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  • Author: Mustafa Onur Tetik
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Following Turkey’s recent military operation in Syria (Operation Peace Spring), “Turks” and “Kurds” have widely been dichotomized by the Western media outlets and political circles. US President Donald Trump even claimed that “Turks” and “Kurds” have been fighting for hundreds of years, and that they are “natural enemies.” However, the complex historical relationship of “Turks” and “Kurds,” as a loosely connected social totality prior to the age of nationalism, refutes such sloppy and feeble contentions. This work presents an identity-driven historical survey of Turkish/Turkmen societies’ and polities’ interrelations with Kurdish collectivities until the emergence of modern nationhood and nationalism. In doing so, this article provides an ideational and narrational context feeding the Turkish government’s contemporary relationship with the Kurds of the Middle East. The major complication in journalistic and academic literature is rooted in the lack or omission of historical background informing current policy choices influenced by how relevant actors historically perceive each other. Today’s incidents and facts such as the “solution process,” “village guard system” or different Kurdish collectivities’ positions between Iran and Turkey are sometimes akin to precedent events in history. This work aims to make a holistic contribution to fill this gap and to provide a succinct historical overview of interrelations.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Nationalism, Regional Cooperation, Nation-State
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Volkan Ipek, Selin Turkes-Kilic
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Morocco’s and Turkey’s full membership application processes to the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1987 from an identity perspective. The construction of both Morocco’s and Turkey’s European-ness are explored alongside aspects of postcolonial and modernization theories rooted in the poststructuralist approach by taking official discourses of the political leaders in the two states at the time of application into account. In the conventional narratives of the establishment of their modern states, Morocco perceived Europe as its other due to the history of European colonialism, whereas Turkey perceived Europe as its other considering it a threat to its national unity prior to the establishment of the Republic in 1923. In spite of this, two states tried to add European-ness into their national identities through their application to the EEC in 1987. In this way, Morocco and Turkey aimed at demonstrating not why European but how much European they were. In Morocco’s case, an obligation for demonstrating one’s European- ness is explained through the lens of postcolonial theory, and in Turkey’s case, the modernization paradigm is applied. Departing from these theoretical standpoints, the study focuses on official European-ness discourses by Moroccan and Turkish leaders, which had taken place as dynamic processes. In this respect, the article unravels how Europe and European-ness that was once regarded as the other by Turkey and Morocco were tried to be included into Moroccan and Turkish national identities on the path to become a full member to the EEC.
  • Topic: Post Colonialism, Regional Cooperation, Colonialism, Modernization, Economic Cooperation, European Economic Community
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Morocco
  • Author: Onder Canveren
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: International and regional organizations can act as persuasive actors with re- gard to minority rights in a given country by raising awareness, putting the issue on agenda, and endorsing a new platform in a country which may lead to a policy change. Despite the general observation that Turkey’s Europeanizati- on process has had limited impact on the minority issues in Turkey, there are numerous examples that the European Union (EU) has played a constructive role in improving of rights and fundamental freedoms for the Kurdish populace living in Turkey. The Law on Compensation for Damage Arising from Terror passed in 2004 is a case worth addressing in order to ascertain both the symbo- lic and discursive policy change. The aim of this article is to explain how the EU used democratic tools to promote change in Turkey’s political structure for the displaced Kurds. The Europeanization of Turkey, based on specific con- ditionality, is taken as primarily responsible for granted for the shift and the policy change. In this policy-oriented case study, hypotheses from Rationalist and Constructivist Approaches in Europeanization literature are investigated to explain the causes and constitutive relations of the policy shift from repudiate to compensation.
  • Topic: Migration, Regional Cooperation, Minorities, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia