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  • Author: Alvin Almendrala Camba
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Central European University Political Science Journal
  • Institution: Central European University
  • Abstract: Nazrin Mehdiyeva's work is elegantly argued and timely volume on small states and energy politics; however, in looking to contribute to both of these literatures, she opens up questionable points in her book. Her main aim was to understand the conditions that allowed Azerbaijan to pursue an autonomous foreign policy after the Cold War while focusing on energy's role in the context of global energy insecurity. Mehdiyeva's structure relies on a simple and clear deductive narrative. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on small state literature and its application in Azerbaijan's institutional context; 4 focuses on Russia, the main 'antagonist' in the narrative, and 5 on the Caspian sea issue; while 6 and 7 deal with alternative allies in the form of Turkey and the United States. The last chapter concludes with the author's projection of future foreign policy.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Interest in Turkey and its foreign and security policies has grown significantly in the political and scholarly circles in the world, especially since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) came to power with the November 2002 elections. The AKP's electoral success continued in the subsequent elections in 2007 and 2011 with an increasing percentage of votes, which was unprecedented in the history of the Turkish Republic. One particular reason why Turkey attracted much attention in the world was because, in its first years in power, the AKP was easily categorized, both in the media and in academia, mainly in the West, as an “Islamic” party with a hidden agenda that aimed at drifting Turkey away from its mainstream foreign and security policies that have long been anchored in the Western alliance, thereby turning Turkey's face toward the Middle East and the Islamic world beyond it.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Emre Ersen
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • 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.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Salim Cevik
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Filistin Politikamız: Camp David'den Mavi Marmara'ya The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is presumably the most problematic and persistent theme in Middle Eastern politics. Thus, the conflict is one of the most studied topics in academic literature on the region. In this light, it is all the more surprising that the current study of Erkan Ertosun is the first book-length work on Turkey's Palestinian policy. It is also a very timely contribution as Palestine becomes an ever more central topic in Turkish foreign policy. The author claims that he has attempted a holistic analysis in which domestic, regional and international factors are integrated. However, despite this claim, the real emphasis of the book is on international affairs and rightfully so.
  • Topic: Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Fahimeh Ghorbani, Hamid Ahmadi
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: What impact has the Syrian crisis had on Iran-Turkey political relations? Some analysts argue that divergence in Iranian and Turkish outlooks and roles played in the Syrian crisis have adversely affected their bilateral relationship. But the authors believe that in spite of the conflict in Iran's interests and Turkish policies towards Syria, their broader relations in other areas–security and economy-have prevented the rupture of political relations. In this regards, after the nature of the Syrian crisis is briefly described, Turkish foreign policy strategy in the Middle East will be explained. Then, Turkish-Syrian relations prior to the outbreak of the crisis will be analyzed followed by a discussion of Iranian and Turkish foreign policies towards the Syrian crisis and their impact on their mutual relations. The authors will conclude that although the Syrian political crisis has given rise to certain tensions and adverse consequences in their political relations, their bilateral ties have persisted as manifested in high-ranking diplomatic meetings between their political authorities and in ongoing deliberations on important regional issues.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Trita Parsi
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In 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. Fast forward 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.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Brazil
  • Author: Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-öner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been involved in democracy promotion in the Mediterranean for many years. However, it is facing criticism from its members and partners for prioritizing security and stability over democracy. Particularly following the Arab uprisings, the effectiveness of the EU's efforts have increasingly been called into question and demands for a new approach towards democratization in the Mediterranean are growing. Ann-Kristin Jonasson's book, The EU's Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors: Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey, systematically evaluates the EU's democratization efforts by focusing on democracy promotion in two Mediterranean countries, Jordan and Turkey, and effectively addresses the major pitfalls in the EU's strategy. Therefore, it is a timely contribution as the Arab revolutions have forced us to reconsider the prospects for democratization in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: C. Akça Ataç
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: The Center for Foreign Policy and Peace Research
  • Abstract: Despite its present reputation as weak, inefficient, and discreditable, the United Nations is one of humanity's most noble endeavors. Although the structure of the Security Council prevents its decision-making procedures from being more democratic, the UN still seeks to suppress aggression, respect self-determination, and promote human rights and well-being. Furthermore, political cosmopolitans' proposals for comprehensive UN reform, which goes far beyond increasing the number of permanent members of the Security Council, give us hope for substantial improvement. Nevertheless, the UN is still the sum of the states it is comprised of and UN reform depends on the broader and ambitious project of state reform as both concept and practice. Within this context, this paper argues that focusing exclusively on the Security Council and the geographical distribution of permanent membership only harms the comprehensiveness of the analyses seeking to reform the UN from a larger perspective. The fact that the success of a UN reform is closely related with the enhancement of member states' ethical capacities should also be taken into consideration. The next round of debates for a proper solution to the UN impasse takes place in 2015, and Turkey is emerging as an enthusiastic voice for further reform and for its own potential permanent membership in the Security Council. However, Turkey has also developed a significantly anti-UN discourse unprecedented in its foreign policy, which now runs the risk of curtailing the country's capacity to partake in substantial change in UN decision-making procedures. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu currently acts as a statesman, insisting on a statist reform (which focuses more on states' individual interests) of the Security Council. Interestingly, in the 1990s, when Davutoğlu was a university professor, his views of the UN tended to be more cosmopolitan and suggested a civilization-based solution. This paper, while elaborating on the discussions of reforming the UN from a cosmopolitan perspective, also probes Davutoğlu's conflicting approaches to the issue. It thus seeks to argue that Turkey, instead of pushing for a purely statist model, should consider supporting pluralistic, multilevel, and more-complex participation in the UN's decision-making procedures.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Cold War, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey