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  • Author: Adel Abdel Ghafar
  • Publication Date: 02-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The role played by countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Eastern Mediterranean is becoming increasingly important. This calls for an assessment of their evolving relationship with countries in the region, as well as their involvement in the Libyan conflict. Increased involvement by Gulf actors may inflame existing regional rivalries and geopolitical tensions. The interests of GCC countries in the Eastern Mediterranean are first analysed in the broader context of regional rivalries. Special attention is then devoted to Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Greece and Cyprus, while considering the role of other key regional actors such as Turkey and Israel. Recommendations on why and how the new US administration should intervene to decrease regional tensions are provided.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Gulf Nations, Geopolitics, Economy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Greece, Libya, Lebanon, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Remi Daniel
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Turkeyscope, Remi Daniel discusses several contemporary trends in the Russian-Turkish relationship. The dynamics of competition and cooperation between these two states affect the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and North Africa in profound ways.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Strategic Competition
  • Political Geography: Russia, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Eastern Europe, North Africa
  • Author: Thrasyvoulos Terry Stamatopoulos
  • Publication Date: 10-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Major population movements have contributed to the transformation of the social and political landscape in Turkey. Political Islam and a resurgent nationalism are now among the primary factors in decision-shaping. National ambition is visibly shifting away from close association with/participation in the West, coloured by a visible revival of a particular view of its Ottoman past. The resulting domestic political dynamics are affecting the composition and traditional Western orientation of major state institutions, including the military. The above translate in a trend of distancing of the Turkish Republic from its partners of the last century and of difficult if not hostile relations with the US, the EU and some of its member-states, and other states in the region. The shift to a multi-polar world is contributing to this trend, fueling ambitions of the Government, but also of a significant part of the broader elite, for an increased role of Turkey as a regional power and on the global stage. The US and its allies, and the EU and its member-states must engage in a serious evaluation of Turkey’s transformation and its strategic orientation, which they have yet to do.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Conflict, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Greece, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Ioannis N. Grigoriadis, Georgios Christos Kostaras
  • Publication Date: 09-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Since its official adoption in 2005, Turkey’s “Africa Opening” (Afrika Açılımı) has become one of the most important elements in its foreign policy and resulted in the diversification of Turkey’s economic and political relations with sub-Saharan African states. While African-Turkish relations were broadly perceived as advanced by 2010, Ankara´s humanitarian involvement in Somalia the following year has been a catalyst for Turkey´s growing influence in the Horn of Africa and the Sahel. Emphasizing both the absence of a colonial past and its religious affinities, Turkey has further promoted its relations and influence across the continent. This is most evident in the Sahel, where the strategies of Ankara and Paris are at loggerheads. EU and Turkish interests in Africa are not necessarily irreconcilable; Africa, a continent whose economic and strategic significance is set to sharply rise, deserves more attention from Greece and the European Union.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Politics, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Economy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Antonis Kamaras
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the evolution of Turkey’s capacity to conduct drone-led warfare, an evolution driven by its assertive national security and foreign policy. It connects this feature of Turkey’s war-fighting capability to the debate on the impact drones have on the modern battlefield and on conflictual interstate relations. The paper attributes the underdevelopment of Greece’s drone and counter-drone capacity to the country’s fiscal crisis and to the civilian leadership’s unwillingness to make use of Greece’s alliances, geographical position and R&D ecosystem to develop such capacities. The analysis identifies the factors and processes that can accelerate the speed at which the Greek armed forces ready themselves to meet the evolving challenges—including drones—posed by their assertive neighbour.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Drones, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Greece, Mediterranean
  • Author: Ahmet Öztürk
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Dramatic political changes in Turkey are not limited to the degradation of state institutions or the democratic backsliding. Turkey is experiencing a substantial change in foreign policy as well. In this context, this study argues that new Turkey’s new foreign policy understanding rests on four inter-related parameters that pertain to the priorities of the country’s ruling coalition: militarisation, Islam, civilisation and power.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Civilization, Militarization
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Nick Danforth
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Tensions between Turkey and the West have steadily worsened over the past five years, but analysts are still no closer to predicting what this means for the future. Many assume that longstanding strategic and economic ties will ultimately force both sides to muddle through and preserve their relationship, while others anticipate that pressure will build to the point where a decisive break becomes inevitable. This paper examines a number of different scenarios that have been put forward for Turkey’s relations with the US and EU, then tries to navigate between the most plausible among them to predict how this hostile dance might progress.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, United States of America, Mediterranean
  • Author: Kemal Kirisçi
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: In contrast to early last year, marked by a “border crisis” that erupted after the Turkish President finally put into action his long-standing threat to “open the border” for Syrian refugees, the year 2021 had a more promising start. The intense tensions in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean that followed the “border crisis” appear to be subsiding. The European Council statement of March 25 offers a possible framework for dialogue and diplomacy to take over from what was an annus horribilis in Greek-Turkish and EU-Turkish relations. Within this framework, room is also made for revisiting the EU-Turkey statement adopted in March 2016 to manage the aftermath of the European migration crisis that had seen a mass displacement of refugees and migrants primarily from Turkey to Greece and on to Europe. The statement has had many opponents and its implementation has faced multiple grievances and recriminations from both sides. Addressing and overcoming these challenges will call for extensive diplomatic effort, good will and take considerable time. In the interim, however, the emerging positive climate offers the possibility to explore expanding cooperation in a relatively successful but inadequately appreciated part of the EU-Turkey statement known as the Facility for Refugees in Turkey (FRIT). FRIT has been instrumental in supporting Syrian and other refugees in Turkey. It has been an important manifestation of burden-sharing with Turkey and has benefitted refugees in concrete terms. Advancing cooperation in this area would also help contribute to mutual confidence building and have a positive spill over into other more complicated issue areas in the migration domain and broader bilateral relations.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Migration, Treaties and Agreements, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Greece, Mediterranean
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: It was around the mid-2000s when Turkey—if only for a short period of time—promulgated the idea of “zero problems with neighbours”. At the time, Turkey was seeking positive reforms in all aspects of public life and a cooperative future with neighbouring countries based on mutual understanding and converging interests. Furthermore, Turkey imagined itself as a bridge between, not as a wall separating and isolating, different regions. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. For almost a decade now, Turkey has been reactionary in its treatment of its own citizens and solipsistic with regard to its neighbours. Democratic backsliding and human rights abuses inside Turkey have become the norm, while militarisation and unilateralism increasingly characterise its foreign policy choices. Its government actions have begun to resemble those of a rogue state. This report seeks neither to explain the intricacies of Erdoğan’s problematic behaviour towards its own people and the rest of the world, nor to denigrate Turkey’s standing. Rather, it aims to raise the alarm about the slippery slope Turkey finds itself on, hopefully well before his governance causes irreparable damage to the region. The report starts by presenting general aspects of Turkey’s relationship with international stakeholders, such as the EU and the US. It proceeds by mapping out internal developments that exemplify strong tendencies of democratic backsliding and human rights abuses. The third part focuses on regional aspects of Turkey’s foreign policy behaviour, starting with the most severe cases that epitomize the militarisation of its foreign policy and violations of international law. It concludes with various cases of political differences between Turkey and states on its periphery, which, combined with the other more severe cases described, demonstrate how Turkey’s foreign policy expectations of ‘zero problems with neighbours’ have turned into a ‘zero neighbours’ reality.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Domestic Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Dimitris Tsarouhas
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Trade and economic relations remain the cornerstone of EU-Turkey relations. The Customs Union (CU) is the sole institutionalized instrument that remains important for both sides. Launching negotiations on how to update its content offers a set of fresh opportunities for the EU to reintroduce political as well as economic conditionality in its relations with Turkey. A step-by-step approach based on monitoring and benchmarking can enhance EU leverage vis á vis Turkey and allow the EU to escape a cycle of ineffective policy interventions on Turkey’s political trajectory. The CU can also become a vehicle to assist the democratic segments of Turkey’s civil society as well as those EU member states who have found themselves searching for an alternative to Turkey’s failed Europeanization.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Migration, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This paper scans the interests and activities of Greece, Cyprus, Turkey and Egypt in the Mediterranean Basin – their varying and competing interests, their points of convergence and cooperation, and the challenges and opportunities for Israel. The paper is based on the main points raised at the third meeting of the working group on Israel in the Mediterranean, held in September 2019 in the Herzliya offices of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung at the initiative of the Mitvim Institute, the Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations and Haifa University’s National Security Studies Center. The paper shines a spotlight on key elements in regional relationships and significant activity taking place in the Mediterranean Basin, which Israel must consider in formulating and executing policy. It is based on the presentations and discussions conducted at the event and does not reflect agreement among all participants.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Irina Tsukerman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The recent news about the involvement of Iranian diplomats in the murder of an Iranian dissident in Turkey sparked a flare of international interest from within the all-encompassing coronavirus pandemic coverage, largely thanks to unflattering comparisons with coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi murder in 2018 (which the Iranian press promoted with gusto). The relative lack of interest in the crime from within Turkey itself reflects Ankara’s willingness to consort with Shiite Islamists to its own advantage.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, National Security, Geopolitics, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Alicia Campi
  • Publication Date: 08-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Dr Alicia Campi, President of the Mongolia Society, explains that “The [“Third Neighbor”] policy was reinterpreted in content and meaning to include cultural and economic partners as diverse as India, Brazil, Kuwait, Turkey, Vietnam, and Iran. With increased superpower rivalry in its region, Mongolia has expanded this basic policy.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Partnerships, Economy
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Turkey, India, Mongolia, Asia, Kuwait, Brazil, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Zoltán Egeresi
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: In this issue of Turkeyscope, Zoltán Egeresi, research fellow at the Hungarian Institute for Strategic and Defence Studies, analyzes the negative Turkish reaction to the normalization deals made between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations, Abraham Accords
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Bahrain, United States of America, UAE
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Turkey’s increasing activity in Africa is part of its new foreign policy doctrine within which Turkey is conceptualized as a global ‘order-producing’ country. The export-oriented companies supporting the AKP constantly seek new markets, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to export his brand of Islamic-conservative ideology to other Muslim-majority countries. Turkish government officials and NGOs emphasize the historical connections between the Ottoman state and the African target countries. Turkey currently plays a key role in the internal affairs of Libya and Somalia, upholding military bases and training programmes. Turkey’s emphasis on humanitarian aid and equality, and the use of government-affiliated NGOs, have produced positive results, but the tendency to see Africa as a terrain for hegemonic power struggles against Egypt and Saudi Arabia is likely to generate negative reactions.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Humanitarian Aid, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Toni Alaranta
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: This study analyzes Turkish foreign policy narratives generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and their intellectual and political context provided by Western debates. The approach is based on the assumption that the narratives about the pandemic provide an interesting window through which to observe the long-term fears and hopes concerning international politics in Turkey. The study utilizes Steven Ward’s conceptualization of distributive and normative revisionism as a theoretical framework for analyzing Turkey’s increasingly assertive foreign policy. It also discusses the analytical limits of this concept by introducing the idea of revisionism as a familiar narrative trope in Western International Relations scholarship. The study demonstrates that while Turkey remains loosely attached to its traditional commitment to defend the existing order, it increasingly expresses its dissatisfaction within that order, sometimes pushing it to the limits, and taking action that could even be defined as normative, or radical, revisionism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Public Health, Pandemic, COVID-19, Revisionism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Ekrem Eddy Güzeldere
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: Germany at the end of 2020 finds itself in an awkward position. It is hailed by President Erdogan as one of the “reasonable countries within the EU” and by Ibrahim Kalin as having “played a remarkably positive role.” Germany has “gained” this esteem because of its mediation efforts between Greece and Turkey concerning the tensions in the East Med and for avoiding harsher EU sanctions. However, concerning the clash between France and Turkey over Islam(ism) and freedom of expression, Germany cannot mediate. Similar confrontations will also occupy Germany for the years to come and the German-Turks, now almost 3 million, will be right in the centre of this confrontation.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations, Sanctions, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Germany, Mediterranean
  • Author: Antonis Kamaras
  • Publication Date: 11-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)
  • Abstract: This policy paper by Antonis Kamaras, Research Associate of ELIAMEP, situates Greece’s call to its fellow EU member states to implement a weapons embargo on Turkey in the context of the relevant past experiences of Greece and other EU member states. The policy brief argues that the EU’s ability to act collectively, aligned with the status of particular member states as producers of advanced weapons systems, means that weapons embargoes are potential milestone events in the Union’s evolution of a collective defence identity. EU member states threatened militarily by non-EU countries are bound to see EU weapons embargoes imposed on the threatening non-EU countries as constitutive, rather than incidental, aspects of the EU’s raison d’être.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, European Union, Weapons , Embargo
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Paul A. Goble
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Turkey’s success in the South Caucasus is echoing across the former Soviet space as well as inside the Russian Federation itself; and not surprisingly, Moscow is worried. Azerbaijan is now openly an ally of Turkey and has Turkish military forces on its territory, something Russia had previously said it would never allow. Three of the four Turkic-majority countries in Central Asia—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan—have taken note of the change in the balance of forces in the region in Turkey’s favor and are increasingly looking toward Ankara for guidance. And some Turkic nations inside the Russian Federation, Volga Tatars in particular, have organized pro-Azerbaijani and pro-Turkic demonstrations, which, despite their small size, troubled the central authorities in Moscow (Vestnik Kavkaza, November 29). Except for Azerbaijan, of course, these all represent overwhelmingly long-term challenges. Central Asian countries are not about to make any dramatic geopolitical shifts unless and until additional robust transportation links through the Caucasus make that compelling; whereas the Turkic peoples within the Russian Federation, however strongly they may identify with such pan-Turkic impulses, have few possible outlets for acting on them.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, International Cooperation, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Caucasus
  • Author: Can Kasapoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In the wake of Azerbaijan’s successful offensive against the dug-in Armenian forces in Karabakh and surrounding Azerbaijani districts, the defense ministers of Turkey and Russia, General (ret.) Hulusi Akar and General Sergei Shoigu, respectively, met on November 11 and penned a memorandum of understanding to broker the ceasefire process in the war-torn region. According to the deal, Ankara and Moscow have, in principle, agreed to establish a joint peace-monitoring headquarters. The Russian foreign policy community has been extremely uneasy to see the Turkish Armed Forces suddenly operating in the South Caucasus, once considered Moscow’s undisputed hinterland (Milliyet, December 3).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Peacekeeping, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Author: Hidajet Biscevic
  • Publication Date: 03-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and International Relations (IRMO)
  • Abstract: From the early period of post-Cold War world order in the last decade of 20th century, through challenges and changes over the two decades of 21st century, Turkey’s foreign policy has been characterized by the need and ability to adapt to the changing, and ever deteriorating global conditions. Changes in the structure and nature of international order and the way Turkish foreign policy evolved are directly related. During the initial period of undisputed unipolar order, Turkey shaped its foreign policy in a way to align its national goals with the main Western partners and alliances. But, as the international system gradually moved from unipolarity to the current “unfinished new system”, characterized by renewed competition and confrontation among a rising number of actors, Turkey started to pursue multi-dimensional and multi- directional foreign policy strategy and practice. In sum, it could be argued that there were “two phases” of Turkish foreign policy approach: of Erdogan's period in 2002.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: In October 2018, the Mitvim Institute held its annual Israel-Turkey policy dialogue, for the seventh consecutive year. The dialogue took place in Istanbul, in cooperation with FriedrichEbert-Stiftung, and was participated by Dr. Nimrod Goren, Dr. Roee Kibrik and Arik Segal of the Mitvim Institute. The policy dialogue included a series of meetings and discussions, with Turkish scholars, journalists, former diplomats, and civil society activists. It focused on Israel-Turkey relations, in light of the current crisis in ties, and on Turkey’s foreign policy in the Middle East. The policy dialogue aimed at helping improve Israel-Turkey relations, by enabling experts from both countries to exchange views on regional developments, to identify opportunities for better bilateral relations, and to increase cooperation between researchers and policy analysts from both countries. Throughout the dialogue, there was a sense that Turkey and Israel can find a way to overcome their current crisis and to reinstate ambassadors. Nevertheless, such progress is not expected to lead to a significant breakthrough in the relations. The Turkish counterparts expressed hope that Israel and Turkey will resume talks on natural gas export from Israel; shared their concern over what they perceive as Israel's support of the Kurds in northern Syria; and pointed out that Turkey and Iran should not be considered by Israel as allies, but rather as countries that cooperate at times regarding shared interest but are also competing with each other and adhering to different ideologies and beliefs. The dialogue also emphasized the importance attributed in Turkey to Jewish community in the US, and to the impact it has on the American discourse towards Turkey as well as on US policy towards the Middle East. This paper highlights key insights from the meetings and discussions that took place throughout the policy dialogue. It does not reflect consensus among all participants.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: In recent years, the Eastern Mediterranean has become a central focus of world powers, of states in the Middle East, Europe, and beyond, and of international corporations. Regional geopolitical developments, as well as economic opportunities generated by natural gas discoveries in the Mediterranean, have contributed to this trend and turned the Eastern Mediterranean into a distinct sub-region perceived as having unique features. Israel plays a central role in this development. Israeli diplomacy identified these trends correctly, successfully becoming an active and dominant player in the region. The natural gas findings in Israel’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) provide it with a wider range of diplomatic options, helping it promote relationships with various states in the region; including some engaged in conflict with each other. Israelis regard the Mediterranean as an important component of their identity, as reflected in the 2018 Israeli Foreign Policy Index of the Mitvim Institute, in which 22 percent of those surveyed claimed Israel belongs predominantly to this region (compared with 28 percent who said it belongs to the Middle East and 23 percent to Europe).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Author: Roee Kibrik, Nimrod Goren
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Mitvim: The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies
  • Abstract: This document briefly outlines major trends in Israel’s regional foreign policies over the past six months. It is based on the Mitvim Institute’s monthly reports that cover ongoing developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process/conflict, Israel’s relations with the Middle East, Europe and the Mediterranean, and the conduct of Israel’s Foreign Service.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, International Affairs, Peace
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Greece, Jerusalem, Gaza, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, European Union
  • Author: Jonathan Spyer
  • Publication Date: 04-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: All indications suggest that for Turkey, the recent battles were only a phase in a larger process. So where might Turkey turn next? And what is the goal of the Turkish campaign?
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Minorities, Discrimination
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Kurdistan
  • Author: David M. Weinberg
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS)
  • Abstract: Israel should be defending itself against Erdogan by blocking his Jerusalem incursion, and taking the offensive against Erdogan by impeding his military build-up.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Authoritarianism, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Federico Donelli, Alessia Chiriatti
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Strategic Research and Analysis (CESRAN)
  • Abstract: The disintegration of Yugoslavia has created huge instability in the Balkans since 1990. The post-conflicts challenges are still now on the table. Turkey continues to consider the Western Balkan countries as a priority: its activism reflects the multi-directionality of JDP’s policy. The paper will be oriented to enquire on Turkish networks in the Western Balkans. The approach will be historical and political, with an analysis of bilateral relations from the end of the Ottoman Empire, till ‘90s wars and the arrival of JDP on government. Throughout the analysis of two case studies - Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo- this article aims to highlight the application of the Turkey’s soft power in the Western Balkans.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil Society, State Formation, Regional Power
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Kosovo, Balkans, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Author: Suat Kiniklioglu
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF)
  • Abstract: This first paper in the DCAF-STRATIM paper series by Suat Kiniklioglu analyses the development of Turkey's policy towards Syria since the start of the Arab Uprisings. It illustrates the factors which contributed to the shift in Ankara's foreign policy focus towards Syria; from its role as the strongest advocate for regime change, to the sole focus on the prevention of a Kurdish consolidated geographical and political entity in Syria. The author describes how Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan and Ahmed Davutoǧlu saw the Arab Uprisings as a unique Turkish moment that could allow the country to regain its long-lost international grandeur. Ankara detected that the Muslim Brotherhood was on the rise in the region. In Tunisia, the Ennahda Movement; in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhvan); and in many other Middle Eastern countries - including Syria - Ikhvan-affiliated movements were on the march.€ The author concludes that, contrasting with the initial enthusi­asm about a "Turkish Moment" when the Arab Uprisings erupted, Ankara will have to settle, it seems, for a much more modest outcome than originally envisaged in 2011.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Arab Spring, Military Intervention, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Soli Ozel
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: On November 24, 2015, despite multiple warnings from Turkish air patrols, a Russian SU-24 aircraft that violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds was shot down by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet. The Russians denied that they were ever in Turkish airspace, while NATO corroborated the Turkish version. According to Turkish sources, there were repeated warnings for five minutes—which the Russians claimed they never received—and Turkey’s rules of engagement were well known to the Russians. One pilot was rescued by Russian special forces, but Turkmen rebels—trained and supplied by Turkey—on the ground across the border in Syria shot and killed the other as he was parachuting from the plane.* Turkish authorities immediately approached NATO for support, a move that reportedly infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called the downing of the plane “a stab in the back.” The Russian military claimed that the Turkish action was preplanned—an accusation the Turkish General Staff denied. After initially reiterating that its rules of engagement were clear, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed sadness at the downing of the plane and his hope that the crisis could be resolved.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Galip Dalay
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: Turkey’s foreign policy during most of the republican era was informed by the security imperatives of the Cold War and the crises that ensued from the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. These influences were coupled with the country’s republican elites crafting Turkey’s identity along the lines of strict secularism, militant nationalism, and a western orientation. As a status quo power, Turkey looked at its neighborhood through the lens of security, becoming highly sensitive to threats of all varieties and seeing itself in a hostile environment—if not surrounded by outright enemies. Upon coming to power in 2002, successive Justice and Development Party, or AKP, governments tried to change this understanding and minimize areas of friction with Turkey’s neighbors. During the early years, they adopted a utilitarian approach, attempting to develop mutual interests and opportunities and to create a degree of interdependency, particularly through economic exchange. This was expressed through then-Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s “zero problems with the neighbors” principle, which provided the intellectual architecture for much of Turkey’s foreign policy. The AKP sought to build an “economy first” approach, which it would later hope to leverage for political purposes. From the beginning of the AKP’s second term in 2007 to the early days of the Arab uprisings in late 2010 and into 2011, the party gradually expanded its ambitions and policy toward the Middle East through attempts to achieve regional integration and, later, to build an order centered on Turkey. All of these attempts sought to build on economic relations toward economic integration and political cooperation and were very much in line with the neofunctionalist approach to regional integration theories.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, NATO, Diplomacy, Military Affairs, European Union, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Bülent Aras, Emirhan Yorulmazlar
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for American Progress - CAP
  • Abstract: Simplistic binary readings generally fail to explain the trajectory of Turkish-Iranian relations. The geostrategic rivalry between these two regional powers has deep historical roots, is subject to long-term patterns, and is amenable to realignments as a result of shifts in regional and international balances of power. For these reasons, assessing Turkish-Iranian relations requires a broader understanding than the prevalent narrow topical analysis provides.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: N. Nevra Esentürk
  • Publication Date: 03-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: BILGESAM (Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies)
  • Abstract: One can evaluate the last decade of Turkey’s foreign policy within two categorical contexts: the pre and post Arab spring eras. An overall assessment shows that within these contexts, Turkey’s foreign policy in the pre-revolutionary era had proven more successful and fruitful. In contrast, however, the same could not be said of the post-revolutionary era; the Arab Spring distraught Turkey’s foreign policies and was the proverbial breaking-point for its continued stability and success.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights, History, Arab Spring, Strategic Stability
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Djan Sauerborn, Bastian Matteo Scianna, Marius Mazziotti
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Economic and Social Development (CESD)
  • Abstract: This paper seeks to outline how Azerbaijan should manage the numerous foreign policy challenges it faces due to its strategic location, wealth in resources, neighbors and surrounding conflicts. As a small state, Baku should seek to balance interests and pursue a path of multipolarity, without however forfeiting a strong stance towards governments that threaten its status quo. Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the West all have their interests and Azerbaijan has to become a pawn in the hands of the powerful. The resolution of the “frozen conflict” over Nagorno-Karabakh would mark a great step in the right direction, providing Baku with more leverage. The economic power of Azerbaijan gives the South Caucasian Republic a unique asset and allows Baku to play a balancing role regarding conflict prevention and conflict solution in this region which is often described as a geopolitical chessboard.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Multipolarity
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, South Caucasus
  • 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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
  • 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