Spring 2017 Volume 19 No. 2

Spring 2017 Volume 19 No. 2


Insight Turkey Volume 18 No 4, 2016




Turkish Foreign Policy under the AK Party


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 9-19  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.01

In its 15 years as Turkey’s ruling party, the AK Party has left its imprint on foreign policy. Besides bringing its own style to bear in dealing with Turkey’s long-standing issues of foreign policy, the AK Party has also diversified both the areas and the tools of Turkish foreign policy. In its early years, after dealing with the very urgent issues in Turkey’s immediate vicinity, the party focused its agenda on increasing Turkey’s engagement with neighboring regions. It also worked to diversify the nature of Turkey’s relationships with traditional allies and started to use international aid, conflict resolution, mediation mechanisms, and Turkey’s presence in international organizations as tools of foreign policy.
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Reforming Turkey’s Democracy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 21-42   ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.02

The constitutional amendments approved by the referendum of April 16, 2017 are not only a positive step toward renewal of Turkish law and the structure of its election system, but also a step that initiates reform in all dimensions of Turkey’s political system. This commentary argues that Turkey’s transition to a presidential system marks the beginning of a reform process that will strengthen the relationship between the public and the government and will result in the transition of Turkey towards a full democracy. Accordingly, it analyzes some of the main changes that can be expected in the post referendum period.
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Anti-Turkey Sentiment in Europe during the Referendum Process


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 43-61  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.03

In each era, relations with Europe have constituted one of the most significant areas of Turkish foreign policy. The commentary addresses the interventions into Turkish politics and the manipulations of different factions in Europe during the process of constitutional referendum held in Turkey on April 16, 2017. The commentary presents the lack of respect for reciprocal sovereignty by examining the policies of ultra left, ultra right and center politicians relating to Turkey during the referendum process.
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Deciphering the Mindset behind the anti-Turkey Bias in European Reporting


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 63-77  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.04

Deliberately Misunderstanding Turkey 101 – a new hot pick in European journalism studies? Has fair and objective mainstream reporting about Turkey become extinct? After the Gezi Park protests 2013 –which the author labels ‘the failed park coup’–via a real military coup attempt in 2016 and the “Yes” vote in the April 2017 constitutional referendum, Turkish news reported in Europe is ever more biased. The article presents examples of recent and deliberate misrepresentation of facts about Turkey and aims to understand underlying negative currents in Europe’s political classes.
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Asia Heading Rightward: Embarking on a New Era


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 79-86  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.05

For decades, support for Palestine was one of the most important causes taken up by many Asian countries. The Soviet Union's collapse ushered the continent into a more realist era. Consequently, most Asian states either shifted to the right or were replaced by rightists. This shift represented a major setback for the Palestinian freedom struggle; where its major traditional supporters; leftists and Muslims, were marginalized either by realist politicians or by the engagement of people with their domestic problems. The paper tries to understand the major characteristics and motives of this approach.
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The Political Economy of AK Party Rule in Turkey: From a Regulatory to a Developmental State?


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 89-113  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.06

The macroeconomic and financial stability orientation of AK Party governments, with their emphasis on fiscal discipline and the regulatory function of the state in the financial system, has allowed the Turkish economy to firmly withstand several internal and external shocks. Nevertheless, low economic growth, as well as high inflation, interest, and unemployment rates, and an unsustainable current account deficit continue to be the main challenges ahead. In the face of these challenges, AK Party started to follow a developmentalist discourse. Turkey’s transition to the status of a developmental state requires a comprehensive industrial, technological strategy so that different policy areas are in coordination with one another. For this purpose, public organizations need to improve their organizational capabilities and their communications with the real sector.
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Thorny Relations with the EU under AK Party Rule: Challenges and Prospects


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 115-137  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.07

Turkey-EU relations have historical significance in terms of politics, societal structures along with the longevity of Turkey’s EU accession process. The relationship between them should not be seen as one in which the EU requires and Turkey fulfills accordingly. A multi-dimensional and reciprocal approach is necessary to evaluate the flow of relations rather than short-term or daily political ups and downs. This paper analyzes the relationship between Turkey and the EU under successive AK Party governments in chronological order, along with political and social reflections by focusing on the main turning points and considering the development of relations in the long-run of politics.
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Rise and Fall of the AK Party’s Kurdish Peace Initiatives


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 89-115  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.08

This study analyzes the peace and reconciliation initiatives of the AK Party governments (2002 until 2017) to address the Kurdish Question, with a special focus on the Reconciliation Process. Steps taken throughout the Reconciliation Process and the strengths and weaknesses of these steps are discussed. It is argued that the main challenges and shortcomings were the shifting political priorities of the Kurdish political actors, the changing balance of power within Turkish domestic politics, new opportunities presented to the Kurdish Movement by the Syrian civil war and the uncertainties Turkey faced due to this war. The main conclusion of the paper is that the regional turmoil, especially the ongoing civil wars in Syria and Iraq, is the major determinant that blocked the Reconciliation Process.
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15 Years of AK Party Rule: An Evaluation in Terms of Health and Health Policies


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 167-188  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.09

This article aims to evaluate the 15 years of leadership of the AK Party in terms of health and health policies using the Health System Framework of the WHO. It can be noted that the AK Party government has improved almost all components of Turkey’s health system over the course of their 15-year tenure. Furthermore, these improvements have contributed positively to the prosperity of Turkish society, particularly its health status indicators. What should be done next? It is important that the health care field be designed and continuously improved to create sustainable policies and strategies positively associated with the Health Transformation Program and to cope with dynamic challenges such as the ageing population, changes in disease prevalence, new technologies, etc.
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Transformation of the Ennahda Movement from Islamic Jama’ah to Political Party


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 189-214  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.10

The Ennahda Movement, whose foundations were laid in Tunisia at the beginning of the 1970s by Rached Ghannouchi and his friends, has continued its existence as an Islamic movement for many years, and has acquired the identity of a political party. This article analyzes the transformation of the Ennahda Movement –the role model of political transformations for Islamic movements in the Arab world post Arab Spring– from a religious movement to a political party. The article also addresses issues such as the role of the Ennahda Party in the democratization process started in Tunisia after the Arab Spring, its contributions to the new constitution, and its influence in the governments in which it has participated.
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Re-evaluating Iran-Egypt Relations: A Look at the Evolving Geopolitical Context


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 215-229  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.11

Egypt under President Abdel Fatteh el-Sisi appears committed to avoid falling into the contentious Sunni-Shia divide by reconfiguring its security considerations based on the recognition of new circumstances that prioritize stability above sectarian and ethnic identity concerns. While Egypt is unlikely to fundamentally alter its foreign policy anytime soon, largely due to its economic dependency on rich Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, its recalibration of relations with Iran has assumed a new level of importance. The growing threat of violent extremism to destabilize the regional order and state-system is undermining old political alliances. This paper provides a systematic attempt to examine the prospects of Egypt’s foreign policy changes and their regional implications, particularly for its economic dependency on Saudi Arabia.
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What Constitutes the State’s Culture of Political Violence?


Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, pp. 231-237  ||    DOI: 10.25253/99.2017192.12

Designing Peace: Cyprus and Institutional Innovations in Divided Societies
By Neophytos Loizides
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015, 264 pages, $75.00, ISBN 97808122477563 

Domestic Role Contestation, Foreign Policy, and International Relations
By Cristian Cantir and Juliet Kaarbo
New York and London: Routledge, 2016, 228 pages, $28.90, ISBN: 9781138653818

Time, Temporality and Violence in International Relations: (De)fatalizing the Present, Forging Radical Alternatives
By Anna M. Agathangelou and Kyle D. Killian
New York and London: Routledge, 2016, 342 pages, $160.00, ISBN: 9780415712712

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The Economic Transformation of Turkey: Neoliberalism and State Intervention
NİLGÜN ÖNDER, Reviewed by Jaroslav Dvorak, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 239

The Ottoman Culture of Defeat: The Balkan Wars and Their Aftermath
EYAL GINIO, Reviewed by Ozan Ahmet Çetin, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2016, p. 241

Iran and Russian Imperialism: The Ideal Anarchists, 1800-1914
MORITZ DEUTSCHMANN, Reviewed by Saeed Shokoohi, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 243

Multilateralism in the 21st Century: Europe’s Quest for Effectiveness
CAROL INE BOUCHARD ET AL., , Reviewed by Ebru Dalğakıran, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 245

Identities and Foreign Policies in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus: The Other Europes
STEPHEN WHITE and VALENT INA FEKLYUNINA, Reviewed by Muhammet Koçak, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 247

Democratic Institutions and Authoritarian Rule in Southeast Europe
DANIJELA DOLENEC, Reviewed by Ankur Yadav, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 249

The Courtiers of Civilization: A Study of Diplomacy
SASSON SOFER, Reviewed by Onur Erpul, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 251

Investigating Terrorism: Current Political, Legal and Psychological Issues
JOHN PEARSE, Reviewed by Costenar Cristian-Mihai, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 254

States in Disguise: Causes of State Support for Rebel Groups
BELGİN SAN-AKCA, Reviewed by Matthew Ncube, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 257

Stratejik İstihbarat ve Ulusal Güvenlik
MERVE SEREN, Reviewed by Murat Aslan, Insight Turkey, Vol. 19 / No. 2 / 2017, p. 259