The Impact of Changing Islamic Identity in Turkey's New Foreign Policy

Martina Warning, Tuncay KardaƟ
Content Type
Journal Article
Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
Issue Number
Publication Date
Summer-Fall 2011
Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
Much praise and calumny has been heaped on the new Turkish Foreign Policy (TFP) for its peculiar record in the last decade. In particular, probing into whether Turkey drifts from the West have recently become something of a cottage industry. Systematic studies analyzing complexities and nuances of the new TFP are scarce. Instead, both the champions and critics of the new TFP often cloak normative and empirical debate in hastily designed conceptual edifice, which not only tend to simplify and misconstrue the whole debate on what is at stake in Turkey's changing identity and foreign policy, but also expose deep misperceptions and confusions rather than scholarly communication. This article seeks to offer an analysis of Turkey's new foreign policy orientations in relation to its identity-changes affect policies and posi-tions of Turkey in world politics. It first provides a general overview of the approach developed by the founding figure of the new TFP, Ahmet Davutoglu. Secondly, it identifies theoretical underpinnings of the new TFP with a view to evaluating the role of its religious and cultural identity. Then, a selection of discussions both from the advocates and critics with regard to empirical cases including the Iraq and Israeli conundrums are put under scrutiny. Thirdly, the much-hyped debate as to whether the new TFP drifts from the West and its ideals are put into context order to provide a more balanced view of what is at issue in Turkey's changing foreign policy orientations.
Political Geography