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  • Author: Alvin Almendrala Camba
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Nazrin Mehdiyeva's work is elegantly argued and timely volume on small states and energy politics; however, in looking to contribute to both of these literatures, she opens up questionable points in her book. Her main aim was to understand the conditions that allowed Azerbaijan to pursue an autonomous foreign policy after the Cold War while focusing on energy's role in the context of global energy insecurity. Mehdiyeva's structure relies on a simple and clear deductive narrative. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on small state literature and its application in Azerbaijan's institutional context; 4 focuses on Russia, the main 'antagonist' in the narrative, and 5 on the Caspian sea issue; while 6 and 7 deal with alternative allies in the form of Turkey and the United States. The last chapter concludes with the author's projection of future foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Anita Sengupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The relationship between Islam and foreign policy has become the subject of a number of volumes in recent years as scholars seek to understand the role that political Islam plays in determining foreign policy. This is more often than not accompanied by the assumption that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with modernity. Turkey, with its complex history of modernity and the transition from its Ottoman past, remains an interesting case for the study of the causal relationship between the construction of a modern nation state, secular identity and nationalized foreign policy. The rediscovery of Turkey's regional interests and affinities from the 'Balkans to Western China' – areas that had been largely absent from Turkish foreign policy debates since the foundation of the Republic – have emphasized the significance of the state's internal evolution in determining its external policy. In her book, Turkey Facing East: Islam, Modernity and Foreign Policy, Ayla Gol critically analyzes Turkey's engagement with modernity in the course of its transformation from the Ottoman structure into a modern nation state in order to understand Turkey's foreign policy towards its eastern neighbours between 1918 and 1921. This is a clear and important departure from studies that tend to examine this transition period in terms of Turkey's engagement with the West.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans, South Caucasus
  • Author: Edibe Sozen, M. Hakan Yavuz
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the social and political causes of the Gezi protests, and their long- and short-term impact on Turkey's domestic landscape. As part of our endeavor to enrich the conversation over the protests, this paper puts in context both the meaning and media coverage of the Gezi protests. This in turn will explain how on the one hand a protest over a particular environmental dispute escalated into vulgar anti- Erdoğan slogans and wild Tahrir comparisons, but on the other hand faded away without leaving a mark on Turkey's national political map. Following our analysis of the Gezi Park phenomenon, we will offer our view of its implications.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Umut Azak
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Beyond Turkey's Borders: Long-distance Kemalism, State Politics and the Turkish Diaspora Beyond Turkey's Borders is based on Banu Şenay's PhD dissertation, which is an ethnographic study of Kemalism among migrant Turks in Australia. Şenay conducted her fieldwork in Sydney in 2007 and 2008 among Turkish migrants who have settled there since the late 1960s. She draws her material largely from formal and informal interviews with first- and second-generation migrants, as well as Turkish and Australian state officials. She also performs content analysis of relevant community papers' archives and contemporary visual and textual materials, such as political speeches, cartoons, internet blogs, etc., produced, shared or followed by the migrant actors of “trans-Kemalism.”
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Australia
  • Author: Hatem Ete
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The context of and the meaning conferred upon the local elections led it to be fought in a referandum-like atmosphere. Prior to the March 30 local elections, various scenarios put forward both for the governing AK Party and the opposition parties, which largely remained unfulfilled on the elections day. As the local elections is over, a sound analysis of the election's context, results, and possible implications is warranted. Despite the rapid and dramatic transformation that Turkey has undergone over the last decade, particularly since 2007, no such dramatic shift in the voters' behaviors has occurred. This article argues that this is because of the dominance of the identity-politics, over all other issues, that shaped the content and context of the elections. It further claims insofar as this dominance continues to prevail over other concerns in the elections, no major change should be expected in the voters' inclinations and behaviors.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Michael McGaha
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, Erdağ Göknar, the award-winning translator of Orhan Pamuk's novel, My Name Is Red, has set himself the task of explaining why Pamuk's novels have received comparatively little critical attention both in his native Turkey and elsewhere. According to Göknar, most of the educated reading public in Turkey disdains Pamuk because they believe he has betrayed Kemalism (the combination of French-style secularism and nationalism that has become a sort of state “religion” in the Turkish Republic) in order to curry favor with foreign readers. This is the “blasphemy” to which the book's title refers. At the same time, foreign readers have generally misunderstood Pamuk's work because they are unfamiliar with Turkish literary and the political context from which it emerged. Göknar's burden is therefore the dual one of clarifying Pamuk's real political views for Turkish readers and educating foreign readers about his indebtedness to earlier Turkish writers.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Salim Cevik
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Filistin Politikamız: Camp David'den Mavi Marmara'ya The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is presumably the most problematic and persistent theme in Middle Eastern politics. Thus, the conflict is one of the most studied topics in academic literature on the region. In this light, it is all the more surprising that the current study of Erkan Ertosun is the first book-length work on Turkey's Palestinian policy. It is also a very timely contribution as Palestine becomes an ever more central topic in Turkish foreign policy. The author claims that he has attempted a holistic analysis in which domestic, regional and international factors are integrated. However, despite this claim, the real emphasis of the book is on international affairs and rightfully so.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Fahimeh Ghorbani, Hamid Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: What impact has the Syrian crisis had on Iran-Turkey political relations? Some analysts argue that divergence in Iranian and Turkish outlooks and roles played in the Syrian crisis have adversely affected their bilateral relationship. But the authors believe that in spite of the conflict in Iran's interests and Turkish policies towards Syria, their broader relations in other areas–security and economy-have prevented the rupture of political relations. In this regards, after the nature of the Syrian crisis is briefly described, Turkish foreign policy strategy in the Middle East will be explained. Then, Turkish-Syrian relations prior to the outbreak of the crisis will be analyzed followed by a discussion of Iranian and Turkish foreign policies towards the Syrian crisis and their impact on their mutual relations. The authors will conclude that although the Syrian political crisis has given rise to certain tensions and adverse consequences in their political relations, their bilateral ties have persisted as manifested in high-ranking diplomatic meetings between their political authorities and in ongoing deliberations on important regional issues.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Murat Yeşi̇ltaş
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the critiques directed at Turkish foreign policy during the AK Party administration. There are three basic critiques leveled at the foreign policy that has been followed by the AK Party: Islamist ideology, geopolitical codes, and lack of capacity in foreign policy. These criticisms will be examined through a multi-layered approach, whereby they will be contextualized in terms of global fragmentation (macro level), regional disorder and fragmentation (meso level), and restoration in domestic politics and the opponents within Turkey towards these policies (micro level). A look at the challenges that Turkish foreign policy faces today and the search for a new foreign policy model will follow.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Zuhal Mert Uzuner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Change is a central concept in Turkish and global politics. It forms the basis of liberal ideology, alongside freedom, democracy, and equality. In this spirit of change, radical liberal thinkers question the state of contemporary international relations with a focus on justice and fairness. Ahmet Davutoğlu appreciates the importance of these liberal considerations, and he claims the global order is in a period of transformation, in which Turkey and the rest of the world will come into new political roles. In order to facilitate the formation of a fair, cooperative world order, Davutoğlu promotes a global consensus based on cosmopolitanism and multilateralism. These ideas for international reform are consistent with radical liberalism. However, he also considers the formation of a new global order according to his conservative and Islamic ideas-a position inconsistent with liberalism. This contradiction demands a better understanding of Davutoğlu's stance in domestic politics and international relations, and a consideration of implications for Turkey's global identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ödül Celep
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The current peace process regarding Turkey's Kurdish question could pave the way for the normalization of politics and democratization in Turkey if the existing opportunities are not missed. The major actors that represent the Kurdish left in Turkey, the PKK and the HDP (formerly BDP), are all equally significant parts of the peace process. The HDP in particular has the potential to turn into a constructive actor for Turkey's democratization in the near future. This article argues that the Kurdish left of the democratic, parliamentary stage, lately the HDP, could contribute to Turkey's democratization if it can fulfill the libertarian left policy space in Turkish politics, which has long been abandoned by all existing political parties.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Jakub Wodka, Sarah Kuzmicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the strategic importance Turkey holds to the European Union and how Ankara could contribute to the EU's achieving the status of a veritable global power. It seeks to understand how the often contradictory threads (democratization vs. creeping authoritarianism) in the recent transformation of Turkish domestic politics affects its European credentials. The main argument of the paper is that it is in the core interest of both parties to align their policies in the neighboring regions, namely the Balkans, Caucasus, and the Middle East, especially in the post Arab Spring era. What hinders the genuine EU-Turkey partnership is often the political and tactical short-sightedness of both parties rather than the factual divergence of strategic interests.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ali Erken
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The article analyses the use of Ottoman past as a central theme in Turkish politics since the 1960s. It discusses how the revivalist discourse treats the question of westernization and shapes the perception of young activists towards the Ottomans. As confrontational themes with the West surfaced more frequently, the search for a new “order” became more tangible. Furthermore, the negative outlook of the Republican historiography towards the Ottoman heritage was dismissed, especially among young and educated followers of the MHP and MSP-RP. This orientation gained more widespread acceptance among the mass during the AK Party years as a result of the government's revisionist foreign policy and increasing frequency of the references to the Ottoman history in the party leadership's discourse.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: ÇIĞDEM HAJIPOURAN BENAM
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: ALMOST eight years on from the start of accession negotiations, the view of Turkey-European Union (EU) relations is somber. The Union is too busy with its enlargement fatigue and economic turmoil, whereas Turkey has been experiencing a confidence boom as a result of its impressive economic performance and proactive foreign policy, pushing the two parties further apart. However, despite this gloomy picture in Turkey's EU membership negotiations, change has been and is taking place in Turkish politics. A crucial question, therefore, is without the full membership perspective what is triggering change in Turkey? Is this change a sign of a continuing process of 'Europeanization'? If yes, how do we explain this? How far does it relate to the appeal of the EU membership and how far can Turkey's various policy fields be Europeanized? What are the limits of Europeanization and under what conditions does it work better? Why are there diverging levels of transformation in different policy fields? These are some of the questions Turkey and the European Union: Processes of Europeanization comprehensively answers.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Laurence Raw
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: ALTHOUGH written from a variety of perspectives at different points in history, all three books reviewed here offer penetrating insights into Turkish politics past and present, as well as commenting on how they are interpreted both inside and outside the country. Written in English, while he was guest professor at the University of Marburg, Germany (having quit his post at Boğaziçi University in protest at the law curtailing academic freedom), Gündüz Vassaf's Prisoners of Ourselves comprises a series of meditations mostly written between October 1986 and March 1987. His basic thesis is straightforward enough: although human beings consider themselves members of the free world, they are actually subject to totalitarian rule. He surveys some familiar binaries—for example, madness and sanity—and shows how they are used to curtail individual liberties. Western historians have conventionally accepted that the Nazi period in Germany was one of collective madness. However the validity of that judgment can be called into question in the light of Adorno and Horkheimer's research, which discovered that anti-semitism in the United States was much higher than it had been in Germany after Hitler came to power. Vassaf concludes that everyone is part of that “collective madness,” in which one nation is willfully prioritized over another as a means of sustaining power (p. 35). Anyone questioning that notion is abruptly silenced.
  • Topic: Politics, History
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Ergun Özbudun
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The article analyzes the historical roots and the current nature of the constitutional crisis in Turkey. The Constitution of 1982 strongly reflects the authoritarian, statist, and tutelary mentality of its military founders. The Constitution established a number of tutelary institutions designed to check the powers of the elected agencies and to narrow down the space for civilian politics. Consequently, it has been the subject of strong criticisms since its adoption. There is also a general consensus that despite the 17 amendments it has gone through so far, it has not been possible to fully eliminate its authoritarian spirit. The article also deals with the constitutional crises of 2007 and 2008 over the election of the President of the Republic, and the annulment of the constitutional amendment of 2008 by the Constitutional Court. It concludes with an assessment of the constitutional amendments of 2010.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Michael M. Gunter
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Most of the recently published books on the Kurdish problem in Turkey focus on the armed struggle and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Watts, however, offers a much-appreciated alternative approach. "Pro-Kurdish political parties" (p. xvii), or what she also calls "challenger parties" (p. 16), "have made themselves matter and... have impressed their ideas and agendas on reluctant and often repressive states" (p. x). "The central argument of this book is that... pro-Kurdish elected officials and party administrators engaged [as]... 'loudspeaker systems' for the transmission of highly contentious information politics that challenged the narratives of security, identity, and representation promoted by Turkish state institutions.... They [also] tried to construct a competing 'governmentality' and new collective Kurdish 'subject' in cities and towns in the southeast" (p. 13).
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Ergün Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the trajectory of Islamism as a modern phenomenon. It demonstrates that, having evolved under the influence of myriad political, intellectual and historical developments of the past two hundred years, the concept is still surrounded by various debates, movements, acts of violence, ideologies, policies and positions. Islamism also continues to be a significant element in Turkey's political and intellectual life as well. The article then engages several critical questions. Has Islamism reached its end? Is a new type of Islamism emerging? Is post-Islamism on the horizon. In response, the article argues that Islamism's diversification–as opposed to its end–leads the movement to survive as pluralities that result from structural changes stemming from global and plural modernities' interaction with societies. In line with social and political organizations' pursuit of violence, poverty, challenge, reconciliation and alliance, Islamism too is being plurally reconstructed.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Halim Rane
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The political and economic success of Turkey's Justice and Development Party (AKP) has generated extensive discussion about the extent to which Turkey provides a model for other Muslim, especially Arab, countries. The notion of a Turkish model has received intense focus since the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region began in 2010. Amid the excitement, more cautious voices have highlighted fundamental differences in historical and political experiences and relations with Islam between Turkey and the Arab countries. Considering these factors, this article contends that rather than Turkey's AKP, a more accurate comparison and potentially viable model for the emerging Arab democracies can be found among the Islamic-oriented political parties of South East Asia, which advocate an approach to Islam based on the maqasid, or higher objectives. This article examines the appeal of the maqasid approach in respect to its utility for maintaining Islamic legitimacy and transitioning from ideology-oriented to policy-oriented parties and thereby responding to the needs and aspirations of broad constituencies. This article discusses the function of the maqasid for Islamic political parties in the MENA region as it undergoes political liberalization in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Necati Polat
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This piece is on a number of critical rulings issued recently by high courts in Turkey in brazen disregard of the discourse of human rights, to which a growing commitment appears paradoxically to be the case in democratic politics. The bureaucratic authority that characterizes the dissipating old regime in the country is often associated with the military. Yet the civilian bureaucracy, in particular the high judiciary, with justices long handpicked from among the legal elite with a disdain of democratic politics, has been just as crucial in sustaining the old order molded by anachronisms of the 1930s, when the regime that defines this order, Kemalism, emerged in concerted thinking with authoritarianisms prevalent in Europe at the time. The overhaul of the system of high courts from 2010 has clearly been momentous in seeking to bring the judicial establishment into line with democracy and human rights. Still, the settled reflexes seem on the whole to be resilient in dictating the outcome in crucial cases, rendering the transformation both sluggish and painful.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Menderes Çınar
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The 2011 elections marked the emergence of the AKP as a political brand that is likely to win all the elections in the foreseeable future. The party's overwhelming popularity is linked to its image as the most reliable and trustworthy political party today. The ambitious democratization promises of the AKP created hopes for a paradigm shift in Turkish politics in the aftermath of the elections. However the AKP's overemphasis on its brand name and its consequent monopolization of the democratization process, excluding Turkey's other parties, have raised concerns over the fulfillment of a more profoundly democratic participatory system in Turkey. Moreover, the AKP's adoption of populist rhetoric and stereotypes, which is usually the hallmark of Turkey's right-wing traditionalist parties, raises further concerns. Finally, the failure of the main opposition CHP to form a coherent platform to challenge the AKP's monopoly over Turkey's political scene has contributed to the growing skepticism for a new democratic political paradigm in Turkey.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mesut Yeğen
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay argues that the 2011 election results point to a number of important conclusions concerning the Kurdish question in Turkey. First, the Kurdish party will continue to be the main actor in “Kurdish question politics.” Second, the AK Party has been unable to halt the rise of the Kurdish party in a number of provinces with large Kurdish populations. Third, political parties, other than the Kurdish party and the AK Party, have been eliminated from “Kurdish question politics.” This essay will demonstrate that the support for the Kurdish party is gradually acquiring a territorial dimension. Thus, this essay argues that the notion of democratic autonomy proposed today for the whole of Turkey by the Kurdish party may over time give way to the political objective of “autonomy for Kurdistan” or even “federal Kurdistan.” It is also argued that the same trend may foster a political agenda of “Kurds to Kurdistan” to take hold in Turkish politics.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gökhan Bacik
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The MHP won 13 percent of the vote in the June 2011 elections, which guaranteed it 52 seats in parliament. Ever since the 1960s, the MHP has operated with a vague party identity that amalgamated different, even contradictory, elements such as Islam, folk nationalism, secularism, militarism, Kemalism, statism, and even Ottomanism. However, the serious issues that are challenging Turkish politics today, such as civilian-military relations, the Ergenekon trial, Islam in the public sphere, the Kurdish question, the crisis of the presidential election, or the 2010 referendum, have made a nebulous discourse operationally impossible. This paper argues that the recent political polarization between the AK Party and the CHP put an end to the MHP's strategy and discourse of traditional obscurantism, causing in these last elections this party's unimpressive electoral performance.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Vural Aksakallı, Hatice Tekiner-Moğulkoç, Muammer Koç
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The changes in Turkey's political landscape over the past decade have been quite dramatic. In this study, we present a quantitative analysis of the 2011 national elections based on clustering techniques and we compare our results with those of the previous elections in 1999, 2002, and 2009. Our results suggest, once again, that Turkish citizens turn out to vote consistently since the1950s. We also investigate significant changes in voting trends of different regions and provinces. We conclude with a future-based qualitative outlook to indicate what the results could be if certain electoral changes are made, such as the law for political parties, a different national threshold for parties to be represented and elected to Parliament, and an eventual new constitution.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article looks at the impact of Turkish voters in German politics since the 1980s with a special attention to the latest elections in September 2009. While Turks were almost entirely connected with the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, the 1980s witnessed the rising appeal of the Greens among immigrants in general and Turks in particular. This was followed by the success of Turkish candidates in the Left Party in the 2005 elections. The latest elections in September 2009 witnessed a further diversification of Turkish representation as the SPD, Greens, Left, and the (liberal) FDP each sent a Turkish member into the Bundestag, while the CDU/CSU remained the only party without Turkish representation at the federal level. Despite persistent under-representation in the political arena, and some obstacles against their acquisition of citizenship and religious observance, the Turkish minority in Germany still registers a higher level of political presence than the Muslim minorities in France and Britain.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey, France, Germany
  • Author: Sevgi Çilingir
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article attempts to analyze various aspects of ethnic and religious identity configurations among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain and to explore how such social processes influence their socio-political integration. It tries to situate the Turkish community in the context of British Muslim identity politics. Findings in this article are based on in-depth interviews on perceptions and attitudes the Turkish Sunni Muslims have and their implications in the planning of collective activities, especially in the field of education. This study reveals that although the current level of integration among the Turkish Sunni Muslims in Britain is less than expected, neither living in a non-Muslim country nor claiming to have a British identity are perceived as incompatible with Turkish and Islamic values. This paper concludes that educating Turkish youths in ethnic and religious values is a priority, as it is seen as a means to protect against assimilation, while allowing for successful integration.
  • Topic: Education, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey
  • Author: Martin Bak Jørgensen
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: It has become a conventional approach to look at the impact of the political institutions to understand immigrant organizing patterns in the receiving countries. The underlying assumption in this process is that the organizational language of the host state makes an impact on the organizational patterns of immigrants in a given state. The article takes this insight as the backdrop for understanding the Turkish organizing processes in the Danish context and first looks at the institutional arrangements and integration- and citizenship model prevailing in Denmark and secondly, at the collective Turkish organizing processes within this structural framework while taking dynamics of social participation and agency into account. The Turkish minority group is the largest immigrant group in Denmark and the article pays attention to the heterogeneity that exists within the Turkish group and seeks to outline emerging organizing patterns with regard to ethno-national, religious, political and other dividing categories.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Denmark
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Kemal Özden
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this book, the author focuses on Muslim people's social and legal situation and their legal attitudes from various points of view.
  • Topic: Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United Kingdom, Turkey
  • Author: Talip Küçükcan
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There are many institutions playing a role in weaving the ideals of democracy into Turkey's social fabric. Many political actors in Turkish politics, which include the leftists, rightists, liberals, and statists along with those who established the Republic with their military identity, all contributed to society's participation in the execution of the state affairs. They all had a stake in implementing universal democratic standards in Turkey in general, and within certain strata of Turkish society in particular. The reasons behind these actors' support for democratic ideals vary; some groups were Book Reviews Insight Turkey Vol. 12 / No. 3 / 2010 279 it can also play a role in persuading different religious segments of the society to accept democracy. Here, democracy can be perceived as a solution to many of Turkey's current problems, ranging from poverty to social injustices Movements, such as the Progressive Republican Party (Terakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkası), Free Republican Party (Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası), and Democrat Party (Demokrat Parti), have been instrumental in the consolidation of democracy as opposed to the authoritarian political system, which predominated the single party era of the Republic.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • Author: Joshua Walker
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent closure case brought against the ruling Justice and Development Party is a direct assault on Turkey's democracy. For this reason, America should not lose the opportunity to swiftly and unequivocally repudiate the establishment's attempts to re-assert control over Turkish politics by undemocratic means. The lack of a concrete resolution on the part of the U.S. in regard to the case has already resulted in a credibility gap. Given America's emphasis on and interest in Turkey's democracy and attendant reform process, a simple re-affirmation of its commitment to citizen's choices in free and fair elections would send a powerful message to a country that is on edge. Instead, Turkey is left with 'friends' who lack credibility and resolve at the worst possible moment. If the ruling party and its leadership are banned from political life, not only will Turkey lose its credibility in the Middle East as the only indigenous Muslim-majority democracy, the United States will also lose credibility in the world theatre for failing to support democracy in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Yusuf Şevki Hakyemez
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses the limits of the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The political party bans constitute one of the most important problems threatening the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The restrictions on the political parties come to the fore in two different forms: dissolution after the military coups and closure by means of legislation. In the current context of the case opened against the AK Party, it may be possible and advisable to apply an amendment, bringing Turkish jurisprudence in such matters in line with the standards of the European community. It is concluded that the Constitutional Court should interpret cases of the dissolution of political parties in the context of the principles of "secularism" and the "unitary state" in such a way as to take into account the requirements of the principle of "the rule of law" and to allow different political alignments to express themselves in a "human rights respecting" and "democratic" country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kerem Karaosmanoğlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Minorities have always been the subject of academic, journalistic and popular research in Turkey. The general trend of most of these analyses is to conceive of minorities as part of a wider international political structure, be it the international system, imperialism or an anti-national conspiracy against ethnic Turks. Within such pictures, a member of a minority group can hardly be recognized as an individual self with a sense of subjectivity. Thus, what is missing in most minority research in Turkey is an analysis of the self. This article argues that cultural studies can provide resources and inspiration for a new research paradigm for the study of minorities in Turkey through its use of qualitative anthropological methods such as participant observation, in-depth interviews and focus groups. Only then can the minority self have a chance to say something of his/her own, breaking the shield of silence and the stigma of conspiracy discourse.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Leonard Stone
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Within the context of political narratives, this paper surveys the major contours of research on the Republic of Turkey. It looks at research spaces and research directions, or trajectories and at particular contentious spaces – e.g. the concept of national interest. The article further highlights the difference between realist accounts and multidisciplinary models of understanding and interpretation, the interconnectivity of academia and bureaucracy and then proceeds to reconfigure (remap) the Middle East within a Greater Eurasia. Throughout there is an emphasis on shifting context(s). Turkey's own relations with the Middle East are referenced, as are a number of selected research obstacles. The conclusion focuses on key markers in socio-political research into the Republic.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Rebecca Bryant
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: More than three years after the opening of the ceasefire line that divides Cyprus, the island is closer than ever to rupture. When the Green Line first opened in April 2003, there was an initial period of euphoria, as Cypriots flooded in both directions to visit homes and neighbors left unwillingly behind almost three decades before. But a year later, when a UN plan to reunite the island came to referendum, new divisions emerged. While Turkish Cypriots voted in favor of the plan, their Greek Cypriot compatriots rejected it in overwhelming numbers. Visits stalled, and today social relations are mired in an increasingly divisive politics.
  • Topic: Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Cyprus
  • Author: Jan Dirk Kemming, Ozlem Sandikci
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite the significance of politics and public diplomacy for nation brands, there is little research on the topic. The study seeks to contribute to the literature by investigating Turkey's European Union (EU) accession, which seems endangered by negative public opinion in other EU member states, as a case to understand how nation brand images can influence a given course of action in international politics. Specifically, through an exploratory qualitative research, the content of Turkey's nation brand image, its antecedents, and potential consequences within the political context of the country's accession negotiation are explored. The findings suggest that Turkey, at the moment, does not appear to be a well-run nation brand. Not only do the poor results indicate room for improvement, but also the management of Turkey in all relevant nation brand dimensions does not seem promising with regard to a successful EU application process. Furthermore, the analysis point to a truly complicated positioning dilemma for Turkey's nation brand and the challenge of accomplishing an integrated nation brand management.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Naoise MacSweeney
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Dramatic, controversial, and fiercely fought, the Turkish elections of 2007 marked a pivotal point in the administration of the ruling AK Party, and, it has been suggested, for Turkey as a whole. The presidential race in particular triggered a storm of academic and media discussion, and stimulated large-scale popular responses such as mass demonstrations in several urban centres. Amid such high-level interest, relatively little attention has been paid to the perspectives of small, rural communities on the issue. Although they represent an important section of the electorate, the views of such communities are rarely researched in detail, and are not always shaped by religious and cultural issues as is often assumed. Interviews carried out over the election period suggest that the rural electorate hold much more complex views concerning presidential politics than has been widely supposed, and point to a more nuanced interpretation of 'political Islam' than is usually implied by the term.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gökhan Bacik
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent rapprochement between Turkey and Syria is an important development in the regional politics. An analysis might give a clue to systemic and domestic dynamics interacting to lead to lasting amicable relations between the two states. Naturally both countries are motivated by changing regional and international forces. The article looks at the dynamics of rapprochement between two states. Major issues, such as the role of new international environment, the role of Iraqi crisis are also analyzed in the same vein.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Selin M. Bolme
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, doubled with the highly criticized US policy towards the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has placed the İncirlik Air Base at the top of the Turkish political agenda. The İncirlik Air Base has always played a key role in the Turkish-US relations due to its strategic location in the region. The base has been used by the U.S. in many regional events and operations. In every case, its use has brought the status and functions of İncirlik to the fore. However, it is difficult to find any research that particularly focuses on the İncirlik Air Base and its history. Hence, there are many speculations on the status and the functions of the base. The purpose of this article is briefly trace the history of the İncirlik Air Base and describe the obligations of Turkey and the rights of the US under the existing agreements. In the final part, the last crises will be analyzed to assess its impact on Turkish-American relations.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Armenia
  • Author: Kudret Bülbül
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: This article argues that the modernization process has created standardization in different areas of life, while culture has been relatively and independently preserved during this process. Nevertheless, it is difficult for societies to sustain independent compartments in the cultural area while employing standardized techniques, institutions, and principles in the areas of economics, politics, and technology. This article explores the reflections of members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) on cultural globalization, since the TGNA is the main policy maker in Turkey. Although the perceptions of TGNA members generally differ, according to whether they are members of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) the CHP (Republican People's Party), their approaches do not depart greatly from that expected from general theoretical discussions. The approaches of the members of parliament (MPs) do not pertain to Turkey only.
  • Topic: Globalization, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mitat Çelikpala
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: The concept of diaspora, which was incorporated into the literature on politics in the 1960s, has become a significant notion in current international politics. This study aims to present a theoretical assessment of the diaspora concept, followed by the organisation and the evolution of the Caucasian diaspora(s) in Turkey, which include Armenians, Azeris, Georgians and other North Caucasian peoples. It discusses their transformations from emigrants to diaspora, their views regarding each other as well as the changes that took place within these groups after the collapse of the Soviet Union which had a dramatic impact on their relations with their homelands. The second part of this study shifts the emphasis to the recent developments in Abkhazia and Chechnya, and to the activities and increasing influence of the diaspora over Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the political leaders in Turkey.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Chechnya, Armenia, Georgia, Abkhazia
  • Author: Kemal Kirisçi
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Abstract: Turkey is facing massive challenges as a function of its aspiration to join the EU. In November 2000, the EU adopted the Accession Partnership Document, which listed the re-forms that Turkey was expected to adopt to be able to meet the Copenhagen political criteria. In the midst of these challenges, slowly but surely the EU and Turkey are moving closer to-gether. How can one explain the political process that has brought Turkey, after four decades of membership aspirations, to the very gates of EU membership? This essay will argue that the process was primarily driven by a long and bitter process of "negotiation" between advocates and opponents of membership within Turkey, on the one hand, and between a range of Turkish "negotiators or players" and their EU counterparts, on the other.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Erik Bleich
  • Publication Date: 09-2000
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Since the end of the Second World War, millions of immigrants have arrived on French shores. Although such an influx of foreigners has not been unusual in French history, the origin of the postwar migrants was of a different character than that of previous eras. Prior to World War II, the vast majority of immigrants to France came from within Europe. Since 1945, however, an important percentage of migrants have come from non- European sources. Whether from former colonies in North Africa, Southeast Asia, or sub- Saharan Africa, from overseas departments and territories, or from countries such as Turkey or Sri Lanka, recent immigration has created a new ethnic and cultural pluralism in France. At the end of the 1990s, the visibly nonwhite population of France totals approximately five percent of all French residents. With millions of ethnic-minority citizens and denizens, the new France wears a substantially different face from that of the prewar era.
  • Topic: Politics, History
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, France, Sri Lanka, North Africa, Southeast Asia