Insight Turkey Volume 16 No 1


Winter 2014 Volume 16 No 1

 

 

Insight Turkey Volume 15 No 4, 2013

 

COMMENTARIES

Can the U.S. Government Accept an Independent Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East?

RICHARD FALK


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 7-18

ABSTRACT The end of the Cold War marked the end of adversary patterns of alignment in the Middle East, and the ebbing dichotomy between the U.S. and USSR led to vast uncertainty. In response, then-President Turgut Özal stated, as early as 1991, that Turkey should seek an active foreign policy. It was not, until the AK Party came to power a decade later, however, that Ankara began to seriously question Turkey’s acquiescence in Washington’s strategic unipolarity. Ahmet Davutoğlu’s appointment as Foreign Minister emphasized Turkey’s independence and activism, causing unease in Washington. Nevertheless, the U.S. has been generally flexible toward a more independent Turkish foreign policy, under the condition that it does not threaten vital U.S. interests. [Read more]

 

The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Process Stalled in Neutral

MICHAEL M. GUNTER

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 19-26

ABSTRACT The Turkish-Kurdish peace process began in early 2013 and stalled soon after. During that period, the Kurds expected the government to release KCK activists, improve Ocalan's prison conditions, allow Kurdish-language education, and lower the 10-percent electoral threshold. In response, the government announced a reform package, which, among others, allowed education in Kurdish in private schools. The government also sought to shut down Ocalan and remove the PKK from the peace process, by reaching out to Massoud Barzani's Kurdistan Regional Government. Still, there is no doubt that a strong and democratic Turkey would improve the Turkish-Kurdish relationship and benefit the lives of Kurdish citizens. [Read more]

 

A Fire in the Minds of Arabs: The Arab Spring in Revolutionary History

MARK PERRY

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 27-34

ABSTRACT Fire is both the symbol of revolution and its most potent weapon. Much like the American Revolution and other key historic events, the Arab Spring began with fire when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest his treatment by police. Ever since the Arab Spring’s onset, experts have debated about its eventual conclusion and concentrated on major forces, including the army and the clergy. The future of the revolutions, however, rests with the masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The uprisings marked deep and irreversible changes in the Arab world and will inevitably entail future repercussions. For onlookers, the best policy is not to interfere, but to let the fire burn. [Read more]

 

International Relations and Migration Management: The Case of Turkey

FRANCK DUVELL

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 35-44

ABSTRACT States often fall out or collaborate over issues to do with international migration whilst migrants through their very actions shape the interdependence of states. Turkey and the EU also frequently argue over migration issues. Over the years, Turkey’s economy grew significantly. It became an attraction and a safe haven to migrants and refugees. In April 2013, a new migration and asylum law came into force that responds to these new challenges. This was followed by the EU-Turkey visa liberalisation and readmission agreements. This contribution sketches some of the issues and notably the wider context to these latest developments. [Read more]

 

From Democracy to Military Dictatorship: Egypt 2013 = Chile 1973

AZZAM TAMIMI

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 45-53

ABSTRACT During the months leading up to July 3, 2013, the state of Egypt mirrored that of Chile 40 years ago. What Egypt’s Mohamed Mursi and Chile’s Salvador Allende shared was the misfortune of coming to power with a relatively large majority and an adamant refusal to surrender. While there is no evidence of U.S. involvement in the process, America and its allies in the European Union have refrained from calling what happened in Egypt a coup. Egypt – much like Chile – will likely return to the path of democracy, though after considerable time and effort, and a projected roadmap that will likely generate further economic hardship and instability. [Read more]

 

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Rewriting the Middle East Map

JAMES M. DORSEY

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 55-62

ABSTRACT Surveying today’s Middle Eastern and North African landscape offers few straws of hope. Iran’s reemergence producing a potential catalyst for a focus on core domestic political, economic and social issues could be one of those few straws. Whether Iran wittingly or unwittingly plays that role, the Middle East and North Africa are only likely to break their internecine cycle of violence and despair when the alternative becomes too costly. A resolution of the nuclear issue offers Iran far more than the ultimate lifting of crippling international sanctions. It would also allow Iran to capitalize on geostrategic gains it has made despite its international isolation. What worries opponents of the nuclear deal like Israel and Saudi Arabia most is the potential transformation of Iran from a game spoiler into a constructive player. [Read more]

  

ARTICLES

Theorizing the Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy

KILIÇ BUĞRA KANAT

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 65-84

ABSTRACT The transformation of Turkish foreign policy has become a closely followed subject, fueling important debates on the underlying reasons, resources, actors, outcomes, and nature of the policy progress. This change has also introduced new challenges to those who have adopted generic models to understand and explain Turkish foreign policy. This article will examine and discuss the main causes that have complicated the study of Turkish foreign policy during this period, such as simultaneous changes in the nature and conceptualization of the international system –the end of the unipolar world, the emergence of new power centers - and domestic transformations in Turkey, including active civilian control of military, the emergence of an attentive public opinion in foreign policy. [Read more]

 

Geopolitical Codes in Davutoğlu’s Views toward the Middle East

EMRE ERŞEN

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 85-101

ABSTRACT Critical geopolitics, which is a relatively new field of study for scholars of international relations, seeks to understand and analyze how politics is imagined spatially. To this end, it makes a distinction between three types of geopolitical reasoning: formal, practical, and popular geopolitics. Ahmet Davutoğlu is a very significant figure in terms of exploring the close relationship between formal and practical geopolitics in the context of Turkey due to his dual identities as an international relations professor and a foreign minister. Employing a critical geopolitical approach, this paper aims to discuss Davutoğlu’s geopolitical ideas toward the Middle East by analyzing his writings and speeches to reveal the main images and narratives that shape his geopolitical understanding of this region. [Read more]

 

A Golden Age of Relations: Turkey and the Western Balkans During the AK Party Period

MEHMET UĞUR EKİNCİ

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 103-125

ABSTRACT This article provides a general overview of Turkey’s relations with the Western Balkans during the AK Party government. Although the Western Balkans has always been of primary interest for Turkey, the relations with this region had progressed only slowly and partially until the mid-2000s. From that time onwards, the convergence of a number of factors, including Turkey’s economic progress, the AK Party’s active foreign policy vision, the growth of civil society and the business sector, and favorable international political and economic conditions created new opportunities for Turkey in the Western Balkans. Consequently, the relations between Turkey and the Western Balkans has developed rapidly, especially in the economic and social spheres. Meanwhile, Turkey still has to deal with certain challenges and shortcomings for further deepening of these relations and their translation into political influence. [Read more]

 

Turkey’s Humanitarian Diplomacy and Development Cooperation

CEMALETTİN HAŞİMİ

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 127-145

ABSTRACT During the last decade international development assistance became an indispensable aspect of Turkish foreign policy. While expanding development cooperation activities both geographically and in the variety of development programs, Turkey’s successful demand-driven aid policy and effective responses to humanitarian crises gained global attention. Displaying a systematic increase, Turkey has become the 4th largest donor in development assistance and 3rd in humanitarian aid generosity in 2012, providing development assistance to 131 countries listed as aid recipients in 2011. This study, providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive data on Turkish developmental assistance, aims to provide a history of Turkey’s international assistance policy with a focus on the last decade. [Read more]

 

The Gezi Protests: An Outburst at Turkey’s Shatter-Zone

EDİBE SÖZEN and M. HAKAN YAVUZ

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 147-162

ABSTRACT The purpose of this paper is to examine the social and political causes of the Gezi protests, and their long- and short-term impact on Turkey’s domestic landscape. As part of our endeavor to enrich the conversation over the protests, this paper puts in context both the meaning and media coverage of the Gezi protests. This in turn will explain how on the one hand a protest over a particular environmental dispute escalated into vulgar anti-Erdoğan slogans and wild Tahrir comparisons, but on the other hand faded away without leaving a mark on Turkey’s national political map. Following our analysis of the Gezi Park phenomenon, we will offer our view of its implications. [Read more]

 

Turkey’s Ergenekon Imbroglio and Academia’s Apathy

HAKKI TAŞ

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 163-179

ABSTRACT The Gladio Scandal in Europe and, more recently, Turkey’s Ergenekon trials highlight the importance of hidden power networks behind the façade of parliamentary democracy. Dubbed as “deep state” in the Turkish context, the phenomenon suffers from a scarcity of scholarly analyses. This paper demonstrates the lack of academic interest in this complex issue in Europe, and Turkey in particular. After reviewing the central currents in the academic literature on the Turkish deep state, it offers an analysis of the Ergenekon affair in continuity with Turkey’s recent past. [Read more]

 

Roaring in Libya, Whispering in Others: UN Security Council’s Posture During the ‘Arab Spring’

BERDAL ARAL

Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, pp. 181-197

ABSTRACT This paper examines the position of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the Arab revolutions of 2010-2013. In the early 1990s, the UNSC devised the doctrine of ‘humanitarian intervention’ which was premised on the view that systematic and comprehensive human rights violations within a state could pose a “threat to international peace and security.” Nevertheless, the Security Council consistently failed to act during the course of Arab uprisings due to a number of structural and procedural problems, including the primacy of national interests, permanent members’ disagreement about the meaning of ‘collective security,’ and the isolated nature of decision-making whereby the substance of major resolutions is negotiated behind closed doors. [Read more]

 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Beyond Turkey’s Borders: Long-distance  Kemalism, State Politics and the Turkish Diaspora

BANU ŞENAY, Reviewed by Umut Azak, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 199

Thanks for the Buggy Ride: Memoirs of  an Ottoman Jew

VICTOR ESKENAZI, Reviewed by Michael McGahaInsight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 202

The Emergence of Minorities in the Middle East:  The Politics of Community in French Mandate Syria

BENJAMIN THOMAS WHITE, Reviewed by Annika RaboInsight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 204

Towards a Jewish-Christian-Muslim Theology

DAVIED B. BURRELL, Reviewed by Edward KesslerInsight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 206

Nationalism and National Identities

MARTIN BULMER and JOHN SOLOMOS, Reviewed by Siniša Malešević, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 208

Multiple Modernities and Postsecular Societies

MASSIMO ROSATI and KRISTINA STOECKL, Reviewed by Ateş Altınordu, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 210

Finding Mecca in America: How Islam is  Becoming an American Religion

MÜCAHİT BİLİCİ, Reviewed by Karen Leonard, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 215

Secularism and Religion-Making

MARKUS DRESSLER and ARVIND-PAL MANDAIR, Reviewed by Nurullah Ardıç, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 216

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next  Economic Miracles

RUCHIR SHARMA, Reviewed by Selim Erbağcı, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 222

The Everlasting Empire: The Political Culture  of Ancient China and Its Imperial Legacy

YURI PINES, Reviewed by Hsiao-wen Cheng, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 1 / 2014, p. 225