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  • Author: Ina Merdjanova
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In his book, Ion Grumeza ambitiously sets about “to fill a gap with authoritative material on how the process of Balkanization came about, to separate fact from fiction and trace the patterns of ethnic and cultural life that originated fifteen centuries ago.” (p. ix) Furthermore, the book “traces the creation of the present Balkan nations and examines their influence on Eastern Europe.” (p.xiii) With this impressive aim in mind, the author has studied some hundred historical books on the Balkans, or at least this is what we find in his bibliography.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: It seems that the 2011 summer elections marks the end of the old maxim that conveniently formulates politics as “the art of the possible.” It is no secret that the transformative agenda by the consecutive AK Party governments since 2002 has been restricted by the “ancien regime,” which has drawn the limits of “what is necessary” or “what is possible” in affecting “fundamental changes” and reconfiguring the relations between the “old” and “new” power centers. However, the historic appreciation of the AK Party government expressed in votes by half the population suggests that as the old power elite is fading away, politics for the next AK Party government goes beyond its “fight” for emancipating politics from the constraints of Kemalist power centers.
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: After the Israeli attack of May 31, 2010 on the Freedom Flotilla led by the Mavi Marmara, the UN Secretary General appointed a panel of inquiry to resolve the sharp legal dispute that had emerged between Turkey and Israel. The panel was chaired by Jeffrey Palmer, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, and it was hoped that the report issued would clear the diplomatic air between the two countries. In fact, the publication of the report in May had exactly the opposite effect, enraging Turkey, straining diplomatic relations still further. Turkey seemed fully justified in its response, given the departures from appropriate interpretations of international law. This commentary critically examines the process from the formation of the Palmer panel through the release of its conclusions, looking at the legal and political implications.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Norman G. Finkelstein
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On May 31st, 2010, Israeli commandos killed nine passengers aboard a humanitarian flotilla destined for Gaza. Eight of the nine were Turkish citizens, while one was a dual U.S.-Turkish citizen. On August 2nd, 2010, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Panel of Inquiry (POI) to “examine and identify the facts, circumstances and context of the incident,” and to “consider and recommend ways of avoiding similar incidents in the future.” In September 2011, the POI's final report was unofficially released. In a finding that shocked the international community, the report concluded that Israel's naval blockade of Gaza was legal. Moreover, the report vilified the passengers aboard the humanitarian flotilla because they sought to publicize the illegality and inhumanity of Israel's blockade. A careful analysis of the POI report shows that it is probably the most mendacious and debased document ever issued under the aegis of the United Nations.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, United Nations
  • Author: Oded Eran
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Mavi Marmara tragic affair is viewed in Israel as part of a Turkish political maneuvering which gained momentum following the Arab Spring. According to this view Turkey under Prime Minister Erdogan has identified a vacuum created by the US phased withdrawal from the region, a decline in Egypt's traditional role and the growing European and American need for Turkey's involvement. In these circumstances, Turkey can assert itself as a regional power with domestic, regional and international political and economic returns. Championing thePalestinian cause and criticizing Israel bears hardly any price tag. Israelis and, especially, those who decide whether to accept Turkey's demand for ending the Mavi Marmara affair and restoring normal relations, question whether this is Turkey's strategy. The Arab Spring may produce major changes in the region's political map that would also affect Turkey and Israel. This is a time when a dialogue, rather than rupture and confrontation, would better serve their long term interests. Yet both governments are now entrenched in their positions. This calls for a nongovernmental initiative to prevent further deterioration and search for a process to heal the relationship.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Yasser M. El-Shimy
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The wave of popular protests engulfing the Arab Middle East has yielded markedly different results. While the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia prompted meaningful, and immediate, political change, the regimes of Syria, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen are able to put up a fight. The violent stalemates in the latter countries may eventually give way to political reform, but for now the fate of their popular uprisings is anything but certain. What explains this outcome divergence between the two sets of nations? What makes one autocratic Arab regime stronger than another? What roles do societies and militaries play in shaping the future of the Arab Spring? This article suggests that authoritarian regimes with established networks of social patronage and unwavering military loyalty are better able to withstand calls for change.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Syria
  • Author: Taha Özhan
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, Turkey has been experiencing a decisive transition that North Africa and the Middle East only recently have begun to feel. It will be misleading to interpret the changes in the Arab world as unique and isolated developments taking place in each country, on a case by case basis. “The Camp David Order,” that took shape after 1978, based on Western support for authoritarian Arab leaders, has dominated Middle Eastern affairs for the last three decades. The US invasion of Iraq intentionally or unintentionally shook up the status quo of the regional order. Turkey has been seen as a success story for those countries suffering from a lack of democratization, economic development and a more equitable distribution of income, while enduring a “Cold Peace” with Israel. Just as Turkey had a role in the transformation of the Arab world, the Arab world will also play a significant role in the formation of the “New Turkey.” Turkey will remain an actor helping to build this new democratic and more prosperous regional order, as long as it deploys its comparative, historical, and strategic advantages.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Abdirahman Ali
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan visited Somalia in mid-August to raise awareness on the devastating famine that left tens of thousands of people dead and displaced nearly a million. But the visit had broader undertones for Turkey: as a rising power that straddles the east and west, Ankara was aiming to pronounce its unique foreign policy orientation, predicated upon its moral authority, not its military or economic clout. More importantly, Turkey was laying the foundation for its foray into Africa -a continent that, by and large, remains untouched and underdeveloped. As Ankara re-orientates its foreign and trade policies, it is establishing roots in Africa by making humanitarian assistance its initial point of contact. And while traditional powers (the U.S., EU, China and India) take a wait-and-see attitude towards Africa, particularly with respect to stabilization, Turkey appears to be investing in the stabilization phase and planting the seeds for a long longterm engagement.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Turkey, India
  • Author: Necati Polat
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This piece is on a number of critical rulings issued recently by high courts in Turkey in brazen disregard of the discourse of human rights, to which a growing commitment appears paradoxically to be the case in democratic politics. The bureaucratic authority that characterizes the dissipating old regime in the country is often associated with the military. Yet the civilian bureaucracy, in particular the high judiciary, with justices long handpicked from among the legal elite with a disdain of democratic politics, has been just as crucial in sustaining the old order molded by anachronisms of the 1930s, when the regime that defines this order, Kemalism, emerged in concerted thinking with authoritarianisms prevalent in Europe at the time. The overhaul of the system of high courts from 2010 has clearly been momentous in seeking to bring the judicial establishment into line with democracy and human rights. Still, the settled reflexes seem on the whole to be resilient in dictating the outcome in crucial cases, rendering the transformation both sluggish and painful.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ümit Cizre
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The article analyzes the new roadmap for Turkey after the summer 2011 elections as not a “resumption” of unfinished business from the last nine years, but from the perspective of the ability of Turkey's ruling party, the AK Party, as well as the opposition forces and actors to “transform” some anachronistic features of the dominant politics as well as deal with troubling new trends in society. The AK Party governments made progress in many areas by pushing forward a series of far-reaching reforms which have genuinely changed Turkish politics. However, Turkey under AK Party rule includes a society which has failed to shed its extreme hostility toward different ideas, identities and values. Moreover, current opposition parties and movements in Turkey continue to be weak in imagination, vision, capacity and leadership, which have led to rigidities and even deeper political divisions. More importantly, the new government will have to create new possibilities out of its past failures and turn paradoxes, contradictions and ambiguities in politics and society, in the country and in the region, into positive achievements.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Menderes Çınar
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The 2011 elections marked the emergence of the AKP as a political brand that is likely to win all the elections in the foreseeable future. The party's overwhelming popularity is linked to its image as the most reliable and trustworthy political party today. The ambitious democratization promises of the AKP created hopes for a paradigm shift in Turkish politics in the aftermath of the elections. However the AKP's overemphasis on its brand name and its consequent monopolization of the democratization process, excluding Turkey's other parties, have raised concerns over the fulfillment of a more profoundly democratic participatory system in Turkey. Moreover, the AKP's adoption of populist rhetoric and stereotypes, which is usually the hallmark of Turkey's right-wing traditionalist parties, raises further concerns. Finally, the failure of the main opposition CHP to form a coherent platform to challenge the AKP's monopoly over Turkey's political scene has contributed to the growing skepticism for a new democratic political paradigm in Turkey.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ayşen Uysal
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the CHP within the paradigm of party individualization and the “political firm.” In what ways has the CHP made a break from its past? In what ways has it maintained historical continuity? Just how new is the “New CHP?” In this paper, the subject will be studied in terms of two dimensions: election campaigns and the discourse of the CHP on the one hand, and the organization and leadership on the other. This paper starts from the hypothesis that the CHP has transformed into a catch-all cartel party. To test this hypothesis the article first provides a short overview of what the CHP has been up to for the past year and a half. The developments which the party had lived through brought to the fore the claims of a “New CHP” and its “changing ideological axis.” Moreover, the article discusses the CHP's dilemmas as a cartel party which attempts to appeal to every voter segment and its ideological status.
  • Topic: History
  • Author: Mesut Yeğen
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay argues that the 2011 election results point to a number of important conclusions concerning the Kurdish question in Turkey. First, the Kurdish party will continue to be the main actor in “Kurdish question politics.” Second, the AK Party has been unable to halt the rise of the Kurdish party in a number of provinces with large Kurdish populations. Third, political parties, other than the Kurdish party and the AK Party, have been eliminated from “Kurdish question politics.” This essay will demonstrate that the support for the Kurdish party is gradually acquiring a territorial dimension. Thus, this essay argues that the notion of democratic autonomy proposed today for the whole of Turkey by the Kurdish party may over time give way to the political objective of “autonomy for Kurdistan” or even “federal Kurdistan.” It is also argued that the same trend may foster a political agenda of “Kurds to Kurdistan” to take hold in Turkish politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gökhan Bacik
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The MHP won 13 percent of the vote in the June 2011 elections, which guaranteed it 52 seats in parliament. Ever since the 1960s, the MHP has operated with a vague party identity that amalgamated different, even contradictory, elements such as Islam, folk nationalism, secularism, militarism, Kemalism, statism, and even Ottomanism. However, the serious issues that are challenging Turkish politics today, such as civilian-military relations, the Ergenekon trial, Islam in the public sphere, the Kurdish question, the crisis of the presidential election, or the 2010 referendum, have made a nebulous discourse operationally impossible. This paper argues that the recent political polarization between the AK Party and the CHP put an end to the MHP's strategy and discourse of traditional obscurantism, causing in these last elections this party's unimpressive electoral performance.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Vural Aksakallı, Hatice Tekiner-Moğulkoç, Muammer Koç
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The changes in Turkey's political landscape over the past decade have been quite dramatic. In this study, we present a quantitative analysis of the 2011 national elections based on clustering techniques and we compare our results with those of the previous elections in 1999, 2002, and 2009. Our results suggest, once again, that Turkish citizens turn out to vote consistently since the1950s. We also investigate significant changes in voting trends of different regions and provinces. We conclude with a future-based qualitative outlook to indicate what the results could be if certain electoral changes are made, such as the law for political parties, a different national threshold for parties to be represented and elected to Parliament, and an eventual new constitution.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Revisionist history is "in." Indeed, there is no other history these days. This is the case for Ottoman history as well. This appears to be the trend for early modern history, which has received the bulk of the attention of the revisionists ever since we have re-oriented the "classical age" to the early modern age. The scholarship over the past two decades, brilliantly illustrated with the work of Daniel Goffman as well other scholars, have resituated the Ottoman Empire in its role in world history, as countries made the transition to the modern state. Fariba Zarinebaf puts crime and punishment at the center of this history of the global making of the modern state.
  • Author: Talip Küçükcan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Migration and settlement of Turks and Muslims in Europe since the 1960s irrevocably changed the social, cultural, religious and demographic landscape of European societies by transforming them into ethnically more heterogeneous and diverse political communities. It is estimated that Muslims currently constitute approximately 5.2 per cent of Europe's total inhabitants, which is home to 38 million Muslims. Of these, 13million live within the European Union, but they are spread out over the continent. There are about 4.5 million Muslims in France, Germany hosts almost 4 million Muslims, and the United Kingdom is home to 1.6 million Muslims. Italy, the Netherlands and Spain each have just over half a million Muslims, while smaller countries such as Austria, Sweden and Belgium have less than half a million. Turks constitute the largest Muslim immigrant community in Europe with an estimated number of 4.6million.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy has experienced a fundamental transformation. Turkey's regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors were reshaped through the adoption of the "zero-problem with-neighbors" policy. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself, first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 2009 was a year of foreign policy initiatives towards Syria, Armenia, and Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government. And it marked the beginning of more positive and constructive relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey gained substantial ground in becoming a regional hub for energy by undersigning two critical energy deals. Yet, two major issues remain as challenges for Turkish foreign policy: a) the EU accession process, and b) the Cyprus dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Emrullah Uslu
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Turkey's domestic political developments in 2009, by situating them against the results and implications of the 2007 national elections. It examines major issues on Turkey's agenda: the redefinition of civilian-military relations, the Kurdish question, the issue of conservative social networks and the Ergenekon investigation. The article argues that while the governing Justice and Development Party previously pursued a survival strategy based on alliances with liberal reformists and the EU to curtail the power of the military, in the wake of the 2007 elections it opted to explore issues of common ground with the military. The developments in 2009, which was a year of harvesting the fruits of this new strategy, show that this strategy worked in regards to the Kurdish question, but it has failed on the issue of conservative social networks, as the military and the government remained embroiled in an undeclared confrontation on this issue.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mensur Akgün, Sylvia Tiryaki
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite repeated calls and promises, Turkish Cypriots live in economic, political and humanitarian isolation. This paper tries to address one aspect of it and elaborates on the legal basis of these isolationist practices imposed on one side of the island. It challenges the international legal validity of the de facto sanctions. Furthermore, it claims that lifting economic isolation will also serve as a confidence building tool between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus represented by the Greek Cypriots since such an act will lead to Turkey's reciprocation and the normalization of relations with the Republic of Cyprus. It also argues that neither the UN, nor the EU has ever imposed any sanctions on Turkish Cypriots and the policy of isolation, as such, has only been practiced by the Greek Cypriots and the Greeks. This paper intends to clarify the distinction between sanctions and non-recognition. It also highlights the promises made by the EU to the Turkish Cypriots, in particular, the one made on April 26, 2004, when the Council of the EU proclaimed its commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.
  • Topic: Economics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, Balochistan
  • Author: Adam Balcer, Piotr Zalewski
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent years, the EU's newest members - having identified a number of shared interests that make collaboration between them desirable, if not inevitable - have begun to speak with a single voice on a range of key areas of EU policy. Some of their shared interests have yet to be articulated, however. One of them, and among the most important, is the new member states' support for future EU enlargement, including Turkey's EU accession. With Turkey in sore need of an advocate that can make a strong case on behalf of its EU bid, Ankara and the "new Europe" should reassess the importance of their relations, define areas of common interest and intensify cooperation. From the EU-10 perspective, increased cooperation with Turkey promises to deliver positive results in a number of policy areas, including immigration, energy security, trade and foreign affairs.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ayhan Kaya
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses a new social and political phenomenon in Europe, which has become evident along with the visibility of Islam in the European public space. Revealing the current social-political context in Western Europe, which is mainly characterized by a growing drift of securitization of Islam and migration, this paper argues that there are two simultaneously running processes regarding the changing nature of Euro-Islam, which seem to are antithetical: individualization of Islam vs. institutionalization of Islam. Drawing upon the findings of the field research in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, this article shows that while the processes of globalization seem to prompt younger generations with Muslim background to liberate themselves from the constraints of their patriarchal parental and community culture, western states as well as ethnocultural and religious brokers tend to reify, or reinforce, their existing communal and religious boundaries. That is to say that the descendants of migrants seem to have been squeezed between individualization and institutionalization of Islam.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article looks at the impact of Turkish voters in German politics since the 1980s with a special attention to the latest elections in September 2009. While Turks were almost entirely connected with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s witnessed the rising appeal of the Greens among immigrants in general and Turks in particular. This was followed by the success of Turkish candidates in the Left Party in the 2005 elections. The latest elections in September 2009 witnessed a further diversification of Turkish representation as the SPD, Greens, Left, and the (liberal) FDP each sent a Turkish member into the Bundestag, while the CDU/CSU remained the only party without Turkish representation at the federal level. Despite persistent under-representation in the political arena, and some obstacles against their acquisition of citizenship and religious observance, the Turkish minority in Germany still registers a higher level of political presence than the Muslim minorities in France and Britain.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey, France, Germany
  • Author: ilman Lanz
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This text discusses the case of Talip, son of Turkish immigrants to Germany and a recent convert to Islam. Specifically, the text addresses Talip's reasons for a (re)conversion and the details of his embrace of Islam as the religion of his ancestors. The argument is made that processes of conversion cannot be captured through the conceptualization of different stages or phases except in retrospect. In showing this impossibility, the text further argues that every conversion needs to attach itself or revolve around a specific event that is taken as cathartic for making the move towards the new faith. Attempts that delineate commonalities in processes of conversion and that then speak of phases or stages are able to illuminate the social dimension of this phenomenon. The focus on events, proposed here, is able to much better highlight the idiosyncratic, contingent and personal dimensions of the same phenomenon.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Sevgi Çilingir
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article attempts to analyze various aspects of ethnic and religious identity configurations among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain and to explore how such social processes influence their socio-political integration. It tries to situate the Turkish community in the context of British Muslim identity politics. Findings in this article are based on in-depth interviews on perceptions and attitudes the Turkish Sunni Muslims have and their implications in the planning of collective activities, especially in the field of education. This study reveals that although the current level of integration among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain is less than expected, neither living in a non-Muslim country nor claiming to have a British identity are perceived as incompatible with Turkish and Islamic values. This paper concludes that educating Turkish youths in ethnic and religious values is a priority, as it is seen as a means to protect against assimilation, while allowing for successful integration.
  • Topic: Education, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey
  • Author: Tayfun Atay
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims to explore multifaceted interactions among three segments of the 'Turkish-speaking' immigrant community in London, composed of the Turks and the Kurds from Turkey and Turkish Cypriots. Drawing on findings of an extensive anthropological fieldwork, this paper not only documents that these sub-groups co-exist and cooperate with each other creating a sense of collective belonging to Turkish-speaking communities versus the others but also shows frictions and conflicts often occurring about ethnic, political, and ideological issues. As a result, an uneasy symbiosis exists between these sub-groups in London where they find themselves in an awkward position of existing together while not belonging to a unified group which can be described by the notion of 'ethnicity within ethnicity'.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, London, Kurdistan
  • Author: Zeynep Yanaşmayan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Immigration of Turkish guestworkers to Western European countries in the 1960s and 1970s laid the ground for the emergence of various transnational religious organizations. This paper examines transnational organizations of Turkish origin that gained major support and membership in their host societies. Drawing upon a case study on Turks in Belgium, it shows that in the last four decades these organisations went through various transformations depending on the dynamics in their respective immigrant communities, host societies and countries of origin. This essay captures the role and selfadaptation process of Turkish Islamic organisations vis-à-vis the changing environment both in their host countries and countries of origin. It focuses on two Turkish transnational organisations in Belgium: The Islamic Federation of Belgium (IFB) and the Turkish Islamic Foundation of Belgium (TIFB). This essay concludes that political structure in the countries of origin constantly induces transnational organizations to further adopt and position themselves according to changing circumstances.
  • Topic: Environment, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Belgium, Western Europe
  • Author: Martin Bak Jørgensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: It has become a conventional approach to look at the impact of the political institutions to understand immigrant organizing patterns in the receiving countries. The underlying assumption in this process is that the organizational language of the host state makes an impact on the organizational patterns of immigrants in a given state. The article takes this insight as the backdrop for understanding the Turkish organizing processes in the Danish context and first looks at the institutional arrangements and integration- and citizenship model prevailing in Denmark and secondly, at the collective Turkish organizing processes within this structural framework while taking dynamics of social participation and agency into account. The Turkish minority group is the largest immigrant group in Denmark and the article pays attention to the heterogeneity that exists within the Turkish group and seeks to outline emerging organizing patterns with regard to ethno-national, religious, political and other dividing categories.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Denmark
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Kılıç Buğra Kanat
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article agrees that there is a transformation in Turkish foreign policy. It suggests that the changes in foreign policy are not aimed to de-Westernize Turkey; instead they are attempts to create an autonomous, self-regulating, and self-confident foreign policy agenda while normalizing the previous crisis-driven policymaking in Turkey's foreign relations. These changes include: broadening of Turkey's foreign policy agenda to include regions other than Europe and North America, using the expertise of new actors in shaping foreign policy (such as civil experts and NGOs) and transforming decision making mechanisms to incorporate new initiatives. In fact, this article, while not denying some recurring problems in Turkey's foreign policy, suggests that Turkey is not turning away from the West; but striving to reconfigure and reformulate its foreign policy, reflecting the demands of an increasingly open and democratic society and adapting to the realities of a multi-polar world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, North America
  • Author: Stefan Höjelid
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: “One spring day towards the end of the cold war, a time of surprises, my teleprinter shuddered into action. A colleague in Beijing was sending a message: members of an ethnic group called the Uygurs, of whom I had never heard, were demonstrating in the streets of Urumqi, capital of the north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang. The protesters were denouncing the communist leadership in Beijing and chanting the name of an exiled leader said to be living in Turkey, a man named 'Isa'. My colleague had a simple and urgent question: Could I trace Isa down?”
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: China, Turkey, Beijing
  • Author: Metin Heper
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The title of this book is a misnomer: the title should have been “The Republican People Party and Kemalism” for the book aims to unravel why this leftist political party in Turkey has consistently garnered a number of votes less than centre-right political parties have, and this failure is attributed to the party's close relationship with Kemalism rather than with the genuine left.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Michael McGaha
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One of the most distinctive things about Orhan Pamuk's writing is the playful way he tantalizes his readers by constantly blurring the boundaries between truth and fiction. By having his first-person narrators include many well-known aspects of the novelist's own life in their tales, he keeps us guessing about which parts of the story actually happened and which are imaginary. When he published his first few novels, only people who were personally acquainted with the author or his family could participate in this guessing game. As he has become increasingly famous—and especially since the publication of his memoir Istanbul: Memories and the City—many more of his loyal readers have been drawn in. Not only have his parents, his brother, his grandmother, and even the family servants become familiar figures, but fictional characters from his early novels, such as the wealthy merchant Cevdet Bey and the newspaper columnist Celal Salik turn up with such regularity in later works that they have come to seem equally real. With The Museum of Innocence Pamuk has taken this game to another level. The cover of the novel features a photo of four people parked beside the Bosphorus in a 1956 Chevrolet just like the one described in the novel as belonging to the protagonist's father; two of those people are easily recognizable as Pamuk's parents. A note on the dust jacket attributes the photo to “Ahmet Isikci.” Attentive readers will remember Ahmet as the character personifying the young Orhan Pamuk in his first novel, Cevdet Bey and His Sons.Even weirder is the fact that beginning next summer, if all goes according to plan, you will actually be able to visit the museum supposedly created by Kemal Basmacı, the protagonist of The Museum of Innocence, as a monument to his lost love, Füsun Keskin. That museum will contain many mementoes of Orhan Pamuk's own childhood and youth, such as his tricycle, as well as 4,213 cigarette butts allegedly smoked by Füsun, and many other, equally fascinating objects, such as the ceramic dog that once reposed on a doily on top of her parents' television set. I'm sure you'll agree that this is well worth the price of admission, but if you take your copy of The Museum of Innocence with you, you will get in free.
  • Political Geography: Istanbul
  • Author: Roberta Micallef
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This work's title Islamic Literature in Contemporary Turkey From Epic to Novel might give some readers the impression that this book is about different genres of Islamic literature available in Turkey today. It is not. Readers familiar with Bakhtin's essay, “The Epic and the Novel: Towards a Methodology for the Study of the Novel” will be better prepared for what is in this book. Çayır investigates Islamism and the changing compositions of Islamic identities in Turkey through a study of the Islamic literary fictions of the 1980s and 1990s. He explores the political and sociological processes of identity construction in the context of Turkey in that period. Instead of opting for breadth, the author examines Islamic novels in depth by focusing on two 'salvation novels' of the 1980s, Müslüman Kadının Adı Var and Boşluk, and two 'selfreflexive novels' of the 1990s, Halkaların Ezgisi and Yağmurdan Sonra, which have canonical status in Muslim circles and because they are the prototypes for the narrative structure for each time period.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: While Islamic fundamentalism or “radical Islam” has attracted a great deal of public attention, some societies in the Muslim world have experienced the gradual evolution of radical Islam into “moderate” or “political” Islam. Although moderate Muslims in such societies still maintain a pious commitment to Islam in their daily lives, they are not necessarily against the idea of a market economy, democracy, or the West. Where does moderate Islam come from? Is it the outcome of structural changes such as the modernization and rationalization of Muslim society? Or is the emergence of moderate Islam largely contingent upon a complex interaction between politics, the economy, and everyday social life? Finally, how should we approach this newly emerging alternative to radical Islam?
  • Topic: Islam
  • Author: İhsan Yılmaz
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Labour Migration from Turkey to Western Europe is a detailed multidisciplinary study of the labor migration from Turkey to the West during the official recruitment period between 1960 and 1974. The book endeavors to that make use of all available sources in four languages and draws on both historiography and social science research in the field. The 221-page book consists of six chapters. Following the introduction, it first looks at the causes of migration pressure in chapter two. Chapters three and four subsequently analyze the push and pull processes. Chapter three is titled “The Migration Process: Aspects Related to the Sending Country” and the chapter four is “The Migration Process: Aspects Related to the Receiving Country”. Before the conclusion, the book devotes 35 pages to analyzing the migrants and their characteristics in chapter five. It has also an extensive bibliography listing primary as well as secondary sources in four languages, which will be useful for other researchers in the field.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Western Europe
  • Author: Mehmet Özkan
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Based on extensive literature and fieldwork research in international relations, intellectual history and political thought, Cemil Aydin has written an exceptionally detailed account of the boundaries and horizons of pan-Islamic and pan-Asian thoughts on world order. Although his research on the intellectual journey of these two main anti-Western movements only covers the period from the early nineteenth century through to World War II, it still has relevance to today as we speak of “the rise of the rest” and/or “the Second World”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Matthew S. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The title of this new volume is perhaps misleading suggesting as it does a discussion of imperial expansion and its impact on conqueror and conquered alike. It is, to be sure, a study of ghaza and its organization by pre-modern Muslim dynasts. Anooshahr prefers the term itself, ghaza, to “holy war” with its thorny, tangled associations (p. 14). His particular interest lies with Mahmud of Ghazna (Ghaznavid dynasty, d.1030), Murad II (Ottoman dynasty, d. 1451) and, especially, Babur Muhammad Zahir al-Din (Timurid dynasty, founder of the Mughal state, d. 1531) all of whom engaged in warfare of the sort.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Author: Stefan Ihrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: German-Turkish relations in the twentieth century were at times very good and very close, at times cold, semi-colonial, and often difficult, but always complex and never black and white. Even when relations were friendly, as before and during World War One, the German side often tried to dominate the Ottoman Empire in some way which led to resentment among those who became aware of this—most prominently perhaps Atatürk. And at times when interactions between the two peoples seemed to focus prominently on such aspects as education and academia, as during the National Socialism period when a number of German academics found a temporary home in Turkey, some Germany were not happy about this new kind of closeness between the two peoples. A good history of German-Turkish relations still needs to be written, and there is much to disentangle and uncover until then, but this edited volume by Şen and Halm is another step towards a better understanding of this highly entangled history and inserts itself into the ever growing body of literature on the subject.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Stefan Ihrig
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Adib-Moghaddam's engaging analysis of the Iranian politics is an effective antidote against the widespread characterizations of the Islamic Republic as the center of Shi'i crescent and a regime ruled by messianic fanatics who are soon-to-be armed with nuclear weapons. He explicitly states his purpose: “Ideally, this book equips you… with the necessary tools to widen and fill the gaps between lines next time you read a newspaper article about Iran” (p.2). “My idea in this book is to employ critical theory in order to place Iran out of the reach of their awesome propaganda” (p.3).
  • Topic: Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Ş. İlgü Özler
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, Asef Bayat explores Islam and democracy especially with regard to what he calls the “post-Islamist” movement in the Muslim world. Instead of asking whether Islam and democracy are compatible, he asks, “under what conditions can Muslims instigate democratization within their countries?” He challenges the Orientalist view on Islamic exceptionalism by not only contesting the validity of the question about the compatibility of democracy and Islam, but also through a very thorough investigation of the post-Islamist movement in Iran and the Islamist movement in Egypt. He defines post-Islamism as a “condition” and a “project” that emphasizes change through religiosity and rights that arises after Islamism runs its course as a legitimate source of hope for political and economic development (p. 10-11). Through his in depth case studies he demonstrates that the state has been successful in suppressing the post-Islamist social movements and their secular and reformist demands for political change in Iran. While the state has been equally successful at suppressing opposition (the political Islamist movement) in Egypt, the Egyptian state has not been able to quell society's turn to Islamism.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran, Egypt
  • Author: Yaşar Yakış
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This edited volume brings together 23 articles by various authors who examine different aspects of European democratisation under four headings: Concepts, Practices, Changes and Contexts. In the first section, “Concepts,” contributors tackle different definition of democracy, drawing on discussions in classical literature and examining contemporary challenges to democratization in the global age. In the opening article, “Representative Democracy: Rosanvallon on the French Experience,” Frank R. Ankersmit claims that representative democracy has advantages over direct democracy, as the laws governing the former provide foundational bases for a political order. In the following article, “Direct Democracy, Ancient and Modern,” Mogens H. Hansen looks at direct democracy more closely. The author points out that direct democracy existed only in Ancient Greece and that several centuries after the Hellenic era, scholars introduced the concept of representative democracy and institutions but no serious debate took place regarding the democratic character of these institutions. Hansen discusses the prospects of revitalizing the institution of direct democracy through the use of modern tools. In her article, entitled “Neither Ancient nor Modern: Rousseau's Theory of Democracy,” Gabriella Silvestrini discusses Rousseau's perception of democracy and concludes that it had very little relevance to majority rule. In “Representative Government or Republic? Sieyes on Good Government,” Christine Faure focuses on controversial thinker Abbe Sieyesm, and argues that, in his time, he suggested an elected king who would resemble the modern institution of the President of the Republic.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Greece, Tripoli
  • Author: Joseph Alagha
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The purpose of Augustus Richard Norton's book— authored by the co-editor of the "Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics" series—"is to offer a more balanced and nuanced account of this complex organization [Hizbullah]... an honest account of the leading Shi'i political party in Lebanon— Hezbollah". In spite of that, there seems to be nothing fundamentally new in Norton's book.
  • Political Geography: Lebanon
  • Author: Ihsan Dagi
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's history of democratization is also a history of constitutional amendments. This is so because the last two Turkish constitutions of 1961 and 1982 were penned under the military regimes. As such, a restrictive civil rights regime and institutionalization of the power of the unelected bodies vis-à-vis representative organs characterized these military-made constitutions.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Volker Perthes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Owing to a changing geopolitical environment and a new foreign policy approach, Turkey's policies towards and role in the Middle East have undergone substantial changes since 2003. The most important facets, from a European perspective, are Turkey's efforts to improve relations with its direct Middle Eastern neighbors, and to play a mediating role between different, sometimes quite difficult, players in the Middle East. In general, Turkey has been more successful in improving its relations with proximate neighbors than in settling disputes between other states and non-state actors in the Middle East. As long as Turkey maintains good relations with all players in the Middle East and understands the limitations to its role, it can substantially contribute to positive change in the Middle Eastern landscape. This will also allow more coordination and cooperation between Turkey and the EU with regard to their overlapping Mediterranean and Middle Eastern neighborhoods.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Robert Wexler
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Much has been said and written about US-Turkish relations recently. The main reason for that is the fact that the relations have gone through a difficult period when clear disagreements over several issues have emerged. The “flotilla incident” and Turkey's “no” vote at the United Nations Security Council as a nonpermanent member of the Council have given the appearance of a major row between the US and Turkey. Part of the reason for that is Turkey's ambition to make decisions independently as a sovereign nation, which should be respected by her allies. The US and Turkey may have differences of opinion with respect to Israel and Iran. However, I would argue that the areas of cooperation, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, can only be described as exceptional. Instead of focusing on differences, we need to strengthen and highlight areas of cooperation based on our mutual inter.
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Turkey
  • Author: Doğu Ergil
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This commentary studies the results of the constitutional referendum that took place on September 12, 2010. It argues that the results underscore the Turkish people's determination to do away with the current constitutional order created by the military regime following the 1980 coup and to write a new constitution that responds to the needs of contemporary Turkey. The commentary situates the positioning of the political parties in the constitutional referendum in the background of the structural changes that Turkish society has been going through in recent decades. It thus argues that the main cleavage in Turkish politics is no longer the traditional left-right ideological axis. Rather, the main line of division is between the static and reactionary forces comprising the old elites who seek to maintain their conventional privileges, and the progressive forces from the periphery who seek to gain political representation commensurate with their newly acquired wealth.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent reform of the Turkish constitution makes Turkey a more democratic country according to European Union standards. This does not mean, however, that Turkey is automatically closer to its goal of EU membership as a result of the September 12 referendum. Dynamics surrounding the latest reforms confirmed that, over the years, Turkey's democratization and Europeanization processes have become less and less the product of a deliberate effort coherently pursued by Turkish elites than the uncertain outcome of what is primarily a struggle for power involving actors representing different segments of the Turkish state and society. A democratic Turkey as a full member of the EU remains a possibility in the medium-to-long term but one that seems to increasingly depend on a combination of favorable developments — a renewed interest in the EU in Turkey and vice versa, a constructive engagement between the government and opposition parties on the future reform agenda, as well as a sustainable solution to the Kurdish issue — which at the moment look far from likely.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Tanju Tosun
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The CHP constitutes a crucial place in Turkish political life. From its establishment to its closure after the military intervention of September 12, 1980, the CHP occasionally became a partner of coalition governments and came to power alone. The party was reopened and became more powerful after merging with the SHP in the 1990s. After the resignation of Baykal from party chairmanship in May 2010, whether new party chair would be able to extend the party base and become electorally successful has been started to be discussed. The new party chair Kılıçdaroğlu has a differentiated view of society, politics, democracy and freedom compared to Baykal. But then, the main problem is whether this difference would be able to turn the CHP into an alternative political power against the AK Party.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Vahap Coşkun
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey is moving toward achieving an ever-greater level of democracy by removing the remnants of restrictive and paternalistic administrative structures. The judiciary in Turkey has been one of the most influential instruments of state power in maintaining these structures. In the wake of the recently passed constitutional amendments, the question of whether the current government is trying to create a docile judiciary for its political purposes has been widely circulated. However, such questioning misses one of the most crucial motivators of the much needed reform package, i.e., the undemocratic record of the Turkish judiciary. The Turkish judiciary has traditionally considered itself as one of the guardians of the Turkish republic alongside the military. It has consistently delivered undemocratic decisions in the name of protecting the state. This article focuses on many examples of restrictive and paternalistic judiciary decisions in order to highlight the judiciary's undemocratic role in the Turkish political system.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Cenap Çakmak, Cengiz Dinç
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the Turkish Constitutional Court acts within a set of limitations which significantly affect its final judgments. The court's major consideration and motivation in its deliberations over political cases has primarily been to guard the regime and order, as defined and outlined by a fairly prostate interpretation. To study the Court's involvement in political cases, this study examines two types of cases, which will help identify the parameters restricting the Court's ability to proceed with its expected role. In party closure cases, the Court has considered the probable threat posed by the political party under review; accordingly, its rulings have mostly been in line with the prosecutor's indictment. The same also applies to cases concerning the headscarf ban, a sensitive issue that could be seen as a fault line in Turkey's social and political life.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Vahram Ter-Matevosyan
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims to explore one of the critical and relatively understudied dimensions of Turkish politics: the complex characteristics of interactions between the Armenian community (mainly Gregorian Orthodox Christians) and the incumbent government of the Justice and Development Party. Two interrelated questions are raised below: Why did the relationship between the AK Party and the Armenian community become an important topic to discuss? What repercussions did the assassination of Hrant Dink in 2007 have on relations between the Turkish government and the Armenian community? The answers to these questions can help us better understand why a majority party with Islamic roots produced more reliable bonds for the Christian minority than previous governments with their more secular backgrounds and political agendas. I argue that the Armenian community in Turkey is in a constant quest for a secure socio-political climate where it can safely preserve its cultural, ethnic and religious identity. Hence, the political agenda of the AK Party essentially matched the Armenian community's aspirations for large-scale reforms, which paved the way for a period of vigilant collaboration that remained in effect until the assassination of Hrant Dink.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Armenia
  • Author: Emad Y. Kaddorah
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Many actors have been interested in probing the approach that enabled Turkey to transform the country into a model of success within a few years. Ironically, this model is at the same time both a source of encouragement and apprehension for Islamic parties and the West. Although it presents an inspiration to Islamic parties and provides them with moral support and hope for change, this article investigates the considerations preventing them from reviewing their approaches to imitate the Turkish model. It assesses the Western interests and concerns over this model and discusses to what extent the West is interested in promoting such a democratic process elsewhere. Prior to analyzing these responses, it discusses the structure and elements constituting the Turkish model.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mehmet Özkan, Birol Akgün
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The effectiveness of the Muslim world in finding a solution to the Darfur conflict is open to debate. While many Muslim countries denied the existence of a genocidal conflict, arguing that the reports were a Western plot, some tried to go beyond the dichotomy of the West's insistence on genocide and its outright rejection by the Muslim world. This article discusses Turkey's Darfur policy in terms of 'the war on terror' discourse and Turkey's developing multidimensional foreign policy and the restrictions arising from such a policy. It argues that Turkey's approach has had the characteristics of both a convergence with and differentiation from that of the Muslim world. Turkey intended to go beyond current debates by creating a new 'language' on Darfur but failed due to its ineffective media policy and the limitations of its multidimensional foreign policy. Nevertheless, Turkey's involvement may be seen as an example of passive quiet diplomacy in a highly complex international environment.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mehmet Öcal, Ayşe Aslıhan Çelenk
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Kosovo is one of the last states in the Balkan puzzle to gain its independence. The disputed region that declared independence on February 17, 2008 is still a “quasistate,” a country with limited sovereignty, divided into a Serbian dominated north and an Albanian south. The international community has committed itself to the political and financial responsibility of securing peace in Kosovo and in the Balkan region at large. Yet neither the UN nor the EU has been able to undertake the necessary measures to prevent a possible partition of the new state. Besides a number of unresolved juridical and political issues, the country also has to deal with negative macroeconomic developments. Due to the lack of legal clarity, and the so-called reconfiguration of the tasks, competences and responsibility areas of the international organizations, only very modest steps have been made to integrate the country in the stabilization and association process of the accession to the EU.
  • Political Geography: United States, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans, Guinea
  • Author: Mert Bilgin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper hypothesizes that analyzing the geo-economic and energy security characteristics of gas supplies to Europe may help in understanding the features of regional and international relations with regard to selected countries. The paper highlights the significance of natural gas in the New Energy Order, and points to the importance of supply security for the EU. It looks at Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Algeria as suppliers and Turkey as a transit country in an emerging gas corridor to Europe. It examines supply-side opportunities, which promote new fields of international cooperation based on gas trade, and addresses certain restraints that may reduce the likelihood of further regional cooperation. Economic and geographic factors create new opportunities for regional trade and international relations. This geoeconomic aspect, however, takes place with international security issues varying from case to case.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt
  • Author: Farina Ahäuser
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sezgin Mercan
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Insight Turkey Vol. 12 / No. 4 / 2010 213 The EU's neighborhood policy presents an alternative perspective to its position on enlargement and membership. As such, it complements the EU's broader objective of promoting political, economic and social development and stability on its periphery.
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Müjge Küçükkeleş
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Lately, the search for the revival of a European spirit to respond to the continent's pervasive crises in economic, social, cultural, and political spheres has been the subject of many books and articles.
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Siret Hürsoy
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There is a growing literature on what political settlements are to be adopted in deeply divided (or post-conflict) societies and in protracted intra-state conflicts.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Cyprus
  • Author: Raymond Hinnebusch
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This slim volume examines a relationship that is pivotal for the stability of the Gulf and the wider Arab world and has major implications for Lebanon, Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the position of the US in the region.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Kemal Özden
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, the author focuses on Muslim people's social and legal situation and their legal attitudes from various points of view.
  • Topic: Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Turkey
  • Author: Wolfgang G. Schwanitz
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ursula Wokoeck's book is a dissertation written at the School of History, Tel Aviv University. Known by her articles on Ibn Khaldun, Theodor Noeldeke, and Middle Eastern modernity, this historian researched the development of Middle Eastern studies as part of a wider discipline: Oriental studies, then still a minor discipline at the faculty of philosophy within the modern German university system.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Germany
  • Author: Hailey Cook
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: When Barack Obama became president of the United States in January 2009, expectations were unprecedented.
  • Topic: Islam, Oil
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Ramazan Kilinc
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Andrew March, starting from John Rawls's concept of overlapping consensus, examines whether or not Islamic political ethics provides a legitimate ground for Muslims to come to terms with citizenship in non-Muslim liberal democracies.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Author: Carool Kersten
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This volume is the first monograph sized publication on the most important initiative towards interfaith dialogue between the Abrahamic religions in recent years, edited by two figures intimately involved in the A Common Word project and Book Reviews 233Insight Turkey Vol. 12 / No. 4 / 2010 the Christian reaction to this Muslim gesture. In fact, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan - a scholar of religion with doctorates from both Cambridge and al-Azhar and a close advisor to both former King Abdullah II and King Hussein - was the driving force behind the initiative, while the Croatian-born theologian Miroslav Volf played a leading role in formulating the "Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to 'A Common Word between Us and You'".
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Whatever glossy expressions we use in describing an energy strategy, at the end of the day it all boils down to the ability to provide our citizens and companies with a secure and clean supply of energy at affordable prices in order to preserve our standards of living.
  • Topic: Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Iara Lee
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Law
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Taha Özhan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Palestinians in Gaza have suffered under an illegal siege—first imposed by Israel in 2005 and strictly enforced since early 2009—which Amnesty International has called “a flagrant violation of international law.” Hundreds of civilians, the representatives from dozens of countries, attempted to deliver much-needed material to the Gazan people by the Gaza flotilla. The passengers on board—including elected officials, diplomats, media professionals, and other human rights workers—joined the flotilla as an act of civil disobedience and because they believe there is no decent justification for preventing shipments of humanitarian aid from reaching people in crisis. Israeli military launched a nighttime assault with heavily armed soldiers who shot and killed nine civilians and seriously injured dozens more. What happened to the flotilla is happening to the people of Gaza on a daily basis. It will not stop until international law is applied to all countries, Israel included.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Law
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Kadir Üstün
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed the fourth round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran on June 9, 2010. Turkey, along with Brazil, voted in opposition to sanctions while Lebanon abstained from the vote. Turkey and Brazil's votes were particularly critical because they demonstrated a lack of unity within the international community. The rationale behind Brazil and Turkey's votes derived from the fact that the nuclear swap deal signed by Iran is, so far, the only concrete deal. It represents the only legal basis that the international community can build upon and hold Iran accountable. Although both countries' “no” votes were consistent with their diplomatic efforts, many analysts are criticizing Turkey in particular for not voting with its traditionally strong allies such as the US. Turkey's vote against the new round of sanctions represents an important milestone not because Turkey is abandoning its long-time allies but because Turkey is learning to make its own foreign policy calculations and decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Lebanon
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Debates over Turkey's application for EU membership are rife with pessimism nowadays. Much of the gloom comes from the many obstacles either directly or indirectly posed by the Cyprus conflict and its manifold repercussions on EU-Turkey relations. Resolving the Cyprus conflict remains the only means to untie the Gordian knot at the heart of Turkey's troubled accession process, but a settlement of the conflict on the island may not be in sight. However, hidden within the technicalities of the post-Lisbon EU decision-making process may be a ray of light that could unblock Turkey's troubled path to Europe. The Direct Trade Regulation, proposed back in 2004 by the European Commission to lift the isolation of northern Cyprus, may be resurrected by the new decisionmaking procedures of the post- Lisbon EU. Were this to take place, much needed momentum may be injected in Turkey's ailing EU accession process.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Island, Cyprus
  • Author: Taner Yıldız
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article brings internal and external aspects of Turkey's energy policy into sharp perspective by summarizing trends and practices. A brief analysis of past performances and existing targets for the short and medium term will greatly contribute to evaluating Turkey's energy market. Today, Turkey's energy market is one of the world's fastest growing markets in terms of demand and supply. Turkey is a country with vast renewable energy resources and it has been trying to fully maximize this potential. Recent prestigious projects, notably the Nabucco pipeline project, are representative of Turkey's heightened energy diplomacy initiatives. Such projects can significantly contribute not only to strengthening energy security in the region and the world, but also to expanding peaceful interactions between Eastern and Trans-Atlantic values resulting in a sustainable confidence building environment.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: John Roberts
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has so many factors operating in favor of it becoming one of the world's great energy hubs – and yet there are so many reasons why it may completely fail to fulfill such a goal. The country's inherent geography – its classic position as a crossroads between east and west, between north and south – makes it natural to become a giant center for trading in oil, gas and petrochemicals. But its attitude – the accumulation of its foreign policy, its approach to energy transit and to internal energy development, and its own uncertainty as to its place in the world in general and its involvement in Europe in particular – tells quite a different story. The future of Turkey as a gas trading hub lies very much in Turkey's own hands. For such a hub to emerge will require Turkey to opt for domestic market liberalization over statism (étatism).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Oğuz Türkyılmaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper begins by underlining Turkey's excessive external dependence on energy. Issues surrounding the creation of new power generation capacities are then reviewed, including the potential use of renewable energy sources and the importance of energy saving and efficiency. The government's plans regarding the restructuring of Turkey's energy sector, and the potential addition of nuclear energy, are also critiqued and discussed. The Commentary ends with policy suggestions for Turkey's energy sector, emphasizing the need for policies based on inclusive, public debate; an updated inventory of Turkey's energy sources; guidelines that the Energy Market Regulatory Authority should follow; and the importance of considering environmental issues and basing Turkey's energy future on local and renewable sources.
  • Topic: Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, Eleni Fotiou
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since 2000, Turkey's Europeanisation process has affected the country's foreign policy both as a structural and a conjunctural factor. As a structural factor, the EU has had a good deal of influence on Turkey's political and security culture by introducing elements of “soft power” and by expanding the number of Turkey's foreign policymaking agents, particularly in the realm of “pipeline diplomacy.” As a conjunctural factor, the EU has affected Turkey's foreign policy rhetoric by introducing new negotiating chips, and thus complicating the “bargaining” process. However, in order for Turkey's energy diplomacy to achieve its goals, Turkey's strategy towards the Middle East and the Caucasus must become coherent and its approach towards the EU, the US, and Russia, balanced. Most importantly, the question of whether Turkey perceives “pipeline diplomacy” as a means to achieve energy independence, thus enhancing its security, or as leverage to increase its power, thus leading to its recognition as a regional hegemon, remains open.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mehmet Öğütçü
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Tectonic changes are not occurring only in the world financial system, trading and investment, geopolitics, and technology; a fundamental transformation is also underway in the global energy system. Myriad trends indicate that the current system is far from being sustainable. It will be shaped by rising demand over the long term, dominance of fossil fuels, inaccessible supplies, price volatility, inadequate investment, geopolitical tensions, and climate change. In the midst of these game-changing developments, Turkey has emerged as an important actor to reckon with as a consumer, transporter, investor, regional hub, and security provider in energy and geopolitics. Turks are acting increasingly in pursuit of their own self-interest, rather than sheepishly following the dictates from Washington or Brussels. The paper concludes with a number of policy recommendations for government and business leaders in promoting further co-operation and partnership towards cleaner, smarter and secure energy, rather than fanning confrontation in search of balanced energy supply and demand for all players.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Sohbet Karbuz, Barış Şanlı
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: With its young population, dynamic private sector, and pivotal geographic location, Turkey is simultaneously a large energy consumer, an energy gathering and dispatching center, and an energy investor in the pan-European energy landscape. These characteristics, which make Turkey an emerging regional and global energy player, when combined with the growing gap between Turkey's energy supply and demand, necessitate a new, comprehensive, long-term energy strategy (preferably out to 2030 or later) in which the end policy goals are clearly defined, and the ways and means to achieve those goals are described in a comprehensive and coherent manner. This article discusses the basics of formulating such a strategy. It argues that such a strategy must focus on ensuring long term energy supply at affordable costs to consumers, on Turkey's geopolitical role in terms of regional and global energy concerns, and on fair competition and environmental challenges.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Hasan Saygin, Füsun Çetin
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent decades, the conventional energy paradigm has rapidly lost ground in comparison to the concept of sustainable development, as it is based on the intensive use of nonrenewable fossil fuels, causing environmental degradation and posing global energy security risks. Thus, a change in the energy paradigm is necessary. Similarly, a paradigm shift in the objectives of energy policy is taking place— towards security of supply and climate change. Transition to a sustainable energy system is one of the crucial challenges humankind faces in the new millennium. The paradigm shift is primarily occurring in developed countries but extending to developing countries. Depending on the ongoing paradigm change, renewable energy policy is evolving rapidly in most countries. Global investment in renewable energy is increasing rapidly in a number of developed and developing countries. Technological leapfrogging in renewable energy has emerged as an opportunity for developing countries. This article will give an overview of the global trends for renewable energy and also provide Turkey's vision
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ali Göksu
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey is still highly dependent on foreign energy resources and the supply of electricity is still not sufficient to meet current demand. Therefore, attracting local and foreign investments is vital in order to ensure supply security and establish a competitive and transparent market in the future. In this respect, fundamental regulatory changes have been made in the Turkish electricity market, previously dominated by the state. However, Turkey still lacks a sufficiently attractive energy market for foreign and local investors. It is the duty of the Turkish government to render attractive energy market conditions and regulatory environment for investors. This article looks into the structure of the Turkish electricity market. Various issues under the current system which may facilitate or hinder investors will also be evaluated, along with recommendations to improve the current market conditions.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Tuncay Babalı
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has become an important east-west and north-south gas and oil transit route and an energy hub, thanks to the Turkish straits, and the existing and proposed pipelines that run through its territory. Economic opportunities, however, can present diplomatic liabilities. In a tough and complicated region, Turkey finds itself caught between the interests of competing superpowers and regional players. As the world's 16th largest economy, Turkey's thirst for energy will only increase. Satisfying this thirst requires not only diversification of sources and routes, but also good relations with all neighbors, in addition to traditional partners. An analysis of Ankara's options and new foreign policy vision shows that Turkey has little choice but to use greater caution and engagement. Following its own national interests and security concerns will drive Turkey to new openings in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and other CIS countries. Energy will be one of the main pillars of Turkey's policy of engagement and integration in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Süleyman Elik, İbrahim S. Arınç
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Energy security has become an important international issue amid concerns about supply and transportation security from the Caspian region to Europe. An assessment of Turkmenistan's natural gas and the transit county of Azerbaijan indicates that the risks of disruption on supply and transportation could be minimized. With a growing significance of global gas demand and trade, gas security is becoming an increasingly important and there is a need to arrange cooperation between the Caspian Sea neighbor countries. The article examines Turkmenistan as a natural gas supplier and Azerbaijan as a transit country and also clarifies the role of Turkey as an energy hub country in the Eurasian energy environment. The authors suggest that the key question of the Caspian region is not the gas extraction itself but its transportation to markets. Therefore, it examines the diversification of Turkmenistan's transport options, especially with China. The research also provides an energy profile of Turkmenistan and possible scenarios for Caspian natural gas export through Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: China, Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Marat Terterov, John Van Pool, Sergiy Nagornyy
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Exerting influence in the wider Black and Caspian Seas region is becoming a crucial element in Russia's current geopolitical strategy. Energy and security are two of Moscow's primary concerns relating to the region. Turkey, the EU, and the United States, as well as international energy companies will have to be aware of the operational instruments which Moscow has been deploying as part of its geopolitical strategy in the region, which include: 1) inserting itself into the domestic political affairs of its post-Soviet neighbors; 2) simultaneously acting as a crisis mediator/peacekeeper and fostering regional tension to provoke further crisis; 3) behaving as the regional “strong man” in the name of protecting Russian minorities; 4) strengthening energy ties with other former-Soviet Republics in the region; and 5) striking bilateral commercial deals with select Western corporate partners and governments. The deployment of such instruments will ensure that Moscow's approach to regional geopolitics will remain purposefully unpredictable and full of intrigue, and will invariably continue to take other regional actors by surprise.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Soviet Union, Moscow
  • Author: Bezen Balamir Coşkun, Richard Carlson
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's energy policy is shaped by issues of energy security, and is based on two aims: avoiding reliance on imported energy sources and supplying energy at a reasonable cost to its population. Within the context of post-Cold War energy geopolitics, Turkey has found itself at the center of supply and demand routes for oil and gas and has evolved as an energy hub. This article analyzes the new global energy geopolitics, then turns to Turkey's energy security perceptions and its placement within the new energy geopolitics. Throughout the article, the latest developments in Turkey's energy policy are examined, and answers to the following questions are sought: How is energy security perceived in Turkey, and hence how are its energy-related policies formulated? What is Turkey's position within global energy security dynamics and why does Turkey matter for the new energy geopolitics?
  • Topic: Cold War, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Volkan Ş. Ediger, Itır Bağdadi
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims to outline the history of Turkey's relations with Russia in the energy sector. The energy relationship between these two competing states dates back to the early 19th century when the Ottoman Empire fulfilled its coal and oil demands with Russian supplies. The history of Ottoman-Russia and later Turkey-Russia energy relations is an important aspect of the aforementioned states' histories that needs to be unearthed and examined to better understand the complex relationship these states currently share. For instance, the complications that surround the recent natural gas pipeline projects such as Nabucco, South Stream, and Blue Stream II, reminiscent of previous projects in the region, can be better understood if one analyzes the semi-successful Baghdad railway project of the early 20th century. This article aims to analyze and highlight the complex relationship of yesterday in Turkey- Russia energy relations in an effort to shed light on the complexities of that same relationship today. The story will sound amazingly similar albeit with different actors.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Baghdad
  • Author: Binnur Özkeçeci-Taner, Westenley Alcenat
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Today, energy security is an important domestic and foreign policy matter and states are looking for alternative energy sources more vigorously than ever before. Using the “Heartland Theory” of British geographer Halford Mackinder to evaluate the theoretical claims that the convergence of foreign policy and energy security is driving competition for influence in the world, we examine the “competition” among the powerful political actors in the Caspian. Our findings suggest that the need for a continued source of energy has shifted national energy security policies from purely military affairs to prioritizing stable oil markets and has created potential roles, especially for powerful regional actors. After our review of the historical and present competition over Caspian energy sources, we analyze the effects of growing internationalization and securitization of global energy issues for Turkey and the possible implications of different foreign policy options Turkey is likely to pursue in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Turkey
  • Author: Stephen Spector
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Spiritual conflict with Islam has a long lineage in Christian thought. Bernard Lewis, the dean of Western scholars of Islam, points out that the two faiths have so much in common that they are natural opponents.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: Emmanuel Karagiannis
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book examines the role of clans in Central Asia from the 19th century up to 2004. Most studies of regime transition focus on formal institutions. However, Collins claims that modern clans, defined as networks of individuals linked through kinship and fictive kin identities (p. 17), function as informal political actors which has initiated or undermined political change in Central Asia. Moreover, clan membership frequently determines career prospects, especially in the public sector, influences social status, and functions as a defense mechanism against outside competitors. To begin with, the author does a very good job of providing a theoretical framework to understand clan politics (p. 24-53). From her point of view, understanding clans requires the comprehension of both rational and cultural elements. In addition, she adequately explains why and how clans survived during the Soviet period, despite efforts to eradicate them and impose new national identities among Central Asia's indigenous population (pp. 62-134).
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Nancy Bisaha
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Religions of the Book adds to a growing body of scholarship on Christian perceptions of Muslims and Jews. The collection is somewhat uneven, but several strong The Religions of the Book: Christian Perceptions, 1400-1660 Edited by Matthew Dimmock and Andrew Hadfield New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 213 pp., ISBN 9780230020047.
  • Topic: Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: New York, Poland
  • Author: Ömer Aslan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The quest to incorporate non-material factors into international relations has continued apace into the twenty-first century. After religion, culture and identity, now 'civilization' seems to be attracting a great deal of attention from international relations (IR) scholars. Civilizations in World Politics: Plural and Pluralist Perspectives, which is the result of a roundtable and a panel organized at the 2007 and 2008 annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, investigates the potentiality of the concept of civilizations in order to better explain world politics. The book consists of six case studies of civilizations (American European, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Islamic) in six chapters, bookended by an introduction and a conclusion by Peter J. Katzenstein and Patrick T. Jackson respectively.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, America, Europe
  • Author: Muharrem Ekşi
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: An increase in world's energy needs coupled with a decrease in available resources has created a trend that will lead to the militarization of energy resources in the future. This could cause a realpolitik style international conflict and power struggle, and it is this issue that is addressed in this work. This book consists of 11 articles that look at energy security policy in world politics and the militarization of resource management.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Central Asia
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Redeploying the State is a book about statehood, which can also be called state strength, capacity, or effectiveness. In order to address this topic, it takes as its subject a comparative study of Egypt and Mexico, particularly in the arenas of privatization and labor disputes. Hishaam Aidi asks why the Egyptian state was much less effective than the Mexican state in economic reforms, especially in regard to Mexico's ability to overcome the labor movement's opposition, despite the fact that Egypt was much more authoritarian and therefore had a more repressed labor movement than Mexico. While explaining this puzzle, Aidi implicitly refutes essentialism, which refers to certain “essences” of Islam, while explaining Muslim socio-political life
  • Topic: Economics, Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Egypt, Mexico
  • Author: Nagihan Haliloğlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Christian Joppke's study is an ambitious project that tries to examine the different ways in which European countries respond to the increased visibility of veiled women in the public sphere. The book paints a picture of a scene in which Muslim women become more and more assertive about their rights as citizens in a Europe that is increasingly unsure about its own identity. Joppke's book is testimony to the fact that discussions about the veil provide a framework within which one can ask fundamental questions concerning the nature, responsibilities and limits of modern European states.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Egypt, Mexico
  • Author: Jeremy F. Walton
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Author: Ville Päivänsalo
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: American political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) became world-famous when his A Theory of Justice (1971) was published and soon translated into several languages. His other main treatises, Political Liberalism (1993) and The Law of Peoples (1999), have also inspired plenty of discussion. To put it briefly, the mature Rawls's chief goal was to construct fair terms for peaceful coexistence among the citizens of a liberal democratic society, religious and non-religious alike, as well as among liberal and decent peoples. Rawls was able to analyze theological ideas skillfully—as can be seen for example in his Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy (2000) and Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy (2007).
  • Topic: War, Law
  • Political Geography: New York, America
  • Author: Şule Toktaş
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book is a coherent and informative study of international migration with a specific focus on the reception of migrants in the West, in the words of the author “the wealthier” countries, particularly in the Unites States. Niklaus Steiner introduces two questions that constitute the focus of the study. First is regarding the selection process in the immigrants' admission to the country, followed by a second concern over the criteria for citizenship of those admitted.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, London
  • Author: Stefan Ihrig
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Within a larger trend of critically rewriting the history of the early Turkish Republic, the history of the Jews in 20th century Turkey has received a lot of attention lately. In Turkey, there is now a growing body of literature somewhat dominated by the work of Rıfat N. Bali. And in Germany as well, there have been some interesting additions to the existing research. Many focus on the Haymatloz topic, i.e. the German emigrants who worked in Turkish universities and other institutions in the time of the Third Reich.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Talip Küçükcan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There are many institutions playing a role in weaving the ideals of democracy into Turkey's social fabric. Many political actors in Turkish politics, which include the leftists, rightists, liberals, and statists along with those who established the Republic with their military identity, all contributed to society's participation in the execution of the state affairs. They all had a stake in implementing universal democratic standards in Turkey in general, and within certain strata of Turkish society in particular. The reasons behind these actors' support for democratic ideals vary; some groups were Book Reviews Insight Turkey Vol. 12 / No. 3 / 2010 279 it can also play a role in persuading different religious segments of the society to accept democracy. Here, democracy can be perceived as a solution to many of Turkey's current problems, ranging from poverty to social injustices Movements, such as the Progressive Republican Party (Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkası), Free Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası), and Democrat Party (Demokrat Parti), have been instrumental in the consolidation of democracy as opposed to the authoritarian political system, which predominated the single party era of the Republic.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ihsan Dagi
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's political transformation is continuing with new waves of democratization. The latest move is an initiative proposed by the AK Party's parliamentary group to amend the constitution. With proposals to amend 27 articles, the reform package, currently being considered in the Turkish parliament, is one of the most comprehensive amendments to the current constitution. Amending some articles of the constitution may be a fresh beginning for a new round of democratic reforms, which is needed to speed up the EU accession process on the one hand, and to consolidate democratization on the other.
  • Topic: Government, Reform
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Serap Yazıcı
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article deals with debates surrounding the package of constitutional amendments proposed by AK Party deputies. The proposal consists of 27 articles; its general aims are to improve human rights standards, strengthen the rule of law, make the prohibition of political parties more difficult, and increase the democratic legitimacy of the judiciary. With regard to the last objective, the proposal suggests changing the composition and function of the Constitutional Court and the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors (HSYK). Among other innovations in the proposal are the introduction of a provision for constitutional complaint and the establishment of an Ombudsman. The article concludes that the proposal, despite certain deficiencies, is on the whole a positive step in the process of democratization. It should not, however, preclude the need for a totally new liberal and democratic constitution.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Semih İdiz
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 at Zurich University in Switzerland, with a view to opening a new chapter in bilateral ties, as well as improving the troubled relations between Turks and Armenians in general. But the signing ceremony in Zurich had started inauspiciously. The problem turned out to be the seemingly intractable issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, which cast its shadow over the process at the outset. After Karabakh, the second key issue that emerged was a ruling by the Constitutional Court of Armenia, which said that the protocols in question could not stop the government of Armenia from pursuing its duty of trying to get international recognition for the genocide allegedly perpetrated by Ottoman Turks against Armenians. These two topics effectively blocked the process enshrined in the protocols. But how could these problems not be foreseen? What were the two governments expecting in this respect when signing the protocols?
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Armenia, Switzerland