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  • Author: Gul Berna Ozcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Sovereignty After Empire: Comparing the Middle East and Central Asia The demise of empires left a powerful and perplexing legacy for successor states in the Middle East and Central Asia. Sally Cummings and Raymond Hinnebusch set the scene for this fascinating collection of essays in the introduction, where they address the limits of the Westphalian state system and frame the sovereignty question in relation to the imported character of the state in former colonies. Empires were amorphous, whether as contiguous landforms or maritime empires. In contrast to modern nation-states with clearly demarcated boundaries as prerequisites for legitimacy, empires could devolve variable autonomies from the center without breaking up. Empires may adapt to nationalism and local challenges, but the nation-states that emerge are fragile. What is especially interesting about this volume is that the authors seek to explore continuities, ruptures and divergences. In stark contrast to those who suggest that the legacy of imperialism is no longer relevant, these essays focus on the understanding that comes from analyses of the imperial and colonial past.
  • Topic: Economics, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Middle East, Soviet Union
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely volume, Alexander Warkotsch gathers a variety of authors from different backgrounds who work and research Central Asia to produce an empirically well-sustained analysis of the policies and practices in the European Union's (EU) approach towards the area. Warkotsch, an associate researcher at Würzburg University in Germany, has a strong research record on Central Asia, which together with the regional and EU expertise of the authors makes this volume an important contribution to studies about EU relations with Central Asia. In fact, this is an under-researched area and there are few studies attempting at grasping the dynamics underlying these relations. The volume coordinated by Neil Melvin1 (2008) was perhaps the first attempt at systematizing these relations, looking at the dilemmas the EU faces resulting from the development of closer cooperation in economic, security and political terms with Central Asian states while remaining loyal to its normative approach of promoting democratization, securing the protection of human rights and strengthening social justice. Michael Emerson and Jos Boonstra's study (CEPS, 2010) departs from the 2007 EU strategic document and brings a strong regional dimension to the study of EU's engagement and how it mixes with other actors very much present in the area, including China, Iran, Russia, Turkey and the United States.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Germany
  • 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: Alex Jackson
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There are few regions more unknown and caricatured than Central Asia, and within it perhaps no country is less understood than Turkmenistan. Central Asia is oil, caravanserais, the Great Game, and the Silk Road; in the popular imagination, Turkmenistan's only distinguishing feature is its reputation as a “Stalinist Disneyland” with revolving statues, Gaddafiesque Books of Wisdom, and empty cities of marble. The people are absent.
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Turkmenistan
  • Author: Emmanuel Karagiannis
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This book examines the role of clans in Central Asia from the 19th century up to 2004. Most studies of regime transition focus on formal institutions. However, Collins claims that modern clans, defined as networks of individuals linked through kinship and fictive kin identities (p. 17), function as informal political actors which has initiated or undermined political change in Central Asia. Moreover, clan membership frequently determines career prospects, especially in the public sector, influences social status, and functions as a defense mechanism against outside competitors. To begin with, the author does a very good job of providing a theoretical framework to understand clan politics (p. 24-53). From her point of view, understanding clans requires the comprehension of both rational and cultural elements. In addition, she adequately explains why and how clans survived during the Soviet period, despite efforts to eradicate them and impose new national identities among Central Asia's indigenous population (pp. 62-134).
  • Topic: Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Muharrem Ekşi
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: An increase in world's energy needs coupled with a decrease in available resources has created a trend that will lead to the militarization of energy resources in the future. This could cause a realpolitik style international conflict and power struggle, and it is this issue that is addressed in this work. This book consists of 11 articles that look at energy security policy in world politics and the militarization of resource management.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Central Asia
  • Author: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Palestinian question is a central issue at the both state and society level in Turkey. Thousands of Turkish people protested the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza this month in different parts of Turkey. Turkish PM Erdogan responded to the Israeli action by labeling it an act of disrespect to Turkey and suspended Turkey's facilitating role for indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Erdogan also initiated an intensive diplomatic campaign at the regional and international levels, utilizing Turkey's seat in the United Nations Security Council. Turkey calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and urges a compromise between rival Palestinian groups. Finally, the war on Gaza will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the region as well as for Turkish-Israeli relations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Tarik Oguzlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recent years have made it clear that NATO is going through a transformation process; Turkey will be one of the allies most affected by this process. Both the future of NATO and Turkey's perception of NATO membership will be at stake unless the allies can reach consensus on the core strategic issues of the transformation agenda. Analysts urgently need to come up with convincing answers to the following questions: In which ways has NATO's transformation been going through? Why does Turkey feel uneasy with some aspects of the process? What steps should Turkey take in order to ensure that the transformation of the Alliance is viewed positively at home?
  • Topic: NATO, International Cooperation, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, 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: Bülent Aras
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a Turkish world from the “Adriatic Sea to the Chinese Wall” became a new topic of discussion in Turkish policy circles. While Turkey tried to develop close political, economic and cultural relations with the newly independent Central Asian Republics, the mid and late 1990s witnessed a steady decline in the relations and failed to produce any concrete results. With its new foreign policy outlook, Turkey is seeking to increase its field of sphere in Central Asia by revitalizing its efforts to reconnect with the sister Turkish states. Security, economic cooperation, energy and civil society initiatives are the new dynamics of the Turkish- Central Asian relations
  • Topic: International Relations, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Saltanat Berdikeeva
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Georgia's military gamble in South Ossetia in August 2008 opened a Pandora's Box of misfortunes. Tbilisi is now faced with the loss of its breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, meanwhile creating a potential opportunity for Russia to assume a much-coveted control over the energy transit routes passing through Georgia. While the conflict has further spoiled the relations between the West and Russia, setting in motion stiffer competition between the two to secure the energy sources of Central Asia and Azerbaijan, the pragmatic calculations of the players involved in the Eurasian energy game may eventually change the tone of the game. With unresolved issues surrounding doubts over the sufficiency of energy supplies and the availability of means to deliver them from Central Asia and the Caucasus to Europe, Russia's preeminent position as a supplier of energy to the West will be maintained.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Central Asia
  • Author: Joshua W. Walker
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey stands at the threshold of all major trends within its neighborhood and is actively seeking to harness the assets that its geography and historical experiences afford it. As a staunch ally of the United States which has traditionally privileged its "strategic partnership," Turkey's global role has shifted from being a Western geo-strategic military deterrent to an exemplary model of a Muslim-majority, secular, and democratic nation. This article offers an introduction to Turkey's new foreign policy doctrine known as "strategic depth" and then seeks to examine its implications for Turkey's emerging role in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Central Asia. In the following sections, this article will outline how Turkey is beginning to realize its full potential as a versatile multiregional and increasingly powerful international actor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Xin Ma, Mehmet Öğütçü
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Energy-deficit China and resourceful Russia/Central Asia have been engaged most intensely over the past decade in a complex relationship involving expanded oil and gas trade, cross investment, pipelines and geopolitical ambitions. Today, Central Asia represents for China both a potential market for its growing economy and a source of strategically important raw materials. It is also important for ensuring stability and security in China's restless Xinjiang- Uyghur Autonomous region on the other side of the border. The verdict is not out yet, but clearly China has made significant progress in achieving its goals vis-à-vis Central Asia, namely (i) support regional stability, (ii) obtain access to energy resources on a mutually beneficial basis, and (iii) further develop economic relations with region. The Russia factor is omnipresent and swings from confrontation to co-operation as national interests and regional politics dictate.
  • Topic: Oil
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Central Asia