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  • Author: Balkan Devlen
  • Publication Date: 06-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: From the start of the Ukrainian crisis Turkey kept a low profile and adopted a strategy best described as "don't poke the Russian bear". Russia is a major Turkish trading partner and Turkey relies heavily on Russian natural gas for its energy needs, while Turkish prime minister Erdogan has also been dealing with serious domestic challenges in the last year. Therefore, due to both external and internal factors, Turkey will avoid confronting Russia directly and will pass the buck to the U.S. and EU. In the short to medium term there are three plausible scenarios under which Turkey will change its current policy. They include the oppression of Crimean Tatars by the Russian authorities; military confrontation in the Black Sea between Russia and NATO; or a more unified, tougher stance against Russia by the West. In the long term Turkey most likely will revert to its traditional role of balancing Russia by strengthening its ties with the West, while reducing its energy dependence on Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Governance
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Asia
  • Author: William R. Cline
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: This semiannual review finds that most of the major international currencies, including the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, UK pound sterling, and Chinese renminbi, remain close to their fundamental equilibrium exchange rates (FEERs). The new estimates find this result despite numerous significant exchange rate movements associated with increased volatility in international financial markets at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2014, and despite a major reduction in the price of oil. The principal cases of exchange rate misalignment continue to be the undervalued currencies of Singapore, Taiwan, and to a lesser extent Sweden and Switzerland, and the overvalued currencies of Turkey, New Zealand, South Africa, and to a lesser extent Australia and Brazil. Even so, the medium-term current account deficit for the United States is already at the outer limit in the FEERs methodology (3 percent of GDP), and if the combination of intensified quantitative easing in Japan and the euro area with the end to quantitative easing in the United States were to cause sizable further appreciation of the dollar, an excessive US imbalance could begin to emerge.
  • Topic: Economics, Foreign Exchange, International Trade and Finance, Monetary Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Japan, Turkey, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand
  • Author: Evanthia Balla
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre
  • Abstract: The South Caucasus, situated as it is at the crossroads of Eurasia's major energy and transport corridors, continues to play a vital role in the world's security affairs. After the end of the cold war the South Caucasus emerged as a key region in the geopolitical contest among regional and global powers. The South Caucasus states of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are constantly performing a balancing act in their relations with the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Iran. Armenia has developed strong political and economic ties with Iran in order to counter the Turkish-Azerbaijani axis. Azerbaijan seeks to reinforce its links with the West, especially the U.S., as its main extraregional source of diplomatic and economic support, while it remains cautious towards both Russian and Iranian ambitions in the region. Especially after the 2008 war with Russia and the loss of its provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia has reinforced its links to Western powers and structures while strengthening its ties with Turkey. Both Turkey and Iran are trying to increase their influence in the region, while promoting their national interests in the international arena.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Rahman Dag
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Once the Newroz on 21 March, 2013 in Diyarbakir would be the subject of any sort of conversation, academic discussion, journalistic research and daily bread on the lips of people, it would be absolutely considered as one of the most significant turning points in the history of politics in Turkey. Since, whether it will be successfully accomplished or dramatically failed and cause an internal high-level armed struggle, as a part of peace process initiated by AKP and assisted by BDP, the announcement of Öcalan calling for leaving the armed forces out of Turkey's border and superseded it with ideas and politics will be the inception of new horizons in Turkish politics. The main crux of Öcalan's most recent announcement should not be narrowly seen as part of the Kurdish question alone, but rather in my point of view, its consequences are expected to affect every tiny aspect of Turkey; ranging from the prime sphere of politics to social, cultural, and economic structures. When it comes to specific analysis of these aspects, the implication and strategy of peace process will be much clearer in minds.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Economics, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Stephen J. Hadley, Steven A. Cook, Madeleine Albright
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Among the most important developments in international affairs of the past decade is the emergence of Turkey as a rising regional and global power. Turkey has long been an important country as a stalwart member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), an aspirant to European Union (EU) membership, and an important link between the West and the East. Yet the changes in Turkey over the past decade have been so dramatic—with far-reaching political and economic reforms, significant social reforms, and an active foreign policy—that the country is virtually unrecognizable to longtime Turkey watchers. Today Turkey is more democratic, prosperous, and politically influential than it was five, ten, and fifteen years ago.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Political Violence, Democratization, Economics, Human Rights, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Muhittin Ataman
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: When we consider Saudi Arabian large population, territories and natural resources, it is obvious that it will continue to preserve its geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-cultural importance in future. The assumption of King Abdullah as the ruler of the country provided an opportunity to restructure the country's foreign policy. The new king began to follow a more pragmatic, rational, interdependent, multilateral and multidimensional foreign policy. He pursues an active foreign policy required to be less dependent on a single state (the United States) and on a single product (oil).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Chrysostomos Pericleous
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Internal social change in Turkey, inaugurated by the liberalization of the economy in the 1980s and given a new impetus by Turkey's EU accession path during the AKP governments, has engineered a momentous reform process, which marks the beginning of a new post-Kemalist era in the country. Steady economic growth, along with democratization, brings new social forces to the forefront of the political arena and makes them stakeholders in the policymaking processes. As a result, one can observe a substantive shift in Turkey's foreign policy, from the “hard power” model of the Kemalist era governed by the siege syndrome, to the “soft power” approach of Ahmet Davutoğlu's doctrine of “nil problems with neighbors”, governed by a feeling of confidence that liberates the country from past obsessions. This foreign policy shift removes the Cyprus problem from the sphere of the untouchable grand national issues as well as from its historical context, and leads to a rationalization that allows for a compromise win-win settlement. Within this framework, Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, having won a new mandate with a larger ever-popular support, has a free hand to take the initiative for a lasting settlement of the protracted Cyprus conflict. The practical recommendations made in this regard constitute substantive political actions, which, if materialized, would decisively contribute towards an early settlement.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Mensur Akgün, Sylvia Tiryaki
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Popularly referred to as the “crazy” project, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Istanbul Canal Project has been debated vigorously since its proposal prior to the 2011 elections in the country. While some questioned its economic and ecological feasibility, others carried the discussion towards the Project's political implications. In addition to evaluating these debates, in this policy brief we discuss the Project through a historical perspective that includes the dynamics of the 1936 Montreux Convention. We argue that the feasibility of the Canal Project is valid only after certain changes are made in the application of the Montreux Convention. However, we conclude that this may lead to an outcome in which the signatories would question the legitimacy of the Convention under present conditions.
  • Topic: Economics, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Onur Bayramoğlu
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: On April 2010, recently after the eruption of the Greek crisis, an unexpected hand from Turkey reached to Greece. Proud with his country's last decade growth figures, Turkey's then Vice Prime Minister, Ali Babacan, paid a visit to Greece in order to share his country's reform period after its 2000/1 crisis, arguing that it could also be a case study for Greece. In this brief, I analyzed Greek and Turkish financial crises. Although it is a mere fact that the structural problems in Greek economy complicate the reform period in Greece, there are certain lessons that Greeks can learn from the Turkish experience. As Turks did after 2001, they should see the crisis as an opportunity to overcome the long time problems . In this regard, Greeks first and foremost should establish consensus among themselves, signaling to the markets that they are ready to face the burdens of the reform period.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Political Economy, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Karol Kujawa
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: For several months, we have witnessed rapid change in the countries of North Africa. Researchers and politicians have raised questions about the future of Arab countries once the revolution has run its course. Will the new authorities attempt to build a theocratic state or will they follow the example of Turkey and implement democratic reforms? The latter choice is becoming increasingly popular in the Arab world. This article will address the key questions that come up in connection with Turkey and Arab countries, including: the source of Turkey's popularity in the Arab world, what do they have in common, what divides them and, finally, whether Turkey could become a model for Arab countries.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, Turkey, Asia, Arabia