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  • 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