Summer 2014 Volume 16 No. 3

Summer 2014 Volume 16 No 3



Insight Turkey Volume 16 No 2, 2014



Turkey’s Last Electoral Rite of Passage for a Post-Stress Democracy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 7-15

ABSTRACT Turkey’s presidential election in August 2014 introduced
the direct election of the president, ushering in a new era of Turkish democracy. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s election to the Turkish presidency signals the legitimization of the AK Party’s emocratic reforms over the previous twelve years. Turkish citizens’ widespread participation in the election indicates a non-partisan acceptance of Turkey’s democratic system, and its departure from the bureaucratic and military influence under the Kemalist system. Even the opposition parties have recognized this shift, adapting their political agendas and election strategies to appeal to the center. These developments have implications for the political future of Turkey, the Middle East, and the international community.
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Arab Reactions to Turkey's Regional Reengagement


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 15-25

ABSTRACT During the first years of its tenure in office, as the AK
Party focused on consolidating its position domestically, Turkey’s reengagement with the Arab world after decades of alienation took a largely unproblematic form. Inevitably, however, as Turkish activism deepened, conflicts of interest emerged both with other aspirants to regional influence such as Iran and Israel, and then – especially after the outbreak of the 2011 uprisings – with many Arab regimes as well. The future character of Turkey’s engagement with its Arab neighbors will depend on its ability to combine an adherence to a conception of community based on Islam rather than ethnic nationalism, with a commitment to democratization
both at home and regionally.
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The New Era in Turkish Foreign Policy: Critiques and Challenges


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 25-37

ABSTRACT This article examines the critiques directed at Turkish foreign policy during the AK Party administration. There are three basic critiques leveled at the foreign policy that has been followed by the AK Party: Islamist ideology, geopolitical codes, and lack of capacity in foreign policy. These criticisms will be examined through a multi-layered approach, whereby they will be contextualized in terms of global fragmentation (macro level), regional disorder and fragmentation (meso level), and restoration in domestic politics and the opponents within Turkey towards these policies (micro level). A look at the challenges that Turkish foreign policy faces today and the search for a new foreign policy model will follow.
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Turkey and the EU: Looking Beyond the Pessimisms


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 37-47

ABSTRACT This paper analyses the reasons for frustration and pessimism
about Turkey-EU relations. It focuses on the impact of the crisis in Europe, the 2014 EP elections and selection of Jean-
Claude Juncker for the Commission President post on Turkey’s EU accession process. Finally, the paper tries to answer how the current
pessimism over Turkey-EU relations can be overcome.
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Why Did Iran Diplomacy Work this Time Around?


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 47-55

ABSTRACTIn May 2010, Turkey and Brazil surprised the world when they succeeded in getting Iran’s acceptance for a nuclear swap deal. To Turkey and Brazil’s surprise, their diplomatic victory was rejected by the Barack Obama administration. Washington miscalculated the diplomatic skills of Brazil and Turkey and their ability to take on diplomatic challenges usually reserved for the great powers. Fastforward three years, and suddenly diplomacy with Iran was embraced by Washington. Why did the same American administration that rejected the Turkish brokered deal in 2010, shift in favor of diplomacy in 2013? This essay sheds light on some of the factors that rendered the nuclear standoff with Iran ripe for a diplomatic solution.
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The Crisis and Governance of Religious Pluralism in Europe


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 55-67

ABSTRACT In recent years, religious pluralism has become the focus of intense debate in Europe – from controversies regarding religious clothing and symbols in the public sphere, to those related to limits on religious speech and the accommodation of religious practices – owing to the perception that pluralism has failed to contend with the purported incommensurability of Islam and European society. This article examines this purported crisis of religious pluralism in Europe and argues that while it is often depicted as resulting from the particularities of Islamic culture and theology, recent controversies point to a deeper crisis born of a historical failure to resolve the question of the governance of religious subjects.
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The Kurdistan Regional Government Elections: A Critical Evaluation


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 67-79

ABSTRACT This analysis offers an evaluation of the last three elections of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq. These three elections included the regional parliamentary elections in September 2013, and the local and federal elections held simultaneously in April 2014. The KRG, as a federal region, exists in the north of Iraq where Kurds have managed their own affairs through a regional government since 1992. The KRG elections have very little in common with elections in the rest of Iraq. Compared to the rest of Iraq, the “region” has experienced a very different trajectory during the last two decades. As a postwar region, the KRG strives to solidify a stable democracy in a landlocked region, which suffers from minimal economic capital and weak democratic culture.
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The Evolution of Turkey’s Foreign Policy under the AK Party Government


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 79-101

ABSTRACT This article aims to explain the evolution of Turkish foreign policy through the search for a foreign policy role concept. It will argue that the AK Party government has already adopted two different foreign policy role concepts. Thus, the changes in Turkish foreign policy can best be characterized as the adoption of a foreign policy role with many traits of civilian power (2002-2005), subsequent limited change (2005-2010) and the adoption of a regional power role (from 2010 on).
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Civilizational Discourse, the ‘Alliance of Civilizations’ and Turkish Foreign Policy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 101-123

ABSTRACT The main orientation of Turkish foreign policy has recently been described as Europeanization, Middle Easternization, or Islamization. This article offers an alternative reading of its discourse as a civilizational one, arguing that the concept of civilization has increasingly, albeit vaguely, been employed in Turkish foreign policy discourse in three different layers – national, regional and universal. Turkish foreign policy makers often invoke (and occasionally switch between) these different layers of civilization in a flexible manner, which adds dynamism to Turkish policies. Often integrated with the domestic and foreign policies of the AK Party government, this pragmatic discourse has proved useful for its proactive and assertive diplomacy. Based on the discourse analysis method, this article explores how and why the concept of civilization is utilized within this discourse.
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The Rise of Radical Liberal Discourse in Turkish Foreign Policy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 123-149

ABSTRACT Change is a central concept in Turkish and global politics. It forms the basis of liberal ideology, alongside freedom, democracy, and equality. In this spirit of change, radical liberal thinkers question the state of contemporary international relations with a focus on justice and fairness. Ahmet Davutoğlu appreciates the importance of these liberal considerations, and he claims the global order is in a period of transformation, in which Turkey and the rest of the world will come into new political roles. In order to facilitate the formation of a fair, cooperative world order, Davutoğlu promotes a global consensus based on cosmopolitanism and multilateralism. These ideas for international reform are consistent with radical liberalism. However, he also considers the formation of a new global order according to his conservative and Islamic ideas—a position inconsistent with liberalism. This contradiction demands a better understanding of Davutoğlu’s stance in domestic politics and international relations, and a consideration of implications for Turkey’s global identity.
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Bringing the European Union Back on the Agenda of Turkish Foreign Policy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 149-165

ABSTRACT The EU has been successfully exercising its conditionality as a key aspect of its enlargement strategy since the 1990s. However, with no accession prospect in sight and the perceived lack of credibility and consistency of the EU’s conditionality, Turkey’s already unequal partnership with Europe has been thrown further off balance. This article argues that this is not the case, as the EU retains its leverage over Turkey, even in the absence of factors that are known as central to the successful implementation of the EU’s conditionality. This article suggests two main reasons. First, despite the rhetoric on the interdependence of Turkish and the EU economy, this interdependence is not on equal footing and the Turkish economy is heavily dependent on the EU. Second, there is rising concern in Turkey over free trade talks between the EU and the United States, with its potential impact on the Turkish economy.
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Can the Kurdish Left Contribute to Turkey’s Democratization?


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 165-181

ABSTRACT The current peace process regarding Turkey’s Kurdish question could pave the way for the normalization of politics and democratization in Turkey if the existing opportunities are not missed. The major actors that represent the Kurdish left in Turkey, the PKK and the HDP (formerly BDP), are all equally significant parts of the peace process. The HDP in particular has the potential to turn into a constructive actor for Turkey’s democratization in the near future. This article argues that the Kurdish left of the democratic, parliamentary stage, lately the HDP, could contribute to Turkey’s democratization if it can fulfill the libertarian left policy space in Turkish politics, which has long been abandoned by all existing political parties.
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Russia, Ukraine and the Eastern Partnership: From Common Neighborhood to Spheres of Influence?


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 181-201

ABSTRACT This paper provides an analysis of the most recent changes in Russian foreign policy that became a matter of global concern in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis. The author advocates for a discourse-based approach to comprehend the new shifts in Russia’s international posture. First, Russia has launched its own normative policies that incorporate a set of conceptual arguments, such as portraying Ukraine and Russia as allegedly bound by civilizational ties. Second, Russia is not only unilaterally imposing its power; it is also exploiting the opportunities for raising its role, which are embedded in the structure of its relations with post-Soviet states. Third, Russia’s policies are largely inconclusive and inconsistent, which is conducive to the dispersal of hegemonic discourse and its potential fragmentation.
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Introducing the FPC-TR Dataset: Dimensions of AK Party Foreign Policy


Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, pp. 201-217

ABSTRACT This paper presents the Foreign Policy Circumplex (FPC) coding framework and the (FPC-TR) to identify aspects of Turkish foreign policy behavior between 2002 and 2011. The findings show an increase in cooperative foreign policy behavior and relational third party engagements in the second term of the AK Party administration. Turkey increased its third-party role in the context of crises with Iran and Syria. In relations with Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Israel/Palestinian and Russia/Georgia conflicts, the same role, albeit with a decreasing tendency, continued. There were a number of decreased interactions related to issues, such as EU-Cyprus, Cyprus, Greece, Iraq, and Israel-Palestine. That said, we see an increase in relations with North Africa, the Balkan countries, Syria, the Middle East, Armenia and Israel. There is also greater cooperation in the context of Turkey’s high priority bilateral relations, such as with the US, the Middle East, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Russia, as well as with the UN and European Council. With the EU and Israel, however, a reverse trend is observed.
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The Worlds of European Constitutionalism
Gráinne de Búrca and J.H.H. Weile, Reviewed by Bertil Emrah Oder, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 217

Institutional Change in Turkey The Impact of European Union Reforms on Human Rights and Policing
Leila Piran, Reviewed by Haitham Saad Aloudah, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 220

The Wisdom of Syria’s Waiting Game Foreign Policy Under the Assads
Bente Scheller, Reviewed by Jinan Bastaki, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 223

Turkey and the Arab Spring Leadership in the Middle East
Graham E. Fuller, Reviewed by Andrew A. Szarejko, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 225

The EU’s Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey
Ann-Kristin Jonasson, Reviewed by Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-Öner, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 227

Biography of an Empire Governing Ottomans in an Age of Revolution
Christine M. Philliou, Reviewed by Anne Azize Fatma Çakır, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 230

The Ottoman Origins of Modern Iraq Political Reform, Modernization and Development in the Nineteenth-Century Middle East
Ebubekir Ceylan, Reviewed by M. Talha Çiçek, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 2 / 2014, p. 232

Understanding Turkey’s Kurdish Question
Fevzi Bilgin and Ali Sarıhan, Reviewed by Mehmet Uğur Ekinci, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 234

No Establishment of Religion America’s Original Contribution to Religious Liberty
 T. Jeremy Gunn and John Witte, Jr., Reviewed by Brett G. Scharffs, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 236

Return of a King The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42
William Dalrymple, Reviewed by Sabeen Ahmed, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 239

Healing the Nation Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914-1939
Yücel Yanıkdağ, Reviewed by Sanem Güvenç Salgırlı, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 241

The Berlin-Baghdad Express The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power
Sean McMeekinREVIEWED BY Faruk Yaslıçimen, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 243

The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire
Taner AkçamREVIEWED BY Hazal Duran, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 246

Türkiye Dış Politikası İlkeler, Aktörler, Uygulamalar
Ali BalcıREVIEWED BY  Selma Bardakçı, Insight Turkey, Vol. 16 / No. 3 / 2014, p. 248