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  • Author: Ceren Sözeri, Dilek Kurban
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: Media policy in Turkey has shaped the media-state relationship since the establishment of the first newspaper in the late Ottoman period. While regulations were often employed as an effective disciplinary tool against the press in processes of state formation and modernization, opponent journalists have constantly been suppressed by state and non-state actors who claimed to act in the name of ‘state interests’. The coup d’état in 1980 and the concomitant economic liberalisation changed the ownership structure of the media sector with the entry of new investors. Following the abolishment of state monopoly on broadcasting in the 1990s, big conglomerates expanding through vertical and horizontal mergers have dominated all fields of the media. The high concentrated market structure in the media was made possible due to the inadequacy of legal barriers to crossmergers, as well as the lack of measures that would prevent media conglomerates from participating in public tenders in other sectors of the economy. The shortcomings of the regulatory framework to promote press freedom and diversity in the media has encouraged big corporations to regard themselves as legitimate political actors that can bargain with the government. Media ownership was restructured following the economic crisis in 2001. Big media groups, which had investments in the financial and banking sectors, were particularly affected by the crisis; some being completely wiped out of the market, while others were seized by the state. Shortly after the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi- AK Parti) came to power in 2002, the mainstream media was reconfigured ideologically as either ‘opponent’ or ‘proponent’ to the government. Notwithstanding the limited positive effects of the EU accession process on media freedom, there are dozens of ECtHR judgments regarding freedom of expression and freedom of the press waiting to be executed by the Turkish state. Journalists who are powerless vis-à-vis the owners and political power are particularly affected by the political polarisation in the media. The structural obstacles to unionization and the lack of solidarity in the profession lead to labour exploitation, low quality content and violations of media ethics. The lack of a strong pro-democracy social movement; the ideological conservatism of the judiciary; the institutional weakness of the parliament; and the lack of democracy within political parties render the government – and future governments – too powerful vis-à-vis the society and the media. On a positive note, however, there is a growing awareness on the need for social monitoring of the media. In the absence of a widely accepted and established selfregulatory framework, various non-governmental organizations and activist groups started to watch the media in order to expand the culture of diversity and to reduce discrimination, racism and hate speech. MEDIADEM is a European research project which seeks to understand and explain the factors that promote or conversely prevent the development of policies supporting free and independent media.
  • Topic: Democracy, Media, Freedom of Expression, Journalism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, European Union
  • Author: Ömür Orhun
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this article, Ömür Orhun suggests that the creation of a regional cooperation and “security process”in the Middle East, rather than an organization, would provide a framework of rules and procedures for sustained and focused dialogue, transparency and cooperation, in a range of issues that should cover security, socio-economic challenges, democratic governance and human rights. The “process” can function simultaneously on multiple layers: civil society/academia, track-two, and governmental. Each of these layers should aim to contribute to the achievement of agreed goals. The success of the process (and eventually of the organization to be worked out) can be defined as a reduction over time, and eventual elimination of conflicts, improvement of social and political conditions and development of the economic situation. A side implication no doubt will be improvement of human interaction.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mete Hatay, Rebecca Bryant
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This paper was prepared by Mete Hatay and Rebecca Bryant. Mete Hatay is based in the North and has worked with TESEV for many years. Rebecca Bryant is an academic who has long worked on the Cyprus conflict.What they successfully achieve in their paper is articulating the Turkish Cypriot viewpoint regarding the negotiations, the property question and the relationship between Turkey and North Cyprus. Despite the seemingly countless barriers and setbacks, Hatay and Bryant also outline suggestions that can build confidence between the two communities so that step by step the Cyprus problem can get closer to being solved.
  • Topic: Sovereignty, Territorial Disputes, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: TESEV’s public opinion surveys in the Arab world that were conducted in 2009 and 2010 demonstrated that Turkey’s attractiveness has been quite high in the region. This attractiveness is due to the perception of Turkish foreign policy; the view of Turkey’s political and economic transformation as a success story; and Turkey’s cultural products. These characteristics point to a possibility of Turkey’s soft power in the region. The question remains, however, how Turkey exercises its soft power, an issue that has become all the more relevant as a result of the Arab Spring. In this article, Meliha Benli Altunışık analyses the influence of Turkey’s “soft power” in the Arab World under “Turkey’s Attractiveness”, “Challenges”, and “The Arab Spring and Turkey” subtitles.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Arab Spring, Soft Power
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Enis Erdem Aydın, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report contains the results of a survey conducted on 6-14th December 2010 by KA Research that has been evaluated by TESEV Foreign Policy Programme. Based on a sample size of 1,000, the survey aims to understand the perception of foreign policy in Turkey. A first of its kind for TESEV, the survey includes striking findings that may be of interest to decision-makers in Turkey and those following Turkey around the world. This report finds many results for the opinion on the foreign policy vision of Turkey concerning the Turkish government, the US government, the EU and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The author of this article, Paul Salem states that Turkey’s image in the Arab World (and Iran) became positive in past few years which was negative among the people of the Arab World (and Iran) throughout the 20th century. TESEV’s second survey of public opinion in the Arab world (and Iran) confirms this transformation. The positive opinion includes Turkey as a political, economic and social model; Turkey’s regional mediation and investment; and its popular culture. The TESEV survey shows that the people of the region are very positively inclined toward Turkey, and this implies that they would be favorable to a broader Turkish role that goes beyond confronting Israel, and toward helping the societies of the region move more steadily toward democratic change and economic development. Paul Salem concludes that as the people of the region rebel in favor of democratic change, Turkey certainly has even more potential and responsibility in the Arab World.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Public Opinion, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Barchard, Matthew Duss
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this article, Matthew Duss analyses the evolution of the US-Turkey relations since the Justice and Development Party (the AK Party) has come to the power in Turkish politics (in past 10 years) with regards to the perceptions of the American people and the American government. It is stated that the relationship has been developed better during the Obama Administration comparing with the Bush era. There are different opinions on the importance of Turkey in American National Policy. Among foreign policy analysts, however, the significance of Turkey’s foreign policy evolution is more clearly understood, though there is some disagreement over whether this evolution is a good or bad thing for U.S. interests. However, there is considerable agreement that the relationship will continue to be a very consequential one for the United States, and thus that U.S. policy should reflect this.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: David Barchard, Gökçe Perçinoğlu, Jonathan Levack, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This study contains the results of the second survey conducted by KA Research Limited between August 25th and September 27th 2010 with my contribution and that of TESEV’s researchers. Again, the 2010 survey was conducted in the same seven Arab countries but, unlike 2009, it was also conducted in Iran. In total, 2,267 people were surveyed by telephone or face-to-face. These results show a statistically significant increase in positive opinion of Turkey. Although they are dealt with more thoroughly in the report, there are a few social and thus political findings that are different from the previous year.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Vladimir Šulović
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Belgrade Centre for Security Policy
  • Abstract: Since its inception the security studies represent the core of the International Relations, predominantly dealing with the issues of war and peace. In the years following the Second World War security studies have become a synonym for Strategic Studies with a distinct focus on the military sector. However, with the growing complexity of the international relations` agenda, namely with the rise of economic and environmental challenges count, emergence of the new security challenges, risks and threats, emergence of the new international relations` actors, the traditional view of the sole concept of security, that is, its essence, has become too narrow.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Melissa Conley Tyler
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Australian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) was established over 75 years ago to promote public understanding and interest in international affairs. In recent years, the AIIA has been increasingly active in promoting its activities to younger members of the community. The AIIA has launched a variety of initiatives to involve young people including Young Professional Networks, careers fairs, schools events and the Young Diplomat Program. This has helped the AIIA reach its present strength of more than 1600 members across seven State and Territory Branches.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Australia