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  • Author: I. Aytac Kadioglu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The purpose of this article is to assess international negotiation efforts towards ending the civil war in Syria. Although many peace events have been organised since the beginning of the civil war, the existing literature has paid little attention to the impact of international peace efforts in ending the Syrian war. The article aims to close this gap by assessing major peace efforts between 2011 and 2019; The Arab League Peace Plan, the United Nations peace initiatives, and the Geneva, Vienna and Astana peace talks. It analyses these efforts through official reports and documents published by the UN, US, Republic of Turkey, UN Security Council, and members of peace initiatives. These documents are complemented by newspaper articles showing the official views of the regional and global actors as well as the key agents of the conflict. Therefore, the article reveals the reasons for the failure of these conflict resolution efforts. The Syrian government’s reluctance to end the conflict in a non-violent way, the armed groups’ dream of territorial gains and regional and global powers’ involvement in the conflict prevented the solution of the conflict. It utilises official negotiations and ripeness approaches to investigate the insights and contents of peace efforts. The article argues that the regional and global powers have acted as facilitators instead of mediators in the peace talks. It finds that even though these peace events are viewed as official negotiations, they are only pre-negotiation efforts.
  • Topic: Civil War, Diplomacy, International Cooperation, United Nations, Peace
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Syria
  • Author: Eray Alim
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This manuscript aims to assess Palestinian street art’s effectiveness as a resistance tool and political instrument in the struggle waged against Israel. It concludes by employing Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic power that Palestinian street art is an effective instrument on account of its ability to instill in Palestinian collective consciousness as a sense of resistance. By utilizing Mouffe’s definition of politics as being a constant struggle between hegemonic and counter hegemonic forces, this work also holds that street art serves Palestinians as a means to reaffirm their political existence and develop an alternative political imagination against the Israeli-imposed reality. This manuscript also broaches the oft-discussed issue of visual diversity in Palestinian street art scene and concludes that eclectic content may serve as a contributive force, if the counter hegemonic character of Palestinian street art is adhered to.
  • Topic: Arts, Culture, Hegemony, Resistance
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Esra Cavusoglu
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Qatar, a young and tiny Gulf State, realized a remarkable transformation through an immense economic development between 1995 and 2013, and emerged as an active and influential actor at the international stage, receiving worldwide attention and scholarly interests. However, in the post-Arab Spring context, Qatar became the linchpin of a regional crisis as a consequence of the emerging political clash among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States. This paper analyzes Qatar’s distinctive policies throughout its rise (1995-2013) and the recent period of the regional crisis within the framework of leadership conception. It is argued that the leadership factor played a key role in transforming both the auspicious circumstances of the previous term and the challenging circumstances of the recent term into great advantages to promote Qatar’s autonomy. Through this perspective, it is aimed to address why and how Qatar differs from other small Gulf States, and how this affected Qatar’s emerging as a rising power and as a major party to the regional crisis.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Arab Spring, Economic Development , Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Qatar, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Hadi Gamshadzehifar
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This study investigates the response of the Baloch Sunni ethno-religious minorty towards the assimilationist approach of the Islamic Republic of Iran. It argues that the Iranian theocratic political system uses an assimilationist approach and tries to assimilate the Baloch-Sunni into Shia Persain dominated ethno-religious group; but, this policy has been resisted by different strata of the society. The study finds that although there is a general consensus among the Baloch Sunnis to uphold their ethno-religious values, each segment of the Baloch Sunni society is combatting the central government’s ethno-religious policy on its own way depending on the means available, ranging from cultural efforts to political and military activities.
  • Topic: Religion, Military Strategy, Sunni, Shia, Assimilation
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Ibrahim Efe
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: This analysis looks at images of Kurdish female fighters in social media. It argues that Kurdish female fighters have been objectified by international media and Kurdish politicians, who have realised the public relations value of images, and started to disseminate variegated images of Kurdish female fighters, particularly in the context of the war against DAESH (ISIS). The basic tenets of Edward Said’s thesis remain relevant in orientalist and gendered representations of the actors involved in Syrian civil war, and therefore the study uses orientalism as an analytical tool to critically engage with dominant western depictions of female Kurdish fighters. To this aim, news images of Kurdish female fighters are semiotically analysed using Barthes’ framework as proposed in his seminal work “Mythologies”. The analysis aims to unleash the interrelationship between imagery and international and domestic politics using the concept of post-truth politics. The imagery of Kurdish female fighters is used by Western powers and Kurdish political groups to legitimize their political positions in the prolonged civil war in Syria.
  • Topic: Civil War, Gender Issues, Social Media, Orientalism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Oguzhan Goksel
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Anti-Western sentiment is a common feature of politics in many non-Western societies such as China, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, Iran and various Arab countries. Challenging the scholarly literature that depicts anti-Westernism as an “irrational, extremist and fundamentalist reaction to the cultural hegemony of the West,” this article conceptualizes anti-Westernism as a rational reaction to –and an unsurprising consequence of– the problematic political/economic interactions between non- Western societies (e.g. Iran) and Western powers (e.g. Britain, France and the US). Iran is a particularly noteworthy case because anti-Westernism played a key role in the formation of the modern state in the country. The foreign policy behavior of Iran in our time and the historical trajectory that produced the Islamic Republic after the 1979 Revolution cannot be understood without acknowledging anti-Westernism. The origins of anti-Westernism in Iran are explored in this article through interpreting the path dependent historical experience of the country, with a particular emphasis on the relations between Iran and Western countries. In contrast to works that attribute Iran’s anti-Western foreign policy to the Islamist ideology of the post-1979 era, it will be argued that hostility to the Western-dominated international political system should actually be traced to the transformation in which the Iranian national identity evolved in the early 20th century.
  • Topic: Imperialism, Islamism, Revolution, Anti-Westernism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East, North America
  • Author: Mahdi Karimi, Seyed Masoud Mousavi Shafaee
  • Publication Date: 06-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: Civil war in Syria started in 2011 provide an important and rich area of investi- gation into the study of civil war. The present study is intended to concentrate on the cause of Syrian civil war. The main focus of the paper is on the investigation of why and how civil war in Syria was triggered. Despite the various ways in which Syrian civil war can be addressed, the paper benefited from good/ poor governance theoretical framework to investigate the cause of the civil war. The findings support the theoretical argument that poor governance has led to civil war in Syria. Governance indicators show lack of free and fair elections, low level of rule of law, high level of corruption, lack of voice and accountability, exclusion of different interest groups, inequity and government ineffectiveness in Syria which have been resulted in lasting civil war.
  • Topic: Civil War, Corruption, Governance, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Esra Cavusoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971, started a new era in the region with new political order and new security map. Iran and Saudi Arabia emerged as the guardians of the status quo to be filling the power vacuum left by the British in behalf of the West. Britain adopted a new post-imperial role in the region along with new post-colonial foreign policy in the post-withdrawal context. British policy towards the regional security is analysed in this article with central focus on the shift emerged in the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in the British policy. After 1979, Iran, no longer a Western ally, has been defined as the major internal threat for the regional security following the major external threat of the Soviet expansion in the British foreign policy. This paper argues that the shift in the British policy came along with a sectarianist approach towards the region. The sectarianization emerged with the securitization of the Gulf based on “Iran threat” within the determinants of the Anglo-American alliance on the regional security. The sectarianist discourse adopted by the British foreign policy was employed as an effective tool of the securitization of the Gulf that was deepened during the regional conflicts, the Iran-Iraq War and the Gulf War.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Military Strategy, Sectarianism
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe, Iran, Middle East, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Furkan Halit Yolcu
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
  • Institution: Sakarya University (SAU)
  • Abstract: The Persian Gulf War was one of the defining incidents that shaped the current situation of the Middle East. There has been a vast amount of studies about this conflict but on a specific case why Israel stayed out of the conflict even though she was attacked continues to be an intriguing question for researchers. Saddam’s decision on invading Kuwait and the war following this is going to be summarized in order to present the structure when this incident took place and also to build an environment in which Israel’s decision on refraining itself from the war is going to be analyzed. Israel is perceived as one of the most agg- ressive countries in the Middle East mostly because of the wars that it included so far and the grand projects that it wants to put in practice in the future. With these assumptions it is rather hard to understand Israel’s passive behaviour during the Persian Gulf War and possible reasons of this is going to be main focus of this study to understand the motivations behind such policy. Israel’s state in that period and its capacity will be analyzed in order to understand whether this decision was taken directly and solely by Israel or it was a result of long-going dependency to another country or any other possible situation. Possible reasons that resulted with Israel’s passive attitude will be under the scope to explain whether what Israel did was rather rational or not. In addition to that, the advantages that Israel enjoyed and disadvantages that it faced will be shown at the last part of the study.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Military Affairs, Conflict, Gulf War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, North America