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  • Author: FERIHA PEREKLI
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The “Turkish model,” in the form of a marriage between moderate Islam and democracy, the AKP's electoral success and the economic growth witnessed in the last decade, has become the ultimate allure to which Arab Islamists aspire. This study focuses on the main premises of the Islamist PJD (Parti de la Justice et du Développement) of Morocco in order to understand what the “Turkish model” signified for them. By not confining the “Turkish model” solely to the AKP policies, but stretching it instead to the pre-AKP Islamist parties, the idea is to uncover which features of the “Turkish model” are espoused by the Moroccan Islamists and which features are not appreciated. After a brief introduction regarding the AKP's understanding of secularism and how it differs from radical secularism, the emphasis is given to the PJD's position on secularism. The following section explores lessons gathered by the PJD from Turkish parliamentarian Islamism in regards to engagement in political participation in the face of state repression. The last section examines the transition of the PJD's discourse from being moralistic-based to policy- oriented, in which the Turkish experience once again formed a reference point.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Libya
  • Author: Bill Park
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In a remarkable turnaround, Turkey and the Kurdish Regional Government have recently emerged as close partners in a region increasingly characterized by uncertainty. They share a discomfort with the centralizing inclinations of Baghdad's current government, a stake in seeing an end to the PKK's campaign of violence, and a preference for greater unity between the various forces opposing the Assad regime in Syria. Their economies are increasingly interlocked, and the KRG's emergence as a significant producer of energy is of benefit to both parties. Furthermore, the Ankara-Erbil relationship is one that serves Washington's regional interests and perspectives well. However, serious differences remain. Iraqi Kurds still aspire to incorporate Kirkuk, and support greater autonomy for the Kurds of Turkey and Syria too. Turkey's support for Erbil could unintentionally help produce greater Kurdish autonomy throughout the region. This article explores some of the possible ramifications of the burgeoning Ankara-Erbil relationship.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, 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: Shwan Zulal
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurds were late to the idea of nationalism in the 20th century, and when the borders were drawn in the region they became the largest stateless nation in the world, divided mainly between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. In an unlikely period when hope was fading, a Kurdistan regional government in Iraq was born as the former Iraqi regime was weakened after the first Gulf War and the subsequent no-fly zone. Two decades on, the region has become more assertive and been making many new friends, largely because of its newfound wealth, its influence in post-Saddam Iraq, and its stability when compared with the rest of Iraq. Oil has been a curse for the Kurds and Iraq as a whole, but now the Kurds appear to have found a way to use its resources for economic development, ensuring that the Kurdistan region remains stable and can establish itself as a self-governing and influential entity.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan
  • 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: Michael McGaha
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this little book Talat Halman continues his lifelong campaign to acquaint the English-speaking public with Turkish literature. This introduction is intended for readers who know nothing about the subject and do not have the time or interest to read a more in-depth study. Inevitably, it occasionally bogs down into long lists of names, but on the whole it is surprisingly readable.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Amy Mills
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Reproducing Class is a neatly focused examination of the transformative work of globalization in Istanbul through a focus on the family. With an in-depth study of the educational practices of the upper middle class, inspired by Bourdieu's theories of cultural capital, Rutz and Balkan examine the ways in which this particular social group has developed strategies for negotiating the climate of increasing economic and political instability brought on by Turkey's economic restructuring in the 1980s. Istanbul was a natural site for the study because the city has historically been a locus of economic and cultural transformation, something linked to the historic nature of its selective education. Istanbul elites' global orientation is visible in the European influence in the private, foreign schools that are the most selective, and most desired, for the families in this study. This study of elites and their strategies of social reproduction is important because these same elites have long constituted a privileged class who themselves were the dominant agents of political and social change in Turkey. The fieldwork behind this project was conducted in various stages from 1990 to 1997 (with some follow-up interviews in 2006), and the major survey that provides foundational information regarding the educational, professional, and lifestyle characteristics of the study group was conducted in 1993. As such, this book provides a close analysis of a particular moment that subsequent research has found to be quite consequential for the largest questions Turkish society faces today in the new millennium.
  • Topic: Globalization
  • Political Geography: 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: Züleyha Çolak
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Controversies over the realities of life in the harem have long been in need of a treatment that challenges the stereotypically narrow perception of the concept and provides the opportunity to see the harem's multi-layered structure from a critical perspective. This collection of readings on the harem as a cultural and social institution provides such an approach. As stated by the editor, the emphasis of the book is “on the concept/institution/image of the harem as shaped and represented within the societies of the Middle East and North Africa, while . . . [contributing writers] also attend to its representational and political uses by visitors to and observers of these societies.”
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East
  • 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: Rafis Abazov
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Stable Outside, Fragile Inside? Post- Soviet Statehood in Central Asia brings together a team of authors who address the complex issues of building statehood and state institutions in the Central Asian region post-independence. For nearly 20 years, five states in the region have been engaged in the process of nation-state building and the building of “statehood”– a term the authors use extensively throughout the book. Yet, many expert scholars and foreign observers believe that the achieved statehood is quite weak and the political systems in the region remain volatile. The events in Kyrgyzstan in spring and summer 2010 perhaps best illustrate this fragility, though this edited volume was prepared for publication before the revolution and interethnic conflicts in the country formerly known as the “Island of Democracy.”
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Luciano Zaccara
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: With this book, Shireen Hunter offers an exhaustive manual of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy. However, the excessive engagement in explaining each and every aspect of Iran's Foreign Policy from the Islamic Revolution until today – and not focusing only on the post-Soviet era, as the title indicates – undermines the profound analysis of the topic and period.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Soviet Union
  • 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: Vişne Korkmaz
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Fergana Valley: The Heart of Central Asia is a remarkable volume that offers a very comprehensive and interesting study on the political and social life of the Fergana Valley and the three countries that include parts of it, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as Central Asia in general. The book is based on two general assumptions that can be easily picked from its title and the introductory words of the editor, S.F. Starr. As he maintains at the beginning, the Fergana is assumed to be the heart of Central Asia and so the contributors believe that what happens there might affect the fate of the whole region. The second assumption is summarized also by Starr in the following phrase: “nothing about the Fergana Valley is simple” (p.ix).
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Sarah Wagner
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In Mustafa Akyol's book Islam With-out Extremes, the author takes up the challenge to confront the many misconceptions and false portrayals of Islam as inherently conservative or violent by tracing back Islam's history, the development of political Islam, and offering his own vision for a modern and more liberal political Islam. Throughout his writings, he is implicitly and explicitly guided by the question why a dominantly conservative brand of Islam is nowadays present in many governments or societies. Yet in the course of the book, he contrasts (formerly) authoritarian and secularist Turkey with other Islamic countries, concluding that Islam may not be the reason for authoritarianism but that other factors are at play. Drawing also on his own experiences, religious beliefs, and Turkish heritage, Akyol analyzes the emergence of political Islam by deconstructing the past, meaning he sheds light on both conservative (Traditionalists) and more progressive (Rationalists) movements within Islam and supplements his evaluation of the movements with a discussion on other factors, such as the environment (desert vs. arid regions), cultural context (tribalism) or economics (commerce). To support his arguments and interpretations, he employs quotes from the Qur'an, Hadiths, and explains the socio-cultural setting that shaped and influenced the development of (political) Islam. Akyol focuses on the origins of Islam in the first part of the book and asserts that they provided a foundation for a more liberal future, citing women's rights or the role of the individual.He then goes on to follow the blossoming of Islamic culture, trade and political life which all come to an end or faced stagnation from the 12th century (to a degree even earlier) on due to, among other reasons, the economic decline, and a lack of trade.
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • 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: Moshe Ma'oz
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Contrary to the evaluation of several political leaders and analysts, the new Islamic governments that have been elected in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in the aftermath of the Arab Spring do not follow the zealous Islamic Iranian model. Rather, they tilt more to the Turkish Islamic democratic system. Significantly, the new Muslim Brothers' regime under president Morsi in Egypt has adopted a balanced realistic policy in domestic, regional and international affairs. While giving Shi'i Iran a cold shoulder, Morsi is inclined to play a leading role in a new regional Sunni-Muslim coalition with Saudi Arabia and Gulf Emirates, and Turkey, the major Sunni Muslim power. Although the would-be Ankara-Cairo new axis will be cautious not to alienate Tehran, it will probably make efforts to contain Iran's attempts to create a Shi'i crescent in the region to control the oil resources in the Gulf. Turkey and Egypt will try to reduce Iran's advances in Iraq and Syria by fostering their Sunni Muslim communities and helping the Syrian Muslims to topple the Alawi regime. Finally the Ankara-Cairo strategic axis, backed by most Sunni-Muslim regimes and in coordination with Obama's new administration, is likely to induce Israel to settle the Palestinian issue.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Ergün Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the trajectory of Islamism as a modern phenomenon. It demonstrates that, having evolved under the influence of myriad political, intellectual and historical developments of the past two hundred years, the concept is still surrounded by various debates, movements, acts of violence, ideologies, policies and positions. Islamism also continues to be a significant element in Turkey's political and intellectual life as well. The article then engages several critical questions. Has Islamism reached its end? Is a new type of Islamism emerging? Is post-Islamism on the horizon. In response, the article argues that Islamism's diversification–as opposed to its end–leads the movement to survive as pluralities that result from structural changes stemming from global and plural modernities' interaction with societies. In line with social and political organizations' pursuit of violence, poverty, challenge, reconciliation and alliance, Islamism too is being plurally reconstructed.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Halim Rane
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The political and economic success of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has generated extensive discussion about the extent to which Turkey provides a model for other Muslim, especially Arab, countries. The notion of a Turkish model has received intense focus since the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region began in 2010. Amid the excitement, more cautious voices have highlighted fundamental differences in historical and political experiences and relations with Islam between Turkey and the Arab countries. Considering these factors, this article contends that rather than Turkey's AKP, a more accurate comparison and potentially viable model for the emerging Arab democracies can be found among the Islamic-oriented political parties of South East Asia, which advocate an approach to Islam based on the maqasid, or higher objectives. This article examines the appeal of the maqasid approach in respect to its utility for maintaining Islamic legitimacy and transitioning from ideology-oriented to policy-oriented parties and thereby responding to the needs and aspirations of broad constituencies. This article discusses the function of the maqasid for Islamic political parties in the MENA region as it undergoes political liberalization in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Ali Bulaç
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines Islamism in its historical trajectory as well as its current standing and likely evolution. After pointing out to the problems stemming from the lack of an agreed-upon definition, the article presents a definition that constitutes the basis of analysis. It identifies three generations of Islamists and evaluates them by using three criteria: the framework of reference, political themetendency, and leadership profile. The article presents a self-criticism of the second generation Islamists, of which the author is also a member, and identifies areas in which the third generation Islamists have faced a serious test. The paper then turns to discuss the experience of the AK Party in Turkey, focusing on the debate on whether it is an Islamist movement. Next, the article seeks to drive an analytical distinction between Islamism and theology, before concluding the analysis with a critical engagement of an ongoing debate on whether Islamism is dead.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mümtaz'er Türköne
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: What happens when an ideological movement whose raison d'être is to challenge the existing political system and government structure, and one that gains its identity and character from criticizing power, takes control of the government? Turkey no longer has a noteworthy Islamist project. We must place this vanishing, or death, at the end of the story, a story that begins with its birth. When Muslims are able to express themselves through democratic means, they move away not only from violence, but also from an ideological Islamic interpretation. The death of Islamism in Turkey can therefore be explained by the wide-open channels of democracy. In such a free and democratic setting, there is no environment for Islamism to survive, especially when it is fit into a different mold through the support of the government.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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: Muhittin Ataman
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the development of Turkish-Saudi Arabian relations from the beginning of the struggle of the al-Saud family to gain power in the Arab peninsula to today. As a result of negative perceptions from both sides, bilateral relations were distant for decades. However, Turkish-Saudi relations began to improve remarkably under the AK Party and King Abdullah governments and a rapprochement started in 2005. Many agreements were signed during visits by political leaders from both sides. After the Arab uprisings began at the end of 2010, both countries took their cooperation further. As the two countries least influenced by the uprisings, Turkey and the Saudi Kingdom have been supporting the newly emerging political elites (Islamic groups) in Egypt, Libya and Syria; they have been maintaining close relations with the Western countries; and they have been trying to preserve regional stability and balance against Iran and its allies. However, there are some differences in their regional policies, such as their perceptions on the pace and scope of changes.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: İhsan Dağı
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Syrian crisis is deepening. Pro-Assad forces have so far killed more than 30,000 Syrians; hundreds of thousands have fled to neighboring countries. The refugees settled in Turkey have exceeded 100,000, the threshold figure that Turkey had already declared as its limit that it can provide services to.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Philipp C. Bleek, Aaron Stein
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A few years after Turkey and Iran appeared to be growing closer, the pendulum has swung back and the two sides are increasingly at odds. The turmoil in Syria has brought the long-term competition between Ankara and Tehran for regional influence to the fore. Iran has doubled down on its wager that the current regime in Damascus can weather the storm, while Turkey is betting that a post-Assad Syria would be more closely aligned with its own regional interests. But despite significant differences and growing antagonism, over Syria and more broadly, Turkey and Iran still have substantial reasons to cooperate. These include mutual interests in dealing with restive Kurdish populations and robust trade, particularly Turkey's reliance on Iranian oil and gas. History suggests that Ankara and Damascus will find ways to manage tensions, so the rivalry for regional influence is more likely to simmer than boil over into outright conflict. The Turkish-Iranian relationship will continue to resist simplistic caricatures.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Kerim Yildiz
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the Kurdish conflict in Turkey, within the context of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. What progress has been made since the election of the ruling AK Party and the creation of a Democratic Opening in Turkey? What remains to be done for a long-lasting solution to the conflict to occur? In examining the various factors at play in the conflict, the reasons for the failure to achieve a long-term solution, despite opportunities presenting themselves, are considered. It is argued that the “classic approach” to the conflict that has been consistently applied by successive Turkish administrations has not been successful, and alternative approaches are suggested. While a number of obstacles stand in the way these, if a political solution is applied to this political problem. Addressing the conflict by military means will not lead to a sustainable resolution and non-violent, democratic means of resolution must therefore be found in order to pave the way for long-lasting peace in Turkey..
  • Political Geography: 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: Feride Aslı Ergül
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Women have been both the subjects and objects of Turkish modernization for a long time. They have always been at the forefront of burning questions in Turkey, either with the decades-old debate of wearing headscarves in public institutions, or, lately, with Erdoğan's agenda-setting remarks that women need to give birth to at least three children or abortion will be constrained. However, studies about their position in society or their role in modernization have not gone far beyond superficial repetition. Dedeoglu and Elveren, to a large extent, fill this academic gap in Turkey through editing this book. It consists of thirteen valuable chapters dealing with different aspects of gender issues that are at the junction of tradition and modernity. To this end, the book mainly aims at understanding the impact of neoliberal social policies, political Islam, and EU accession on gender in Turkey. Women stuck between formal equality on paper and social realities in practice are examined using different data sets and topics, from female labor ratios to payment policies, and from social security reform to the individual pension system. For all the diversity of topics, the authors' comprehensive analysis about the reasons for the secondary position of women in society and the possible outcomes of eager but not-yet mature governmental reforms makes this study a reference book not only for readers who want to learn more about gender, society and the neoliberal economy in Turkey, but also for decision makers who want to be aware of the margins of socio-economic dynamics in Turkey.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Sean Patrick Smyth
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This work by M. Şükrü Hanioğlu somewhat represents a departure from previous work on the subject in that it seeks to distance Atatürk from the greatman theories that have plagued his legacy. In doing so, Hanioğlu evaluates the development of Atatürk's political views in terms of both the international and domestic contexts of the late Ottoman Empire.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Author: Halil Bay
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent years, not only have the changes in Turkish foreign policy been discussed but also the key factors and actors behind the change. This book deals with both the professional and academic life of the foreign minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and provides information on him and on developments in Turkish foreign policy. The author, Gürkan Zengin, is a journalist with an interest in foreign relations. His book includes a number of important stories of Davutoğlu from when he was a university professor and advisor up to today as a diplomat and minister. It seems that the author reached his conclusions and got information for the book from colleagues of Davutoğlu, his writings, and from other media. At first sight, this book is very beneficial for those who are interested in Davutoğlu and Turkish foreign policy in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ramazan Kılınç
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Arab world has been making a new history since January 2011 when the uprisings against President Ben Ali resulted in his fleeing from Tunisia. Throughout 2011, the decades-old rule of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Moammar Qaddafi in Libya ended. Political change came to Yemen and the status quo has been strongly challenged in other Arab countries. Jean-Pierre Filiu, in his The Arab Revolution: Ten Lessons from the Democratic Uprising, takes stock of the revolutionary movements in the Arab world, briefly summarizes the events in key countries and comes up with ten lessons that we can learn from the uprisings.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Alex Jackson
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There are few regions more unknown and caricatured than Central Asia, and within it perhaps no country is less understood than Turkmenistan. Central Asia is oil, caravanserais, the Great Game, and the Silk Road; in the popular imagination, Turkmenistan's only distinguishing feature is its reputation as a “Stalinist Disneyland” with revolving statues, Gaddafiesque Books of Wisdom, and empty cities of marble. The people are absent.
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Craig Larkin
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains one of the most intractable, globally sensitive and over-studied of national disputes. The past few decades have witnessed a deluge of scholarly and polemic writing covering the history, nature, and causes of the violence, as well as those exploring future obstacles to peace. While the quantity of literature often masks a paucity of academic quality, Menachem Klein's book, The Shift: Israel-Palestine from Border Struggle to Ethnic Conflict, offers a timely and provocative prognosis of the current facts on the ground. Klein, a lecturer in political science at Israel's BarIlan University and advisor to the Israeli negotiating team during the last decade of peace talks (from Camp David in 2000 to the Geneva Accords in 2003), draws on a range of primary sources and personal insights to outline a radical shift in the nature of the conflict from a national territorial dispute to an ethnically inspired system of Israeli control over all the Palestinian territories. In so doing the author seeks to challenge the traditional “occupation” paradigms and dispel illusionary hopes of a future “unitary non-ethnic democracy” (p. 4). His critical lens is rather fixed on the stark realities of Israeli hegemony, evidenced in settlement expansion, increasing security operations and the diminishing power and influence of the Palestinian Authority (PA).The result is an empirically rich, albeit theoretically light, reading of the contemporary IsraeliPalestinian struggle, which contributes to the on-going debates surrounding future peace negotiations and permanent resolution.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, History
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Dov Friedman
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One might be forgiven for presuming that a new book called The Contradictions of Israeli Citizenship would present innovative insights about the place of Palestinian Israelis—and their stateless West Bank-dwelling brethren—in modern Israeli society. Given the long paper trail left by past scholars seeking to understand the practical and philosophical dilemmas of a codified ethno-religious identity existing alongside a liberal democratic ethos, one might reasonably anticipate new conceptual frameworks and a fresh evaluation of a long-examined problem.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Jon Armajani
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One of Toor's central theses is that within and outside the context of Pakistan's history and politics, Islam is far from being a monolith. For Toor, Islam as a set of religio-political entities has been and continues to be invested with different meanings and associations by different actors who have enormously different goals. Toor's volume analyzes the diversity of meanings and political programs which have been associated with Islam throughout much of Pakistan's history. Some of the many themes that she examines include modernist Islam, Islam as it was fused with Pakistani (and other forms of) nationalism, the Jama'at-i Islami's appropriations of Islam, and the Islamic socialism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's People's Party. Toor argues that these diverse forms of Islam have been under attack by a variety of domestic and international forces. The book provides an overview of these contestations and examines trends related to polarization during Pakistan's history.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One may argue three law-like generalizations in political science: “no bourgeois, no democracy,” “democracies do not go to war with each other,” and “natural resources are a curse.” Although each of these highly contested arguments is important, the last one has the broadest impact—the negative effects of oil, natural gas, and mineral production go beyond authoritarianism and have economic, military, and societal consequences. Recently, some important publications have challenged the “resource curse” argument, creating doubts about these negative effects. In this regard, Michael Ross's book is an extremely timely work. It not only responds to these critiques but also provides a consistent set of explanations about oil and its effects on authoritarianism, patriarchy, inter-state and civil wars, and economic underdevelopment. Ross has already written path-breaking articles on these issues and this magnum opus brings together his previous contributions with updated data, revised arguments, and fresh perspectives. Unlike his earlier publications, Ross's analysis focuses on oil and natural gas, sometimes referring to both as only “oil,” and consistently leaves mineral production aside. His data show how the importance of oil will persist, if not increase, in the near future: “the global market for oil and other liquid fuels will rise from 86.1 million barrels a day in 2007 to 110 million barrel a day in 2035; the market for natural gas will rise from 108 to 156 trillion cubic feet” (p. 251).
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Turan Kayaoğlu
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: What is global history? How does one study it? These are the main questions Dominic Sachsenmaier wants to answer. “It depends” seems to be his answer. Essentially, he argues against a single definition, rationale, and method for global history and shows the presence of multiple and equally valid global, historical perspectives. Debates in the United States, Germany, and China on global history all exemplify this variation.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Germany
  • 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: F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United States has to deal with a very different Turkey today than the Turkey during the Cold War. The disappearance of the Soviet threat has reduced Turkey's dependence on the United States for its security and deprived the U.S.-Turkish security partnership of a clear unifying purpose. At the same time, Turkey's geographic role and interests have expanded. Turkey now has interests and stakes in various regions it did not have two decades ago. It is thus less willing to automatically follow the U.S.'s lead on many issues, especially when U.S. policy conflicts with Turkey's own interests. This does not mean that Turkey is turning its back on the West or the United States. Turkey still wants—and needs—strong ties with the United States. But the terms of engagement have changed. Ankara is a rising regional power and is no longer content to play the role of junior partner.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey is becoming more independent and self-confident. Yet, the current analysis on Turkey in most American circles tirelessly refers to the tension between secularism and Islam or Eastern versus Western proclivities. Such focus often comes at the expense of the most powerful force driving Turkish foreign policy: nationalism and self-interest. Turkish-American relations are witnessing a paradigm shift that can be best defined as the rise of Turkish Gaullism. A Gaullist Turkey may in the long run decide to no longer pursue an elusive EU membership. It may even question its military alliance with the United States. Burdened by a sense that it never gets the respect it deserves, Turkey may increasingly act on its own in search of full independence, full sovereignty, strategic leverage and, most importantly, Turkish glory and grandeur.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Nationalism, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Nuh Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This commentary attempts to make a conceptual evaluation of the phrase “model partnership” as a definition of US-Turkey relations. Against the background of much debate about the “viability” or “possibility” of “model partnership,” it argues that “model partnership” as an empty signifier does not represent either the ideal or the fully accomplished state of Turkish-American relations. The current problems in the bilateral relations derive from the gradual transformation in the nature of Turkish-American relations from a hierarchical relationship into a complementary one, i.e. from a “strategic partnership” to a “model partnership.” As we are going through a structural change, “policy recommendations” alone will not suffice to remedy the broader problem of necessary adjustments. The option for a “model partnership” is still on the table, however, it requires a serious, engaged, and conceptual discussion as the two sides adjust to and negotiate the new form of the relationship.
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: David L. Wiltse
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Republicans, in a classic midterm “wave election,” supplanted the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives with a large majority of their own and substantially reduced the Democratic majority in the Senate. Yet, despite their electoral success, this victory should not suggest to Republicans that the electorate has granted them any sort of broad policy mandate. Such mandates are illusory in the American political system. As such, President Obama's impressive string of legislative victories in the past few years will most likely remain in place, though his relationship with Congress will undoubtedly become more complicated. Moreover, the Turkish-American relationship should be largely unaffected. In fact, the new majority in the House may be more sympathetic to Turkish interests than the previous Congress.
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Ibrahim Turhan, Zubeyir Kilinc
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey was not affected by the financial crisis as much as the advanced economies and managed to rapidly exit the turmoil. The reasons behind the strong response and quick recovery of the Turkish economy were its low country risk and low currency risk premiums. This study shows the foundations of these low risk premiums and compares some measures of these risks of the Turkish economy with peer countries. Second, this paper demonstrates that all of Turkey's economic sectors were very strong before the crisis and sustained this strength during the course of the crisis. Finally, it discusses the policies that have already been taken and planned to be taken by Turkey's economic authorities. The government seems to be very determined in keeping fiscal discipline as tight as necessary while not being excessive.
  • Topic: Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: ZİYA ÖNİŞ
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The “axis-shift” discussions on Turkish foreign policy activism over the last couple of years have attracted remarkable international attention. Some pundits have attempted to place Turkey's increasing relations with its neighbors within the context of an ideological and identical reshuffling of Turkish foreign policy principles. While finding the “shift of axis” argument a rather crude characterization, the paper nevertheless argues that there are subtle shifts in Turkish foreign policy orientation. In this context, the paper aims to identify both the elements of continuity and rupture in the style and behavior of Turkish foreign policy. In fact, there are solid political economy fundamentals and legitimate reasons for Turkey to pursue a multi- dimensional and more assertive foreign policy in the emerging multi-polar world system. However, the present paper underlines that Turkey's multi-dimensional foreign policy activism with no firm axis may have potentially counterproductive consequences regarding Turkey's long- term national interests as well as its ability to play a stabilizing role as a pro-active and benign regional power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mustafa Kutlay
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy activism during the last decade has attracted widespread international attention. As a result, scholarly literature on the issue has expanded noticeably. If one makes a general categorization, the literature on the new Turkish foreign policy has mainly concentrated on “security-based” and “identitybased” explanations. The role of the changing economic dynamics in Turkey and the transformation of Turkish financial and industrial capital, however, are not adequately addressed in the existing literature. This study aims to contribute to the recent debates from a political economy perspective with reference to the functionalist and interdependence approaches. It is argued in this paper that the bifurcation within the financial capital in Turkey in the post-2001 period and the internationalization of the 'Anatolian tigers' have turned out to be the 'practical hand' of Turkish foreign policy. In addition, this study argues that there are certain limits and constraints of employing political economy factors as a driving force in the Turkish foreign policy activism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kadri Kaan Renda
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this paper, I argue that a fuller understanding of the recent activism in Turkish foreign policy, and in particular the changing nature of relations with its neighbors, requires us to engage in the study of the increasing economic interdependence and the analysis of broadly redefined national interests. Therefore, this paper aims to explain Turkey's relations with its neighbors through the neo-liberal theory model put forth by Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye, which underlines the importance of interdependence and cooperation among states. I argue that recent developments in Turkish foreign policy, particularly Turkey's relations with its neighbors, resemble the characteristic features of complex interdependence. The new activism in Turkish foreign policy facilitates international cooperation among regional actors and creates a “complex interdependence”.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Altay Atli
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Research on state-business relations has traditionally focused on business associations' lobbying activities. However, as these organizations started to assume a more active role in their country's economic life, scholars began to look at another distinct role of business associations: their formal participation in policy making. This article examines to what extent Turkish business associations are taking part in the foreign economic policy-making process, which, in turn, leads to two sub-questions: (1) Through what kind of mechanisms is a pattern of interaction established between the state and the business associations? (2) Does the state transfer a part of its administrative functions to the private sector? This article examines the institutional setting established during the liberalization wave of the 1980s and has gradually evolved up to the present, through which the state has maintained its role as the policy maker yet has allowed the private sector to play a role in the process because it is deemed to be capable of administering specific functions more efficiently than the state.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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: Birol Baskan
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The historical solution to the security problem in the Persian/ Arabian Gulf, that is, the active military protection of a super power, is no longer sustainable as the unipolar world gives way to a multipolar one and the credibility of the United States to provide military security is being increasingly questioned. This paper addresses a question neglected by both international and regional analysts: can Turkey play any role in the future Gulf security architecture? The paper argues that Turkey can help the GCC states develop effective state institutions and build regional institutional mechanisms to solve potential crises and alleviate the security dilemma in the Gulf. It can deliver this public good to the region precisely because Turkey has strong economic and political interests to have good relations with all sides concerned with the Gulf security.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Author: Sadik Unay
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The regional geographical entity known as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been at the epicenter of global power struggles over the course of the last centuries with an ever-increasing intensity. While the region has been a popular subject in the literature of political science and international relations due to the sheer volume of conflicts raging within the parameters of its borders, writings on international/ comparative political economy focused on alternate regions such as East Asia characterized by a sustainable economic growth potential. This study aims to make a critical contribution to the political economy literature by conducting a theoretically and historically informed analysis on the transformation dynamics in the MENA region. To this end, the multi-faceted legacy of colonialism; the role of oil as a strategic resource; structural changes in the world economy; and divergent politicoeconomic reform trajectories in the wake of economic globalization will be evaluated.
  • Topic: International Relations, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, East Asia, North Africa
  • 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: Marina Ottaway
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Arab world has been changed irreversibly by the popular uprisings that started in early 2011. The long period of dormancy that enveloped the Arab world has come to an end. The uprisings have been triggered in all countries by similar mixes of economic hardship and lack of civil and political rights. But we should not expect the uprisings to lead to similar changes in all countries. Already, three different patterns are emerging. In Tunisia and Egypt, the presidents have been overthrown by members of their own regime, including the military; they are now trying to limit the extent of change and to transform a potentially revolutionary process into one of reform from the top. In Yemen and Libya, the challenge to the leaders has turned into a challenge to the survival of the state itself: the two countries have no institutions that can persist if the presidents are ousted. In other countries affected by protest, the regimes have been trying to subdue the protest through a mixture of populist concessions, cautious reforms introduced from the top, and the occasional use of force.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Asef Bayat
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There has been strong concern about the direction of the current revolts in the Middle East. The fear has been that the revolts may result in the Iranian-style Islamic revolutions in the Arab countries. This commentary questions the empirical validity of such claims, showing that the Arab revolts differ considerably from the Islamic revolution in ideology and trajectory. It suggests that we are witnessing the coming of a post-Islamist Middle East, in which the prevailing popular movements assume a postnational, post-ideological, civil, and democratic character. It is, therefore, argued that we are entering a new era in the region where Islamism—undermined by a crisis of legitimacy for ignoring and violating people's democratic rights—is giving way to a different kind of religious polity, which takes democracy seriously while wishing to promote pious sensibilities in society.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nader Hashemi
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The democratic uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East have been widely celebrated but in the West they have generated concern and apprehension. Most of this concern involves the future role of religion in the politics of the Arab world. In this essay, I make two broad observations. First, concern in the West about the rise of mainstream Islamist parties is partly based not on the illiberal orientation of these groups but the fact that they are politically independent actors who challenge Western geo-strategic interests in the region. Second, the role of religion in government has never been democratically negotiated en masse in the Arab world. To assume that this issue has been resolved and a broad consensus exists is to project a Western understanding of religion-state relations on the Arab-Islamic world. Doing so is both erroneous and analytically distorted. The battles over the role of religion in politics have yet to begin in the Arab world.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Alper Y. Dede
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Mass uprisings on the Arab streets have become the vehicle for reform as the availability of modern means of communication has enabled the Arab opposition to express their frustration caused by the stagnancy and inefficiency of the status quo-oriented authoritarian-bureaucratic regimes of the region. There is currently an ongoing debate about whether Turkey could become a model for the region with its growing economy, strengthening democracy, and spreading soft power due to Turkey's increasing popularity in the region and its warm relations with the Arab world. Thus, it is not Turkey's authoritarian secularism or its debacles in the process of democratization that has brought forth Turkey's prominence as a model. This article discusses what the Turkish model is, whether it is applicable to the rest of the region, and the potential risks of proposing Turkey as a model country for the region.
  • Topic: Communications
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: It is unlikely that the Egyptian revolution will have a major impact on the political and strategic landscape in the Middle East in the short and medium terms. Egypt, the Arab state with the greatest capacity to act regionally, will be tied down for a considerable period of time in getting its house in order and sorting out the relationship between the civilian and military components of the new political order. This means that the shift in the center of political gravity in the region from the Arab heartland comprising Egypt and the Fertile Crescent to what was once considered the non-Arab periphery – Turkey and Iran – which was becoming clearly discernible before the recent upheavals in the Arab world will continue. The shift in the strategic and political balance in the Middle East in favor of Turkey and Iran is the result of a combination of factors, some domestic, some regional and some global.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • 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: Secil Pacaci Elitok, Thomas Straubhaar
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article focuses on Turkey's process of transition from a country of emigration to a country of immigration and transit. The paper is organized in the following way: After a brief introduction, the second part of the paper will analyze the pattern of emigration from Turkey and immigration to Turkey (from the EU and Middle East) in its historical context. In the third part, theoretical expectations and empirical considerations with respect to the potential for migration from Turkey within the context of possible EU membership are outlined. In this section, a critique of the available literature estimating the amount of potential migration from Turkey and projections on the possible future migration obstacles for Turkey- if it is not successful in its accession bid for the EU membership- are presented as well. The fourth and final part of the paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities for Turkey, as it waits at the EU's gates, in terms of migration and concludes with a call for a necessary change in Turkey's policy to improve the management of its migration policies.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Savas Alpay Atlamaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the early 1970s, member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) have been pursuing the goal of enhancing economic and commercial cooperation to improve the economic linkages and coordination among themselves and to jointly act against the global challenges facing them. Special attention has been given to trade and considerable efforts have been exerted at various OIC forums to develop ways and means of joint cooperative action to increase trade among the OIC countries. Enhancing intra-OIC trade was also among the priorities of the Ten-Year Programme of Action, which set a target of a level of 20 percent for intra-OIC trade to be achieved during the period covered by the Programme (by 2015). It is with this inspiration that this study presents an analytical overview of the evolution and the current structure of the merchandise trade among the OIC countries. Also, broad policy recommendations are outlined to enhance intra-OIC trade.
  • Topic: Islam
  • 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: Mustafa Sitki Bilgin
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey, due to its geopolitical position, was subject to political and military pressures by the Great Powers during and immediately after World War Two. During the war, the Great Powers exerted substantial pressures on Turkey to obtain its compliance in operating the Straits policy in accordance with their own strategic interests. This situation led to collaboration and competition among the Great Powers. In fact, the rivalry and collaboration of the Great Powers in the eastern Mediterranean during these periods, and the interaction of British, Soviet and American policies with those of regional states, has been examined by a number of Turkish and foreign researchers in recent years. Nicholas Tamkin is one of these authors and he has meticulously trawled through British archives and other published and unpublished sources available in Britain to elucidate Turkey's role in British strategy and diplomacy during World War Two. He makes a significant contribution on the formulation of British foreign policy and wartime strategy towards Turkey with a special emphasis given on Turkey's place in the uneven relationship between Britain and the Soviet Union.
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey, Soviet Union
  • 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
  • Author: Sibel Bozdogan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recent neoliberal/post-Kemalist shifts in Turkish culture and politics have ushered in, among other things, a rekindled interest in Istanbul’s cosmopolitan past and in the remaining vestiges of its historical urban fabric. While an increasingly sophisticated culture industry is mobilized to recast the former as an object of nostalgia for popular consumption, gentrification projects are transforming the social landscape of historical neighborhoods in new and often controversial ways. Amy Mills’s ethnographic study of Kuzguncuk offers a compelling account of these processes at work in a picturesque neighborhood on the Asian shores of the Bosporus, widely accepted to be the paradigm of multi-ethnic coexistence, neighborliness and aesthetic charm in a city that has lost most of these qualities to republican urban/social modernization during the latter half of the 20th century. As Mills uncovers in six thematic chapters, this image of Kuzguncuk as the idealized mahalle—as the embodiment of belonging and familiarity as well as ethnic/religious harmony and tolerance—in fact obscures deeper histories of discrimination, conflict and violence that went hand in hand with nationalism, “Turkification” and successive episodes of migration. “Nostalgia constitutes the flip side of silence”, writes Mills (p. 210), and Streets of Memory makes a convincing case of how cosmopolitan nostalgia, along with its silences, ultimately bolsters the very same Turkish nationalist narrative that it claims to contest.
  • Political Geography: Istanbul
  • Author: Mitat Çelikpala
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: With the assertion of being the first complete history of Central Eurasia from ancient times to the present day, Christopher Beckwith's Empires of the Silk Road is a complex and well argued book. Beckwith unites the history of the peoples of the world's largest landmass into a remarkable history by describing the rise and fall of the great Central Eurasian empires such as the Scythians, the Huns, the Turks, and the Mongols under Genghis Khan.
  • Political Geography: Eurasia
  • Author: Numan Telci
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Borders of Islam gives an insider's view of the so-called “Islam's bloody borders” through an examination of the countries that straddle two cultures/civilizations from across various regions. The book makes an enormous contribution to debates on “clash of civilizations” by critically examining various cases of war and conflict, which is one of the key elements of the thesis formulated by Samuel Huntington and popularized by the media. Hansen, Mesoy and Kardas take on Huntington's main thesis with an aim to falsify it. The book stands out as one of the strongest counter-arguments to the main premises of the clash of civilizations thesis. It does so by arguing that the clash sometimes is constructed, as is the case of various internal and external conflicts taking place in and around Iraq, or it neglects the division within the Islamic civilization, as is the case with Lebanon where the Sunnis have a different agenda than the Shiite Muslims, or that the clash between Muslims and Christians is not necessarily religiously-driven in Nigeria, Ethiopia or Sudan. While laying out this argument, the book sets out to understand whether religion could be considered as the most tangible source of conflicts involving groups that hold different religious faiths.
  • Political Geography: Sudan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Nigeria
  • Author: Amira K. Bennison
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As a dynasty based in medieval North Africa and southern Spain, the Almohads have received relatively little attention from Anglophone scholars in Islamic Studies, many of whom work from a Middle Eastern perspective. Allen Fromherz's book is thus a very welcome contribution to the field. His over-arching aim is to present an account of the rise of the Almohads by looking at the Almohad movement's leader, Muḥammad b. Tūmart; the Maṣmūda Berber tribal environment in which the empire arose; and the doctrines by which Ibn Tūmart galvanised these tribes from the High Atlas mountains of Morocco.
  • Political Geography: Spain, North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Yossef Rapoport
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This brilliant, eloquent and insightful book is not, despite its title, a provocative one. It does not claim that in Islam being a wife is like being a slave. Nor does it support the overly simplistic view of an egalitarian ethical Islamic core corrupted by social hierarchies. Instead, the author brings to the fore a very rich legal discourse, dating from the early centuries of Islam, in which the rights of wives and the rights of slaves are repeatedly compared and analysed in relation to each other. This discourse, the author shows, was central to the way the major Sunni jurists understood what rights and duties are entailed in marriage.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Author: Bezen Balamir Coskun
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Lebanese economist and historian Corm has written a timely book contributing to our understanding of a Middle East which is marked by complexities and conflicts. By putting the region's long history into perspective, Corm aims to help reader go beyond the stereotypes that the media and many Western and Middle Eastern policymakers seem to use to legitimatize the violence that has taken over the region for over two centuries.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Enes Kabakçı
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book brings together ten articles that were presented at a regional conference series on “Cultural Identities and European Citizenship” organized by the Forum Europe des Cultures. Forum Europe des Cultures, an organization founded in Brussels in 2003 (see pp. 149-151 for its brief foundation history, objectives, members and activities), aims to uncover the question of how cultural identities could be recognized, one of the most debated issues in the process of European integration, by organizing six neoconferences in one year in Bruges, Rennes, Strasbourg, Santarem, Corfu and Brussels.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Nukhet Ahu Sandal
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the link between religion and international affairs has come under special scrutiny especially since 9/11, there has been an increase in the number of books and articles that investigate the issues of the public sphere from a faith-based perspective. Edited books have especially enjoyed considerable attention since they bring diverse voices in manageable bits. Some have explored theoretical links between international relations and religion, while others have drawn attention to more practical issues on the ground. Thomas Banchoff's Religious Pluralism, falling between these purely theoretical and completely practical projects, is a book worth reading especially given the diverse backgrounds of the 12 scholars it brings together. These contributors draw attention to the multiple roles religious actors have been playing in the international arena. Religious ideas constitute a market with its supply and demand side and the volume explores the actors, obstacles and possibilities in such a market. Especially with the trauma of 9/11 —and one can make the argument that the trauma actually started with the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran— there has been a disproportionate attention given to the violent manifestations of religion. Therefore, the acknowledgement of the constructive role of faith-based initiatives can still be considered a relatively new topic both to the academic and policy worlds. The authors discuss a number of contentious issues that have been subject to heated debates but due to the space limitations that pose a challenge to a thorough review of edited volumes, only a couple of issues are highlighted in this essay.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Dario Castiglione
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Although the analysis offered in this book is not very innovative in its details, the overall project is of some originality. Andrew Williams's main contention is that the EU project has developed its own institutional ethos, and that this is the product of both the entrenchment in European public discourse of a number of values, and of the way in which the European legal system (and its underlying philosophy) promotes and protects such values. Williams, however, is critical of the particular ethos that to date has supported the EU polity since he finds it partly incoherent in the articulation of its central values, and relatively uncommitted in the way in which it sustains them. The ethos's incoherence lies, in his view, in the way in which the values at the heart of the EU project are both ambiguous and indeterminate; while the lack of commitment is the product of the half-hearted way in which the institutional framework (in particular European law) supports a public philosophy for Europe, while functioning more as a prop for European governance.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There is no better instrument than the ballot box to decide “who is to govern” if we care about popular legitimacy. No one can question the mandate given by the people through a free and fair election to a political party, irrespective of its ideology, identity and program.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Dietrich Jung
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay addresses four questions that the “Arab spring” has raised with respect to academic scholarship and policy advice. Why did scholars fail to predict the recent developments? Should we throw the work on Middle Eastern authoritarianism in the garbage bin of academic misinterpretations? In which ways can we support the move toward democracy in the region? Is there a “new Middle East” in the making? In critically examining the scholarly debate about the resilience of Arab authoritarianism, it rejects demands requesting both the predictive power of academic analyses and their direct applicability in foreign policy-making. The continuing interpretation and re-interpretation of the relationship between Islam and politics have absorbed our analytical capacities at the expense of a closer inspection of societal change. In putting the recent events into their international and regional context, the essay tries to give a tentative answer to the question whether we are witnessing a new Middle East in the making.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has not only affected Russia's interests but also opens some new opportunities for strengthening Russian influence. Nevertheless, the prevalent attitude in Moscow towards these dissimilar but inter-connected crises is negative, which is caused primarily by the nature of its own corrupt quasi- democratic regime haunted by the specter of revolution. The stalled NATO intervention in Libya has re- focused the attention of the Russian leadership on the issue of sovereignty, which determines the decision to disallow any UN sanctions against Syria. Russia's position has evolved in synch with the course taken by China, and Moscow is interested in strengthening this counter- revolutionary proto-alliance by building up ties with conservative Arab regimes, including Saudi Arabia, and also by upgrading its strategic partnership with Turkey. Harvesting unexpected dividends from the turmoil in the Arab world,Russia cannot ignore the risks of a sudden explosion of a revolutionary energy – and neither can it effectively hedge against such a risk.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Arabia, Moscow, Saudi Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Yousef Munayyer
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: If the revolutions sweeping then Arab world are in fact its “spring” then the Hamas/Fateh reconciliation deal may very well be the first buds this season produced. Whether or not this reconciliation deal will bear any fruit for the Palestinian people, however, is yet to be seen. To best understand the factors affecting the success of the deal, one must have grasp of the history of the relationship between Hamas and Fatah and the role of external actors in that relationship as well. In this commentary I lay out a history of tensions and the role of the US and Israel in driving wedges between the parties. Similar challenges will undoubtedly face this reconciliation attempt and the greatest chances of success can be achieved when both parties put the interests of the Palestinian people ahead of the demands of their external patrons.
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Hajrudin Somun
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay examines the influence and performance as well as the perception of the new, pro-active Turkish foreign policy in South-East Europe. It emphasizes that certain political and intellectual circles in the Balkans have a different take on Turkey's policies in the region. The paper assesses how Turkey's activism in the Balkans has revived the debate on the Ottoman legacy in the region and Turkey's perceived aspirations to renew its influence under the guise of “neo-Ottomanism.” This paper will also address the impact in this debate caused by the recent book of the well-known Serbian orientalist, Darko Tanaskovic, entitled “Neo-Ottomanism – the Return of Turkey to the Balkans.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Ali Çarkoğlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since 2002, the Turkish electoral environment and the party system have been undergoing a significant transformation. The Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) has continued to increase its electoral support for a third time in a row. The declining volatility and fractionalization in the election results together with the expanding geographical base of AKP electoral support may be taken as signs of the emergence of a dominant party system in Turkey. This article offers a descriptive account of the election results and links those results to the literature on the dominant party system. A discussion on the implications of this new development for the evolution of Turkish party system, Turkish political landscape and future elections concludes the article.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gül Berna Özcan, Hasan Turunç
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The growth of new capitalist classes since the 1980s has transformed social stratification, multi-party politics and the international political orientation of Turkey. New business groups energized by Islam have facilitated much-needed class mobility. In this process, there has also emerged a confrontational split in middle-class positions between Islamic and secular political outlooks. These new middle classes are engaged in promoting Islam as a strategic resource in the class politics of Turkey and seek protection from the negative effects of market capitalism. More dramatically, these new capitalist classes have redefined the allocation of markets and the distribution of assets while they have increased opportunities for their affiliated groups at home and in foreign markets. However, the paradox between modernity and authenticity remains unresolved for Turkey's old middle classes and the new pious elite alike. Although the Islamic-leaning business groups have become the winners of the new regime, they have increasingly lost their cutting-edge idealism and originality and are being “normalized” as the new establishment.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutas
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Syria became the latest Middle Eastern country to join the chain of protests sweeping across the Middle East. The protests have since spread to several other cities with varying frequency and numbers, and the violent handling of the protests by the Syrian regime has created a protest movement, which has brought forth an array of demands from political reform to the fall of the regime. Opposition in different forms has always existed in Syria and among the Syrian diaspora. However, legal restrictions on social and political activities and the long-lasting atmosphere of fear, perpetrated by the Ba'ath Party and pervasive intelligence services, have so far limited the opposition's organizational capabilities. Despite difficulties and restrictions, the Syrian opposition is in the making. This paper presents a brief analysis of the opposition in Syria, surveys the opposition's fight for survival under the Ba'ath regime, and assesses its current strength and weaknesses.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Tobias Schumacher
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Throughout the first seven months of the Arab Spring, starting with the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010, the EU clearly revealed itself as both an actor and spectator by resorting to both activism and passivism in a seemingly erratic fashion. Against this background and based on the EU's recently adopted Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean, this article aims at understanding this dualism more precisely and shedding some light on the EU's rather anachronistic foreign policy behavior in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in recent months. The article identifies five dichotomies, all of which contribute to the situation in which the EU continues to be torn between being a relevant political actor in the MENA region and a simple spectator that continues to be overwhelmed by local and regional political developments.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Mahmood Monshipouri, Ali Assareh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recent uprisings and unrests across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have brought new leadership to Egypt and Tunisia, and could possibly result in more leadership changes. While it is too early to assess the meaning and implications of the MENA uprisings, it is even more difficult to predict whether the current ferment could fundamentally reshape the region by bringing real democratic transformation. What is evident, however, is that the United States' old bargain with autocrats is collapsing; and that U.S. strategic interests are seemingly better served, at least during this historic period, by working with governments that genuinely reflect the will of their people. This essay's central argument is that change and transformation in MENA has resulted from bottom- up, anti-establishment popular movements that have exposed the flaws of the U.S. foreign policy and will most likely challenge the conventional U.S. policies in the region for years to come.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Erhan Türbedar
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office of the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), 2009 represented the year of Turkey's return to the Western Balkans as an influential actor. Granted, Turkey's Balkan policy became a matter of contention. Ankara's Bosnia and Herzegovina initiative even raised questions as to whether Turkey is aspiring to restore its former power and influence over the region. Those expressing their unease over this initiative are accusing Turkey of nurturing inclinations reminiscent of the Ottoman state. To counter this image, Turkish officials are using every opportunity to underline that Ankara has no intentions other than to contribute to the consolidation of peace and stability in the Western Balkans. This article reviews the last two years of Turkish policy towards the region, and includes evaluations on the perception of Turkey's proactive Western Balkans policy.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Žarko Petrović, Dušan Reljic
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The vigor which has characterized the Turkish approach to the Western Balkans since the end of the Cold War has transformed the country into an important regional actor from its previous position as a distant neighbor that showed little interest. Although Turkey and the Western Balkan countries have in the meanwhile achieved the most intensive relationship since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey has not yet displayed the economic capacity and political weight that could make it compete with the magnetism of the European Union for Western Balkan countries. Turkish cultural influence, although significantly widened in the last few years, particularly through investments in educational institutions, is mostly limited to the Muslim population in the region. While potential EU membership remains the most important driver for the political elites in the region, the stalled EU membership prospects of both Turkey and the countries of the region might change this in the future.
  • Topic: Cold War, Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Daivd Lovell
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The relationship between Turkey (and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire) and Europe has been long, often tense or openly hostile, and is in some senses fundamental to the identities and development of each; this relationship also adds a considerable burden of suspicion to Turkey's current aim of joining the European Union (EU). This essay examines these propositions by providing an account of the history of the relationship and of Europe's recent, conditional approach to Turkish accession to the EU. While accepting that much remains to be done at the institutional level to bring Turkey into alignment with EU norms, this paper argues that Turkish accession is a historic opportunity for Europe that it should not squander. Despite mixed signals, further development of Turkey's democracy along the path to Europe is the most likely course. The story is not “never-ending”, but the end will not come quickly.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Çiğdem H. Benam
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) has been devising new methods to manage irregular migration and border control. In the last few decades, a clear link has been established between migration, borders and security in Europe. The paper critically examines this link and the EU's response to the problem through the implementation of two methods: the externalization of border control and increased surveillance. Both these instrument mainly aim at eradicating risk with the help of surveillance tools such as databases and profiling people travelling from third countries, preventing irregular migrants from reaching the EU through pre- emptive measures, and dealing with them outside of the Union as much as possible. However, these methods create other forms of insecurities while claiming to attain a more secure Europe, such as empowering states at the expense of individual liberties and making individuals part of a total surveillance system where their daily actions and preferences are recorded.
  • Topic: Security, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ehud R. Toledano
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Professor Zilfi, a well-established, leading historian of the Ottoman Empire, has joined the small but constantly growing group of scholars interested in the study of Ottoman enslavement. Her current book is a most welcome addition to the second wave of studies devoted to the complex history of the practice, which is one of the most diverse and multi-faceted phenomena in the annals of human societies. While Zilfi clearly contributes to the discourse about the topic, she—refreshingly—does not pretend to reinvent the wheel, but rather treats the works of her predecessors with respect, fully engaging with their studies and demonstrating remarkable understanding of the intricacies they sought to explain in an area that had been uncharted territory.
  • Author: Isa Blumi
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Reşat Kasaba is a well-established, highly competent social scientist with a profound interest in the study of socioeconomic processes of change experienced in the Ottoman Empire.In this book that addresses the growing interest in migration as a social, and thus historical force, Kasaba offers his readers an excellent introductory study to human movement in the context of six hundred years of Ottoman rule.
  • Author: Laurence Raw
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cinema in Turkey differs from other recent books on the subject – notably Gönül Dönmez-Colin's Turkish Cinema: Identity, Distance and Belonging (2008), and Asuman Suner's New Turkish Cinema (2009) – in that Arslan focuses less on recent cinema in Turkey and more on the Yeşilçam era from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. More importantly, Arslan does not consider the cinema in Turkey either as 'Turkish,' or as expressive of a certain construction of national identity. Rather he employs a series of binary oppositions – the melodramatic and the realistic, the popular and the artistic, the forced and the spontaneous – to suggest that Turkish cinema is in a state of “perpetual 'trans-ing,' continual transition, translation and transformation.” (p.13)
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Michelangelo Guida
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The distressing photo on the cover effectively represents the content of this book. The photo depicts a junior high school student amidst male and female police officers who tear up her headscarf at the entrance of a school in 2001. We do not see the girl's face, but we can imagine her shame and fury for the act and the injustice of the ban. Author of the book under review, Merve Kavakci Islam was an activist for the Muslim women's right to wear the headscarf during her term with the Virtue Party. When elected to Ankara's Parliament in 1999, she was prevented from swearing into office, first, by an astonishing media campaign and, then, by the opposition of the leading party in the assembly. Later, she was stripped of her parliamentary immunity and of her Turkish citizenship by the Constitutional Court, which also closed her party for alleged threats to the state. Those were the aftermaths of the 28 February Process previous to the advent of the Justice and Development Party (JDP), a period when the secularist wing was attempting to reinstate the most severe form of laicism in the country.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Tanel Demirel
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Rıfat N. Bali has done us a great service by publishing reports of American diplomats about Turkey in the 1960's and 1970's. The book consists of 35 reports and cables prepared by American consulates in Istanbul, Adana Izmir, and the American Embassy in Ankara. Bali has organized the classified reports into five categories: the “political and social situation in Turkey,” “the situation after the May 27, 1960 Coup,” “the Turkish general staffs ultimatum of March 12, 1971,” “the Kurdish issue” and finally reports concerning minorities. It should be noted here that these reports did not exactly represent the views of the US government, but the views of serving American diplomats. Failure to distinguish between these two categories might lead to unwarranted conclusions.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Istanbul
  • Author: Jakub Wodka
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely book Alexander Murinson explores the forces behind the entente between Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan. He juxtaposes these three countries, which he characterizes as “garrison-, like-minded, 'Westernistic', secular, constitutionally nationalist and lonely states.” (p.143) Those features depict the identity construct of the three states, which on the face of it, may seem to have conflicting interests in the turbulent Eurasian region spanning the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans. Each of the three states is a sui generis actor on the global stage – post-imperial, western-oriented Turkey with global ambitions ruled by a post-Islamist party, a Jewish state encircled by Arab neighbors, and an oil-rich post-soviet republic with an autocratic regime. Thus, the author seeks to understand how the common identities of the three countries on the one hand led to the formation of this peculiar alliance, and on the other hand what factors could and in fact do undermine the Turkish-IsraeliAzeri security relationship. Departing from the more classic, neo-realist approach to international relations, where the homogenous states – the so-called billiard balls are the sole actors on the world stage, the author draws from the constructivist importance of identity as the driving force of states' behavior and their foreign policy. He looks deep into the tissue of the three states and the regional and global context to decipher the emerging patterns and trends in Ankara's relations with Israel and Azerbaijan. As “all the three states have special relations with the world hegemon,” (p.147) it is warranted to say that the United States is the “fourth leg” of this triangular axis. Washington plays a key role in regional affairs and is interested in forging cooperation between countries potentially capable of counterbalancing the regional alignment between Russia, Iran, and Syria.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Author: Sylvia Tiryaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: T“I was alive only because I had a Turkish passport,” tells Lazar Russo in Arnold Reisman's Shoah: Turkey, the US and the UK. Lazar Russo was living in France when the Nazis occupied it. As with the other Jews, it was impossible for him to leave the country. However, remaining meant certain extermination. Only after the Turkish Consulate in Paris offered him a passport could he escape. He went to Turkey. It was an unusual move from a foreign country those days. But according to the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, France was only “one of the countries where Turkish diplomats worked to save Jews.”
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Turkey
  • Author: Adam Guerin
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Rami Ginat's monograph traces the development of Syria's foreign policy of neutralism during its early years of independence in until the fall of the Soviet Union. By situating the evolution of Syrian politics within a global framework that incorporates the diplomatic positions of emerging nations of the so-called Third World – particularly India, Egypt, Yugoslavia, and Indonesia – Ginat demonstrates the multifaceted face of neutralism that simultaneously united and divided nations seeking an alternative “third path” within the ideological struggle of the Cold War.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, India, Yugoslavia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Irina Vainovski-Mihai
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Leaving aside the academic discourse, the “theoretical and methodological shields that usually ensure a semblance of detachment,” (p.ix) Marnia Lazreg, a professor of sociology at Hunter College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, adds her voice to the ever-expanding bibliography on the veil. Committed to writing this book, as she declaredly has reached a point where she could no longer keep quiet about the issue, (p.2) the author addresses Muslim women who either have taken up the veil or are considering wearing it. In doing this, she finds incumbent to reveal herself personally while recounting her experience as a Muslim woman growing up in colonial Algeria and that of several women she has interviewed over the past fifteen years in the Middle East, North Africa, France, and the United States. In each of her five open letters, Lazreg presents different veiling or reveiling experiences, interprets them and takes issue with their justification, pointing out that the custom of “covering” should be always regarded in its historical, political, and socio-cultural context, as long as “the veil is never innocent,” (p.125) it is both a discourse and a practice. Based on these grounds, in the Introduction, when clarifying certain terms used in the book, Lazreg states that by the expression “Muslim women” she refers to the “the women who have taken up the veil as a way for them to display their religious affiliation” (p.12) and she adds: “The best but cumbersome way to refer to these women would be 'women-who- wear-the-veil-because-they-think-it- is-a religious-obligation-in-Islam.' There is no generic 'Muslim woman,' just as there is no generic 'Christian woman' – only concrete women engaged in concret actions.”
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, France, North Africa
  • Author: Noémi Michel
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The book under review regroups selected contributions from an international conference held in Turkey in September 2006 that was jointly organized by the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (UK) and the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (Turkey). Reflecting the mission of this conference, the book is concerned with the challenges of security and democracy in relation to Islamic discourses and Muslim communities. In the Introduction, the editor, Wenda Krause, convincingly highlights the importance of these issues, especially after 9/11 and 7/7. She states that “both security and democracy are becoming ever less attainable in today's climate of increased division and cleavages along ideological lines and Islamophobia – an acute problem for citizenship in humanity” and calls for the need of variously angled analyses and critical solutions. (p. xv) The twelve contributions of this volume, which are classified in five sections, therefore offer multiple points of entry to this main problem through case studies, historical accounts, policy analyses, as well as reflections drawing upon Islamic jurisprudence and intellectual history.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey