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  • Author: Selin Nasi
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: Turkey Israel deal: A key to long term reconciliation ?
  • Topic: International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: After the re-run of the parliamentary election on 1 November 2015, it is certain that Turkey will again be ruled by the Justice and Development Party’s (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) one-party government. Based on this premise, this study provides a future-oriented analysis in the form of three scenarios: 1) an authoritarian Islamist state; 2) a consolidated liberal democracy; and 3) the dissolution of the Turkish state. The study also identifies three major drivers: a) the AKP and the Islamic-conservative state project; b) regional instability; and c) the Kurdish question. Regarding scenario one, there are factors and processes present that decidedly increase the possibility of an authoritarian Islamist state in Turkey. On the other hand, the republican tradition of parliamentary democracy has at the same time proved to be remarkably resilient, suggesting that the course of events depicted in the positive scenario two still have a significant chance in the long run. Scenario three, the dissolution of the Turkish state, would create enormous instability in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood and exponentially increase unpredictable tendencies and conflicts. The internal and external forces that could produce such a dramatic outcome are still rather weak, but they do exist in an embryonic form. Thus, the republican modernization project attaching Turkey to the Western legacy of secular humanism should not be underestimated and may well prevail in the end. For the time being, however, it seems to be on the losing side as the political process is consolidating the Islamic-conservative version of Turkish nationalism. At the present moment this current is pointing to a concentration of power and a non-pluralist authoritarian regime whereby national identity is increasingly constructed in a form that conceptualizes political liberalism as an existential threat.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Elif Özmenek Çarmikli, Mehmet Onur Kader
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: The pace at which Turkey will take these steps is up for debate. Turkey has become one of the international centers for migrant smuggling starting with the Arab Spring and deepening with the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War. Although migrant smuggling existed in Turkey before 2011, with the Syrian Crisis, it evolved into an ad hoc and flexible structure that could keep up with sudden shifts promote serious competition. Combating migrant smuggling, which can integrate into local and social structures while also working within an international modus operandi, has become more and more difficult as it grows into an increasingly multidimensional struggle. Migrant Smuggling in Turkey: The “Other” Side of the Refugee Crisis focuses on these issues by taking into account the JAP’s sensibility towards the prevention of migrant smuggling. The primary prediction of the report is that there will be important changes regarding the way the migrant smuggling sector will work in Turkey following the JAP. Moreover, it can be said that two main changes are predicted to occur; one with regard to the migration routes and the second to the organization of the sector. Regarding the routes, the report forsees that the Black Sea Route will be more popular and major changes will occur in the Mediterranean Sea Route. Because the JAP will see the return of migrants from Greece to Turkey, migrant smugglers will most likely produce a new strategy based on alternative routes. Migrant smugglers are expected to use Italy route not only from Turkey, but also from Albania, Montenegro, and Greece. A second trend that may come to greater prominence could be seen in changes in the way migrant smuggling networks organize across borders. It is highly likely that major networks which conduct business at the international level will become stronger in Turkey and beyond.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil War, Refugee Issues, Arab Countries, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Fatma Yilmaz-Elmas, Mustafa Kutlay, Hamdi Furat Buyuk, Öznur Gümüs
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: What is the current course of the refugee crisis? What has the EU done so far as a response to the crisis? Is it possible to mention a balanced and comprehensive policy response in compliance with international norms and responsibilities? Are the EU-Turkey migration cooperation policies on the right track? This policy brief answers these and further questions in depth. It handles main results and policy outputs both for the EU and Turkey. We argue that the current mode of cooperation is highly fragile and is likely to fail in case substantial revisions are not taken into consideration. It reveals consideration the sensitive nature of the situation and highlights the parties need to adopt a joint response that takes on the priorities and capacities of both sides.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Refugee Issues, European Union
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ross Wilson
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Ambassadors Review
  • Abstract: Turkey has recently come to look like a beat-up boy. At home, it seems to have regained the authoritarianism of its past. Abroad, its behavior looks rough edged and militaristic. It gets blamed for not doing enough, or the right things, on Syria, the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Europe’s migrant crisis. Some have concluded that this country, its regional policies in tatters and under the assault of an autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, can no longer be regarded as an ally.
  • Topic: Migration, Military Affairs, Authoritarianism, Refugee Crisis, Islamic State
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Asli Aydıntaşbaş
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: According to the Turkish government, the Gülenist movement is at the heart of the failed coup attempt of 15 July. Fethullah Gülen, the movement's leader is a former ally of the Turkish president and one of the country's most powerful and influential forces. With the help of the Turkish government, the Gülen movement successfully created a deep state within the Turkish bureaucracy and persecuted political enemies in show trials in 2008-2013. The movement is opaque and secretive in the state bureaucracy. There is enough evidence linking followers of Gülen to the coup but evidence pointing to Fethullah Gülen himself remains scant. Turkey’s extradition request for Fethullah Gülen will continue to create turbulence in Turkey’s relationship with Washington. For the US, this is a legal matter; for Ankara, a prerequisite for partnership. The Turkish government has embarked on a massive purge to "clean the state", involving tens of thousands of state employees, banks, and companies. In its quest to protect Turkish democracy by purging Gülenists, the Turkish government needs to make sure it does not destroy the frail democracy it is trying to save.
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet İçduygu
  • Publication Date: 09-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Particularly in Europe, there is a common misconception that Turkey is primarily a country of emigration (or migrant-sending country) and a source country for asylum seekers. However, reality is that Turkey has morphed into a country of immigration, and more prominently a transit country, as a result of intense migratory movements over the last two decades. This paper analyses the evolution of Turkey’s migration policies and the way in which EU-Turkey relations have affected Turkey's migration laws and practices.
  • Topic: Globalization, Migration, Political Economy, Bilateral Relations, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey
  • Publication Identifier: 978-88-98650-55-2
  • Publication Identifier Type: DOI
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkish social science research has been steeped in interpretations according to which Turkey's 20th century political history is marked by an uneven struggle between an "omnipotent Kemalist state” and a rather powerless society. This argument has been very coherently used by the governing Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) in its articulation of the (Kemalist) Westernizer as the "domestic other”. This paper argues that Turkey's European Union membership negotiation process under the current AKP regime can only be adequately explained based on these premises. Turkey's EU accession negotiations started in October 2005, six years after the EU had confirmed the country's official candidate status. As of the beginning of 2015, only one of the 35 negotiation chapters has been completed. Thus, as the tenth anniversary of the kick-off of the accession negotiations is approaching, it is an appropriate time to ask some very basic questions concerning its nature. The present working paper tackles this issue by concentrating on the following questions: What is the nature of the AKP as a political movement, and how best to evaluate Turkey's EU bid under its rule? The paper first presents a Western view of Turkey that has been widely held during the last decade. This is followed by a short summary of the main factors that induced the EU to start official membership negotiations with Turkey. After this, the AKP's attempt to destroy what its leadership asserts is the old Kemalist regime and replace it with a "New Turkey” is evaluated. This evaluation leads to an outline of the main factors behind the AKP's EU accession negotiations. The paper argues that it is highly unlikely that the AKP can ever establish a workable liberal democracy in Turkey. A further observation directly following on from this is that the AKP regime will never be able to fulfil Turkey's EU aspirations. The dominant image of Turkey as a European country firmly in the Western camp no longer corresponds with reality. Internally, the current regime believes that Turkey's Westernization has been a degenerating process – a historical mistake – that has now been annihilated. As the internal state legitimation no longer requires anchoring Turkey to the West, but rather making the West a counter-image, a radical redefinition of Turkey's national interests and position in the world has come about.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Dmitri V. Trenin, Memduh Karakullukçu
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Even though tensions over Ukraine will inevitably cast a shadow over the bilateral relationship, Russia and Turkey—a NATO member—continue to share a range of important interests. Indeed, there are a number of areas in which the two can work together in their common neighborhood, which stretches from the South Caucasus and the Levant to Central Asia and Afghanistan. A high-level working group on Russian-Turkish regional cooperation has sketched a forward-looking approach for Russia and Turkey in tackling regional challenges.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen, Marc Pierini
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Relations between Ankara and Brussels are about more than Turkey's potential accession to the European Union (EU). The relationship is diversified, but it needs to be deepened and modernized. While Turkey's EU membership vocation should be maintained, Ankara and Brussels should take steps to update their partnership and vastly improve cooperation on current challenges that are of vital importance for both.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Syrian crisis crashed onto neighbouring Turkey's doorstep three years ago and the humanitarian, policy and security costs continue to rise. After at least 720,000 Syrian refugees, over 75 Turkish fatalities and nearly $3 billion in spending, frustration and fatigue are kicking in. Turkey's humanitarian outreach, while morally right and in line with international principles, remains an emergency response. Ankara needs to find a sustainable, long-term arrangement with the international community to care for the Syrians who arrive daily. While spared the worst of the sectarian and military spillover, Turks are reminded of the security risks by deadly car bombs and armed incidents on their territory, especially as northern Syria remains an unpredictable no-man's-land. The conflict was not of its making, but Ankara has in effect become a party. Unable to make a real difference by itself, it should focus on protecting its border and citizens, invigorate recent efforts to move back from the ruling party's Sunni Muslim-oriented foreign policy to one of sectarian neutrality and publicly promote a compromise political solution in Syria.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Refugee Issues
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The peace process to end the 30-year-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) against Turkey's government is at a turning point. It will either collapse as the sides squander years of work, or it will accelerate as they commit to real convergences. Both act as if they can still play for time – the government to win one more election, the PKK to further build up quasi-state structures in the country's predominantly- Kurdish south east. But despite a worrying upsurge in hostilities, they currently face few insuperable obstacles at home and have two strong leaders who can still see the process through. Without first achieving peace, they cannot cooperate in fighting their common enemy, the jihadi threat, particularly from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Increasing ceasefire violations, urban unrest and Islamist extremism spilling over into Turkey from regional conflicts underline the cost of delays. Both sides must put aside external pretexts and domestic inertia to compromise on the chief problem, the Turkey-PKK conflict inside Turkey.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydin
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas findings have raised much interest in recent years. Even though the estimated quantity of reserves is not globally significant, it is enough to be a regional game changer, promising a considerable amount of gas surplus to be exported. The main export route and potential customers are still being debated. Turkey, with its growing gas consumption, geographical location and existing pipeline system, is considered to be the most feasible option both as a customer and a transport route. Nevertheless, the fact that Israel and Cyprus, with whom Turkey had difficult relations, are the first two explorers of significant resources complicates considerably the situation. Optimistically, the reserves may lead to a solution to the Cyprus conflict and restore diplomatic ties between Israel and Turkey. However, energy resources are known to be a double-edged sword that can lead to collaboration but also to conflict. Either way, gas production will find its way to the markets. It will be up to regional actors to decide whether this way will be paved via interim agreements or via a permanent settlement that could initiate regional energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Oil, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Olgu Okumus
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the international media reported crude oil flowing from the KRG to Turkey, doubts about the act's legality, political acceptability and opacity have surfaced. This oil trade is commercially enticing for energy-hungry Turkey, but is also politically risky. The Turkish government's lack of transparency regarding the KRG energy deal's economic and technical aspects has triggered domestic criticism - an especially risky proposition given the proximity of next year's election - and the KRG deal may also hinder international reliance on Turkey as a reliable energy hub. Turkey would be better advised to position itself as a partner for the export of Iraqi oil and gas, without making any distinction between federal and regional authorities. An Ankara-Erbil-Baghdad partnership based on normalized energy relations would help Turkey build new energy bridges with the EU, reducing gas prices for European consumers and strengthening Turkey-EU relations.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Oil, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Erkan Erdogdu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) is a European Commission initiative aimed at facilitating the diversification of the routes and sources of gas imported into Europe. This paper is devoted to the analysis of Turkey's role in this initiative. Following a summary of the current economic and energy situation in Turkey, the paper presents recent developments in the SGC and an analysis of Turkey's role in the EU's SGC vision. It concludes that although the newly-built infrastructure within the SGC framework will probably serve Azerbaijani and Turkish interests first in their future relations with the EU, rather than the other way round, as had been initially hoped by the EU, it still addresses the EU's basic strategic interests, namely, the diversification of gas supply routes and suppliers.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Netherlands
  • Author: Elif Burcu Günaydın
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: South-Eastern Mediterranean gas fields are still under exploration and development. Meanwhile, the question of which route or routes such gas would take into the global markets remains unanswered. The various possible routes appear to be problematic either politically or financially, leaving development stifled. However, with the crisis between Russia and Ukraine deepening Europe's interest in diversification of supplies, and with gas field owners and developers eager to monetise the resources, Eastern Mediterranean gas could become a potential source for the European Union. This paper tries to answer whether the South-Eastern Mediterranean resources can be regarded as a considerable supply for Europe and, if so, what are the alternative routes that would benefit all the parties involved.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Israel, Cyprus
  • Author: Sohbet Karbuz
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze EU-Turkey relations from an energy perspective. Energy is of mutual strategic interest to Turkey and the EU, insofar as both face serious and multiple energy challenges. Both Turkey and the EU seek to bridge supply and demand, and to establish a more competitive, diverse, secure and sustainable energy system. Common challenges and complementary objectives offer an unparalleled opportunity for the EU and Turkey to intensify cooperation and deepen integration in this field. To that end, this paper discusses the growing relevance of energy in the EU-Turkey relationship, focusing on Turkey's increasing importance in enhancing EU energy security. It then examines how future energy challenges could be turned into opportunities. Turkey and the EU have a lot to gain from close cooperation and deeper integration in the field of energy. However, the full potential of such cooperation and integration can best met by opening the energy chapter in Turkey's accession negotiations.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Richard Weitz
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College
  • Abstract: Until a few years ago, the relationship between Washington, DC, and Ankara, Turkey, was perennially troubled and occasionally terrible. Turks strongly opposed the U.S. 2003 invasion of Iraq and have subsequently complained that the Pentagon was allowing Iraqi Kurds too much autonomy, leading to deteriorating security along the Iraq-Turkey border. Disagreements over how to respond to Iran's nuclear program, U.S. suspicions regarding Turkey's outreach efforts to Iran and Syria, and differences over Armenia, Palestinians, and the Black Sea further strained ties and contributed to further anti Americanism in Turkey. Now Turkey is seen as responding to its local challenges by moving closer to the West, leading to the advent of a “Golden Era” in Turkish U.S. relations. Barack Obama has called the U.S.-Turkish relationship a “model partnership” and Turkey “a critical ally.” Explanations abound as to why U.S.-Turkey ties have improved during the last few years. The U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq removed a source of tension and gave Turkey a greater incentive to cooperate with Washington to influence developments in Iraq. Furthermore, the Arab Awakening led both countries to partner in support of the positive agenda of promoting democracy and security in the Middle East. Americans and Turks both want to see democratic secular governments in the region rather than religiously sanctioned authoritarian ones. Setbacks in Turkey's reconciliation efforts with Syria, Iran, and other countries led Ankara to realize that having good relations with the United States helps it achieve core goals in the Middle East and beyond. Even though Turkey's role as a provider of security and stability in the region is weakened as a result of the recent developments in Syria and the ensuing negative consequences in its relations to other countries, Turkey has the capacity to recover and resume its position. Partnering with the United States is not always ideal, but recent setbacks have persuaded Turkey's leaders that they need to backstop their new economic strength and cultural attractiveness with the kind of hard power that is most readily available to the United States. For a partnership between Turkey and the United States to endure, however, Turkey must adopt more of a collective transatlantic perspective, crack down harder on terrorist activities, and resolve a domestic democratic deficit. At the same time, Europeans should show more flexibility meeting Turkey's security concerns regarding the European Union, while the United States should adopt a more proactive policy toward resolving potential sources of tensions between Ankara and Washington that could significantly worsen at any time.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Andrew J. Tabler
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Given that Assad and his backers want to gut the transition process called for in the Geneva Communique, Washington should plan to take other steps in parallel to the Geneva process.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, International Cooperation, Armed Struggle, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Britain, United States, Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, France, London, Germany, Saudi Arabia, United Nations, Italy, Syria, Switzerland, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, James F. Jeffrey
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Issues such as energy dependence, deep-rooted fears of the Russian military, and Black Sea navigation policy all offer clues to Prime Minister Erdogan's vacillating response to Russian activities in Crimea.
  • Topic: Territorial Disputes, Military Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Keith David Watenpaugh, Adrienne L. Fricke, James R. King
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of International Education
  • Abstract: On a warm June afternoon in Reyhanlı, Turkey, more than 30 displaced and refugee Syrian university students, some with their parents, gathered in the living room of the apartment that serves as the headquarters of the Union of Free Syrian Academics (UFSA). They had assembled to talk with our research team about their efforts to finish their university studies. Before the war in Syria Began, Reyhanlı had been a sleepy border town on the road between Antakya and Aleppo, frequented by smugglers. Today, it hosts tens of thousands of Syrians who have crossed into Turkey at one of the few border crossings that remain in the hands of the Western and Turkish-supported Free Syrian Army. Parts of Reyhanlı now feel like a refugee camp – with the sense of boredom, frustration, and expectation one finds in camps – but without barbed wire and restrictions on movement. We were visiting the town because it is home to several initiatives and programs related to higher education and other necessary support for Syrian students and scholars.
  • Topic: Education, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ana Villellas
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: The Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq face complex challenges. Among the current Kurdish realities, the emergence of Kurdish self-governing areas in northern Syria controlled by what is considered to be the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) generates considerable uncertainty. The complex civil war in Syria and antagonism between the Kurdish Democratic Union Party and a fragmented Kurdish political spectrum generate many questions as to the future of these Kurdish areas in Syria. In the case of Turkey, old and new internal and regional factors have threatened the dialogue under way between Turkey and the PKK. These include the lack of clear state policies to resolve the conflict, Turkey's current internal crisis, the complications of cross-border dynamics, and the mutual impact of the Kurdish questions in Syria and Turkey. In Iraq, tensions continue between the Kurdistan Regional Government and the country's central administration. The consolidation of Kurdish autonomy – with new elements such as the energy agreement between Erbil and Ankara – continues to generate uncertainty in a context where many issues remain unresolved.
  • Topic: Civil War, Economics, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Marc Pierini
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has witnessed economic success and launched major reforms, in particular writing a new constitution, negotiating with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, passing four judicial reform packages, and installing an ombudsman. In sharp contrast, the AKP's exclusive reliance on its election victories for legitimacy and increasingly authoritarian practices in the fields of freedom of cultural expression and coexistence of different lifestyles are at odds with its stated objective of establishing an advanced democracy. Popular discontent with these practices and unending restrictions on media freedom resulted in major protests in May and June 2013.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Islam, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Negotiations underway since late 2012 between Turkey's government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) are stalling. A ceasefire announced on 23 March 2013 remains precarious, as maximalist rhetoric gains renewed traction on both sides. While the PKK should be doing more to persuade Ankara that it wants a compromise peace, the government has a critical responsibility to fully address the longstanding democratic grievances of Turkey's Kurds. One reason it frequently gives for its hesitation is fear of a nationalist backlash. In fact, the peace process has already demonstrated how willing mainstream Turks would be to accept steps towards democratisation. A much bigger risk for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as it heads into a two-year cycle of local, presidential and parliamentary elections, would be if the three-decade-old conflict plunges into a new cycle of violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Peace Studies, Terrorism, Treaties and Agreements, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Author: Mehmet Ugur Ekinci
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: While some observers, referring to recent developments in the Middle East, are questioning whether Turkey's “zero problems with neighbours” doctrine is still in effect, Turkey's relations with the Balkans are enjoying their golden age. Since the mid-2000s, bilateral relations with all governments in the region have been in good terms, social and economic relations have intensi­fied and Turkey's public image has become increasingly positive.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Balkans
  • Author: Burcu Gültekin Punsmann
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Turkey's actions in the South Caucasus face serious limitations as long as it has no direct influence over the dynamics of conflict settlement. Turkey has the potential to support transformation and reform within the societies of the South Caucasus through soft power. The current state of Turkey's relations with Armenia will keep on seriously curtailing Turkey's outreach in the South Caucasus. Azerbaijan is a stakeholder in Turkish-Armenian relations and Turkey, because of its inability to proceed further with its bilateral agenda with Armenia, has become a stakeholder in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan's leverage on Turkey appears to be more and more influential. The importance of the notion of Turkishness in national politics is an important factor in assessing the strength of pro-Azeri feeling. The Kurdish problem is today a major political challenge. It is the most powerful dynamic underpinning the questioning and progressive redefinition of national identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Fatih Özgür Yeni
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Energy security is one of the hot topics on the European energy agenda. The EU's Southern Energy Corridor initiative is an attempt to reduce dependence on Russian supplies by tapping into Caspian and Middle-Eastern natural gas resources. Turkey, who aspires to be a regional energy hub, has emerged as the key country in the Southern Corridor. Although the TAP project in its current state satisfies neither Turkey's energy hub ambitions nor the EU's resource diversification efforts, it may serve as the first building block of the Southern Corridor. There are promising developments in the region that can increase volumes and add new routes to the initiative. Private companies have already shown their interest in developing a pipeline infrastructure for possible South-East Mediterranean and Northern Iraq natural gas exports but complex geopolitical issues pose the greatest threat to the way ahead. Thanks to its unique location, Turkey is destined to be one of the key players in the Southern Corridor. The convergence of Turkey's energy hub ambitions and the EU's energy security objectives present mutual gains, but also demand sustained collaboration between the two in light of several technical, legal and political hurdles.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Vanessa Ushie
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the framework of the IAI-OCP Policy Center project this paper offers a conceptual framework to examine natural resource management in Turkey, Morocco and Italy and its implications for social and economic development. It recognizes the multiplicity of actors involved in natural resource management at the local, national and global level. It then proceeds by 1) advancing a definition of natural resources to be used in the context of this project; 2) highlighting relevant emerging issues in the empirical debates on natural resource management within economics and politics; 3) developing a series of indicators aimed at assessing the dimensions of the management and use of natural resources. In general, this conceptual framework adopts a flexible and plural approach that reflects the multidisciplinary nature of natural resource management, and recognizes the importance of country-specific factors in the relationship between natural resource management and socio-economic development.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Natural Resources, Sociology
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, North Africa, Italy, Morocco
  • Author: Özge Zihnioğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The generally accepted idea that gender parity in education will automatically lead to women's empowerment is also inherent in Untied Nation's Millennium Development Goal 3. This working paper questions this necessary link between years of schooling and women's empowerment without considering other factors. For this purpose, this paper comparatively examines progress achieved in girls' years of schooling in different regions of the world and in Turkey. This paper then discusses cases where gender parity in education did not entail women's empowerment and argues that policy makers should pay attention to the content of education and socio‐cultural context for education to bring women's empowerment.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Eyüp Ersoy, Mehmet Yegin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: Unlike other studies on Turkey-U.S. relations, this report examines the key actors influential on U.S. policy and their perspectives about Turkey, theoretically discusses the regional aspects in Turkey-U.S. relations, and finally emphasizes the economic and social dimensions of the bilateral relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Trade and Finance, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, India
  • Author: Habibe Özdal, M. Turgut Demirtepe, Kerim Has, Hasan Selim Özertem
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: Turkey and Russia have succeeded in developing a constructive dialogue since the Cold War era. The roots of this dialogue go back to the 1920s. Following the Bolshevik Revolution, throughout the Turkish War for Independence and the establishment of the Turkish Republic, and up until 1936 the two countries had cooperated in several areas. During the Cold War, Turkey and Russia (in the form of the USSR) were in opposite blocs, but being located in the same geography, both countries found various ways to keep dialogue channels open.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, International Trade and Finance, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Fouad Farhaoui
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: Pre and post-independence policies have yielded volatile problems for African States. North African states, in particular, have seen disintegration between their Arab, Berber, and Black ethnic groups.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Development, Economics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Turkey, Arabia
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Though most states that want a nuclear weapon can get one through determined effort, the fact remains that most choose not to proliferate. Turkey is no exception. Not even the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran is likely to push Ankara to develop its own nuclear weapons. The only circumstance where such a scenario would acquire a degree of likelihood is a breakdown in Turkey's security relationship with the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Defense Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Nuclear Weapons, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Jeffrey Mankoff
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Situated astride one of the world's key strategic crossroads, the “Big Caucasus” is increasingly a region in flux. The August 2008 war among Georgia, Russia, and the separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia emphasized the fragility of the territorial status quo that took hold in the years immediately following the collapse of the USSR, but which has failed to establish legitimacy among either local populations or the international community. The 2008 war solidified the de facto separation between the Georgian state and its breakaway provinces and put Georgia's NATO accession on indefinite hold—but did not resolve the underlying problems of sovereignty and security that led to the conflict. Similar problems abound across the Big Caucasus. An increasingly authoritarian Azeri government has staked much of its legitimacy on regaining Nagorno-Karabakh. While talks between Baku and Yerevan have made little progress, an arms buildup in the region continues, raising fears of renewed conflict. Meanwhile, Russia's North Caucasus smolders. A nationalist insurgency that began in Chechnya in the early 1990s has spread to neighboring regions and taken on a harder jihadist edge, raising concerns about a possible al Qaeda presence and creating a direct threat to Western interests.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Moscow
  • Author: Bulent Aliriza, Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The partnership between the United States and Turkey, which traces its origins to the Cold War, has gone through constant adjustment since the beginning of the post–Cold War era.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Eastern Mediterranean tensions have risen since late 2011, when Greek Cypriots unilaterally began drilling in their rich offshore hydrocarbon reserves and Turkey responded with tough criticism and threatening naval manoeuvres. Contested maritime boundaries and exploration of natural gas deposits off the divided island are the sources of the current dispute, but tensions also result from the slow-down of UN-mediated Cyprus reunification talks. A paradigm shift is needed. The gas can drive the communities further apart and increase discords, or it can provide an opportunity for officials from all sides, including Turkey, to sit down and reach agreements on the exploitation and transportation of this new find.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, NATO, Energy Policy, International Political Economy, Natural Resources, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Turkey's Kurdish conflict is becoming more violent, with more than 700 dead in fourteen months, the highest casualties in thirteen years. Prolonged clashes with militants in the south east, kidnappings and attacks on civilians suggest hardliners are gaining the upper hand in the insurgent PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). The government and mainstream media should resist the impulse to call for all out anti-terrorist war and focus instead, together with Kurds, on long-term conflict resolution. There is need to reform oppressive laws that jail legitimate Kurdish politicians and make amends for security forces' excess. The Kurdish movement, including PKK leaders, must abjure terrorist attacks and publicly commit to realistic political goals. Above all, politicians on all sides must legalise the rights most of Turkey's Kurds seek, including mother-language education; an end to discriminatory laws; fair political representation; and more decentralisation. Turkey's Kurds would then have full equality and rights, support for PKK violence would drop, and the government would be better placed to negotiate insurgent disarmament and demobilisation.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Communism, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: As Turkey's biggest Kurdish- majority city and province, Diyarbakır is critical to any examination of the country's Kurdish problem and of the insurgent PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). The armed conflict has deteriorated in the past year and a half to its worst level in over a decade, with increased political friction and violence leading to the deaths of at least 870 people since June 2011. While as many Kurds live in western Turkey, particularly in Istanbul, as in the south east, grievances that underlie support within Kurdish communities for the PKK's armed struggle are more clearly on display in predominantly Kurdish areas like Diyarbakır: perceived and real discrimination in the local government and economy, alienation from central authorities, anger at mass arrests of political rep- resentatives and frustration at the bans on the use of Kurdish in education and public life. Yet Diyarbakır still offers hope for those who want to live together, if Ankara acts firmly to address these grievances and ensure equality and justice for all.
  • Topic: Civil War, Communism, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: André Bank, Roy Karadag
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: In 2006/2007 Turkey became a regional power in the Middle East, a status it has continued to maintain in the context of the Arab Spring. To understand why Turkey only became a regional power under the Muslim AKP government and why this happened at the specific point in time that it did, the paper highlights the self-reinforcing dynamics between Turkey's domestic political-economic transformation in the first decade of this century and the advantageous regional developments in the Middle East at the same time. It concludes that this specific linkage – the “Ankara Moment” – and its regional resonance in the neighboring Middle East carries more transformative potential than the “Washington Consensus” or the “Beijing Consensus” so prominently discussed in current Global South politics.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Regime Change, Governance
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Talip Küçükcan, Müjge Küçükkeleş
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: As a staunch ally of NATO whose actions were easy to predict, Turkey did not attract much attention as a foreign policy actor until a decade ago. The increasing activism of Turkish foreign policy and the greater initiative taken by Turkish elites have raised interest in Europe. After overcoming the first wave of bewilderment and irritation at Turkey's independent foreign policy initiatives, Europeans have started to develop a more nuanced approach towards the specifics of Turkish foreign policy. Currently, debates over Turkey are not confined to EU accession discussion alone. Instead, they consider the implications of Turkey's more assertive foreign policy as well.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Nicolò Sartori
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The European Union launched the ambitious Southern Gas Corridor initiative with the goal of enhancing the security of its energy supply. The corridor - a virtual transit route running from the gas-rich Caspian basin to the EU while bypassing Russian soil - is meant to increase diversification of the EU's supplier and transit countries. While various projects have been proposed to give life to the corridor, the European Commission has given particular support to the realisation of Nabucco, a 3,893km pipeline running from Turkey to the European gas hub of Baumgarten in Austria, via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary. The Commission's choice is, however, flawed in several respects, as it fails to take account of key factors, such as the diverging, and sometimes conflicting, interests of individual EU member states, the geopolitical challenges of the Caspian basin, and the commercial constraints on Nabucco. This short-sighted approach has hindered the efficient development of the Southern Gas Corridor and weakened the EU's energy policy.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria
  • Author: Elnur Soltanov
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP), proposed by BP in late September 2011, could eventually be the pipeline carrying Azeri gas to European markets. Compared to its competitors in the Southern Corridor concept - Nabucco, TAP and ITGI - it goes furthest in terms of optimality for all the parties involved. The combined advantages of its size, scalability, usage of existing gas infrastructure in Europe and direction, promises a more reasonable economic and political value for the Shah Deniz Consortium, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Europe, while posing a bearable challenge to Russia. The SEEP seems to offer a greater value to a greater number of actors.
  • Topic: Energy Policy, Markets, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Marilisa Lorusso
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Armenian parliamentary elections were held on 6 May 2012. Five parties and a coalition won seats in Parliament. Three of them are opposition parties, two in the previous legislature were allies of the presidency party, the Republican Party. The latter comfortably won the elections. With 45% votes through the proportional system and 29 seats through the majoritarian one, the Republican Party has the absolute majority of seats, 69 out of 131. So the two main issues in Armenian foreign policy - the protracted conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh and relations with Turkey - will be addressed in continuity with the policy expressed so far by President Serzh Sargsyan, unless the regional counterparts change their strategies. With the party he chairs being confirmed as the leading political force of the country, Sargsyan will run for his second term in the upcoming presidential elections.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Caucasus
  • Author: ees van der Pijl
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: The “moderate Islam” that has developed in Turkey could play a role in shaping the outcome of the Arab revolt that began in 2011. The modern Turkish state established by Atatürk after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire had to find ways to integrate Islam politically. Turkey was a late-industrialising country and the Islamic political current tended to have an anti-Western, antiliberal profile on this account. Two tendencies within Turkish political Islam are distinguished: one connecting religion to economic nationalism, the other primarily cultural and willing to accommodate to neoliberalism. The 1980 military coup geared the country to neoliberalism and cleared the way for this second tendency to rise to power through the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of R.T. Erdo ˘gan. For the West and the Gulf Arab states the export of this model to the Arab countries destabilised in the popular revolt would amount to a very favourable outcome. Gulf Arab capital was already involved in the opening up of state-controlled Arab economies, including Syria. Although the situation is still in flux, by following the Turkish model Muslim Brotherhood governments could potentially embrace political loyalty to the West and neoliberal capitalism.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Civil Society, Democratization, Development, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Frank Lin
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: The 2012 American presidential election features two candidates, incumbent President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, with contrasting foreign policy visions for the United States, particularly with regards to the Middle East. How could these differences between the two candidates affect bilateral relations between the United States and Turkey, which—aside from Israel—is generally seen by the United States as its most stalwart ally in the Middle East? This paper will examine the recent history of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States, from the George W. Bush administration to the Obama administration, as well as current issues surrounding relations between the two countries. It will also explore how the predicted policies of each candidate could impact the future course of bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Defense Policy, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Digdem Soyaltin
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: Research on Europeanization and domestic change has moved south-eastwards and was provided with another real-world experiment when it has meet with Turkey. This paper explores to what extent Europeanization approaches travel to Turkey, which does have a membership perspective that looks, however, ever less credible. The first part outlines the main findings of research on 'External Europeanization' focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Western Balkan (WB) accession countries. The paper, then, discusses to what extent Europeanization approaches need further qualification when applied to Turkey, which squares on democracy with the Western Balkans (with the exception of Croatia), but whose statehood is less limited. We argue that existing Europeanization approaches, largely, account for the overall moderate degree of Europeanization in Turkey. Yet, selective and differential domestic changes are mostly related to the extent to which EU conditionality helps domestic actors gain or hold political power and push their own political agenda. The paper concludes by summarizing the major implications Turkey's accession to the EU has for Europeanization approaches and discussing why Turkey is not a case sui generis.
  • Topic: Democratization, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Bilgin Ayata
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: Turkey has undergone significant legal and institutional reforms regarding minority rights and cultural rights in the past decade as part of a reform process to meet political criteria for EU membership. However, it has not been studied so far if this increasing institutional compliance has also led to transformations at a normative level in the public discourse in Turkey. To explore this question, this paper presents the results of a qualitative media analysis that I conducted on the restoration and reopening of an Armenian church in 2007 – a milestone for the Republic as churches were destroyed or doomed to vanish for nearly a century since the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The restoration of the Sourp Khatch/Akhtamar Church became a showcase for Turkey's self-promotion as a 'tolerant nation'. However, the church was notably made accessible to the public as a museum that initially lacked the cross on its dome and was conceived to only host a religious service once a year. This opening of a church-museum is a symbolic instance in Turkey's ongoing transformation process in which tolerance and plurality have become prominent keywords in politics and public debate. Yet, as the findings suggest, they do not so as a reflection of European norms, but rather stand for a rediscovery and reinterpretation of Turkey's Ottoman past practices as a multi-religious empire. I show, however, that this reinterpretation occurs on the shaky grounds of a blindfolded view of the past, in particular the denial of the Armenian Genocide, and on the denial that minorities are still endangered in present day Turkey. I conclude that, without an acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey's nostalgic embracement of the Ottoman past and representation of norms such as tolerance as the 'true' Turkish/Islamic norms do not stand for a norm internalization or a norm adaption process, but instead, for a disconnection between norm and practice.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Mustafa Kutlay, Osman Bahadir Dinçer
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to assess Turkey's capacity as a regional power in the Middle East. Within this context, emphasis has been placed on the structural components of Turkey's growing regional influence.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Islam, Political Economy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Strategic Research Organization (USAK)
  • Abstract: Türkiye'de kritik enerji altyapi unsurlari (KEAU) güvenligini mercek altina yatirarak mevcut durumu tespit etmek, bu konuda farkindalik yaratmak ve sorunlar ile çözüm önerilerini kamuoyunun ve yetkili birimlerin dikkatine sunmak amaciyla bir çalisma yapilmistir. Nitekim, "Kritik Enerji Altyapi Güvenligi Projesi" adli bu çalismanin tüm boyutlarini ve detayli sonuçlarini içeren bir rapor hazirlanmistir.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Islam, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Joseph Holliday
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: The rebels will have to rely on external lines of supply to replenish their arms and ammunition if they are to continue eroding the regime's control. The emergence of al-Qaeda-linked terrorist cells working against the regime poses risks to the United States and a challenge to those calling for material support of the armed opposition. As the militias continue to face overwhelming regime firepower the likelihood of their radicalization may increase. Moreover, the indigenous rebels may turn to al-Qaeda for high-end weaponry and spectacular tactics as the regime's escalation leaves the rebels with no proportionate response, as occurred in Iraq in 2005-2006. Developing relations with armed opposition leaders and recognizing specific rebel organizations may help to deter this dangerous trend. It is imperative that the United States distinguish between the expatriate political opposition and the armed opposition against the Assad regime on the ground in Syria. American objectives in Syria are to hasten the fall of the Assad regime; to contain the regional spillover generated by the ongoing conflict; and to gain influence over the state and armed forces that emerge in Assad's wake. Therefore, the United States must consider developing relations with critical elements of Syria's armed opposition movement in order to achieve shared objectives, and to manage the consequences should the Assad regime fall or the conflict protract.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Terrorism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Russia, United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Germany, Syria
  • Author: Stephen Wicken
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for the Study of War
  • Abstract: On Sunday, Iraqs Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was sentenced to death by hanging after he and his son-in-law were convicted of organizing the murders of a security official and a lawyer. All told, Hashemi is subject to more than 150 charges of terrorism based upon allegations that he used death squads to target his political opponents. The verdict carries distressing implications for short-term domestic security in Iraq and for diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey, where Hashemi currently resides and has been based since his trial began. While some observers view the case against Hashemi in purely sectarian terms, the targeting of a Sunni politician in a Shiite-led state, the sentence in fact highlights the pernicious nature of personal rivalries within Iraqi politics. Further, it demonstrates the politicization of the Iraqi judicial system under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has commandeered Iraq's legal institutions in order to consolidate power around his inner circle.
  • Topic: Democratization, Terrorism, Armed Struggle, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Thomas Carothers, Richard Youngs
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The emergence of a multipolar world gives Western democracy advocates cause for both optimism and anxiety. China's success sparks fears of the spread of an autocratic development model. Yet democratic states such as Brazil, Indonesia, India, South Africa, and Turkey are also gaining ground. These countries serve as powerful examples of the universal appeal of democracy and possess unique experiences with democratization. The United States and Europe understandably hope that rising democracies will use their growing prominence to defend democratic values abroad, potentially revitalizing international democracy support.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Human Rights, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Indonesia, Turkey, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: With democratic change struggling to take root in the Arab world even after the fall of several autocratic regimes, the question naturally arises whether Turkey can serve as a model for those who hope to usher the region through the difficult transition to a more democratic order.
  • Topic: NATO, Democratization, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the coming months, the US must reshape its strategy and force posture relative to Iraq and the Gulf States. It must take account of its withdrawal of most of its forces from Iraq, and whether or not it can give real meaning to the US­Iraqi Strategic Framework Agreement. It must deal with steadily increasing strategic competition with Iran, it must restructure its post-­Iraq War posture in the Southern Gulf and Turkey, and define new goals for strategic partnerships with the Gulf states and its advisory and arms sales activity. It must decide how to best contain Iran, and to work with regional friends and allies in doing so. In the process, it must also reshape its strategy for dealing with key states like Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Jordan
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A surge in violence has dashed plans for a negotiated end to the 27-year-old Kurdistan Workers' Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) insurgency. Since Turkey's elections in mid-June, clashes have killed more than 110 people, country-wide ethnic friction has hardened opinion, and the government has started bombing PKK bases and talking about an imminent ground offensive in northern Iraq. The PKK must immediately end its new wave of terrorist and insurgent attacks, and the Turkish authorities must control the escalation with the aim to halt all violence. A hot war and militaristic tactics did not solve the Kurdish problem in the 1990s and will not now. A solution can only lie in advancing the constitutional, language and legal reforms of the past decade that have gone part way to giving Turkish Kurds equal rights. Given the recent violence, returning to a positive dynamic requires a substantial strategic leap of imagination from both sides. Neither should allow itself to be swept away by armed conflict that has already killed more than 30,000 since 1984.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Central Asia, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Giacomo Luciani
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Policy Studies
  • Abstract: This paper looks at restrictions of passage, accidents and oil transportation norms as causes of interruption in oil supplies. The key 'chokepoints' are discussed in detail: the Straits of Hormuz, Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb, the Canals of Suez and Panama, the Turkish Straits and the entrance to the Baltic Sea. It is concluded that in most cases the danger of closure can only be temporary; nevertheless, investment in bypasses and alternatives is highly desirable, and in the case of the Turkish Straits, has not been forthcoming. The discussion then turns to threats to navigation outside the chokepoints, such as piracy and oil spills in enclosed seas, particularly the Mediterranean. The final section looks at changing international norms, especially the entry into force of the requirement of double hulls for oil tankers. The paper's main conclusion is that there is no scenario of interruption of maritime oil and gas transportation that may cause a severe physical shortage of oil, in general or specifically for Europe. In almost all cases potential tensions could be easily allayed if responsible governments took the necessary steps to create alternatives (notably pipeline bypasses) or to curb illegal activities. The main factor preventing the required investment in transportation alternatives is the lack of a well-functioning market mechanism for burden sharing. Where passage must be paid for, the resulting income stream supports investment to increase capacity and accommodate growing demand.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Oil, Maritime Commerce, Piracy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Anna Di Lellio
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The New School Graduate Program in International Affairs
  • Abstract: Serbia, Kosovo, and Turkey, all European Union applicants, recognize that the possibility of European belonging as historical reality is a crucial attribute for acceptance. These countries have all built national stories rooted in the Medieval Ottoman conquest of the Western Balkans and distanced themselves from the “Orient” and from Islam. By doing so, they have engaged in a debate with a “thick,” rather than a “thin” conception of Europe; they have tried to measure up to Europe as a traditional community of values defined by its Christian character, rather than the dynamic cosmopolitan Europe of law and standards which is officially embodied by the Union. Paradoxically, the revival of these national memories not only anchors a particular configuration of national time and space for Serbs, Albanians, and Turks. It mirrors a concern with identity, very present at the core of Europe, which is often resolved through the affirmation of an allegedly authentic and coherent European Christian tradition.
  • Topic: International Relations, Nationalism, Religion, History
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Kosovo, Serbia, Balkans
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Peace Institute
  • Abstract: On September 23, 2010, the United Nations Security Council held a summit meeting on the maintenance of international peace and security, which is the primary responsibility of the Council. The summit was initiated by Turkey, a nonpermanent member of the Council in 2009-2010 and holder of the rotating presidency for September 2010. It was attended by nine heads of state and government and six ministers, and chaired by Abdullah Gul, President of the Republic of Turkey. The resulting presidential statement (S/PRST/2010/18, reproduced in the Annex to this report) reaffirmed that international peace and security require a more comprehensive and coherent approach. The Council also pledged to continue to strengthen the crisis-management toolbox at its disposal, including preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, and to adapt it to changing circumstances. In addition, the statement reiterated the Council's support for the protection of civilians and its commitment to strengthening strategic partnerships with regional and subregional organizations and other relevant players. Further, it reaffirmed the importance of women in all aspects of prevention and resolution of conflicts and underlined the importance of addressing the root causes of conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Turkey, United Nations
  • Author: Aristidis P. Bitzenis, Vasileios A. Vlachos
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
  • Abstract: With the fall of centrally planned economies in the Balkans, their liberalization and the opening of their borders to free trade and capital movements, Greece became more active in the generation of outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Greece's OFDI stock increased from US$ 3 billion in 1990 to US$ 6 billion in 2000 and to US$ 38 billion in 2010. The Europeanization process of Turkey and the transition of the economies in the Balkans was accompanied by a gradual rise of FDI from Greece into those economies. More than half of Greece's OFDI stock – over US$ 20 billion in 2009 (67% of total) – is located in South-East Europe: in the Balkans, Cyprus and Turkey. While Greece's early OFDI flows were directed to the secondary sector to reduce costs, the bulk of later flows was directed to the services sector, as new markets were opened. This shift signifies the rise of major corporate players. The Greek Balkan policy, which commenced through the European Union, and the upgrading of the Athens Stock Exchange have positively affected Greece's position as a key regional investor. The expectations for sustaining this leading role, however, have been weakened recently since, due to the Greek sovereign debt crisis, Greek multinational enterprises (MNEs) disinvested US$ 1.6 billion from their FDI abroad in 2010.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece, Balkans, Cyprus
  • Author: Jean-Paul Gagnon
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: The central aim of this work is to try and detail the argument that governmental regulation can move beyond the public versus private policy debate. This argument depends largely on Kant?s and J.S. Mill?s works regarding the harm principle (see Ripstein, 2006; and Mertens, 2007, for further reading). In con-temporary political philosophy, we see the focus turning to equality and jus-tice within the framework of international peace and individual sovereignty (see Krasner, 1988; Guardiola-Rivera, 2010; Campbell, 2010; and Smith, 2008 for more). This discourse is central to my argument because I feel the literature supports my point that accountability, transparency and the right to question the public and private spheres wheresoever they may cause harm to be a right for any individual. It might be that, for many, this is simply part of democratic governance (see Hanberger, 2009; Meijer, 2009; Steffek, 2010; Tallberg, Uhlin and Bexell, 2010). This, in cumulative terms, manifests as the right for the pluralities composing citizenries to collectively challenge public and private industries and institutions if their activities cause harm or are suspect. This in turn may lead to the expectation that our representatives or leaders in civil society should champion this democratic right. If we do not have this right, the public and private spheres may operate in the dark: away from accountability, away from transparency, and away from popular knowledge and scrutiny.
  • Topic: Government, Politics, Privatization, Governance, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Hüseyin Selçuk Dönmez
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: Turkey's accession process to the European Union (EU) has been a rather challenging issue for more than two decades now. Turkey applied for membership in 1987, "that is, three years before Cyprus and Malta and between seven and nine years before applications were lodged by ten Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs)." By the year 2011, Turkey has been waiting for 24 years to become a member of the EU. No other country in history of the EU enlargement has waited this long to become a member and not managed to become one after a quarter of a century. It would not be wrong to consider Turkey's bid to join the EU as a unique case in comparison to the former applicant countries, especially CEECs. As a result of this, there has been a continuous debate about Turkey's application and whether it has been treated differently or not. The aim of this paper is to shed a brighter light on this debate by presenting examples of different treatment towards the Turkish application. Before exploring the reasons of why and how Turkey has been treated differently, there are some key facts worth mentioning while defining Turkey's difference from other applicant countries. What makes these facts important is that they have formed the foundations of hurdles and their justifications for Turkey's possible membership in the EU. These facts will be touched upon prior to a deeper analysis.
  • Topic: Economics, Sociology, Culture
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Richard Lim
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis
  • Abstract: The history of Turkey is one of boundless ambiguities and contradictions. Once the center of the Islamic world, it now craves to be recognized as a secular, Western state. Although it was founded as a free republic, its military has exercised almost-Third World authoritarian power over the civilian leadership. Turkey, geographically, as well as ideologically, has been at the crossroads of the East and the West. Thus, few other countries can claim such a paradoxical mix of republicanism, authoritarianism, Islamism, and secularism.
  • Topic: Civil Society, History
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gözde Yilmaz
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: The Helsinki Summit in 1999 represents a turning point for EU–Turkey relations. Turkey gained status as a formal candidate country for the EU providing a strong incentive to launch democratic reforms for the ultimate reward of membership. Since 2001, the country has launched a number of reforms in minority rights. Many controversial issues, such as denial of the existence of the Kurds, or the lack of property rights granted to non-Muslim minorities in the country, have made progress. Even though the reforms in minority rights may represent a tremendous step for the Europeanization process of Turkey, the compliance trend in minority rights is neither progressive nor smooth. While there is a consensus within the literature about the acceleration of reforms starting in 2002 and the slow down by 2005 in almost all policy areas, scholars are divided into two camps regarding the continuing slow down of the reform process or the revival of the reforms since 2008. I argue, in the present paper, that the compliance process with minority rights in Turkey is puzzling due to the differentiated outcome and the recent revival of behavioral compliance. I aim to shed light on the empirical facts in the least-likely area for reform in the enlargement process. Through a detailed analysis of minority-related reform process of Turkey being an instance of ongoing compliance, the paper contributes to the literature divided on the end result of Europeanization in the country recently.
  • Topic: Democratization, Human Rights, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel, Vera van Hüllen
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: The EU\'s Eastern Enlargement is considered to be one of the (few) successful experiments of promoting good – both effective and legitimate – governance. By contrast, the EU\'s transformative power appears to be weak or non-existent vis-à-vis its (old) neighbors in the South and its (new) neighbors in the East. Both are not only marked by \'bad governance\' but also lack a (credible) membership perspective. While the Western Balkans and Turkey have made significant progress towards good governance, both with regard to government effectiveness and democratic legitimacy, the European Neighborhood Countries (ENCs) appear to be stuck in transition or never got that far in the first place. Even when the effectiveness of their governance institutions has improved, they remain well behind the other regions and especially their democratic legitimacy is still wanting or even in decline. The paper shows that there is a correlation between an EU membership perspective and the successful transformation of neighboring countries. Therefore, it has been argued that the ineffectiveness of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) is due to the lack of this \'golden carrot\'. However, we argue that the prospects of EU membership stabilizes rather than drives the move towards effective and legitimate governance in candidate countries. Thus, a membership perspective is unlikely to either turn around negative or speed up positive developments in the EU\'s neighborhood. Even if the ENCs received a membership perspective, it would be unlikely to push them significantly towards democratic and effective governance as long as there is no endogenously driven process of change. Given the EU\'s preference for stability and state-building, the ENP does not provide an alternative for promoting good governance either. The ENP clearly lacks transformative power and where it might have some domestic impact, it risks consolidating rather than undermining authoritarian regimes by helping to strengthen their capacities for effective governance.
  • Topic: Democratization, Regional Cooperation, Governance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: As a long-standing order breaks down, Turkey, Iran, and the Arab states of the Levant and the Gulf face both new competition and fresh opportunities for cooperation. The implosion of Iraq in the wake of the 2003 invasion removed an important buffer state, drawing Turkey, Iran, and the Arab states closer, creating friction between them, but also new common interests. The planned U.S. withdrawal from Iraq will force Iraq's neighbors to find new ways of managing those interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Sinan Ülgen
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Turkey's vote against additional UN Security Council sanctions on Iran this year was viewed by many observers as a sign that Turkey is drifting away from the West. In reality, Ankara's relationship with the United States and the EU is much more complicated. Turkey's ambitious foreign policy and growing influence present the West with an opportunity to demand that Turkey play a more constructive role in the international community.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Power Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Turkey is launching initiative after ambitious initiative aimed at stabilising the Middle East. Building on the successes of its normalisation with Syria and Iraq, it is facilitating efforts to reduce conflicts, expanding visafree travel, ramping up trade, integrating infrastructure, forging strategic relationships and engaging in multilateral regional platforms. For some, this new activism is evidence that Turkey is turning from its traditional allies in Europe and the United States. In fact, its increased role in the Middle East is a complement to and even dependent on its ties to the West.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Islam, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The property issue is one of the most intractable knots in the settlement of the Cyprus dispute, without which stability in the Eastern Mediterranean remains fragile. Greek and Turkish Cypriots own tens of thousands of buildings and parcels of land on both sides of the divided island. A convincing plan to resolve conflicting claims would give great support to reunification efforts and persuade external partners of Cypriots' will to find a compromise, even as the 2011 electoral calendar sets what is in effect a deadline for the present negotiations. But as Cypriot politicians and Turkey fail to come to terms, the property question is increasingly being atomised by individual actions and the courts – a process that will be more expensive, slow and inefficient for all than a comprehensive property settlement. With a comprehensive deal proving elusive, heavy court and administrative penalties and the actions of Cypriot individuals mean that the property issue can no longer be ignored or avoided. New ideas are urgently needed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Territorial Disputes
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Emiliano Alessandri
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The article refutes the often-heard argument that Ankara's recent 'activism' in the Middle East indicates that Turkey is 'drifting away from the West'. Turkey's improving relations with its neighbors (not only in the Middle East), are mainly a result of the end of the Cold War and of domestic developments which have 'unlocked' Turkey, transforming it into a more open and democratic country with an even greater stake in EU membership. At the same time, the many international and domestic changes that have occurred since Turkey was granted candidate status call for a 're-foundation' of the Turkey-EU relationship. Lacking the latter, the future of Turkey-EU relations will indeed remain uncertain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In October 2009, after intense diplomatic talks and the active involvement of key external actors, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian signed two protocols aimed at restoring bilateral relations. The agreements have however remained unratified due to political obstacles closely linked to historic disputes and the geopolitical constellation in the South Caucasus. As a result, even if rapprochement between Ankara and Yerevan has the potential of producing far-reaching changes in the regional political equilibrium, the status quo remains the most likely scenario.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, Ethnic Conflict, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Diehard believers in Turkey's European future had, for a brief moment, hung their hopes on the European Parliament (EP) as the key to unlocking the poisonous stalemate in Turkey's ailing accession process. The glimmer of light had come with the Lisbon Treaty, which could have been used to unblock the stalemate over the Direct Trade Regulation (DTR) between the EU and northern Cyprus by granting a voice to the EP on the matter. Breaking the stalemate would not have magically removed all obstacles to Turkey's protracted accession process. But it would have breathed new life and instilled a dose of much-needed optimism in the troubled relations between Turkey and the Union. Alas, that opportunity has been lost and, with it, the short-term hope of a rosier future for Cyprus, Turkey and the EU as a whole.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Lisbon, Cyprus
  • Author: Riccardo Alcaro
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The standoff over Iran's nuclear programme, suspected of harbouring secret military ends, is widely considered a major flashpoint. A nuclear Iran – as the argument goes – would dramatically alter the regional balance in the Gulf, providing the Islamic Republic with a formidable deterrent against external aggression, while augmenting its ability to exert influence on its neighbours and eliminating the strategic advantage of its rival Israel, the only nuclear-armed state in the Middle East. An Iranian bomb could also trigger a regional nuclear arms race since such countries as Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, might feel compelled to emulate Iran. This would in turn result in the eventual collapse of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Given the stakes, it comes as no surprise that curbing Iran's nuclear programme has rapidly become a foreign policy priority for western powers, Israel, and the majority of Arab states, which have a history of rivalry with and mistrust of Persian and Shia-dominated Iran.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Caucasian-Caspian region has become a stage for the collision of opposing foreign security and energy policies. After 16 years of a very fragile ceasefire, the peace process between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to depend not only on the attitudes of the conflict parties, but also and perhaps even more on the re-organization of the region at the political, security and energy levels. Three main developments can affect the prospects for conflict resolution in Karabakh: the parties' growing frustration with the OSCE Minsk-Group mediation; the US-brokered Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and the deterioration in US-Azeri relations; and finally, Russia's resurgence in the region. These three inter-related factors could result in a new regional scenario marked by the emergence of an energy triangle between Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkey, which in turn could impact on the destiny of Nagorno- Karabakh.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: In August 2009, the Turkish government announced that it would undertake a major initiative toward Turkey's Kurdish minority. In addition to being a major development in the long saga of Turkey's relations with its sizeable Kurdish minority, this initiative, known as the “democratic opening,” is also a testament to the distance the Turkish government has traveled in its policy toward Iraq. Turkey, which had once spearheaded opposition to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), is implementing a 180-degree turn in its policy toward the KRG. It is developing close economic and political ties with the KRG, and the two are collaborating on a gamut of issues, including efforts to pacify the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). At the heart of these changes lay a confluence of developments. They include the new geopolitics of the region, the new foreign policy conception of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey's domestic institutional context, changing perceptions within Turkey of the domestic Kurdish question, and efforts by key individual actors within Turkey. On the geopolitical level, the announced withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq has helped shift Turkey's approach to Iraq. Whether it is part and parcel of a conscious strategy by Ankara, Turkey's ability to influence events on the ground is greatest in northern Iraq. In Baghdad, Turkey has to contend with not just American competition but, far more significantly, the Iranian presence. Ironically, any increase in Turkish influence in the KRG translates into more in Baghdad because of the Kurds' critical role in Iraq's capital. On the foreign policy level, the AKP took advantage of the vacuum created by the war in Iraq and began to fashion itself as a regional power. In a policy that some have come to call “neo-Ottomanism,” Turkey is expanding the contours of its influence in regions that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, including Iraq.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Kurdistan
  • Author: Yossi Alpher
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: Israel's approach to Turkey and Iran must be understood against the backdrop of its “periphery doctrine” of forming alliances with non-Arab and non-Muslim regional actors and its search for a Middle Eastern identity. The “periphery strategy” it pursued in the 1950s led to alliances with, among others, Turkey and Iran, who were viewed as natural allies against the hostile and powerful Arab “centre” spearheaded by Nasserism. In Israel's eyes, “periphery” peoples also seemed to have broadly accepted the legitimacy of having a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jean-Paul Marthoz
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Centre for Conflict Resolution
  • Abstract: This paper is based on interviews with diplomats, experts and political analysts and provides an overview of Turkey's foreign policy, particularly in relation to peacebuilding. In the past year, Turkey has moved to the centre stage on the international scene. After making the headlines with its joint mediation initiative with Brazil on Iran's nuclear issue, in May Ankara clashed with Israel over the storming of the Gaza-bound “humanitarian flotilla”. Suddenly all eyes were on a country situated in this most turbulent and strategic region of the world – a country that had appeared at least until recently to be a reliable and predictable ally of the West, and of Israel. However, the country's actions and reactions should not have come as a surprise. Over the past ten years Turkey has been busy developing a very active foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East and Central Asia. It has reached out to countries traditionally considered as adversaries, such as Russia, Iran and Syria. Ankara has also not been afraid to express its differences and diverge from the West on certain issues, from Cyprus to Armenia to Palestine.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Palestine, Armenia, Syria, Cyprus
  • Author: Mehmet Ozkan
  • Publication Date: 08-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of Foreign Policy Studies, University of Calcutta
  • Abstract: With the participation of the foreign ministers of Turkey and Brazil along with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Iran has signed a joint declaration on May 17, 2010 with Brazil and Turkey "in which Iran agreed to send low-enriched uranium to Turkey in return for enriched fuel for a research reactor.” This joint declaration was considered a very serious one by specialists closely following the nuclear negotiations. However, instead of responding positively to the agreement, the US and the overall reaction of the West had fixated on making sanctions against Iran a reality, although the content of the deal was what the US sought from Iran. This has materialized itself with the new UN Security Council decision which brings new sanctions on Iran. On June 9, 2010, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1929, imposing a complete arms embargo on Iran, travel bans on certain Iranian figures, banned Iran from any activities related to ballistic missiles, the freezing of all assets to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and Iran Shipping Lines, and to inspect all Iranian cargo or financial institutions, such as banks, on their territory.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons, Treaties and Agreements, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Latin America
  • Author: Eli Gateva
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: The establishment of a Cooperation and Verification Mechanism for monitoring Bulgaria's and Romania's progress in the areas of judiciary and fight against corruption not only confirms the evolutionary nature of EU conditionality, but introduces a new feature, that of post-accession conditionality. More than three years after accession, neither Bulgaria nor Romania have managed to tackle the remaining issues and the scrupulous monitoring mechanism is still maintained. What are the main features and limitations of post-accession conditionality? Why does the effectiveness of EU conditionality deteriorate after accession? The article outlines a conceptual framework for comparative study of pre-accession and post-accession conditionality. On the basis of a stage-structured conditionality model, it discusses the transformations of the main elements of conditionality before and after accession and argues that the absence of accession advancement rewards combined with toothless explicit threats for sanctioning non-compliance produce very weak negative incentive structure which undermines the effectiveness of post-accession conditionality. The study, which draws on extensive interviews with senior EU officials and examination of key EU documents, highlights the growing application of differentiated and targeted conditionality and concludes with a reflection on the future of the mechanism and its implications for the ongoing enlargement of the Union with countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Bulgaria, Balkans, Romania
  • Author: Beken Saatçioğlu
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: What explains the EU compliance of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)? Since it came to power in 2002, AKP has launched legislative reforms in order to meet the European Union's political membership criteria (i.e., democracy, rule of law, human rights and minority rights). These reforms are puzzling since they happened in the absence of the two conditions of compliance argued in the literature: (1) credible EU political conditionality, (2) liberal ruling parties in EU candidate states. I argue that AKP's pro-EU reform agenda is explained by neither a belief in the possibility of membership via democratization (credible conditionality) nor liberal political identity. Rather, democratic measures under AKP are instrumentally induced. Two broad political motivations have guided AKP's reform commitment: (1) the electoral incentive to please Turkey's pro-EU membership electorate as well as AKP's conservative/religious constituency eager to see freedom of religion expanded under EU conditionality, (2) the motive to use reforms to weaken domestic secular forces (i.e. the military and high courts) and “survive” as a party with Islamist roots in Turkey's secular political system. The paper supports the argument with evidence gathered from original coding data for both conditionality and compliance as well as process-tracing.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Tanja A. Börzel
  • Publication Date: 02-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Kolleg-Forschergruppe (KFG)
  • Abstract: With the borders of the European Union (EU) moved eastwards, students of Europeanization have been awarded yet another real-world experiment. This paper explores to what extent existing Europeanization approaches travel beyond the EU's border to its South Eastern and Eastern neighbours, which are marked by “bad governance” with regard to both the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of their domestic institutions. The first part outlines key insights of the literature on “Europeanization West” regarding the outcomes and the mechanism of the domestic impact of the EU. Then, I summarize the main findings of research on “Europeanization East” focusing on factors that have limited or at least qualified the domestic impact of the EU in the ten Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries in comparison to the EU 15 (those that were members before the 2004 enlargement). This paper discusses to what extent the concepts and causal mechanisms need even further qualification when applied to countries, such as the European Neighbourhood Countries (ENC), that are neither willing nor necessarily capable of adapting to Europe and that do not even have the incentive of EU membership to cope with the costs. I will argue that the EU is unlikely to deploy any transformative power in its neighbourhood as long as it does not adjust its “accession tool box” to countries the EU does not want to take on as members. The paper concludes with some considerations on the policy implications of the EU's approach of “move closer but don't touch” which has started to creep into its relations with the Western Balkans and Turkey.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Balkans
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The consequences of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq will doubtless be debated for years to come. One result, however, is already clear: the long suppressed nationalist aspirations of the Kurdish people now dispersed across four states—Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria—have been aroused, perhaps irrevocably, by the war. Already in Iraq, Kurdish regions, which have benefited from Saddam Hussein's overthrow, have consolidated themselves into a federal region. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is a reality and a force for further Kurdish empowerment as it seeks to incorporate other Kurdish-majority areas and the oil-rich Kirkuk province in particular into its domain. The KRG's existence and demands have already alarmed all of Iraq's neighbors and the Baghdad government. The issues are far from being settled. If ignored or badly handled, Kurdish aspirations have the potential to cause considerable instability and violence in Iraq and beyond at a particularly delicate time.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Nationalism, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In principle, Turkey would welcome the global elimination of nuclear weapons. For the current government, the possession of nuclear weapons by other states is a factor that, indirectly at least, reduces Turkey's regional (if not global) aspirations and power. However, in the medium term, it remains deeply ambivalent on the future of nuclear weapons and its own plans regarding nuclear energy and weapons development.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Germany
  • Author: Michael Robbins
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Islamist organizations are generally considered to be the strongest and most credible opposition to incumbent regimes throughout the Arab world. Fear of Islamic takeovers has led regimes and other outside powers to justify not holding free elections, citing examples that include the Algerian election of 1991, the Iranian Revolution, the AKP victory in Turkey and the perceived popularity of Islamist opposition groups throughout much of the Arab world (Brumberg 2002). Yet, other analysts have questioned the actual strength of Islamist movements within the Arab world, noting that although Islamists may be the main challenger, few have actually been successful in taking power (Roy 1994).
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Algeria
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Turkey and Armenia are close to settling a dispute that has long roiled Caucasus politics, isolated Armenia and cast a shadow over Turkey's European Union (EU) ambition. For a decade and a half, relations have been poisoned by disagreement about issues including how to address a common past and compensate for crimes, territorial disputes, distrust bred in Soviet times and Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani land. But recently, progressively intense official engagement, civil society interaction and public opinion change have transformed the relationship, bringing both sides to the brink of an historic agreement to open borders, establish diplomatic ties and begin joint work on reconciliation. They should seize this opportunity to normalise. The politicised debate whether to recognise as genocide the destruction of much of the Ottoman Armenian population and the stalemated Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh should not halt momentum. The U.S., EU, Russia and others should maintain support for reconciliation and avoid harming it with statements about history at a critical and promising time.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Genocide, Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Turkey, Caucasus, Asia, Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Three decades of efforts to reunify Cyprus are about to end, leaving a stark choice ahead between a hostile, de facto partition of the island and a collaborative federation between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities living in two constituent states. Most actors agree that the window of opportunity for this bicommunal, bizonal settlement will close by April 2010, the date of the next Turkish Cypriot elections, when the pro-settlement leader risks losing his office to a more hardline candidate. If no accord is reached by then, it will be the fourth major set of UN-facilitated peace talks to fail, and there is a widespread feeling that if the current like-minded, pro-solution Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders cannot compromise on a federal solution, nobody can. To avoid the heavy costs this would entail for all concerned, the two leaders should stand shoulder to shoulder to overcome domestic cynicism and complete the talks, Turkey and Greece must break taboos preventing full communication with both sides on the island, and European Union (EU) states must rapidly engage in support of the process to avoid the potential for future instability if they complacently accept continuation of the dispute. A real chance still exists in 2009-2010 to end.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutaş
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Israeli-Syrian track has been an important component of the Arab-Israeli peace talks due to its integral role in reaching comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The latest round of indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria was initiated under the sponsorship of Turkey on May 21, 2008, and by the end of 2008 both sides were ready to start the direct talks. However, in protest of Israeli aerial and ground offensive in Gaza in December 2008, Syria halted the indirect talks with Israel. Several factors, including the lack of American endorsement; Olmert's weak prospect in Israel due to the ongoing corruption investigation; approaching early elections, and the rise of rightist parties in Israel, topped by the Israeli offensive in Gaza, rendered the conciliation efforts futile.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, Syria
  • Author: Ziya Öniş
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Currently, the prospects for Turkey's EU membership do not look very bright. With key chapters for negotiation already suspended, the government is likely to resume a loose Europeanization agenda. The counterpart of this in the foreign-policy realm is an approach based on 'soft Euro-asianism'. An attempt is also being made to develop friendly relationships with all neighboring countries, coupled with a mediating role in regional conflicts, but without the EU providing the main axis for foreign policy. The present report investigates the continuities and ruptures in Turkish foreign policy during the post-2002 AKP era. It attempts to identify the underlying reasons for the decline in enthusiasm for EU membership following the golden age of Europeanization and reforms during the early years of the AKP government. The report also points to internal and external political developments which may help to reverse the current drift away from Europeanization.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Islam, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Ali Tekin, Paul A. Williams
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the role of Turkey in the European Union's energy security and its implications for the Turkish accession process. The EU is increasingly interested in diversifying its imports of energy, as well as the transit routes for these imported supplies. Extant and future projects to secure energy supplies from Russia, the Caspian and the Middle East indicate quite persuasively that Turkey has become more crucial to the attainment of the EU external energy policy objectives. However, Turkey may have reached the limits of its willingness to cooperate on energy security without more decisive EU reciprocation of Turkey's own EU membership efforts. In the short run, Turkey is not essential to the EU, but in the longer run, as European energy needs become more pressing, the EU may have to give more serious consideration to Turkey's accession.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Sheldon Himelfarb, Tamara Gould, Eric Martin, Tara Sonenshine
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Over the last decade, America's image abroad has declined, and public diplomacy is often cited as the reason for that decline. According to the BBC World Service Poll in 2008 and the University of Maryland's Program for International Policy Attitudes, publics in twenty-three countries view America's influence in the world more negatively than the influence of North Korea. Citizens in a NATO ally, Turkey, view the United States (64 percent) as the greatest threat to their country in the future.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Globalization, Science and Technology, Mass Media, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey
  • Author: Jonathan Wheatley
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: Georgia is a multilingual and multi-ethnic society. A large number of minority languages are spoken in Georgia, including Abkhazian, Ossetian, Azeri, Armenian, Russian, Ukrainian, Kurmanji (Kurdish), Chechen (Kist), Ottoman Turkish, Pontic Greek, Syriac, Avar, Tsova-Tush and Udi. In addition, four distinct languages are spoken by the majority Georgian population -- Georgian, Megrelian, Svan and Laz -- although these are basically vernacular languages that are not normally written. According to Article 8 of the Georgian constitution, the official state language is Georgian, and in Abkhazia, also Abkhazian. Most minority languages are spoken only in certain regions of the country.
  • Topic: Politics, Multiculturalism, Minorities
  • Political Geography: Russia, America, Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Syria
  • Author: Jeffrey G. Williamson, Şevket Pamuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: India and Britain were much bigger players in the 18th century world market for textiles than was Egypt, the Levant and the core of the Ottoman Empire, but these eastern Mediterranean regions did export carpets, silks and other textiles to Europe and the East. By the middle of the 19th century, they had lost most of their export market and much of their domestic market to globalization forces and rapid productivity growth in European manufacturing. Other local industries also suffered decline, and these regions underwent de-industrialization as a consequence. How different was Ottoman experience from the rest of the poor periphery? Was de-industrialization more or less pronounced? Was the terms of trade shock bigger or smaller? How much of Ottoman de-industrialization was due to falling world trade barriers—ocean transport revolutions and European liberal trade policy, how much due to factory-based productivity advance in Europe, how much to declining Ottoman competitiveness in manufacturing, how much to Ottoman railroads penetrating the interior, and how much to Ottoman policy? The paper uses a price-dual approach to seek the answers. It documents trends in export and import prices, relative to each other and to non-tradables, as well as to the unskilled wage. The impact of globalization, European productivity advance, Ottoman wage costs and policy are assessed by using a simple neo-Ricardian three sector model, and by comparison with what was taking place in the rest of the poor periphery.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Markets
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, Turkey, India, Egypt
  • Author: Peter M.E. Volten(ed.)
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for European Security Studies
  • Abstract: In 1963, Turkey and the European Union (EU) agreed on an Association Treaty. Turkey did not apply for EU membership until 1987 and this formal application was recognised at the EU summit in Helsinki as late as 1999. Political reforms in Turkey started in earnest after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, indicating a sincere interest in membership. As a result of these steps, the EU decided in 2004 to start negotiations; these began in 2005. Fairly soon thereafter, however, developments on both sides stalled and relations between the two deteriorated.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Michael Moran
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Global Political Trends Center
  • Abstract: One of the main factors that led directly to the present status quo in Cyprus tends to be forgotten. This was the extraordinary display of timidity on the part of Great Britain in the 1960s when confronted with determined Greek Cypriot attempts to make Cyprus Greek. And, needless to say, the subsequent forceful division of the island by Turkey in 1974 should always be seen in this earlier context: not, that is, as some kind of unforeseeable interruption in the island's natural and peaceful progression towards its Hellenic 'redemption'; least of all as the result of a brutal and arbitrary interference in a sovereign state on the part of a 'foreign power', both of which notions still circulate among many Greeks and their political sympathisers.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: The Obama administration's “responsible redeployment” from Iraq is made even more urgent by the requirements resulting from worsening conditions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For redeployment to occur on scale and on schedule, the United States seeks an end-state in Iraq that is stable and at peace with its neighbors. Simmering sectarian violence is inevitable, but it will not break Iraq. However, ethnic conflict between Arabs and Kurds could escalate into a major conflagration with regional implications.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict, Bilateral Relations, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In what represents a remarkable departure from its policy of non-involvement, Turkey is once again becoming an important player in the Middle East. In recent years, Ankara has shown a growing willingness to mediate in the Arab– Israeli conflict; attended Arab League conferences; contributed to UN forces in Lebanon and NATO forces in Afghanistan; assumed a leadership position in the Organization of Islamic Conference and established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, Islam, Nationalism, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: One more major effort, strongly encouraged by the UN and European Union (EU), should be made in 2008 to resolve the long-running dispute between ethnic Greeks and Turks on Cyprus and achieve a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island. All sides have much to gain from such a settlement. For the Greek Cypriots, it would end lingering insecurity, give them access to the Turkish economy, the most dynamic in the region, and increase their service industry's value as an eastern Mediterranean hub. For Turkish Cypriots, it will mean being able to enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship of which they are presently largely deprived. For the EU, the unresolved Cyprus problem now hampers its functioning on issues as diverse as cooperation with NATO in Afghanistan and Chinese shoe imports. And for Turkey a settlement would overcome a major obstacle to its convergence with the EU.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: At a time when rising Arab-Kurdish tensions again threaten Iraq's stability, neighbouring Turkey has begun to cast a large shadow over Iraqi Kurdistan. It has been a study in contrasts: Turkish jets periodically bomb suspected hideouts of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) in northern Iraq, and Ankara expresses alarm at the prospect of Kurdish independence, yet at the same time has significantly deepened its ties to the Iraqi Kurdish region. Both Turkey and Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG, a term Turkey studiously avoids) would be well served by keeping ultra-nationalism at bay and continuing to invest in a relationship that, though fragile and buffeted by the many uncertainties surrounding Iraq, has proved remarkably pragmatic and fruitful.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Turkey is entering a critical year, in which its prospects for European Union (EU) membership are at make or break stage. Domestic crises over the past two years have slowed national reform, betrayed the promise of a new constitution and undermined the political will needed to pursue accession negotiations. Its leaders show scant sign of changing course, at least before the March 2009 local elections, and EU states are applying little pressure to reinvigorate reform. Both sides need to recall how much they have to gain from each other and move quickly on several fronts to break out of this downward spiral before one or the other breaks off the negotiations, which could then well prove impossible to start again.
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Yusuf Sevki Hakyemez
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This policy brief aims to discuss the limits of the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The political party bans consitute one of the most important problems threatening the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The restrictions on the political parties come to the fore in two different forms: dissolution after the military coups and closure by means of legislation. In the current context of the case opened against the AK Party, it may be possible and advisable to apply an amendment, bringing Turkish jurisprudence in such matters in line with the standards of the European community.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Taha Ozhan
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Currently, GAP is a regional development project that covers nine southeastern provinces extending over the wide plains in the basins of the lower Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Political and economical instability in Turkey in the 1980s diverted attention from the GAP Project and led to consecutive failures in meeting official targets for its progress within the initial time framework. Within the last five years, Turkey has undergone a significant social and economic transformation whereby fiscal discipline, effective inflation control and an average of greater than 7% growth have been achieved ahead of many expectations. Turkish government launched its long-awaited plan for the GAP Project, now scheduled for completion by 2012 at an expected cost of around 27 billion YTL ($20 billion). The government described its action plan to boost social and economic development in the country's southeast as “a turning point for Turkey.” The GAP Project was designed not only as a rural development plan but also as an economic initiative intended to have positive social and political consequences for Turkey's Kurdish issue. However, although it is certain that the Kurdish issue has an important socioeconomic dimension; it would be a mistake to reduce the issue to the economic backwardness of the region alone.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Turkey