. The status quo will continue and Iraq, at best, can only attempt to contain domestic and regional problems.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Sardar Aziz
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This analysis offers an evaluation of the last three elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. These three elections included the regional parliamentary elections in September 2013, and the local and federal elections held simultaneously in April 2014. The KRG, as a federal region, exists in the north of Iraq where Kurds have managed their own affairs through a regional government since 1992. The KRG elections have very little in common with elections in the rest of Iraq. Compared to the rest of Iraq, the "region" has experienced a very different trajectory during the last two decades. As a postwar region, the KRG strives to solidify a stable democracy in a landlocked region, which suffers from minimal economic capital and weak democratic culture.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe
  • Author: Ni̇met Beri̇ker
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper presents the Foreign Policy Circumplex (FPC) coding framework and the (FPC-TR) to identify aspects of Turkish foreign policy behavior between 2002 and 2011. The findings show an increase in cooperative foreign policy behavior and relational third party engagements in the second term of the AK Party administration. Turkey increased its third-party role in the context of crises with Iran and Syria. In relations with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Israel/Palestinian and Russia/Georgia conflicts, the same role, albeit with a decreasing tendency, continued. There were a number of decreased interactions related to issues, such as EU-Cyprus, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, and Israel-Palestine. That said, we see an increase in relations with North Africa, the Balkan countries, Syria, the Middle East, Armenia and Israel. There is also greater cooperation in the context of Turkey's high priority bilateral relations, such as with the US, the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia, as well as with the UN and European Council. With the EU and Israel, however, a reverse trend is observed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The US-Turkish relationship has faced trouble since the Iraq War. On the one hand, the current Justice and Development Party government has pursued new foreign policy initiatives toward its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey's approach toward Iran, for instance, has caused policy makers and commentators in Washington to wonder "did the United States lose Turkey?" On the other hand, we have observed a rise of anti-Americanism in Turkey. During the Cold War era, anti-Americanism in Turkey was not so widespread; it was contained to leftist circles. Since 2003, in contrast, anti-American attitudes have become widespread among citizens regardless of their political and ideological positions. What accounts for this rise of Turkish public opinion unfavorable to the United States? Under what conditions could the image of America in Turkey improve? Giray Sadik's American Image in Turkey addresses these interesting and important questions. He considers how American foreign policy has affected Turkish public opinion toward the United States between 2000 and 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Burak Bilgehan Özpek
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Kurdish politicians were involved in Baghdad governments, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) became a federal unit with increased autonomy. Nevertheless, the KRG's quest for keeping its autonomy was challenged after the withdrawal of US forces at the end of 2011. When US forces left Iraq, the Baghdad government, headed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, the leader of the Shiite State of Law Coalition, tried to centralize power. Unsurprisingly, Maliki's centralization efforts have generated criticism and secessionist repercussions among Kurdish political circles. Furthermore, the Maliki government has violated the basic principles of power sharing, which is sine qua non to strengthen the confidence building processes in divided societies. Increasingly, the Kurds' willingness to remain as part of Iraq considerably decreases as the Baghdad government consolidates its power and excludes the ethnic and religious groups from the political system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Author: Mesut Ozcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's Middle East policy has witnessed revolutionary changes since 1999. The changes in the attitude of Turkey towards the region can be easily grasped by examining its policy towards Iraq. Today Ankara is an active player in the region using non-military means of diplomacy, such as economic tools and international conferences. This paper analyzes the changes in Turkish foreign policy towards Iraq through a framework of processes, means and outcomes. The article covers approximately the last ten years and looks at three turning points that triggered change. These turning points are the capture of the PKK leader Öcalan in 1999, Turkey's refusal to allow the transfer of US soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, and the Turkish responses to the PKK attack on the Aktütün military post on the Turkish-Iraqi border in October 2008. The article contends that as a result of the transformations in Turkey's foreign policy, it has become an indispensable actor in Middle Eastern politics.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy has experienced a fundamental transformation. Turkey's regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors were reshaped through the adoption of the "zero-problem with-neighbors" policy. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself, first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 2009 was a year of foreign policy initiatives towards Syria, Armenia, and Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government. And it marked the beginning of more positive and constructive relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey gained substantial ground in becoming a regional hub for energy by undersigning two critical energy deals. Yet, two major issues remain as challenges for Turkish foreign policy: a) the EU accession process, and b) the Cyprus dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Mert Bilgin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper hypothesizes that analyzing the geo-economic and energy security characteristics of gas supplies to Europe may help in understanding the features of regional and international relations with regard to selected countries. The paper highlights the significance of natural gas in the New Energy Order, and points to the importance of supply security for the EU. It looks at Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Algeria as suppliers and Turkey as a transit country in an emerging gas corridor to Europe. It examines supply-side opportunities, which promote new fields of international cooperation based on gas trade, and addresses certain restraints that may reduce the likelihood of further regional cooperation. Economic and geographic factors create new opportunities for regional trade and international relations. This geoeconomic aspect, however, takes place with international security issues varying from case to case.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt
  • Author: Tuncay Babalı
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has become an important east-west and north-south gas and oil transit route and an energy hub, thanks to the Turkish straits, and the existing and proposed pipelines that run through its territory. Economic opportunities, however, can present diplomatic liabilities. In a tough and complicated region, Turkey finds itself caught between the interests of competing superpowers and regional players. As the world's 16th largest economy, Turkey's thirst for energy will only increase. Satisfying this thirst requires not only diversification of sources and routes, but also good relations with all neighbors, in addition to traditional partners. An analysis of Ankara's options and new foreign policy vision shows that Turkey has little choice but to use greater caution and engagement. Following its own national interests and security concerns will drive Turkey to new openings in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and other CIS countries. Energy will be one of the main pillars of Turkey's policy of engagement and integration in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Taha Ozhan, Ozhan Ete
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey has a long history which was viewed within the framework of nation building, integration and underdevelopment until it was perceived as a security issue with the emergence of the PKK in the 1980s. During the 1990s, dominated by the security perspective, the scope of the question was reduced to terrorist acts alone under a state of emergency rule. A number of changes transformed the nature of question, such as the Kurdish political movement since the 1990s, forced migration, the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 and the emergence of autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. A permanent settlement of the Kurdish question must be based on developing new and alternative strategies vis-a-vis existing policies. In this context, a comprehensive package of measures should include not only security measures, but more importantly democratic reforms and economic investments.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney, Contentious Issues of Security and the Future of Turkey Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington VT, Ashgate, 2007. 197 + xvii pp. Index. ISBN 13: 978-0-7546-4931-1 by William Hale
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Barin Kayaoglu
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Cyprus tragedy of the past and the Iraq predicament of our times bear striking similarities. Cyprus of the 1960s and 1970s is not too far from Iraq in 2008. The main thrust of this article is that Cyprus presents a useful case study for contemporary decision-makers in the United States, Turkey, and Iraq. Just like the Cyprus question, which has caused nearly irreparable damage to the relations between Turkey, Greece, and the United States, policies that are not carefully crafted by Washington, Ankara, Erbil, and Baghdad could lead to a very problematic future for the Middle East. In a nutshell, this article offers a cautionary analysis by drawing on the experiences of the Cyprus tragedy for the purpose of avoiding a similar one in Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Tarik Oğuzlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article argues that Turkey's approach towards the Kurds of northern Iraq provides analysts with an opportunity to demonstrate that the traditional frontiers between foreign and domestic policy realms have gradually become blurred. The main contention is that the way of defining Turkey's foreign and security policy interests vis-à-vis northern Iraq has been increasingly informed by domestic concerns to re-construct Turkey's national identity at home. In this context, two alternatives discourses vie for influence. The first is the so-called liberal-integrationist approach, advocated mainly by pro-European liberals, the AKP leadership, and the Kurdish elites who are currently doing politics under the roof of the Democratic Society Party within Parliament. The second is the so-called realist-exclusivist approach supported by the traditional security elites in Turkey as well as the main opposition party in the Parliament, namely the Republican People's Party.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Ertan Efegil
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In a sharp break from the past, Turkey's AK Party government now openly accepts the existence of a domestic Kurdish problem, and views it moreover as being mutually interrelated with the rise of separatism among Iraqi Kurds and the problem of PKK terrorism. Turkey now has official contacts with the Iraqi Kurds and is working to find a lasting solution to the Kurdish problem by implementing socio-economic and cultural measures in addition to the military one. While the Iraqi Kurds, the American administration and Turkey are beginning to reconcile their differences concerning the Kurdish issue, Turkey faces internal division; certain parties such as the General Staff, the National Movement Party and the Democratic Society Party continue to push for radical measures. Today, there seems to be little opportunity to find common understanding. But as existing conditions deteriorate and pressure mounts both within the domestic sphere and from the international community, it grows increasingly important for Turkey to find a lasting solution to the Kurdish issue.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, with over 130 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: Ole Frahm
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Northern Iraq has seen ethnic mobilization and violent political conflict since the creation of the current state system in the interwar period. Throughout this period, Iraq's Kurds have rejected attempts of various governments to assimilate and absorb them into their pan-Arab ideologies. The underlying fear on behalf of Turkey's government is that an independent Kurdistan would have an osmotic effect and automatically strengthen irredentist and pan-Kurdish segments and sentiments among Turkish Kurds and in a worst case scenario lead to a renewed intra-state conflict between separatists and the state on the scale of the early 1990s.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Syrian diplomacy, crowned last November by the re-establishment of bilateral relations and in January by the first state visit of an Iraqi president to Syria in nearly 30 years, seeks to promote Damascus's strategic interests amidst Iraq's continuing violence. Syria initially favored the "managed chaos" that characterized Iraq in the several months following the U.S. invasion because it kept U.S. troops "pinned down" and therefore unlikely to invade Syria. However, the past year's dramatic escalation in sectarian violence, coupled with fears of Iraq's potential disintegration, has impelled Syria to seek greater stability in Iraq. In particular, Damascus has signaled its displeasure with Iraqi Kurdish autonomy, which has emboldened Syria's Kurdish population, estimated at 1.7 million.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Bobo Lo
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: President Vladimir Putin's visit to China in March 2006 was in many respects a spectacular success. The Russian delegation was the largest and most diverse in post-Soviet times. The number of agreements, 29, represented a record in the history of the relationship. And the atmosphere was the most positive of any of Putin's overseas trips. Surveying the landscape of the relationship, there seems nothing not to like. The 4,300 km common border has finally been demarcated in its entirety; Moscow and Beijing agree on practically every regional and international issue of consequence – Chechnya, Taiwan, Iraq, Iran. Official trade has multiplied nearly six-fold during Putin's presidency; and the first ever Sino-Russian joint military exercises took place in August 2005.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iraq, Iran, Taiwan, Beijing, Soviet Union, Chechnya, Moscow