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  • Author: Sergey Minasyan
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since Armenia's independence in 1991, its three successive presidents have invariably expressed their country's readiness to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions. This is despite unsettled historical issues between these two nations, namely the issue of the 1915 Genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turkey, and the disappointing record of the last two decades in which Turkey sealed its borders to Armenia and failed to establish diplomatic ties with it. Should ratification fail, it will be very hard for the two countries, and especially for Armenia, to continue with normalization. By spring 2010, mistrust of Turkey grew significantly even among those political circles in Armenia that were originally very pro-rapprochement and argued in favour of it in discussions with nationalists and Diaspora actors. Armenian society's perspective on relations with Turkey is again moving closer to that of the Diaspora.
  • Topic: Genocide
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Armenia
  • Author: Igor Torbakov
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Following the 2008 Georgia war, Russia reasserted itself as the main power in the Caucasus. The war shattered the old status quo and Moscow sought to make good use of the shifting geopolitical landscape to enhance its strategic footprint in the region. Russia's policy in the Caucasus has been an example of a subtle balancing act: it appeared to have encouraged Turkish-Armenian reconciliation while at the same time skillfully exploiting the suspicions that this process aroused in Azerbaijan and seeking to put an additional pressure on Georgia. Now, as Turkish-Armenian normalization seems to have hit a snag, Moscow can safely distance itself from what increasingly looks like a failure. After all, having deftly played all its “partners” off against each other, Russia appears to have secured its objective: both Armenia and Azerbaijan tend to lean more on Russia, while Turkey's relations with the two Caucasus countries has deteriorated. Moreover, Ankara's ties with Washington became frayed, too, which, from Moscow's perspective, isn't bad either.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Washington, Caucasus, Moscow, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
  • Author: Elhan Mehtiyev
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This commentary addresses Azerbaijan's position prior to and in the aftermath of the Turkish-Armenian Protocols signed in October 2009. It critically analyzes Azerbaijan's reactions to the Protocols, Turkey's diplomatic initiatives, and its perception of Turkey's position in this process. By signing the protocols, Turkey did nothing in practice against Azerbaijani interests except to reiterate the interdependence between any Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and Armenia's move on the NK settlement. The commentary argues that the inexperienced Azerbaijani administration failed to manage Azerbaijani society's reactions to Turkey's signing of protocols with Armenia. It also discusses the consequences of a possible opening of Turkish-Armenian border for Azerbaijan and the region, and concludes that the way out of the frozen conflicts is contained in Turkey's proposal for a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Caucasus, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Levent Köker
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the ongoing process of transition in Turkey from a “homogeneous national identity”, which produced a notion of “equality as sameness”, to a “multiculturalist democracy” that requires a new constitutional system that has a conception of “equality in difference”. The organization of this paper is as follows: First a brief evaluation of the Kemalist foundations of the Republic will be provided to establish how the official ideology in Turkey conceives of state-society relations. An evaluation of the persistence of this official ideology under the multiparty political system is provided in the second part. The final part of the paper concentrates on the rising public presence of the Kurdish problem, which is forcing Turkish politics to change its constitutional identity, most notably aided by the process of change driven by EU reforms. The article concludes with a call for the inevitability of a radical change in Turkish constitutional identity to include a public recognition of multiculturalism through an acceptance of linguistic and other cultural rights, but leaves open the question of how this change will be realized.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Kıvanç Ulusoy
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims to analyze the process of AKP's democratic opening in an historical and comparative perspective with respect to various other experience of transition to democracy in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe. With the current democratic opening, first labeled as “Kurdish opening,” and continuing with a large constitutional reform package, the AKP seems to be engaged in a huge task of deeply transforming the post-1980 regime. Comparing with the experiences in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the consolidation of a new democratic regime introduced by the democratic opening in Turkey will be a governmental enterprise: a matter of political maneuver to reach a compromise among the various sections of the governing elite with the opposition; a matter of institution building to create channels of mobilization for societal demands; and finally a matter of timing.
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Eastern Europe, Latin America
  • Author: Fuat Keyman
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has initiated a number of democratic opening initiatives to tackle with the Kurdish question, the Alevi question, the Roma question, and the minorities question. This paper focuses on the reaction of the main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) to the initiative. It seeks to explain the CHP's reaction through the concept of “electoral hegemony”, which refers to a situation where one party becomes an uncontestable actor in the electoral process, which, while weakening the possibility of the opposition parties winning elections, also weakens the faith and trust of their supporters that these parties could govern Turkey through winning elections. It is argued that the CHP's reaction to the democratic opening initiative is in fact directly related to its need to respond effectively to the electoral hegemony of the AK Party, and that it has developed its response through the concept of sovereignty which has always been integral to its historical identity as the main carrier of the state-centric Turkish modernity.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Menderes Çınar
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey under the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has represented an opportunity to go beyond the Orientalist modernization framework and produce “value” by countering the culturalist arguments that foreclose the possibilities of democratization in modernizing Muslim countries. The secular opposition, however, has reproduced the logic of the February 28 process and has therefore immobilized and forced the AKP into a struggle to survive, both as a political party and as the elected government of the country. It is this power struggle that has come to epitomize the democratization debate and the democratization process in Turkey. In this context of an impoverished democratization debate, it remains to be seen whether and to what extent the AKP can accomplish the task of revitalizing the constitutive capacities of politics in Turkey.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ödül Celep
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's current government's 'democratic opening' project has led to a series of political discussions regarding the cause and resolve of the Kurdish issue. One major consequence of this debate has been the polarization of opinion between conservatives, represented by the ruling Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) and nationalists, represented by the Nationalist Action Party (Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi, MHP). This study elaborates on the major reasons for MHP's opposition to AKP on the 'democratic opening.' In doing so, the study examines the historical, ideological distinctions between the two parties and their perception of ethnic and linguistic differences in Turkish society. AKP comes from a political tradition that has been relatively more accommodating towards such differences. On the contrary, MHP has roots in an ethno-nationalist and mono-culturalist ideology, which can be observed in its denial of the identity component of the Kurdish issue.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Talha Köse
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The AKP government has undertaken a series of steps to understand and respond to Alevi identity-based claims. Popularly known as the “Alevi opening” process, the initiative is the first systematic effort to deal with the identity-based discontents of the Alevis. This step is also part of the broader policy of “democratic opening,” which intends to address the burning problems of various identity groups (the Kurds, Alevis, religious minorities and the Roma people) in Turkey. This study provides an analytic background for understanding the governing AKP's “Alevi opening”, which was launched in the summer of 2007. More specifically, the issues that are discussed are the Alevi claims, the obstacles to the fulfillment of these issues, and the methods and the processes of the ongoing “Alevi opening”. In order to provide a holistic analysis, the political, legal, psychological as well as cultural dynamics of the Alevi issue are emphasized here. At the end, a set of policy recommendations are formulated that are consistent with the analytic perspective.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Necdet Subaşı
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Alevis, with their varied discourses, are in the midst of a deep intra-comunial debate as to how they will sustain their historical identity, institutional structure and rituals. This study analyzes the problems of Alevis that are mainly shaped along the processes of rapid modernization and social transformation. It also explains the parameters of the ongoing “Alevi Opening” with a focus on the logic and outcomes of the Alevi workshop series. These workshops that brought together the government and the representatives of the Alevi community can be viewed as an effort to learn, understand, and deliberate problems of Alevi citizens. In this framework, the Alevis were brought together to conceptualize and formulate their arguments and ideas into a coherent discourse. The Alevi workshops are therefore an attempt to ease the acceptance of Alevism by all sections of the society and to accelerate the realization of a profound process of empathy.
  • Author: Ruşen Çakır
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There has long existed a Kurdish political movement with its illegal, legal, and semi-legal aspects of it. All of Turkey wants peace but most people in the Southeast want this peace not “despite the PKK” but with “the PKK's consent and participation.” While the Kurdish political movement wanted the government to shoulder all the weight of the opening, they also had serious responsibilities. It became clear very quickly that the important personalities of the movement were not very enthusiastic in facing these responsibilities. The Kurdish political movement has distanced itself from the opening process and, at times, appeared against it. Parallel to this, there have been changes in the state's perspective and even, to some degree, “return to the old state line. The discussion of “who is the counterpart?” impeded the process as much as, if not more, the opposition parties' obstructions.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kerem Karaosmanoğlu
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the changing concept of “minority” in today's Turkey. Minorities have been historically conceived as a “problem” by the Republican regime and a threat to the “purity” of the nation. For a long time, the term “minority” was commonly associated with the non-Muslim communities of Lausanne. Still now, non-Muslim communities are seen as passive elements in nation-centric conspiracy theories. However, the age-old definition of minority in Turkey is being challenged by a transformation on a global scale. Within this process, not only are political regimes, bureaucratic structures and nationstates being re-shaped, but social and cultural perceptions, and values and norms are also transforming. Given this context, it is insightful to focus on the AKP to understand the changing face of Turkey and vice versa. In this new setting, to what extent can the AKP, so far a reluctant reformer, satisfy the demands of non-Muslim citizens and address the problem of democracy? Turkey, it seems, is on the brink of another wave of change and the non-Muslim minorities are located at its center.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ergun Özbudun
  • 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 a recent opinion adopted by the Venice Commission at its meeting on March 12-13 concerning the legal status of non-Muslim religious communities in Turkey and the right of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul to use the title “ecumenical.” On the first issue the Commission points out the difficulties that arise from the lack of legal personality for such communities, especially in matters related to access to courts and property ownership. The Commission urges Turkish authorities to attend to this problem by choosing from the many models of legal personality for religious groups practiced in European countries. On the second point, the Commission observes that the title ecumenical is a spiritual and ecclesiastical matter, and not a legal one. It concludes that unless Turkish authorities actively interfere with the use of such title by the Patriarchate, the simple refusal of the use of this title by Turkish authorities does not amount to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Dariush Zahedi
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The breakdown or modification of the Islamic Republic, though not imminent, is increasingly conceivable. However, in the event that the regime were to fall, Iran is bereft of many of the social and economic requisites for a stable democracy to emerge. About 80% of the Iranian economy is in the hands of the state, the private sector is dependent and feeble, and the 70% of the Iranians that are under the age of 30 are neither propertied nor middle class. This has implications for US policy, made all the more urgent by the timeline imposed by the looming nuclear issue. Rather than experiment with ineffectual and counter-productive attempts at democracy promotion, this study suggests that a policy of long-term international diplomatic and economic engagement is the best available tool for transforming Iranian society and politics in such a way that a transition to a sustained and stable democracy and, by implication, a resolution of Iran's nuclear issue, becomes more likely.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Obama's election represents an important opportunity to put US- Turkish relations on a new, more cooperative footing. On many issues – especially those related to the Middle East – Obama's positions overlap or closely coincide with those of Turkey more than the policies pursued by the Bush administration. This is particularly true regarding Iran and Syria, which should help to reduce these issues as irritants in US-Turkish relations. The critical question mark is what position Obama will take regarding the Armenian genocide resolution, which is likely to be reintroduced in Congress in 2009. Passage of the resolution could deal a severe blow to prospects for putting US-Turkish relations on a new, more stable footing as well as undermine recent efforts at promoting Turkish-Armenian reconciliation that have opened up since President Gul's historic visit to Yerevan in September
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Under the Obama administration American foreign policy will be engaged in genuine coalition building with allies. Such a return to multilateralism will have a positive impact on transatlantic and Turkish-American relations. Just like under the Clinton presidency during the late 1990s, Turkey needs American support to undo the deadlock with the European Union. America's return to Middle East diplomacy will also improve Turkish-American relations since the Obama administration is much more likely to support Ankara's openings to Damascus. Turkey should make an effort to host a new Arab-Israeli peace process in the framework of an international conference in Istanbul. In the short run Ankara can avoid problems with Washington on the Armenian issue if it decides to enhance its military and civilian support to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia
  • Author: Selin M. Bolme
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On December 27, 2008, Israel launched a deadly attack on Gaza. Turkey responded immediately to the Israeli attacks and strongly criticized the operation. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan embarked on a tour of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to garner support for an immediate ceasefire. Turkey's active diplomacy in the Gaza crisis is an indication of Turkey's new foreign policy vision and a self-confidence consolidated by strengthening relations with regional powers. Turkey's proactive policy in the region does not suggest that it will discontinue its relations with one side or the other. In fact, this supposition is marked by the old belief that Turkish foreign policy has a single axis or dimension. By observing the balance of power and keeping all actors involved in the process, Ankara has a greater chance of finding a just and sustainable solution to the Palestinian problem.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, South Africa, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Mounir Shafiq
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this article we seek to answer three interrelated questions: First, how do Islamic, national and democratic forces in the Arab world perceive the Justice and Development Party (AKP)? Is it an Islamic or a secular movement? Second, how do Arab political elites perceive the party's foreign policy, especially its relationship with Israel, America and the European Union? In this regard, we specifically explore how they perceive the AKP's political role in mediating indirectly the Syrian-Israeli dialogue, and its attempts to mediate between the US and Iran. Third, what are the prospects for the realization of the AKP's political project? Is it likely that the AKP will succeed in transforming Turkey into an "economic tiger," profiting from the existing strategy of positive relationships with America, Israel and Europe?
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Mohammed Noureddine
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: After decades of ups and downs in relations between Turkey and the Arab world the Development and Justice Party that differed ideologically from other political parties brought a new vision for the future of relations with the Arab and Islamic world. Based on the geographical, historical and cultural depth of Turkey the new leadership pursued a "multidimensional" policy that allowed a new opening to the Arab world. The key for the success of this approach was the "impartiality" of Ankara vis-a-vis the conflicts between the Arab states in addition to Turkey's abstention from engaging in the "game of axes" in the region. This paper does not only explain the nature of the existing potentials to develop cooperation between Turkey and the Arab states, but it also offers a number of practical and specific suggestions.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: Mustafa El-Labbad
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Arab-Turkish relations have always been -- at least since the Cold War -- haunted by the Arab elite's concerns, which with time became an obstacle to viewing Turkey's cultural and strategic dimensions or its national and sectarian components. The majority of the elite have branded Turkey with subordination to an international bloc, taking into consideration the Cold War experience and Turkey's entry into CENTO and then NATO. Reducing Turkey's domestic and regional policies to a narrow framework and viewing it in an ideological perspective prevented them from understanding the changes in a country that strongly affects the region. There is no unified Egyptian perspective on Turkey as the Islamists' views differ from that of the nationalists and the leftists. Overall ideological considerations influence the objective valuation of Turkey's domestic politics as well as its regional policy among the Egyptian elite.
  • Topic: NATO, Cold War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Basheer M. Nafi
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: For centuries, the Arabs and Turks were subjects of the Ottoman Sultanate, and were largely shaped by the dominant Ottoman culture and mode of religiosity. The founding of the Turkish Republic and several Arab states during the 1920s created a new political map in the region and subsequently led to the evolvement of a new Arab consciousness of the modern Turkey. This article explains the role played by four major factors in framing the Turkish image in Arab eyes: interpretations of the Ottoman past, legacy of the Kemalist era, conflicts and alliances of the Cold War period, and the recent rise to power of the Justice and Development Party. The article concludes by underlining the challenges that the Arabs and the Turks are now facing to enhance the relations between them as nations, not subjects of an empire.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: Ibrahim Kalin
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The interest Turkey has generated in the Arab world over the last few years is caused by the convergence of changes in Turkey, the Middle East and the global power-balance. Turkey's domestic political process, its new foreign policy and the EU membership process are closely followed in the larger Muslim world. The new configurations of power in the Middle East and the world at large lead to new types of geopolitical imagination. From Turkish soap operas and import products to Turkey's involvements in Lebanon and Palestine, Turkey is claiming a new space in the Arab public opinion in a manner never seen before. While AK Party's ties with the Arab and Muslim world are partly responsible for Turkey's renewed foreign policy activism in the region, the current debate is also reflective of the failures of the international system and heralds the advent of a new balance of power in Turkey's immediate neighborhood.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Taha Ozhan, Ozhan Ete
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurdish question in Turkey has a long history which was viewed within the framework of nation building, integration and underdevelopment until it was perceived as a security issue with the emergence of the PKK in the 1980s. During the 1990s, dominated by the security perspective, the scope of the question was reduced to terrorist acts alone under a state of emergency rule. A number of changes transformed the nature of question, such as the Kurdish political movement since the 1990s, forced migration, the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in 1999 and the emergence of autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. A permanent settlement of the Kurdish question must be based on developing new and alternative strategies vis-a-vis existing policies. In this context, a comprehensive package of measures should include not only security measures, but more importantly democratic reforms and economic investments.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet Yukleyen
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's membership in the European Union (EU) is contingent on economic, political, and cultural factors. Rather than a geographic area with a particular cultural and religious history, the EU defines "Europe" as a political project that espouses values such as human rights, pluralist democracy, and a liberal economy. However, Turkey's EU accession process highlights the cultural and religious dimension through which "Islam" and "Europe" may be mutually redefined. This article examines how Turkish Muslim immigrants in Europe have become an example of the compatibility of "Islam" and "Europe." It is concluded that opposing Turkey's EU membership based on essentializing arguments of cultural and religious difference is misleading and counterproductive, as it fails to address the shifting boundaries of Europe and of Islam.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Gonul Tol
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite the general tendency within the literature on Islamism to label all Islamist associations as undemocratic due to a shared Islamic ethos, this article suggests that Islamist groups vary in ideology and methods from one another. They can become a counter-hegemonic force that threatens the democratic order or a potential force for democratization of the Islamic community. The role Islamist associations play in society is determined by the role of Islam within the Islamist discourse that is shaped by the social, economic and political structure within which Islamists operate. By comparing the dominant Turkish Islamist movement Milli Gorus in Germany with its Dutch counterpart based on data collected during field research between the years of 2004 and 2007, this article argues that European states ultimately determine the form Islamism takes within the European public space.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Dutch
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: ALİ ÇARKOĞLU
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article presents a descriptive account of the March 2009 local elections in Turkey and offers a nation-wide and regional evaluation of trends in Turkish elections since 2004. The results of these analyses suggest that, although the AKP's rise in support has stalled, it remains the dominant political party in Turkish politics. However, a regionally differentiated analysis shows that significant differences can be observed between the more developed western coastal regions, where the opposition parties received a lot of support, and the eastern and southeastern provinces, where parties that represent the ethnic Kurdish minority have seen rising support. In between these two areas, the AKP continues to dominate in the more conservative provinces, followed by the MHP. The article emphasizes the worsening economic conditions as the main factor that shaped these developments, and underlines the geographically advantageous positioning of the MHP which may mount a credible opposition to the AKP in the future.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Given its close political, economic, social and cultural ties to the region, stability, prosperity and a cooperative atmosphere in the South Caucasus are of great significance to Turkey. From this perspective, the normalization of Turkey's relations with Armenia is one of the priorities of the AKP government. So a new era is about to begin in Turkish-Armenian relations, which up until now have been burdened by historical legacies, inertia and a lack of trust. The process of rapprochement launched with the restoration of the Akhtamar Church in 2002 is likely to soon result in the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries; however, the process is complicated, and it is still uncertain when the official ties will be definitively established. That is why a detailed look at the 18 years of deadlock between Turkey and Armenia would be helpful in order to better understand the changing dynamics of the problem.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Armenia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Gökhan Bacik
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite the negative atmosphere it created for both sides, the Davos case should be seen as an opportunity to revisit the various aspects of Turkish-Israeli relations. Turkish-Israeli rapprochement is important for the regional order. However, both sides should realize that like all bilateral relations the Turkish-Israeli one is subject to social, political and psychological parameters. There is no ideal, correct model that is free of social effects. The fluctuations of a bilateral contact cannot be understood through simplistic analyses that prioritize personalities or other trivial issues. Every single event, including that at Davos, should be seen as one function of complex social phenomena. Even the most unexpected events in politics are the products of several major social machineries. This article will offer an alternative analysis of the Turkish-Israeli relationship in the light of a number of social structures.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Ofra Bengio
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay analyzes the relationship between Turkey and Israel against the background of the AKP ascent to power in Turkey in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It argues that notwithstanding the sea changes that occurred in the region following the invasion, as well as the far-reaching changes in Turkey's foreign policy, both states still have vested interests in maintaining their close relationship, even at times of crisis. One of the most important explanations for their relations' longevity is that the two states have no serious problems on the bilateral level, while their strategic, economic and societal common interests have been strong enough to weather crises. The paper also explores the implications for the future of the Turkish-Israeli relationship of Turkey's policy during Israel's operations against Hamas in Gaza.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: İlker Aytürk
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay analyzes the relationship between Turkey and Israel against the background of the AKP ascent to power in Turkey in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It argues that notwithstanding the sea changes that occurred in the region following the invasion, as well as the far-reaching changes in Turkey's foreign policy, both states still have vested interests in maintaining their close relationship, even at times of crisis. One of the most important explanations for their relations' longevity is that the two states have no serious problems on the bilateral level, while their strategic, economic and societal common interests have been strong enough to weather crises. The paper also explores the implications for the future of the Turkish-Israeli relationship of Turkey's policy during Israel's operations against Hamas in Gaza.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Tsilla Hershco
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Nicolas Sarkozy's election as France's president in May 2007 has marked a rhetorical change in the foreign policy of Paris and has made the French presidency much more dynamic. Sarkozy has led many international initiatives and increased France's presence in international and Middle Eastern arenas. Despite all these developments, however, France's Middle-Eastern policy has been characterized by a large degree of continuity since Sarkozy has embraced traditional French perceptions and agenda concerning the Middle East. Thus, he has continued France's so-called 'Arab policy', and mainly pursued past policies on key regional issues such as the Israeli-Arab conflict. Consequently, Sarkozy's declarations concerning the changing nature of French policy do not seem fully compatible with reality. So far there has also been a gap between France's optimistic assessment of the results of its Middle Eastern policy versus the less impressive outcomes on the ground.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Paris, France
  • Author: İhsan Yılmaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Partial and limited opening of authoritarian political systems in Turkey and Egypt created new democratic opportunities for Islamists to participate in public life. It also fostered democratic learning by permitting Islamists to compete for power and popular legitimacy. In the process of democratic opening, Islamists have had to address and represent the interests of a group much larger than their own ideological constituency. They have also had to endure repression and party closures in a semi-democratic political framework. However, the democratic learning process coupled with the establishment's constraints has paved the way for the transformation of Islamists to Muslim democrats. While the process in Turkey is almost complete, in Egypt there are still heated debates on the transformation among the Islamists. This study highlights the importance of the democratic opportunities given to Turkish Islamists and argues that if given similar opportunities, Egyptian Islamism will also transform to a post-Islamist phase.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Egypt
  • Author: Kamil Yılmaz
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The purpose of this essay is to examine the emergence and rise of a new "social group," or what I call a "conservative elite" in Turkey. By using in a historical perspective the theory of the circulation of elites as a theoretical construct, envisaged separately by both Mosca and Pareto and further developed by Kolabinska, I focus particularly on the underpinning factors that have brought about the changes which have paved the way for the new elite, namely: i) the negative effects of 'assertive secularism'; and ii) the positive effects of Turkey's democratization process, especially after the 1980s. This essay argues that Turkey's new conservative elite has demonstrated the feasibility of a successful synthesis of religious and social conservatism with modernity. Its overarching message is that increased social inclusion helps reduce violent radicalization of religious sentiments. The integration of the new conservative elite into society heralds positive signs not only for Turkey but also for its immediate neighborhood and beyond.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Hugh Pope
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Utah: University of Utah Press, 2008, 224 pp., ISBN 0874809304. Hugh PopeInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 137
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2008, 473 pp., ISBN 10: 0815698977. Michael McGaha,Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 139
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: İdris Demir
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Washington, D.C.: New Academia Publishing, 2006, 572 pp., ISBN 0-9777908-8-6. İdris DemirInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 141
  • Political Geography: Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Daniel Faas
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007, 235 pp., ISBN 13: 978-07456-2662-8. Daniel FaasInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 144
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Brendan Sweetman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 262 pp., ISBN 978-0-19-95437-0, US$29.95 (paper). Brendan SweetmanInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 147
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Bo Stråth
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007, 311 pp., ISBN 9780745635637. Bo StråthInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 149
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Bruce Kuklick
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: London: Reaktion Books Ltd., 2007, 223 pp., ISBN 9781861894090. Bruce KuklickInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.2, 2009, p. 151
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Turkish political scene did not witness a profound change with the local elections of March 2009. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) continued its strong electoral performance and maintained its status as the most popular political force. One change following the election was the cabinet reshuffle in May in which Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed as Turkey's minister of foreign affairs. Such an appointment was hardly a surprise, since it is no secret that he had been the architect of Turkey's foreign policy under the AK Party government as the chief foreign policy advisor to the prime minister.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Shireen T. Hunter
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Is Islam particularly inimical to modernity, and the two are never to be reconciled? Many westerners and Muslims alike would argue that this is the case. Yet the more pertinent question; is religion in general and modernity incompatible and irreconcilable? There is a basic tension between all religions which rely on revelation as the primary source of knowledge and on God as the source of law and ethics, and modernity which privileges reason as the main source of knowledge and posits the source of law and ethics in human beings. An objective and unbiased reading of Islam shows that it is no more inimical to modernity than any other religion. Rather some of its aspects, including its emphasis on the importance of reason, its injunction that there is no compulsion in faith, and its frequent reference to people and their rights makes a reconciliation between Islam and modernity possible.
  • Topic: Islam, Law
  • Author: Güneş Murat Tezcür
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Iran's elections have historically managed factional conflict without altering the institutional distribution of power. Against this political background, the June 2009 elections stand out as a unique event. Elections that once served to manage conflict have now become a destabilizing factor. While the regime appears to have forcefully silenced the widespread post-election protests, the 2009 uprising shows the new limits of elections in managing factional conflict, which spread out to include Iran's people. The regime grossly miscalculated not just the effects of massive public participation in the 2009 elections, but also the buildup of widespread grievances among a substantial section of Iran's citizens. The protests have aggravated the ruling elite's fear of a "velvet revolution" instigated by the West. Consequently, post-election negotiations between Iran and the Western powers regarding Iran's nuclear program are likely to meet significant obstacles, since recent events have further diminished confidence between Iran and its antagonists.
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Mücahit Bilici
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkish media frequently employ the term "White Turks" to describe the Turkish cultural elite. Although Turks are unfamiliar with American-style racial divides, the terms "black" and "white" are widely used to colorcode inequalities in Turkey. The common tendency to distinguish White Turks from Black Turks on the basis of wealth, however, fails to uncover the historical and cultural dynamics that gave rise to these two groups. This essay not only offers a necessary clarification of this popular heuristic device but also proposes a perspective for understanding the current standoff in Turkish politics between the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) and the secular establishment, with their distinct value systems and competing claims to modernity.
  • Topic: Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Alexander Iskandaryan
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Road Map to normalization of bilateral Armenian-Turkish relations announced in April 2009 has not yet been made public, and a slowdown is evident in the Armenian-Turkish rapprochement. Turkey's strategy involves working to mitigate Azerbaijan's resentment against potential Armenian-Turkish normalization by tying its progress to the resolution of the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in a way that suits Azerbaijan. As a result, however, Armenian society is becoming increasingly apprehensive of the entire Armenian-Turkish dialogue. Tying rapprochement to the conflict makes sense from a zero-sum-game perspective but risks jeopardizing the entire process, as the formats and stakeholders are too different. Timing is the key factor now: political actors and societies are becoming frustrated and are no longer certain that the project of rapprochement has a future. Should no definite step towards normalization be made by autumn 2009, public frustration may overwhelm the project and mutual relations may end up worse than they were prior to the start of football diplomacy.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Máximo Cajal
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In the foreseeable future, the international system will become one of multipolarity. This new order can be sustainable and peaceful only if it can guarantee harmony and a common purpose among nations. To that end, it must be based upon a package of ethical principles under the aegis of a more powerful, democratic and efficient United Nations system. These principles - democracy, multilateralism, full compliance with international law and respect for human rights - are the same moral rules that underpin the Alliance of Civilizations project as initiated by Spain and Turkey. It was a consequence of the awareness that something new had to be done to prevent a potential confrontation between two worlds, two mindsets. There was, and still is, a danger of a further drift between Islamic and Western societies that might threaten international peace and stability.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ramazan Kılınç
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: His article asks why Turkey recently adopted the emerging international norm of inter-civilizational dialogue as one of its foreign policy priorities. In addressing this question, we turn first to an assessment of the limitations of normative and realist arguments, then suggest that the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) considerations of domestic political survival were necessary factors in the adoption of intercivilizational dialogue, even though in and of themselves, they were not sufficient. The AK Party government, circumscribed by the secularist establishment, strategically adopted the norm of inter-civilizational dialogue to create a legitimate space for its survival in Turkey's domestic political sphere. This conclusion stems from the theoretical finding that in those states in which political power is not concentrated in the government, the domestic political considerations of the government gain priority in foreign policymaking.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Talha Köse
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This study examines the possible contributions of the critical perspectives and conceptual frameworks of the Conflict Resolution field to address "civilizational level" conflicts. The possibilities and limitations of dialogue processes at the civilizational level are critically examined. While recognizing the main assumptions and contributions of dialogue processes to deal with cultural/civilizational conflicts, this study puts forward an alternative and more practical vision: that of creating Spheres of Dialogic Interaction (SODI). In the second part of the study, the social and political backgrounds, practical contributions, and limitations of two recent projects the "Dialogue among Civilizations" (DaC) and the "Alliance of Civilizations" (AoC) are analyzed. It is argued that with its action-oriented agenda and the practical environment conducive to flexible, interactive and reflexive interaction, the ongoing AoC project is an important venue for creating SODI.
  • Topic: Environment
  • Author: Ali Balcı
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) initiative emerged from debates around the "clash of civilizations." Based on this I will argue that the "alliance" notion is an integral part of the clash of civilizations thesis. Thereby, clash and alliance together form a mutually constituting "dichotomy," which I will call "the clash/alliance dichotomy." In the first part of the article, I will give a brief summary of the emergence and expansion of the "clash of civilizationns" myth. The second part seeks to underline important attempts to "de-mythize" the clash of civilizations thesis. Later, I will show how the "dialogue" notion emerged as a response to the clash based ideas and how it became a complementary part of "the clash/ alliance dichotomy". In the last part, I will focus on the problems of the AoC that stems from the fact that it emerged as a "reactionary entity."
  • Author: Paul Kubicek
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines how the Turks' views of the European Union align with notions of a center-periphery cleavage in Turkish politics. Traditionally, pro-European views have been associated with the more prosperous, better-educated "center," whereas the rural, less educated and more religious Turks of the "periphery" have been less supportive of aspects of Europeanization. Examination of 2002 survey data finds that more religious voters were less supportive of the EU. However, analysis from a similar survey done in 2006 finds the religious factor to be insignificant whereas education, typically associated with the "center," is now related to negative feelings toward the EU. This turnabout is reflected as well in the positions of Turkey's two major parties and can be attributed to how each side of this cleavage views the benefits of closer ties to the EU.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ahmet Davutoğlu was appointed Turkish foreign minister on May 1, 2009. Chief advisor to the Turkish prime minister since 2002, Davutoglu is known as the intellectual architect of Turkish foreign policy under the AK Party. He articulated a novel foreign policy vision and succeeded, to a considerable extent, in changing the rhetoric and practice of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey's new dynamic and multidimensional foreign policy line is visible on the ground, most notably to date in the country's numerous and significant efforts to address chronic problems in neighboring regions. Davutoğlu's duty will now shift from the intellectual design of policies to greater actual involvement in foreign policy as he undertakes his new responsibilities as minister of foreign affairs. The Davutoğlu era in Turkish foreign policy will deepen Turkey's involvement in regional politics, international organizations, and world politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: William Hale
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Barack Obama's inauguration as America's new president has been welcomed as opening a 'new era' in Turkey's relations with the United States. May 2009 also saw the appointment of a new foreign minister in Ankara, in the person of Professor Ahmet Davutoğlu. This article examines how these new directions are playing out in the Middle East, one of the world's most turbulent regions which also has crucial economic and strategic importance for Turkey. It focuses on Turkey's relations with four regional states – Iraq, Israel/ Palestine, Syria and Iran. The article closes by assessing whether Turkey has been able to achieve the government's ambition of 'zero problems' with its neighbors, and the degree to which it has been able to develop a new role as conciliator and go-between in addressing the region's bitter conflicts.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Rahman G. Bonab
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The international community is worried about the security implications of Iran's nuclear activities. Although it has been argued that Iran is very close to make a nuclear bomb, the results of the latest official reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and some American intelligence institutions demonstrate that Iran is not reluctant to consider the concerns of the international community in its decisions. One of the main policies of great powers is to cooperate with regional actors, like Turkey, to persuade Iran to be more flexible in its nuclear policy and particularly in its uranium enrichment activity. The historical mistrust between Iran and the great powers reinforces the necessity of having other regional actors act as mediators and countries like Turkey can play an important role in this context. The governing AKP's mediation policy in the regional level is a catalyst to Turkey's attempts to mediate between Iran and the 5+1 Group, although mediation can have its own difficulties.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Deniz Devrim, Evelina Schulz
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Turkish proposal of a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform (CSCP), and its impact on existing EU initiatives covering the same region, represents a challenge for the future shape of the European neighborhood. This article analyzes the evolution of the CSCP since its launch in summer 2008 until now and presents the platform's approach and main ideas. A core question will be whether the Turkish proposal will be complementary to or in competition with other European initiatives such as the Eastern Partnership or the Black Sea Synergy. Different stakeholders' perceptions of the CSCP will also be outlined. Finally, an outlook will be given which will explore Turkey's role for the stability at the EU's south-eastern borders as well as its impact for the European Neighborhood Policy.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ani Sarkissian
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008, 413 pp., ISBN 9780804758642.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Nezir Akyeşilmen
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Ankara: Orion Publications, 2008, 301 pp., ISBN 978-9944-769-19-8.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ayhan Kaya
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Durham and London: Duke University Pres, 2008, 415 pp., ISBN-10: 082234193X.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Bilgen Sütçüoğlu
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: London: Hurst Company, 2008, 220 pp., ISBN 9781850658993.
  • Topic: Nationalism, History
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Norman Stone
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, 348 pp., ISBN 978-0-691-12573-2.
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Nabil Matar
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2006, 328 pp., ISBN 978-1-4008-2749-7.
  • Author: Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: California, University of California Press, 2008, 298 pp., ISBN: 978-0-520-25663-7.
  • Topic: History
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Ümit Cizre
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The AK Party's chronic 'political insecurity' may have passed a threshold as the ruling party resurfaces as an actor taking advantage of its pro-European Union sentiments to begin a 'grand negotiation' with Turkey's thus-far publicly shunned Kurdish leaders after decades of bloodshed. This new window of opportunity could not have emerged without the explosion of the Ergenekon incident, which has offered a persuasive critique of the closed, dark, intolerant and secret communities friendly with the military bureaucracy and state officials but insidiously devoted to destroying the government. In the post-Ergenekon era, the new democratic opening represents a significant departure from a military solution to the Kurdish issue which has blocked civilian imaginations by declaring the Kurdish identity demands as a security threat to the officially proscribed Turkish identity. The real issue at stake now for the AK Party government is a redefinition of the locus and space where the phenomenon of real political power takes place in Turkey.
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Cengiz Çandar
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This commentary reflects on the Turkish government's recent 'opening' to address the Kurdish problem and the domestic, regional and international conditions that created a conducive environment for this initiative. It maintains that although the Turkish leadership has grasped the new dynamics of the regional and domestic developments and changed its conventional perception of the problem, the initiative is constrained by the fact that it is motivated by a concern to remove the violent aspect of the Kurdish question, i.e., terminating the Kurdish insurgency once and for all. It also suggests that despite the optimism generated by the opening to solve the Kurdish problem, the achievement of its ultimate objective is far more complex than seen at the first glance. The commentary places a special attention on the dilemmas encountered by the Democratic Society Party as it seeks to represent the demands of its predominantly Kurdish constituency.
  • Topic: Government, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Cemalettin Haşimi
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Kurdish initiative announced by the governing Justice and Development Party has increased the discussions on the proper ways and forms of dealing with the Kurdish question in Turkey. The announcement acted as an opening of Pandora's box through which all different images of the problem began to be manifested simultaneously. Assuming that the public perception would have a direct impact on the trajectory of the implementation of the initiative, this essay examines different aspects of the public perception of the issue by relying on the findings of a joint survey conducted by SETA and Pollmark. It is contended that effective settlement of the Kurdish question requires encountering and resolving certain tensions in the public perceptions, which can be done by achieving a language in which the grammar of politics and the values that maintain social integration is more transitional and interdependent.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay examines the validity of the argument that the alleged theological lack of state-religion separation in Islam is the reason for authoritarianism in many Muslim-majority countries. The essay criticizes this argument by showing that a) secularism, in the sense of state-religion separation, is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for democracy; b) Islam is not an inherently and exceptionally political religion, and c) 20 out of 46 Muslim-majority states are secular. The essay point out that rather than analyzing the so-called essence of Islam as prodemocratic or anti-democratic, it may be more effective to explore the socio-political and economic conditions that have led to democracy or authoritarianism in Muslim-majority countries.
  • Author: Leonardo A. Villalón
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: While the question of the relationship between Islam and democracy continues to attract significant attention from scholars and policymakers, African cases have been largely absent from these debates. This article argues that the experiences of sub-Saharan African Muslim societies may nevertheless have much to contribute to our understanding of democratic prospects in the Muslim world. Considering the experiences of three Francophone countries of Sahelian West Africa, it explores the ways in which the democratization experiments led by secular civil society activists in the early 1990s moved from the initial resistance of deeply religious Muslim majorities to an acceptance of democracy as the only legitimating bases of political systems. The article argues that this was possible due to the significant negotiation both within religious society and between religious groups and the secular elite on the actual content of democracy. These cases thus suggest a number of tentative but important lessons for our understanding of democratic possibilities in the Muslim world.
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Michael Buehler
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Islam and democracy are said to be in a relationship fraught with problems as the former, allegedly, does not allow secular law to be put above divine law or accept the legitimacy of worldly authorities. This relationship is less problematic in Indonesia, a democratic Muslim-majority country, the argument goes, due to the syncretic forms of Islam practiced in the archipelago state that are less dogmatic, and hence more conducive to democratic principles. While this is a valuable point, various factors extraneous to 'moderate Indonesian Islam,' such as a fragmented Islamic authority in civil society, a weakly institutionalized party system as well as dynamics triggered by recent institutional reforms all play a role in the continuing insignificance of political Islam in the country.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Indonesia
  • Author: A. Kadir Yıldırım
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent emergence of Muslim democratic parties such as AKP in Turkey and PJD in Morocco draws attention to the perennial question on the moderation of Islamist parties yet again. Economic liberalization and the accompanying socioeconomic transformation underlie the democratic and liberal turn political Islam has taken in the Middle East. The precise nature of liberalization is critical to this moderation. Competitive liberalization, by enabling peripheral groups to benefit from liberalization, conduces to the renewed interest in democracy and a liberal system. Crony liberalization, by reinforcing the archaic rent-seeking relationship between the state and big business and continuing to marginalize the peripheral groups from politics and the economy, sustains the interest of peripheral groups in the reactionary discourse of Islamism. The strength of Muslim democratic parties is a reflection of competitiveness economic reforms introduce in the society and the economy.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Morocco
  • Author: Hasan Kösebalaban
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Conventional models developed through the conceptual lenses of modernization theory dating back to the 1960s, are no longer applicable to Turkish politics; they fall short of grasping the changes that Turkish ideologies experienced in recent decades. In the face of Turkey's growing democratization and societal modernization, Turkish secularists have lost their status as agents of reform and gradually emerged as defenders of the status quo in the face of the rapid mobilization of Anatolian-based conservative society. However, no factor was more responsible for this transformation than the comprehensive external and internal structural changes that Turkey experienced in the post-Cold War era, leading to the emergence of a globalist conservative ideology in large parts of Anatolia. This paper examines the question of why those who are commonly associated in Western scholarly discourse with progress and modernity, have fallen behind the Muslim conservatives in pursuit of democratization and further integration of the country with the West. The paper argues that at the root of the present conflict lies the tension between two modernization routes: a bureaucratic top-down modernization that has allowed the allocation of privileges to the secularist/nationalist elites, and the grassroots socio-economic mobilization of conservative societal elements benefiting from international integration and globalization.
  • Topic: Cold War, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Serdar Kaya
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article tests Mancur Olson's theory of distributional coalitions against the case of the Turkish "deep state." Olson's theory holds that rent-seeking (or specialinterest) groups tend to be exclusive by nature and pursue only the interests of their own members. Since their members account to a very small minority, these groups present their interests as being the interests of larger communities. The article argues that the Turkish case confirms the fundamental assumptions of the theory of distributional coalitions. An analysis of the historical process of the newly-exposed Turkish deep state reveals that, when put in proper context, its clandestine activities manifest a pattern which involves systematic efforts of an exclusive circle of group members (1) to impact the workings of Turkish society, and more recently, (2) to reverse the country's democratization process in an effort to sustain the network's dominating influence.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mohamed Nimer
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Hamas Charter has sparked a lot of controversy, both inside and outside the organization. This paper offers a critical analysis of the original Charter that was issued in 1988. The document attempted to offer an ideology to counter Zionism, but it advocated views that are essentially anti-Jewish, xenophobic and outside the mainstream of the scholarly tradition of Islam. The paper also highlights the contradiction between the search for a just peace and the language of triumphalism and demonization in the Charter. Tracing the political development of Hamas since 1992, the paper presents evidence that current political leaders of Hamas are moving the organization beyond the ideological rhetoric of the early years of the movement. While they have abandoned the outdated Charter, they have not developed a credible perspective on negotiating peace.
  • Topic: Development, Islam
  • Author: Nathan C. Funk
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The arrival of the Obama administration has created opportunities for positive and enduring change in U.S. relations with the Muslim world. Although early attempts to replace confrontation and ideological inflexibility with a more circumspect approach rooted in conciliatory gestures and "enlightened" political realism are encouraging, more substantial shifts in U.S.-Islamic relations will require commitment to a strategy of active peacemaking that moves beyond the standard repertoire of concepts and practices associated with the Cold War's dominant international relations paradigm. Such a strategy would seek to grasp the potential inherent in President Obama's stated commitment to founding relations upon "mutual interest and mutual respect," breaking the present impasse in U.S.-Islamic relations through principles and prescriptions derived from academic studies of peacemaking as well as from a critical re-evaluation of past U.S. policies.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Berdal Aral
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey successfully gained provisional membership of the United Nations Security Council by receiving support from 151 states in the UN General Assembly. Turkey is serving in the SC for the period between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. This historic achievement was the end product of arduous efforts on the part of the ErdoÄŸan government which has braced itself for membership of the Security Council since 2003. Membership no doubt brings Turkey plenty of benefits, like enhancing Turkey's international political weight and prestige. However, it also poses challenges to the credibility of Turkey's multi-dimensional and assertive foreign policy with its strong tinge of fairness. Turkey ought now to take principled stances on many key issues relevant to international peace and security even at the cost of disappointing its long list of friends.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Christine Philliou
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Leiden: EJ Brill, 2008, 504 pp., ISBN 978 90 04 16575 5. Christine PhilliouInsight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 169
  • Author: Renée Worringer
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, 241 pp., ISBN 13: 9780691134529. Renée Worringer, p. 171Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p.171
  • Author: Virginia H. Aksan
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008, Cambridge Military Histories, xv+216 pp., ISBN 978-0-521-88060-2. Virginia H. Aksan, p. 173Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 173
  • Topic: War
  • Author: Jørgen S. Nielsen
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Leiden: Brill, 2008, 335 pp., ISBN 978 9004 16548 9. Jørgen S. Nielsen, p. 175Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 175
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2006, 221 pp., ISBN. 978-1600210709. Ziya ÖniÅŸ, p. 177Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 177
  • Topic: Development, Reform
  • Political Geography: New York, Turkey
  • Author: Jodok Troy
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: New York: Prometheus Books, 2008, 269 pp., ISBN 9781591026044. Jodok Troy, p. 179Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 179
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Leif Stenberg
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: London and New York: Routledge, 2007, pp. 388, 978-0415326070. Leif Stenberg, p. 181Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 181
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: New York, London
  • Author: Janice J. Terry
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2009, 159 pp., ISBN 9780754675242. Janice J. Terry, p. 182Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 182
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Middle East
  • Author: Yaprak Gürsoy
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Leiden: Brill Press, 2009, 388 pp., Hardback ISBN 978 90 04 17112 1. Yaprak Gürsoy, p. 185Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 185
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Deniz Sert
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 316 pp., ISBN 9780521875608 (hb), ISBN 9780521698665 (pb). Deniz Sert, p. 187Insight Turkey, Vol. 11, No.4, 2009, p. 187
  • Topic: Immigration
  • Author: İhsan Dağı
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Hasan Kösebalaban
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of contested national identity on Turkish and Japanese foreign policies. Applying a modified constructivist theoretical framework, it seeks to explore the ways in which the national identities of Turkey and Japan are constructed, internalized and in turn externalized through their foreign policies. In examining the case of Turkey and Japan, the paper problematizes national identity as a contested space characterized by a clash of opposing sub-national identities with distinct readings of national interests and security. Hence foreign policy decisions emerge in the context of this contestation among opposing national identities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey
  • Author: Birgül Demirtaş-Coşkun
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article seeks to analyze identity discourses in Turkey and Germany in the wake of the end of the bipolar world order. The radical changes taking place in the international system in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to extensive internal debates on state identity in both countries. It is puzzling that despite heavy discussion in Ankara and Berlin, in the end, both retained the former identities they had constructed during the Cold War. Systemic changes resulted in alternative state identity narratives in both countries, without leading to any major change in the direction of foreign policy. One of the main arguments of this paper is that the main reasons behind the preservation of former identities in Turkey and Germany were the political, strategic and economic benefits that both countries had acquired during the Cold War. Another important argument is that Turkish and German state identities based on the "Western" orientation were well-established and resistant, at least, to the alternative models which were being discussed in the post-Cold War era.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Yücel Bozdağlıoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite its unique geographical and cultural position between East and the West, Turkey, throughout its modern history, has followed a Western-oriented foreign policy. This essay argues that Turkey's Western orientation is closely linked to Turkey's official Western identity created as a result of Turkey's modernization project in the years following the Independence War. The Islamist challenge to this new identity occasionally created a tension between the secular/Kemalist elite and the Islamists in Turkey, which from time to time impinged upon Turkey's foreign policy. The debate on Turkish foreign policy has been an extension of the debate on national identity in the past and still continues to be so. Therefore, in order to better understand the main determinants of Turkey's foreign policy preferences and behaviors, an analysis of Turkish identity is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet Davutoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's foreign policy needs a new orientation in the light of the new regional and global developments. As a major country in the midst of the Afro-Eurasia landmass, Turkey is a central country with multiple regional identities that cannot be reduced to one, unified category. In terms of its sphere of influence, Turkey is a Middle Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf, and Black Sea country all at the same time. Turkey should appropriate a new position in its region by providing security and stability not only for itself but also for its neighbors and the region. Turkey's engagements from Africa to Central Asia and from EU to OIC are parts of new foreign policy vision. Domestically, Turkey needs to deepen and enrich its democracy, accommodate the differences within its society, and strengthen the coordination and balance among its institutions in 2008 and the years that follow. These initiatives will make Turkey a global actor as we approach 2023, the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Bahar Rumelili
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the identity dimension of EU-Turkey relations from the constructivist perspective in international relations theory. It contends that in EU-Turkey relations, European and Turkish identities are undergoing a continuous process of reconstruction and negotiation. In this process, Turkey's representational practices assume importance in reshaping European identity. In response to the arguments of those who oppose Turkey's EU membership on the identity ground this article claims that a constructivist perspective foresees the possibility that European and Turkish identities can be reconstructed in such a way as to make the justification of Turkish membership possible and desirable from an identity viewpoint.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Harry G. Tzimitras
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to evaluate the forces behind the Turkish-Greek rapprochement, its prospects and its limitations. In the first part, through an analysis of the route from détente to rapprochement, the case for sustainable changes in the foreign policies of the two countries will be made, from confrontation to cooperation. In the second part, the effect of Europeanization on the foreign policies of Greece and Turkey and on their bilateral disputes will be discussed, with a view to presenting the overall contribution of the EU to bilateral affairs in the way of opportunities offered and constraints set. Finally, in the third and fourth parts it is argued that obstacles to rapprochement still remain, particularly in the form of nationalism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Kudret Bülbül, Bekir Berat Özipek, İbrahim Kalın
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article, based on a book published by SETA, looks at the attitudes of Turkish people towards what is conceived as the West and Western culture. While some polls suggest a deep anti-European and anti-American sentiment in Turkey with a clear opposition to Christianity as the religion of the West, the current survey suggests evidence to the contrary. Survey findings show that there is no anti-Westernism in Turkey based on religion, culture, or civilization. Perception of the West is fragmented and does not lend itself to easy categorizations. There is no animosity towards Christianity. In fact, most participants use a respectful and even venerable language when talking about the Christian religion. While most participants do not feel comfortable with the invasion of Turkish society by Western cultural products, they see no essential conflict between the core values of the two cultures. While the perception of Western religion, culture and civilization is mostly fragmented and reveals considerable diversity, Western politics is uniformly perceived as negative and hostile.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Michael Gunter
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the view that the AKP is "an Islamist party" and "hardly a democratic opening". It puts forward the argument that the AKP's recent election victory represents a triumph over (1) inward-looking, anti-EU, ultra-Turkish nationalism, (2) unwarranted military interference in politics, (3) selfish Kemalist desires to protect their own privileged position, and 4) misguided secular fears of a secret Islamic agenda.
  • Topic: Islam, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney, Contentious Issues of Security and the Future of Turkey Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington VT, Ashgate, 2007. 197 + xvii pp. Index. ISBN 13: 978-0-7546-4931-1 by William Hale
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Pınar Bilgin, Berivan Eliş
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article builds on the insights of critical approaches to the study of power and seeks to lay bare the poverty of power analysis in mainstream International Relations (IR). Part I presents a critical account of prevalent conceptions of 'hard power' in mainstream studies informed by realist IR and maintains that realism's power analysis is rather unrealistic insofar as it over-privileges material forms of power and focuses on the visible dimension of power relations to the neglect of the multiple (visible and non-visible) processes through which power is produced and expressed. Part II scrutinizes the concept of 'soft power'. While Nye's soft power analysis complements realist IR by highlighting non-material forms of power and looking at non-visible forms of power relations, it, too, remains shallow insofar as the production and various expressions of 'attraction' remain unaccounted for. Presenting more realistic accounts of the work power does in world politics requires following Lukes' footsteps to produce three- (if not four-) dimensional power analyses.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kim Beng Phar
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Soft power is based on attraction and the ability to persuade others to further one's goals. The key sources of soft power are said to derive from one's culture, democratic political system, and fair-minded foreign policy. Yet it is often left unsaid that soft power is a Weberian archetype. All the three of the above sources are ideal types; they may not necessarily exist in complete forms, because one's culture, political system and foreign policy are all subject to flaws, weaknesses and gaps. In order for Turkey to project its soft power in turbulent neighborhoods like the Middle East and Central Asia, and indeed as a matter of strategic policy in general, it is vital to have a strong conceptual clarity first. Only then can soft power be applied by going beyond attraction and persuasion purely. Home grown reforms that are strong, ethical, and sustainable, for example, can be sources of appeal and attraction to the Middle East and Central Asia too, given that both regions long to see good governance and exemplary leadership.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been traditionally viewed mostly as a hard power in the Middle East, due to its military and economic strength. In recent years, however, there has been a discussion on Turkey's soft power. This article focuses on two aspects of Turkey's soft power in the region. First, Turkey's relevance to the debate on political and economic reform is discussed. It is argued that because of Turkey's internal transformations its attractiveness has increased. In addition to having assets, Turkey is generally more willing to project soft power as well as having increasing credibility in the region. Second, the article focuses on Turkey's use of soft power tools, especially its eagerness to play third party roles in the management and resolution of regional conflicts. Turkey's roles in the Israeli-Syrian, Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts are considered as an example. The article argues that Turkey's soft power has increased in these two aspects and yet it also elaborates on existing and possible constraints in this regard.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hakan Altinay
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The article reviews the relevance of soft power for the case of Turkey, and assesses whether Turkey does have meaningful soft power potential, or whether such a potential is likely to remain elusive for the time being. Recent changes in Turkey are reviewed in terms of their affect on Turkey's soft power potential. Concrete steps in operationalizing Turkey's soft power, as well possible challenges, are discussed. The article argues that EU accession provides a virtuous circle of feedback for enhancing Turkey's soft power, but maintains that Turkish political class and foreign policy elite becoming cognizant of this potential would be the single most important step forward. The article concludes that Turkey has very important soft power assets. Proper deployment of these assets is anything but automatic, and Turkey's society and political elites must realize that this potential exists, and conduct themselves accordingly.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses Kosovo's independence from a framework of political and legal perspectives and assesses regional and global responses to the declaration of independence. Kosovo's independence, it is argued, has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia, for instance, calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries while Turkey's prompt recognition of independence has increased its impact in the region. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics. The way to escape from regional and international rivalries in Kosovo and its environs is to enhance the forces of cooperation in this volatile region and avoid zero sum games among regional and international actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: Oktay F. Tanrısever
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the December 2, 2007 State Duma elections in Russia in terms of their significance and implications for Russian politics. The article argues that the success of the United Russia party in the State Duma elections created the most conducive conditions for Vladimir Putin's handling of the presidential succession problem in 2008. By keeping the State Duma under the control of his 'Party of Power,' Vladimir Putin became able to nominate his close ally Dmitry Medvedev to the Presidency since the election results enabled him to use the State Duma to counterbalance the overwhelming presidential power which will be transferred to Dmitry Medvedev in 2008. The article begins by examining the significance and the actual organization of the December 2, 2007 State Duma elections in Russia. On the basis of the analysis of the election results, the article goes on to discuss the implications of the December 2, 2007 State Duma elections for Russian politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia