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  • Author: Ara Chutjian
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: In "The Old Turks' Revolt" (November/December 2007), Ömer Taspinar states, "Unlike the Ottoman elites, the Kemalists rejected multiethnic and multinational cosmopolitanism and banned Armenians, Greeks, and Jews from holding government jobs." On the night of April 24, 1915, the Ottoman police rounded up over 200 Armenian intellectuals, poets, politicians, writers, journalists, and translators from their homes in Istanbul; sent them to remote holding places; and murdered them. This began the systematic genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians, with another 2-2.5 million uprooted from their millennia-old homeland in central and eastern Turkey. o say that the Kemalists later banned the Armenians from government jobs is somewhat of a moot point. Qualified applicants had been assassinated earlier.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, Armenia
  • Author: İhsan Dağı
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Hasan Kösebalaban
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of contested national identity on Turkish and Japanese foreign policies. Applying a modified constructivist theoretical framework, it seeks to explore the ways in which the national identities of Turkey and Japan are constructed, internalized and in turn externalized through their foreign policies. In examining the case of Turkey and Japan, the paper problematizes national identity as a contested space characterized by a clash of opposing sub-national identities with distinct readings of national interests and security. Hence foreign policy decisions emerge in the context of this contestation among opposing national identities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey
  • Author: Birgül Demirtaş-Coşkun
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article seeks to analyze identity discourses in Turkey and Germany in the wake of the end of the bipolar world order. The radical changes taking place in the international system in the late 1980s and early 1990s led to extensive internal debates on state identity in both countries. It is puzzling that despite heavy discussion in Ankara and Berlin, in the end, both retained the former identities they had constructed during the Cold War. Systemic changes resulted in alternative state identity narratives in both countries, without leading to any major change in the direction of foreign policy. One of the main arguments of this paper is that the main reasons behind the preservation of former identities in Turkey and Germany were the political, strategic and economic benefits that both countries had acquired during the Cold War. Another important argument is that Turkish and German state identities based on the "Western" orientation were well-established and resistant, at least, to the alternative models which were being discussed in the post-Cold War era.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Germany, Berlin
  • Author: Yücel Bozdağlıoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite its unique geographical and cultural position between East and the West, Turkey, throughout its modern history, has followed a Western-oriented foreign policy. This essay argues that Turkey's Western orientation is closely linked to Turkey's official Western identity created as a result of Turkey's modernization project in the years following the Independence War. The Islamist challenge to this new identity occasionally created a tension between the secular/Kemalist elite and the Islamists in Turkey, which from time to time impinged upon Turkey's foreign policy. The debate on Turkish foreign policy has been an extension of the debate on national identity in the past and still continues to be so. Therefore, in order to better understand the main determinants of Turkey's foreign policy preferences and behaviors, an analysis of Turkish identity is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ahmet Davutoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's foreign policy needs a new orientation in the light of the new regional and global developments. As a major country in the midst of the Afro-Eurasia landmass, Turkey is a central country with multiple regional identities that cannot be reduced to one, unified category. In terms of its sphere of influence, Turkey is a Middle Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf, and Black Sea country all at the same time. Turkey should appropriate a new position in its region by providing security and stability not only for itself but also for its neighbors and the region. Turkey's engagements from Africa to Central Asia and from EU to OIC are parts of new foreign policy vision. Domestically, Turkey needs to deepen and enrich its democracy, accommodate the differences within its society, and strengthen the coordination and balance among its institutions in 2008 and the years that follow. These initiatives will make Turkey a global actor as we approach 2023, the one hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
  • Political Geography: Africa, Central Asia, Turkey
  • Author: Bahar Rumelili
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes the identity dimension of EU-Turkey relations from the constructivist perspective in international relations theory. It contends that in EU-Turkey relations, European and Turkish identities are undergoing a continuous process of reconstruction and negotiation. In this process, Turkey's representational practices assume importance in reshaping European identity. In response to the arguments of those who oppose Turkey's EU membership on the identity ground this article claims that a constructivist perspective foresees the possibility that European and Turkish identities can be reconstructed in such a way as to make the justification of Turkish membership possible and desirable from an identity viewpoint.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Harry G. Tzimitras
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to evaluate the forces behind the Turkish-Greek rapprochement, its prospects and its limitations. In the first part, through an analysis of the route from détente to rapprochement, the case for sustainable changes in the foreign policies of the two countries will be made, from confrontation to cooperation. In the second part, the effect of Europeanization on the foreign policies of Greece and Turkey and on their bilateral disputes will be discussed, with a view to presenting the overall contribution of the EU to bilateral affairs in the way of opportunities offered and constraints set. Finally, in the third and fourth parts it is argued that obstacles to rapprochement still remain, particularly in the form of nationalism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Kudret Bülbül, Bekir Berat Özipek, İbrahim Kalın
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article, based on a book published by SETA, looks at the attitudes of Turkish people towards what is conceived as the West and Western culture. While some polls suggest a deep anti-European and anti-American sentiment in Turkey with a clear opposition to Christianity as the religion of the West, the current survey suggests evidence to the contrary. Survey findings show that there is no anti-Westernism in Turkey based on religion, culture, or civilization. Perception of the West is fragmented and does not lend itself to easy categorizations. There is no animosity towards Christianity. In fact, most participants use a respectful and even venerable language when talking about the Christian religion. While most participants do not feel comfortable with the invasion of Turkish society by Western cultural products, they see no essential conflict between the core values of the two cultures. While the perception of Western religion, culture and civilization is mostly fragmented and reveals considerable diversity, Western politics is uniformly perceived as negative and hostile.
  • Topic: Politics, Religion, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Michael Gunter
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper challenges the view that the AKP is "an Islamist party" and "hardly a democratic opening". It puts forward the argument that the AKP's recent election victory represents a triumph over (1) inward-looking, anti-EU, ultra-Turkish nationalism, (2) unwarranted military interference in politics, (3) selfish Kemalist desires to protect their own privileged position, and 4) misguided secular fears of a secret Islamic agenda.
  • Topic: Islam, Nationalism, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney, Contentious Issues of Security and the Future of Turkey Aldershot, U.K., and Burlington VT, Ashgate, 2007. 197 + xvii pp. Index. ISBN 13: 978-0-7546-4931-1 by William Hale
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey
  • Author: Pınar Bilgin, Berivan Eliş
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article builds on the insights of critical approaches to the study of power and seeks to lay bare the poverty of power analysis in mainstream International Relations (IR). Part I presents a critical account of prevalent conceptions of 'hard power' in mainstream studies informed by realist IR and maintains that realism's power analysis is rather unrealistic insofar as it over-privileges material forms of power and focuses on the visible dimension of power relations to the neglect of the multiple (visible and non-visible) processes through which power is produced and expressed. Part II scrutinizes the concept of 'soft power'. While Nye's soft power analysis complements realist IR by highlighting non-material forms of power and looking at non-visible forms of power relations, it, too, remains shallow insofar as the production and various expressions of 'attraction' remain unaccounted for. Presenting more realistic accounts of the work power does in world politics requires following Lukes' footsteps to produce three- (if not four-) dimensional power analyses.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Kim Beng Phar
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Soft power is based on attraction and the ability to persuade others to further one's goals. The key sources of soft power are said to derive from one's culture, democratic political system, and fair-minded foreign policy. Yet it is often left unsaid that soft power is a Weberian archetype. All the three of the above sources are ideal types; they may not necessarily exist in complete forms, because one's culture, political system and foreign policy are all subject to flaws, weaknesses and gaps. In order for Turkey to project its soft power in turbulent neighborhoods like the Middle East and Central Asia, and indeed as a matter of strategic policy in general, it is vital to have a strong conceptual clarity first. Only then can soft power be applied by going beyond attraction and persuasion purely. Home grown reforms that are strong, ethical, and sustainable, for example, can be sources of appeal and attraction to the Middle East and Central Asia too, given that both regions long to see good governance and exemplary leadership.
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has been traditionally viewed mostly as a hard power in the Middle East, due to its military and economic strength. In recent years, however, there has been a discussion on Turkey's soft power. This article focuses on two aspects of Turkey's soft power in the region. First, Turkey's relevance to the debate on political and economic reform is discussed. It is argued that because of Turkey's internal transformations its attractiveness has increased. In addition to having assets, Turkey is generally more willing to project soft power as well as having increasing credibility in the region. Second, the article focuses on Turkey's use of soft power tools, especially its eagerness to play third party roles in the management and resolution of regional conflicts. Turkey's roles in the Israeli-Syrian, Israeli Palestinian and Lebanese conflicts are considered as an example. The article argues that Turkey's soft power has increased in these two aspects and yet it also elaborates on existing and possible constraints in this regard.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hakan Altinay
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The article reviews the relevance of soft power for the case of Turkey, and assesses whether Turkey does have meaningful soft power potential, or whether such a potential is likely to remain elusive for the time being. Recent changes in Turkey are reviewed in terms of their affect on Turkey's soft power potential. Concrete steps in operationalizing Turkey's soft power, as well possible challenges, are discussed. The article argues that EU accession provides a virtuous circle of feedback for enhancing Turkey's soft power, but maintains that Turkish political class and foreign policy elite becoming cognizant of this potential would be the single most important step forward. The article concludes that Turkey has very important soft power assets. Proper deployment of these assets is anything but automatic, and Turkey's society and political elites must realize that this potential exists, and conduct themselves accordingly.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Enika Abazi
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses Kosovo's independence from a framework of political and legal perspectives and assesses regional and global responses to the declaration of independence. Kosovo's independence, it is argued, has revealed shifting strategic landscapes, security concerns and domestic developments in regional and international politics with significant implications for all actors in the region. Russia, for instance, calculated to restore its lost 'superpower' status and control Serbia's strategic oil industries while Turkey's prompt recognition of independence has increased its impact in the region. Kosovo's independence will be a test case for keeping peace and stability in the Balkans within the new dynamics of regional and international politics. The way to escape from regional and international rivalries in Kosovo and its environs is to enhance the forces of cooperation in this volatile region and avoid zero sum games among regional and international actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Balkans
  • Author: Alexandros Petersen
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Russia's new president, Dmitry Medvedev, should be expected to broadly continue his predecessor Vladimir Putin's foreign policy toward Turkey and the broader Black Sea region. Analysts who cast Medvedev as a mere Putin puppet, or those who anticipate a gradual increase in power for the new man in the Kremlin miss the crucial question about decision-making in Russia: how much influence will the siloviki – current and former security service officers – wield to implement policies based largely on mistrust and calculation? Russia's policies in the Black Sea region are unlikely to change much in substance, although Medvedev may adopt a more subtle, effective style in seeing them through. Their exclusionary nature - a product of the silovik worldview - should be expected to continue. Therefore, despite recent significant improvements in Turkey's relations with Russia, over time Turkey may find itself in an uncomfortable middle ground between its Western allies and its new-found friends in Moscow.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Author: Barin Kayaoglu
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Cyprus tragedy of the past and the Iraq predicament of our times bear striking similarities. Cyprus of the 1960s and 1970s is not too far from Iraq in 2008. The main thrust of this article is that Cyprus presents a useful case study for contemporary decision-makers in the United States, Turkey, and Iraq. Just like the Cyprus question, which has caused nearly irreparable damage to the relations between Turkey, Greece, and the United States, policies that are not carefully crafted by Washington, Ankara, Erbil, and Baghdad could lead to a very problematic future for the Middle East. In a nutshell, this article offers a cautionary analysis by drawing on the experiences of the Cyprus tragedy for the purpose of avoiding a similar one in Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Joshua Walker
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The recent closure case brought against the ruling Justice and Development Party is a direct assault on Turkey's democracy. For this reason, America should not lose the opportunity to swiftly and unequivocally repudiate the establishment's attempts to re-assert control over Turkish politics by undemocratic means. The lack of a concrete resolution on the part of the U.S. in regard to the case has already resulted in a credibility gap. Given America's emphasis on and interest in Turkey's democracy and attendant reform process, a simple re-affirmation of its commitment to citizen's choices in free and fair elections would send a powerful message to a country that is on edge. Instead, Turkey is left with 'friends' who lack credibility and resolve at the worst possible moment. If the ruling party and its leadership are banned from political life, not only will Turkey lose its credibility in the Middle East as the only indigenous Muslim-majority democracy, the United States will also lose credibility in the world theatre for failing to support democracy in Turkey.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Democratization, Government, Islam, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey
  • Author: Sevgi Akarçesme
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article analyzes relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) in the aftermath of the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).The indictment targeting the governing party, which is widely considered to amount to a judicial coup, has received belated but strong criticism from EU officials in charge of relations with Turkey. Although the pace of reforms did decelerate in the period following the vigorous efforts of the early 2000s, the EU continues to serve as a catalyst for Turkish democracy. In this article, the possible impact of the indictment and the closure case on Turkish-EU relations and Turkish democracy at large is evaluated on the basis of the reactions it has elicited from both domestic and foreign actors. Despite the lack of genuine liberal democracy in Turkey, especially on the part its political parties, the EU anchor could still serve as a driving force for democratization if managed successfully.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Turkey