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  • Author: Michael B. Bishku
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: According to the introduction of this book, it is the hope that this collection of essays "will enhance insight on the Caucasus and cogently encourage European Union citizens and civil servants to develop more policy towards the South Caucasus" (p. 22). Such is considered essential by the authors since the EU became a "Black Sea power" in 2007 with the memberships of Romania and Bulgaria and the impact of the August 2008 Russian-Georgian war, in which Russia was sending a message to the West that it regarded the region as its own "backyard. Interestingly some of the chapters deal with developments in the North Caucasus-a part of the region politically attached to the Russian Federation-that may affect or be affected by developments in the South Caucasus. Most of these essays, while diverse in subject matter,are brief in length, but welldocumented and clearly written; despite the title of the book, some chapters include extensive historical background especially regarding the 19 th and 20 th centuries when the entire Caucasus region was either under the control or being conquered by the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. Recurrent themes in this book are: 1) the transition process through which the South Caucasus republics have been moving from autocratically-ruled to hopefully more democratic societies with greater political and economic freedom, and 2) the Russian Federation's relations with the republics of both the North and South Caucasus.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Brannon Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This first book in a new series from the Institute of Ismaili Studies includes a dozen essays on various aspects of the Islamic world, cutting across geographical and temporal lines, from a wide-range of scholars working in the UK, US, and Australia. The introduction to the volume, by its editor Amyn Sajoo, provides an original and broad overview of the major issues facing the study of the Muslim world today, including the events and aftermath of September 11, globalization and the so-called “clash of civilizations” model, the foundations of Islam, modes of expression within Islamic civilization, the role of women and liberal thought in Islam, and the increasing importance of “networks” on the conceptualization of what constitutes the Muslim world.
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom, Australia
  • Author: Mohamed Saleh
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This is a well documented book focusing on the Omani Ibadhi religious elite and their role in the socio-cultural, historical and political development of the north- western Indian Ocean basin between the period around the partition of Africa and the Second World War. The book is composed of seven chapters, plus 23 pages of references and notes to sources, and 19 pages of bibliography that help the reader map out the contours of the discussion and aid scholars interested in pursuing the same line of research.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Author: Mark E. Hanshaw
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Scholarship devoted to the examination of the Muslim faith has matured in recent decades. No longer is Islam seen as a monolithic institution, but its greatdiver-sityand the varied histories and experiences of the community's members have been the focus of considerable scholarly attention. Yet, beyond the scholarly arena, the diversity of the Muslim community is not widely recognized.
  • Political Geography: Britain, United States
  • Author: Araceli González-Vázquez
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Accepting the responsibility of writing a review of a book like this volume edited by the outstanding scholar Margot Badran is both challenging and pleasant. Margot Badran is currently a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (Middle East Program) in Washington, and she has become well known in the academic and non-academic milieu for her contributions on women, gender, and feminism in Islam and Muslim societies. In particular, there has been an increasing interestin herwritings, such as in her two books Feminism in Islam: Secular and Religious Convergences (Oneworld, Oxford, 2009), a selection of her scholarly work over more than two decades, and Feminism beyond East and West: New Gender Talk and Practice in Global Islam (Global Media Publication, New Delhi, 2007), which brings together a collection of her public intellectual work, mainly essays published in the Egyptian Al Ahram Weekly .
  • Political Geography: Africa, Washington, Egypt
  • Author: Joseph Hammond
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: On November 30, 2006, Catholic Pope Benedict XVI made a historic visit to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. The Pope's historic visit to what tourists call the “Blue Mosque” was designed to symbolically ameliorate tensions caused by the Pope's controversial speech a few weeks prior in Germany. During the visit to the mosque, the Pope turned toward Mecca and gave a silent prayer for two minutes. As he and his entourage began leaving the mosque, the Papal leader pointed to an inscription on a wall and asked for the translation of the phrase written there, which was “A merchant is the beloved of God” or “al-kasib habiballah”.
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Ann Stewart
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Pascale Fournier's book addresses the highly contentious and complex relationship between multiculturalism, gender relations, and family law in liberal states. It adds to the rapidly growing body of legal scholarship that grapples with the legal consequences of cultural diversity within states that once may have contributed through colonialism to the creation of pluralist legal systems 'elsewhere.' Unfortunately, this scholarship tends to replicate the historical divide with too little attention paid to the rich analyses of 'law' by those working on and within legal systems in what can now be described as the 'global south.' Hopefully the series in which Fournier's book is published (Cultural Diversity and Law edited by Prakash Shah) will bridge this gap.
  • Political Geography: United States, France, Germany
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As the spring issue of Insight Turkey goes to print the Middle East nears another great crisis or even a war. The Syrian quagmire may be the current harbinger of full-out war in the region. It has been a year since the uprisings started. The Syrian regime met the peaceful demonstrations of its people with violent and bloody repression. The Arab spring, it seems at the moment, got stuck in Syria where President Bashar Assad confronted the demands of his people for change with a violent crackdown. The well-known "mukhabarat state" of Syria did not bow to "people power," at least for the time being.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Leila Hilal
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Arab revolts have resulted in deposed heads of state in Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Of these countries the latter two—Egypt and Tunisia—saw mass street protestors quickly topple entrenched autocrats without significant violence or foreign intervention. One year on, Egypt is still ruled by elements of the Mubarak regime with vested interests in the former order. It is also racked by political battles and economic troubles that are threatening its transition. Tunisia, on the other hand, is moving steadily closer toward a potential democratic consolidation. What explains the differences? This commentary discusses the prior institutional characteristics of the two countries. It then examines three areas of early transitional choices that contributed to Tunisia's progress and undermined Egypt's. In identifying lessons learned it makes the case that oppositional movements should avoid constitutional and institutional vacuums, establish broadly representative civilian-led transitional planning mechanisms, and follow appropriately-timed, transparent electoral sequencing.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Kadir Üstün, Erol Cebeci, Can Özcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Assad regime has been playing all the diplomatic, political, and security cards it has accumulated over the past several decades. While keeping the violence under a certain threshold on a daily basis so as not to provoke immediate international action, the regime has benefited from the entangled and often conflicted international interests in Syria. The opposition has been unable to deal a serious blow to the regime and international pressure has so far yielded no major results. Though calls for international and regional action have recently intensified, there exists no clear international leadership or consensus on how to handle Syria. The Arab League and Turkey, along with other countries, have created the “Friends of Syria” group after the failure of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, but Russian and Iranian backing for the Assad regime is seriously limiting options. Given its support for the people against authoritarian regimes during the Arab Spring and its anti Assad stance, expectations for Turkey to “do something” are increasingly more pronounced. So, what's holding Turkey back?
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Erdem Başçı
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent global financial crisis presented substantial challenges and lessons for all economic agents. One of the most important lessons learned was the indispensability of financial stability for the smooth functioning of the economy as a whole. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), being aware of the conditions that new global economic conjuncture necessitates, decided to modify its existing framework of inflation targeting by adopting a new policy by using required reserve ratios and interest rate corridor. The new policy mix approach preserves the main objective of achieving and maintaining price stability while safeguarding financial stability as a supporting objective.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Vassilis K. Fouskas
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This commentary counters conservative, liberal, and social democratic explanations about Greece's sovereign debt crisis. It advances an original analysis as to what the sources of the Greek debt are and what steps should be taken in order to emerge successfully from it. The argument put forth is that responsibility for the country's debt should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Greece's two main parties ruling the country since 1974 (New Democracy and PASOK) in conjunction with the Euro-Atlantic political elites, the inter-section of which is straddled by a compradorcum financial oligarchy Greek style. The solution is a debtor-led default and immediate exit from the eurozone. But, it is maintained that this cannot take place under the aegis of the old two-party corrupt regime.
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Murat Yülek, Anthony Randazzo
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A significant amount of research has already been made about the financial crisis. But a midterm primer is nevertheless necessary; it is critical to assess the nature of the crises to ensure that the proper lessons are learned. This article aims to present a history on the causes of the financial crisis that first emerged in the U.S. in 2007. Then it will analyze the roots of the current state of the economic crisis in Europe and the U.S. It will also assess the effects of the crises on the European and American economies. Consequently, a range of topics are discussed in the article, some of which have received deeper treatment elsewhere in economic literature, but have not been pieced together to provide a coherent past and present picture of the situation. The article concludes briefly on how this story relates to today's economic environment and the next steps that need to be taken going forward.
  • Topic: Economics, History
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article argues that the origins of the Greek malaise are primarily political rather than economic and rooted in the delay, postponement, and half-hearted implementation of public policy reforms that preceded the crisis. The 2007-08 global economic crisis triggered market scrutiny over Greece, as it brought to an end a period of abundant liquidity and a relaxed attitude by global markets vis a vis Eurozone members. Greece's impossible fiscal position was brutally exposed, and a downward spiral began. The article also argues that although Greece set itself up for failure, the Eurozone's inability to act swiftly and early, to diagnose the problem correctly and to combine a policy mix consisting of budgetary consolidation and policy reform further exacerbated the problem. Despite the fact that disorderly default has been avoided and a sense of normalcy has returned, Greece has to move swiftly on the reforms front to avoid disaster.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Greece
  • Author: Ali Balcı, Tuncay Kardaş
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The present study seeks to answer the following questions: How was it possible that a state such as Turkey, which had until then pursued a low-profile policy in the Middle East, has able to forge a bold strategic alliance with the state of Israel in the 1990s? Conversely then, why was the unparalleled and positive nature of relations in the 1990s replaced by a hostile and toxic nature in the first decade of the 2000s? How can this difference in the relations between the 1990s and 2000s be explained? To answer such questions, this article uses the Copenhagen School's theory of securitization. This approach not only helps to illustrate the characteristics of different periods in Turkish-Israeli relations, it also helps to highlight the specificity of the politics of civil-military relations in foreign policy making.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: 2011 brought an opportunity for Israel and Turkey to mend their bilateral relations. The re-election of Erdoğan in June 2011, coupled with the dramatic events of the Arab Spring, provided a new political and regional context in which the relations could be reevaluated. This context enabled Turkey and Israel, with US mediation, to make progress towards drafting an agreement between them – an agreement intended to enable the two countries to restore normal working relations following the 2010 flotilla incident. However, the draft agreement was eventually rejected by the Israeli government in August 2011, leading to a new cycle of escalating tensions between the two countries. This article analyzes the Israeli decision-making process and discourse regarding the crisis with Turkey, and examines the changing circumstances of 2011, including the impact of the Arab Spring and the contrasting Israeli and Turkish reactions to it; the dynamics leading to the Israeli decision to reject the draft agreement; and the possible next phases in Israel-Turkey relations, including the conditions that can provide a new opportunity for the two former allies to become less alienated.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Bayram Sinkaya
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines Turkish Iranian relations in the 2000s, when the two countries initiated an unprecedented rapprochement. It argues that modification of foreign policy paradigms in Turkey and Iran led to the rationalization of bilateral relations that paved the way for improvement of economic and political ties between the two states. In addition to the rationalization, a supportive regional context helped them expand their relations. However, structural differences prevent the Turkish-Iranian rapprochement from turning into a strategic partnership. Moreover, restructuring of the regional context and rise of the specter of a conflictual relationship, which is still alive, threaten the future of Turkish-Iranian relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey
  • Author: Kılıç Buğra Kanat
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The debate on the future of the Turkish-American partnership has puzzled scholars in recent years due to its constant fluctuations. In the first year of the Obama administration, the parties tried to heal relations with high level exchanges and a new conceptual framework to define the relationship. However, in 2010 the discord between the US and Turkey on major policy issues, including Iran and relations with Israel, once again strained bilateral relations. With the Arab Spring, the pendulum swung once again. Since the eruption of the people's movement in different parts of the Middle East, Turkey and the US have acted in coordination, and taken similar positions in debates in international forums. The Obama administration announced a new Asia-Pacific strategy, which will entail the concentration of its diplomatic, military, and economic resources to build partnerships and curb emerging threats in this region. This new doctrine mayhave a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Çiğdem Üstün
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The debate on the future of the Turkish-American partnership has puzzled scholars in recent years due to its constant fluctuations. In the first year of the Obama administration, the parties tried to heal relations with high level exchanges and a new conceptual framework to define the relationship. However, in 2010 the discord between the US and Turkey on major policy issues, including Iran and relations with Israel, once again strained bilateral relations. With the Arab Spring, the pendulum swung once again. Since the eruption of the people's movement in different parts of the Middle East, Turkey and the US have acted in coordination, and taken similar positions in debates in international forums. The Obama administration announced a new Asia- Pacific strategy, which will entail the concentration of its diplomatic, military, and economic resources to build partnerships and curb emerging threats in this region. This new doctrine may have a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Nicolas Vatin
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Christine Isom-Verhaaren's book is not a history of the Franco-Ottoman alliance in the 16th century; rather its aim is to show how the Ottomans and French of the time saw this alliance, which has so often been presented by later historians as exceptional and shameful, and why its real meaning and historical context were misunderstood. Chapters one to five describe what she calls the "traditional historiography". In consequence what she says is not always new for Ottomanists and the book is clearly meant for a broad Anglophone readership.
  • Political Geography: Europe, France