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  • Author: Perparim Gutaj
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: PAUL MOJZES is a well-informed and eminent historian of religion with a profound interest in the study of ethno-religion as the rationale for genocide. In this book, Mojzes is set to examine the Balkan genocides and ethnic cleansing during the troublesome twentieth century. He offers his readers an excellent, comprehensive and systematic, narrative of the horrific events that dominated the first and last decades of the previous century. Balkan Genocides develops the argument of how Balkan nations frequently were immersed in genocides and ethnic cleansing, mainly due to the power shifts in the region and the concept of 'cycle of revenge.' The book covers the Balkan Wars (1912-1913), World War I, the Greek-Turkish Wars, World War II, the post- World War II ethnic cleansing and genocides, and the Yugoslav Wars of disintegration during the 1990s.
  • Topic: Genocide, War
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Suna Gulfer IHLAMUR ÖNER
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: STARTING FROM 1980s different religions “went public” all around the world and reclaimed their agency in the public sphere. However, while in this process of 'deprivatization' certain religious traditions such as Catholicism became the focus of many research initiatives, the Eastern Orthodox tradition attracted little scholarly attention. The book Religion, Identity and Politics in Poland and Russia, which is based on Sevinç Alkan Özcan's Ph.D. thesis submitted to the Marmara University in Istanbul in 2010, does justice to these two traditions with its focus on the role and stance of the Polish Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church within the context of church-state relations, public space, civil society and democratization in two post-communist countries: Poland and Russia. In these two countries, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, despite interruptions during the communist rule, play a determining role in church-state relations, political patterns, national identity and social sphere. The book offers a well-structured comparative analysis and valuable insights into the experiences of these two major representatives of Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity in Eurasia during the pre-communist, communist, and post-communist era.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Poland
  • Author: Osman G. ÖZGÜDENLI
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: AFTER the passing of such researchers in Seljuq history as Osman Turan, İbrahim Kafesoğlu, Mehmet Altay Köymen, Faruk Sümer, Sergei G. Agajanov, Claude Cahen, and Ann K. S. Lambton, there was, from the 1970s onwards, a serious dearth of studies in the field, both in Turkey and Europe. However, it is with great pleasure that we state that from the 2000s on-wards, Seljuq studies have been revivified by the training of new young researchers in the field and by the organisation of symposia and the publication of new books and articles, among which is the book reviewed here.
  • Topic: History
  • 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: Şener Aktürk
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay critically approaches the impact of September 11, 2001 attacks in galvanizing the myth of a Christian Europe, a myth that provided the ideological justification for the recent massacre in Norway. The myth making around the failed Ottoman siege of Vienna in 1683, an event that provided the inspiration for Anders Breivik's fifteen hundred pages long anti-Muslim manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, comes under scrutiny. The author argues that Europe has been, not only a Christian, but also a Jewish and Muslim continent for many centuries, using examples from the centuriesold history of Islamic civilization in France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Spain, among other European countries. The author draws attention not only to the total annihilation of historical Muslim communities in places such as Sicily and Spain, but also to the nearly total eradication of Islamic religious heritage and architecture in these countries.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Norway, France
  • Author: Francis Ghilès
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent years the Arab lands have been reduced to a uniform discourse, which well suited those in America such as Bernard Lewis who tried to convince their political masters that a clash of civilisations between the West and Islam was inevitable. However, over the past twelve months a series of revolts recast the map of the Middle East. When the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt started, many Western commentators failed to understand how young Arabs peacefully managed to overthrow well-entrenched dictators such as Ben Ali and Mubarak. Their initial reactions fitted into a broader collective spirit of Orientalism, which long gave up hope on Arab societies ever joining contemporary trends towards democratization. It was not Islam or poverty that provoked the uprisings – it was the crushing humiliation that had deprived the majority of the Arabs who are under the age of thirty of the right to assert control over their own lives.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: İhsan Dağı
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The process of making a new constitution has prompted a debate about the place of Kemalism in the supreme normative order of the Turkish state. Whether Kemalism will be part of the new constitution is important because it will determine the democratic characteristics of the regime to be established thereafter. Questioning the compatibility of Kemalism with democracy this commentary argues that unless Kemalism is abandoned as an ideology protected by the Constitution and the law, there can be no full-fledged liberal democracy in Turkey. An ideology protected and promoted by the constitution sets limits to freedom of thought and expression, and blurs the boundaries between the ideological and the legal. Linking the search for a new constitution with the crisis ofKemalism it is concluded that a post- Kemalist order is needed in order to consolidate democracy, establish civilian control over the military, redefine secularism, and resolve the long-standing Kurdish question.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • 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: Mahmoud Hamad
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Writing a democratic constitution is the main task in the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. There are many opposing views about many challenging questions in Egypt today. The generals believe that they should remain above civilian control while democrats argue that the army is no different than other state institutions and hence should be subject to the scrutiny of elected representatives. In regard to the role of Islam in politics, some argue for full implementation of Sharia, while others advocate a completely secular state. Many want to scrap altogether the centralized presidential system in favor of a parliamentary regime while others are afraid that a Westminster form of government might not be suitable to Egypt's current stage of political development. This paper argues that compromise and accommodation are much needed to write a constitution that garners respect of all Egyptians. This can be done despite the extremely short time available, provided the main players do not adhere to a zero-sum mindset and look at the constitution as a living document.
  • Political Geography: Egypt
  • Author: Nur Köprülü
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the purpose of democratization in Jordanian politics is not only a political co-optation policy to cope with the negative effects of the country's economic recession, but also to ensure the survival of the Hashemite monarchy. The process of democratization in the region has been closely tied with the notions of inclusiveness and exclusiveness. This is due to 'incomplete' national identity building formation in most parts of the Middle East. For that particular purpose, the main objective of this paper is not to re-assert the uniqueness of politics in the Arab world, but rather to engage in how politics of regime survival in the case of Jordan shape the process of democratization in the post – 1989 era. Thus this paper will examine the period following the normalization of relations with Israel in 1994, the Palestinian question, the repercussions of current social upheavals in the Arab world, and how these specific circumstances affect Jordan's democratic opening.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Chrysostomos Pericleous̈
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The basic premise of this article is that conditions have ripened for an overall settlement of the Cyprus conflict, provided a rational approach prevails in addressing the issues that still remain unresolved. The article first shows that the root of the conflict has been ethno-nationalism and the derivative concept of a nation state. Second, after demonstrating through an historical “flashback” that nationalism has led to a deadend road in Cyprus, it presents convincing evidence that a steadily increasing number of citizens in both communities of the island are realizing the need to transcend the ethnic division and reach a federal settlement. Finally, based on policies favorable to the exploitation and transportation of hydrocarbon (i.e., the materialization of the Nabucco pipeline strategy), the article, while admitting the complexity of the situation, makes a strong point that natural gas may become a catalyst for a solution in Cyprus. Because, it would benefit all parties involved: Cyprus, Turkey, the EU and other Eastern Mediterranean countries.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Island, Cyprus
  • Author: Ahmet Sözen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper compares what the two Cypriot leaders have been trying to accomplish through the peace negotiations with what public opinion on both sides of the island view as acceptable and tolerable. This analysis lays the groundwork in assessing just how far we are from a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus conflict. The author first evaluates the progress accomplished by the two leaders in the peace negotiations since 2008 when the current round of negotiations started. Second, he looks at how far they are today in finalizing a comprehensive peace plan. Third, he assesses where the public opinion on both sides of the UN divide stand vis-à-vis a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. Here, the author identifies the main obstacles confronting a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus conflict. Finally, based on the overall analysis, the author speculates on future scenarios and proposes recommendations for the UN to help bring the conflict to a comprehensive settlement.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Cyprus
  • Author: Dimitar Bechev
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's activism in former Yugoslavia is a continuation of the country's post-Cold War strategy in the broader context of South East Europe. It is driven largely by structural shifts related to the spread of democracy, Europeanization and globalization, rather than by ideology or Ottoman nostalgia. Despite its vanishing appeal, the EU remains essential in understanding Turkey's place in regional politics. The Union's expansion has deepened interdependence across South East Europe and transformed the Turkish approach: from power politics to a multidimensional policy reliant on trade, cross-border investment, and projection of soft power. Although Ankara is acting in a growingly unilateralist manner and could be viewed as a competitor in some Western capitals, Turkish policies are benefiting from Brussels and Washington's investment in the stabilisation and integration of the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Balkans, Brussels
  • Author: Doğan Gürpınar
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article investigates the unique trajectory of Turkish (left-) liberalism which emerged first as an intraleft polemic and left-revisionism in the 1980s and gradually became disassociated from the Left through the 1990s before crystallizing in the 2000s. As the grand narrative of socialism collapsed, while some socialists leaned towards liberalism, others were transformed into left-Kemalists with nationalist commitments and accused left-revisionists and leftliberals of moral corruption, treason and ideological nihilism by using such pejorative labels as liboş and dönek. The debate was not simply ideological and political; both sides developed heavily moralist discourses and questioned the moral integrity of the opposing party. This article attempts to discuss and analyze the principal contours and premises of the emerging Turkish liberalism, left-Kemalism and the post-war Turkish political culture, which only faintly resembles the Western political landscape and cannot be understood through the prism of Western political vocabulary.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Laurence Raw
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's role in the contemporary world continues to be a subject of intense debate, especially at a time when its economic performance surpasses that of several states within the European Union. In the light of recent developments, with the United Kingdom vetoing a rescue plan approved by the other twenty-six EU countries and therefore facing a future on Europe's periphery, Turkey can now negotiate from a position of strength, secure in the knowledge that it is no longer Europe's sole outsider, perpetually confined to its economic and political margins.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Marcia Hermansen
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this original and engaging book, Gunes Murat Tezcur, a political scientist trained at the University of Michigan and currently teaching at Loyola University Chicago, analyzes two interesting cases of contemporary "moderate Islamic" political parties, the Iranian Reform Front and Turkey's Justice and Development (AK) Party .
  • Topic: Reform
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Chicago
  • Author: Reem Abou-El-Fadl
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Laurence Raw's volume, Exploring Turkish Cultures , makes a significant contribution to English language scholarship on cultural life in modern Turkey. It is a collection of conference papers, journal articles and lectures which Raw has authored over his academic career in Turkey, clustered into three sections on the fields of education, theatre, and film. The chapters offer social scientists and historians a rare insight into the cultural ramifications of the policies they analyze, while presenting cultural historians with rich empirical material.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Fariba Zarinebaf
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The history of rebellions in the Ottoman Empire during the early modern period has received a fair degree of coverage by both Turkish and western scholars. This present book addresses five major oppositional incidents during the 19th century that attempted to remove the reigning sultans from power. Riedler attempts to study the nature of these incidents, the background of people involved and the target of the opposition to study the continuity and change in political culture in post-Tanzimat period. He argues that in the absence of public political culture, political parties, and a parliamentary government plus personal charisma and politics, household networks and patronage, secret societies as well as conspiracies formed the political culture of Ottoman society. The Tanzimat reforms had led to greater centralization and an expansion of the government's sphere of influence, thus generating opposition both within the ruling class and the society at large,which also included religious groups. The Janis - saries had been typically at the forefront of rebellions and with their elimination, the Ulema and the Young Ottomans (bureaucrats trained in modern schools) emerged as leaders of opposition. The author focuses on events in Istanbul, the capital of the empire, rather than large- scale uprisings going on in Anatolia and the Balkans .
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Masaki Kakizaki
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The US-Turkish relationship has faced trouble since the Iraq War. On the one hand, the current Justice and Development Party government has pursued new foreign policy initiatives toward its neighbors in the Middle East. Turkey's approach toward Iran, for instance, has caused policy makers and commentators in Washington to wonder "did the United States lose Turkey?" On the other hand, we have observed a rise of anti-Americanism in Turkey. During the Cold War era, anti-Americanism in Turkey was not so widespread; it was contained to leftist circles. Since 2003, in contrast, anti-American attitudes have become widespread among citizens regardless of their political and ideological positions. What accounts for this rise of Turkish public opinion unfavorable to the United States? Under what conditions could the image of America in Turkey improve? Giray Sadik's American Image in Turkey addresses these interesting and important questions. He considers how American foreign policy has affected Turkish public opinion toward the United States between 2000 and 2006.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey
  • Author: Norman Stone
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Eurasianism' is a relatively new concept in Russian history, and not one that appeals beyond a fairly narrow circle. The argument goes back to the turn o Russia somehow a creation of Europe, of Germans especially? Peter the Great had famously set about the westernization of the place, and St Petersburg had been put up almost as a stage-set, "a combination of Wedgwood and cardboard". By 1900, something of a nationalist reaction to such westernization set in, and the Eurasianists made much more of their Asiatic-for short, 'Tatar'-side. They had had quite enough of hearing that the original Russians had been drunken buffoons whose civilization had to be planted upon them by Vikings or Poles or Baltic Germans. No, they said, we have a Tatar side, and we owe a great deal to the Asiatics. In this, they were quite right. Pushkin had said, of the Mongols who had crushed Russia for two and a half centuries, that they, unlike the Arabs who had taken so much of Spain at the same time, had not brought "Aristotle and algebra". But in reality the Mongols brought a great deal, especially in styles of government. A third of the old Russian nobility had Tatar names ("Yusupov" from "Yusuf", "Muraviev" from "Murad", etc.) while Ivan the Terrible himself descended, through his mother, from Genghiz Khan, and through his grand-mother from the Byzantines. For a long time, under the Soviet Union, a sort of vehement and stupid nationalism was permitted to occlude the Tatar element in Russian history. Now, matters are rather different. In 2005 there were celebrations of it at Kazan; and there is an interesting aspect of Putin's reign, that Tatars have been doing remarkably well.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union