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  • Author: Kemal Kirisci
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: A string of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt followed by those in other countries have rekindled the issue of Turkey constituting a model for reform and democratization in the Arab world, a point raised by many Western and Arab commentators. Independent of this debate, what is lacking in the literature is an analysis of how come there is a “demand” for the Turkish model. This article develops the concept of a “demonstrative effect” and argues that it is this “effect” that makes the Turkish model of interest to the Middle East and that this “effect” is a function of three developments: the rise of the “trading state”, the diffusion of Turkey's democratization experience as a “work in progress”, and the positive image of Turkey's “new” foreign policy. The concluding part of the article discusses several challenges Turkey has to meet so that its “demonstrative effect” can have a positive impact.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Hiroshima
  • Author: Mohammed Ayoob
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: It is unlikely that the Egyptian revolution will have a major impact on the political and strategic landscape in the Middle East in the short and medium terms. Egypt, the Arab state with the greatest capacity to act regionally, will be tied down for a considerable period of time in getting its house in order and sorting out the relationship between the civilian and military components of the new political order. This means that the shift in the center of political gravity in the region from the Arab heartland comprising Egypt and the Fertile Crescent to what was once considered the non-Arab periphery – Turkey and Iran – which was becoming clearly discernible before the recent upheavals in the Arab world will continue. The shift in the strategic and political balance in the Middle East in favor of Turkey and Iran is the result of a combination of factors, some domestic, some regional and some global.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Mesut Ozcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's Middle East policy has witnessed revolutionary changes since 1999. The changes in the attitude of Turkey towards the region can be easily grasped by examining its policy towards Iraq. Today Ankara is an active player in the region using non-military means of diplomacy, such as economic tools and international conferences. This paper analyzes the changes in Turkish foreign policy towards Iraq through a framework of processes, means and outcomes. The article covers approximately the last ten years and looks at three turning points that triggered change. These turning points are the capture of the PKK leader Öcalan in 1999, Turkey's refusal to allow the transfer of US soldiers to Iraq in March 2003, and the Turkish responses to the PKK attack on the Aktütün military post on the Turkish-Iraqi border in October 2008. The article contends that as a result of the transformations in Turkey's foreign policy, it has become an indispensable actor in Middle Eastern politics.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Secil Pacaci Elitok, Thomas Straubhaar
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article focuses on Turkey's process of transition from a country of emigration to a country of immigration and transit. The paper is organized in the following way: After a brief introduction, the second part of the paper will analyze the pattern of emigration from Turkey and immigration to Turkey (from the EU and Middle East) in its historical context. In the third part, theoretical expectations and empirical considerations with respect to the potential for migration from Turkey within the context of possible EU membership are outlined. In this section, a critique of the available literature estimating the amount of potential migration from Turkey and projections on the possible future migration obstacles for Turkey- if it is not successful in its accession bid for the EU membership- are presented as well. The fourth and final part of the paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities for Turkey, as it waits at the EU's gates, in terms of migration and concludes with a call for a necessary change in Turkey's policy to improve the management of its migration policies.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bezen Balamir Coskun
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Lebanese economist and historian Corm has written a timely book contributing to our understanding of a Middle East which is marked by complexities and conflicts. By putting the region's long history into perspective, Corm aims to help reader go beyond the stereotypes that the media and many Western and Middle Eastern policymakers seem to use to legitimatize the violence that has taken over the region for over two centuries.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: There is no better instrument than the ballot box to decide “who is to govern” if we care about popular legitimacy. No one can question the mandate given by the people through a free and fair election to a political party, irrespective of its ideology, identity and program.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Dietrich Jung
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay addresses four questions that the “Arab spring” has raised with respect to academic scholarship and policy advice. Why did scholars fail to predict the recent developments? Should we throw the work on Middle Eastern authoritarianism in the garbage bin of academic misinterpretations? In which ways can we support the move toward democracy in the region? Is there a “new Middle East” in the making? In critically examining the scholarly debate about the resilience of Arab authoritarianism, it rejects demands requesting both the predictive power of academic analyses and their direct applicability in foreign policy-making. The continuing interpretation and re-interpretation of the relationship between Islam and politics have absorbed our analytical capacities at the expense of a closer inspection of societal change. In putting the recent events into their international and regional context, the essay tries to give a tentative answer to the question whether we are witnessing a new Middle East in the making.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Pavel K. Baev
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has not only affected Russia's interests but also opens some new opportunities for strengthening Russian influence. Nevertheless, the prevalent attitude in Moscow towards these dissimilar but inter-connected crises is negative, which is caused primarily by the nature of its own corrupt quasi- democratic regime haunted by the specter of revolution. The stalled NATO intervention in Libya has re- focused the attention of the Russian leadership on the issue of sovereignty, which determines the decision to disallow any UN sanctions against Syria. Russia's position has evolved in synch with the course taken by China, and Moscow is interested in strengthening this counter- revolutionary proto-alliance by building up ties with conservative Arab regimes, including Saudi Arabia, and also by upgrading its strategic partnership with Turkey. Harvesting unexpected dividends from the turmoil in the Arab world,Russia cannot ignore the risks of a sudden explosion of a revolutionary energy – and neither can it effectively hedge against such a risk.
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Middle East, Arabia, Moscow, Saudi Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutas
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Syria became the latest Middle Eastern country to join the chain of protests sweeping across the Middle East. The protests have since spread to several other cities with varying frequency and numbers, and the violent handling of the protests by the Syrian regime has created a protest movement, which has brought forth an array of demands from political reform to the fall of the regime. Opposition in different forms has always existed in Syria and among the Syrian diaspora. However, legal restrictions on social and political activities and the long-lasting atmosphere of fear, perpetrated by the Ba'ath Party and pervasive intelligence services, have so far limited the opposition's organizational capabilities. Despite difficulties and restrictions, the Syrian opposition is in the making. This paper presents a brief analysis of the opposition in Syria, surveys the opposition's fight for survival under the Ba'ath regime, and assesses its current strength and weaknesses.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Tobias Schumacher
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Throughout the first seven months of the Arab Spring, starting with the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid on December 17, 2010, the EU clearly revealed itself as both an actor and spectator by resorting to both activism and passivism in a seemingly erratic fashion. Against this background and based on the EU's recently adopted Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean, this article aims at understanding this dualism more precisely and shedding some light on the EU's rather anachronistic foreign policy behavior in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in recent months. The article identifies five dichotomies, all of which contribute to the situation in which the EU continues to be torn between being a relevant political actor in the MENA region and a simple spectator that continues to be overwhelmed by local and regional political developments.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, North Africa