Winter 2015 Volume 17 No. 1

Winter 2015 Volume 17 No 1


Insight Turkey Volume 16 No 2, 2014




When Foreign Policy Matters: The Gülen Movement’s Fight with the AK Party over Iran

Ali balcı

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 9-18

It is widely accepted that identities are stable and they are one of the main motivations for alliance formations. The recent political rivalry between the AK Party and the Gülen movement, however, provides a rich case for those who claim the contrary. As this rivalry has progressed, it is the power struggle that has shaped relations between different actors. This article is a bold attempt to explain the role of power relations in this political rivalry with a special focus on the AK Party’s relations with Iran. Having discussed why identity and interest are not determining factors in the Gülen movement’s vehement opposition to the AK Party’s relations with Iran, the article argues that it is the power struggle between the AK Party and the Gülen movement that largely shapes the latter’s imagination of the current relations between Turkey and Iran.
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What Has Been Is What Will Be: The 2015 Israeli Elections and the State of Turkish-Israeli Relations

Gallia Lindenstrauss

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 19-25

The most notable aspect of the 2015 Israeli parliamentary elections was that the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has entered his fourth (and third consecutive) term in office as Prime Minister. His views, his right-wing coalition, and his hesitant nature as a decision maker make it unlikely that he will push for serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians. As the quality of Turkish-Israeli relations is very much linked to the state of Israeli-Palestinian relations, a true improvement (beyond just normalization, which in itself is difficult to achieve) in Turkish-Israeli relations remains unlikely.
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War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Syria

Yavuz güçtürk

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 27-40

This article evaluates the civil war in Syria from a human rights perspective from March 2011 until this article went to press. I tried to evaluate the gross human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity that were committed by different groups in Syria, including the regime, the rebels, DAISH, and others.
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The Blue Peace: Achieving Peace and Security through Water Cooperation

Ambika Vishwanath
Aysegul Kibaroglu
Yadgar Ahmmad

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 41-47

Water is about people and human security. Unfortunately water has become a source of tension and is found at the core of many conflicts around the world. This is seen especially in the Middle East. There is a critical need for active water cooperation between nations in the region, spearheaded by strong leadership. The following article will discuss possible ways to achieve such cooperation, using tools developed under the Blue Peace concept. The article will highlight a positive example of concrete steps taken by Turkey and Iraq in the area of track-two hydro diplomacy, which could potentially expand to other countries in the region. Experiences from around the world demonstrate that sustainable active water cooperation is possible and there are many examples that could be adapted by countries in the Middle East. There is no alternative to active water cooperation and countries that have expanded their scope of cooperation have built lasting relationships moving beyond differences in other issues.
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Responding to Religious Claims in a Secular Democracy: The Turkish Case

özlem uluç

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 49-60

This article examines state responses to claims made by religious groups, unorthodox communities and minority religions in Turkey and argues that paradigmatic changes have taken place, especially under the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) governments since 2002. Under the AK Party governments, the conventional meaning attached to secularism gradually changed from a restrictive one to a relatively inclusive and libertarian one, as evidenced by the lifting of the headscarf ban in the public sphere. Currently, responding to the claims of unorthodox and non-Muslim communities has become part of the social fabric of Turkey, although room for improvement remains.
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Religion and Religious Communities in the EU Legal System

Silvio Ferrari

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 63-78

This article considers the different components of the “acquis communautaire” in the matter of religion. The “acquis communautaire” is the set of values, principles and rights that a state has to accept before becoming a member of the EU. EU legal provisions, European Court of Justice (ECJ) decisions and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rules are part of this “acquis”, together with the constitutional traditions of the member states. The chapter dwells on this last component, arguing that there is a European model of state-religions relations that is reflected in the constitutional traditions of the EU member states. Whether this “acquis communautaire” is able to face the challenges raised by the growing religious diversity in the EU is discussed in the last part of the chapter.
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State and Religion in Great Britain: Constitutional Foundations, Religious Minorities, the Law and Education

Rebecca Catto
Grace Davie
David Perfect

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 79-96

This article examines the relationship between the State and religion in Great Britain. After summarizing the key features of the constitution of the UK and discussing the evolving relations between Church and State, the article describes the religious landscape both in general and in terms of minority religious groups, focusing on Muslims (the second largest religious group in Britain after Christians). The main features of British law pertaining to religion are then discussed, followed by an assessment of the impact of religion on education in terms of the ownership and management of schools, religious education and religious worship. The concluding section reflects on the main debates and controversies.
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Religion and State in Belgium

Rik Torfs

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 97-119

This article focuses on the complex question of state-religion relations in Belgium and examines definition of laicism/secularism in the constitutional or juridical texts to show the main characteristics of official discourses. It also looks at how the state manages religious institutions and education in a secular context with reference to public funding and curriculum issues. This article comes to a conclusion by analysing the position of Islam and Muslims in Belgium.
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Religion and Law in the Netherlands

Sophie van Bijsterveld

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 121-141

Religion remains an influential force in our time despite the prophesy of secularization theory which argued that religion will fade away. In the context of migration this expectation hardly came through even in Europe where secularization is deeply rooted because presence of Muslim and other faith groups poses many challenges. This article examines the trajectory of state-religion relations in the Netherlands and looks at impact on Muslims in this country.
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Churches and Religious Communities in Poland
With Particular Focus on Tte Situation of Muslim Communities

Michał Rynkowski

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 1443-169

This article examines complex relations between the state and churches as well as religious communities as defined in the Constitution of Poland (1997), in the Concordat with the Holy See (1993), in the statute on the guarantees of freedom of conscience and religion (1989) and in the separate statutes on relations between the State and a given denomination. This article also looks at the legal situation of the Muslim Community in Poland mainly comprised of the Tartars, who settled in Poland centuries ago (between 14th and 17th century) who have a separate statute dating back to 1936, and the new Muslim immigration who have formed their associations under the general statute dated 1989.
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President Obama’s Middle East Policy, 2009-2013

Mohammed Nuruzzaman

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 171-190

President Barack Obama won the 2008 US presidential race with promises to restore America’s lost image and status in the world, to lead the world again to achieve peace and dignity, and to start a “new beginning” with Muslims worldwide. This article examines Obama’s promised “new beginning” with Muslims in the Middle East and assesses his Middle East policy to determine whether his policy marks a break from the previous George W. Bush administration’s Mideast policy. First, it presents a comparative discussion on Bush’s and Obama’s Mideast policies and then turns to analyze a series of important issues that critically affects US-Mideast relations. It concludes that in the last five years (2009-2013) President Obama has, at best, achieved a mixed record –in some cases his approach has produced positive outcomes, in other cases, his policy is more a continuation of George W. Bush’s policy.
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Turkey’s Stance towards the Main Developments in the South Caucasus

Ali Alipour

Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, pp. 191-211

This article aims to elaborate on Turkey’s stance towards the main developments in the South Caucasus after the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2002. Taking into consideration the normalization of relations with Armenia, the Russo-Georgian conflict, Turkey’s energy relations with Azerbaijan, and other major regional developments, the main focus of this article is to delineate the impact of Turkey’s new foreign policy on the country’s approach towards these developments. Turkey’s ambitions to become a key energy hub influence its sensitive and strategic conception of this energy-rich region. Turkey’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy has proven to be an underlying principle, giving shape to Turkey’s attempts to support regional pluralism and contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in the region through economic interdependence. The aim of Turkey’s approach is to achieve its political goal of enjoying a peaceful neighboring region, and its ultimate vision of becoming a key energy hub. However, the “zero problems” ideal has faced challenges and obstacles, including Turkey’s dependence on the regional hegemon, Russia, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh and Russo-Georgian conflicts, in which Russia has played a significant role. These regional challenges are underlined as the main factors currently influencing Turkey’s policies and behavior in the region.
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Women’s Voices Across the World for Justice


Insıght Turkey Volume 17 No 1, 2015

Islamophobia, Victimisation and the Veil
By Irene Zempi and Neil Chakraborti
Palgrave Piot, 2014, 118 pages, £45.00, ISBN 9781137356154

Women and Civil Society in Turkey: Women’s Movements in a Muslim Society
By Ömer Çaha
Wey Court East: Ashgate Publishing, 2013, 222 pages, £65.00, ISBN 9781472410078

The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights
By Minky Worden
New York: Seven Stories Press, 361 pages, $25.95, ISBN 9781609803872

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The Making of the Arab Intellectual Empire, Public Sphere and the Colonial Coordinates of Selfhood
Dyala Hamzah, Reviewed by Omair Anas, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 223

Japan’s Foreign Aid to Africa: Angola and Mozambique within the TICAD Process
Pedro Amakasu Raposo, Reviewed by Takuya Goto, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 226

Prospect Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis in the Asia Pacific: Rational Leaders and Risky Behavior
Kai He and Huiyun Feng, Reviewed by Avinash Godbole, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 228

Turkish-Greek Relations: Rapprochement, Civil Society and the Politics of Friendship
Leonidas Karakatsanis, Reviewed by Orçun Selçuk, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 229

Visions of the Ottoman World in Renaissance Europe
Andrei Pippidi, Reviewed by Hasan Umut, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 232

Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance
Carl W. Ernst, Reviewed by Selen Artan-Bayhan, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 234

The Young Atatürk: From Ottoman Soldier to Statesman of Turkey
George W. Gawrych, Reviewed by Roger A. Deal, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 236

Religious Conversions in the Mediterranean World
Nadia Marzouki and Olivier Roy, Reviewed Alexandros Sakellariou, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 238

Controversies in Contemporary Islam
 Oliver Leaman, Reviewed by William Shepard, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 241

Mûsiki İnkılâbı’nın Sosyolojisi: Klasik Türk Müziği Geleneğinde Süreklilik ve Değişim
Güneş Ayas, Reviewed by Onur Öner, Insight Turkey, Vol. 17 / No. 1 / 2015, p. 243