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  • Author: Halil Bay
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent years, not only have the changes in Turkish foreign policy been discussed but also the key factors and actors behind the change. This book deals with both the professional and academic life of the foreign minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu, and provides information on him and on developments in Turkish foreign policy. The author, Gürkan Zengin, is a journalist with an interest in foreign relations. His book includes a number of important stories of Davutoğlu from when he was a university professor and advisor up to today as a diplomat and minister. It seems that the author reached his conclusions and got information for the book from colleagues of Davutoğlu, his writings, and from other media. At first sight, this book is very beneficial for those who are interested in Davutoğlu and Turkish foreign policy in general.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One may argue three law-like generalizations in political science: “no bourgeois, no democracy,” “democracies do not go to war with each other,” and “natural resources are a curse.” Although each of these highly contested arguments is important, the last one has the broadest impact—the negative effects of oil, natural gas, and mineral production go beyond authoritarianism and have economic, military, and societal consequences. Recently, some important publications have challenged the “resource curse” argument, creating doubts about these negative effects. In this regard, Michael Ross's book is an extremely timely work. It not only responds to these critiques but also provides a consistent set of explanations about oil and its effects on authoritarianism, patriarchy, inter-state and civil wars, and economic underdevelopment. Ross has already written path-breaking articles on these issues and this magnum opus brings together his previous contributions with updated data, revised arguments, and fresh perspectives. Unlike his earlier publications, Ross's analysis focuses on oil and natural gas, sometimes referring to both as only “oil,” and consistently leaves mineral production aside. His data show how the importance of oil will persist, if not increase, in the near future: “the global market for oil and other liquid fuels will rise from 86.1 million barrels a day in 2007 to 110 million barrel a day in 2035; the market for natural gas will rise from 108 to 156 trillion cubic feet” (p. 251).
  • Topic: Civil War, Development, Economics, Oil
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Daivd Lovell
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The relationship between Turkey (and its predecessor, the Ottoman Empire) and Europe has been long, often tense or openly hostile, and is in some senses fundamental to the identities and development of each; this relationship also adds a considerable burden of suspicion to Turkey's current aim of joining the European Union (EU). This essay examines these propositions by providing an account of the history of the relationship and of Europe's recent, conditional approach to Turkish accession to the EU. While accepting that much remains to be done at the institutional level to bring Turkey into alignment with EU norms, this paper argues that Turkish accession is a historic opportunity for Europe that it should not squander. Despite mixed signals, further development of Turkey's democracy along the path to Europe is the most likely course. The story is not “never-ending”, but the end will not come quickly.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Emrullah Uslu
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Turkey's domestic political developments in 2009, by situating them against the results and implications of the 2007 national elections. It examines major issues on Turkey's agenda: the redefinition of civilian-military relations, the Kurdish question, the issue of conservative social networks and the Ergenekon investigation. The article argues that while the governing Justice and Development Party previously pursued a survival strategy based on alliances with liberal reformists and the EU to curtail the power of the military, in the wake of the 2007 elections it opted to explore issues of common ground with the military. The developments in 2009, which was a year of harvesting the fruits of this new strategy, show that this strategy worked in regards to the Kurdish question, but it has failed on the issue of conservative social networks, as the military and the government remained embroiled in an undeclared confrontation on this issue.
  • Topic: Development, Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The prospects for Turkey's ambitions for full EU membership do not appear to be very bright in the current conjuncture. The “grand coalition for special partnership” appears to be firmly entrenched. With key chapters for negotiation already suspended what is likely to happen is that the government in power is likely to pursue a loose Europeanization agenda of gradual reforms falling considerably short of deep commitment for full-membership. The paper investigates the underlying reasons for the decline of enthusiasm for EU membership following the golden age of Europeanization and reforms during the early years of the AK Party government. The article also points to domestic and external developments which may help to reverse the current stalemate and, hence, ends with an optimistic note concerning the future of Turkey-EU relations.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet Arabaci
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between the announcement of Turkey's EU candidacy status at the EU's Helsinki Summit in 1999, and the development and transformation of Turkish civil society organizations (CSOs). It is argued that theories of historical institutionalism and rational choice institutionalism provides a useful framework for explaining the changes that took place in the number and institutional structures of Turkish CSOs. Historical institutionalism helps explain how the EU's affirmation of Turkey's EU candidacy has served as a critical juncture for the evolution of path dependency for Turkish CSOs. The economic reforms and democratization driven by Turkey's accession process are given special attention in this respect. Rational choice institutionalism will be employed to explain structural transformations within Turkish CSOs, and their considerable dependence on the funds provided by the EU.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Turkey