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  • Author: Suna Gulfer IHLAMUR ÖNER
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: STARTING FROM 1980s different religions “went public” all around the world and reclaimed their agency in the public sphere. However, while in this process of 'deprivatization' certain religious traditions such as Catholicism became the focus of many research initiatives, the Eastern Orthodox tradition attracted little scholarly attention. The book Religion, Identity and Politics in Poland and Russia, which is based on Sevinç Alkan Özcan's Ph.D. thesis submitted to the Marmara University in Istanbul in 2010, does justice to these two traditions with its focus on the role and stance of the Polish Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Church within the context of church-state relations, public space, civil society and democratization in two post-communist countries: Poland and Russia. In these two countries, Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, despite interruptions during the communist rule, play a determining role in church-state relations, political patterns, national identity and social sphere. The book offers a well-structured comparative analysis and valuable insights into the experiences of these two major representatives of Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity in Eurasia during the pre-communist, communist, and post-communist era.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Poland
  • Author: Norman Stone
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Eurasianism' is a relatively new concept in Russian history, and not one that appeals beyond a fairly narrow circle. The argument goes back to the turn o Russia somehow a creation of Europe, of Germans especially? Peter the Great had famously set about the westernization of the place, and St Petersburg had been put up almost as a stage-set, "a combination of Wedgwood and cardboard". By 1900, something of a nationalist reaction to such westernization set in, and the Eurasianists made much more of their Asiatic-for short, 'Tatar'-side. They had had quite enough of hearing that the original Russians had been drunken buffoons whose civilization had to be planted upon them by Vikings or Poles or Baltic Germans. No, they said, we have a Tatar side, and we owe a great deal to the Asiatics. In this, they were quite right. Pushkin had said, of the Mongols who had crushed Russia for two and a half centuries, that they, unlike the Arabs who had taken so much of Spain at the same time, had not brought "Aristotle and algebra". But in reality the Mongols brought a great deal, especially in styles of government. A third of the old Russian nobility had Tatar names ("Yusupov" from "Yusuf", "Muraviev" from "Murad", etc.) while Ivan the Terrible himself descended, through his mother, from Genghiz Khan, and through his grand-mother from the Byzantines. For a long time, under the Soviet Union, a sort of vehement and stupid nationalism was permitted to occlude the Tatar element in Russian history. Now, matters are rather different. In 2005 there were celebrations of it at Kazan; and there is an interesting aspect of Putin's reign, that Tatars have been doing remarkably well.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Soviet Union
  • Author: Michael B. Bishku
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: According to the introduction of this book, it is the hope that this collection of essays "will enhance insight on the Caucasus and cogently encourage European Union citizens and civil servants to develop more policy towards the South Caucasus" (p. 22). Such is considered essential by the authors since the EU became a "Black Sea power" in 2007 with the memberships of Romania and Bulgaria and the impact of the August 2008 Russian-Georgian war, in which Russia was sending a message to the West that it regarded the region as its own "backyard. Interestingly some of the chapters deal with developments in the North Caucasus-a part of the region politically attached to the Russian Federation-that may affect or be affected by developments in the South Caucasus. Most of these essays, while diverse in subject matter,are brief in length, but welldocumented and clearly written; despite the title of the book, some chapters include extensive historical background especially regarding the 19 th and 20 th centuries when the entire Caucasus region was either under the control or being conquered by the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union. Recurrent themes in this book are: 1) the transition process through which the South Caucasus republics have been moving from autocratically-ruled to hopefully more democratic societies with greater political and economic freedom, and 2) the Russian Federation's relations with the republics of both the North and South Caucasus.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Kadir Üstün, Erol Cebeci, Can Özcan
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Assad regime has been playing all the diplomatic, political, and security cards it has accumulated over the past several decades. While keeping the violence under a certain threshold on a daily basis so as not to provoke immediate international action, the regime has benefited from the entangled and often conflicted international interests in Syria. The opposition has been unable to deal a serious blow to the regime and international pressure has so far yielded no major results. Though calls for international and regional action have recently intensified, there exists no clear international leadership or consensus on how to handle Syria. The Arab League and Turkey, along with other countries, have created the “Friends of Syria” group after the failure of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, but Russian and Iranian backing for the Assad regime is seriously limiting options. Given its support for the people against authoritarian regimes during the Arab Spring and its anti Assad stance, expectations for Turkey to “do something” are increasingly more pronounced. So, what's holding Turkey back?
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Christine Philliou
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: William Armstrong
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Early on in this slim account of 1,300 years' of Turkish history, Norman Stone suggests: "If you are Turkish you have to ask what you owe to: (1) the ancient native Turkish tradition; (2) Persia; (3) Byzantium; (4) Islam; (5) what sort of Islam; and (6) conscious westernization." It would be far-fetched to imagine that every modern Turk self-consciously ratiocinate these things and comes up with their own credit-debit account of historical heritage. This book's major strength, however, is to demonstrate the lesser-appreciated continuities-as well as sudden changes-that do make up so much of Turkish history. The Ottoman Empire, Stone tells us, initially saw itself as an inheritor of both the Seljuk Turk and Byzantine Greek traditions. Until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, for example, the Ottomans had thrived as a cavalry-based nomadic "military empire" in the Seljuk tradition; indeed, the plan of the Topkapı Palace they built soon after the conquest-with its modest, low-rise pavilions and courtyards-deliberately imitates the tented headquarters of a nomadic Turkish chieftain. On the other hand, Mehmet II (the conqueror of Constantinople) spoke fluent Greek and was "in effect set upon retaking the eastern Roman Empire that Justinian had made great in the sixth century." There is also the fact that, at the time of the taking the city, the population of the Ottoman lands was 75 percent Christian.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Persia
  • Author: Maria Raquel Freire
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In this timely volume, Alexander Warkotsch gathers a variety of authors from different backgrounds who work and research Central Asia to produce an empirically well-sustained analysis of the policies and practices in the European Union's (EU) approach towards the area. Warkotsch, an associate researcher at Würzburg University in Germany, has a strong research record on Central Asia, which together with the regional and EU expertise of the authors makes this volume an important contribution to studies about EU relations with Central Asia. In fact, this is an under-researched area and there are few studies attempting at grasping the dynamics underlying these relations. The volume coordinated by Neil Melvin1 (2008) was perhaps the first attempt at systematizing these relations, looking at the dilemmas the EU faces resulting from the development of closer cooperation in economic, security and political terms with Central Asian states while remaining loyal to its normative approach of promoting democratization, securing the protection of human rights and strengthening social justice. Michael Emerson and Jos Boonstra's study (CEPS, 2010) departs from the 2007 EU strategic document and brings a strong regional dimension to the study of EU's engagement and how it mixes with other actors very much present in the area, including China, Iran, Russia, Turkey and the United States.
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Europe, Iran, Central Asia, Turkey, Asia, Germany
  • Author: Gregory Hall
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran, Turkey, Caucasus, Florida
  • Author: Şule Toktaş
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Migration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Armenia
  • Author: Azuolas Bagdonas
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Why does Lithuania support Turkey's accession to the European Union? The article analyzes some of the key domestic factors and the strategic thinking behind Lithuania'a continuous support. Domestically, the political culture of the foreign policy elite and the permissiveness of public opinion allow treating Turkey's accession as a foreign policy issue, subject to cost-benefit calculations. Short-term calculations involve mutually advantageous deals between Turkey and Lithuania. Long-term assessments focus on how Turkey's membership would affect global, regional, and intra- European dynamics of power relations. The article suggests that, in the context of lasting foreign policy objectives and concerns, Turkey is attractive to Lithuania primarily due to its geopolitical roles: its traditional transatlantic alignment, its function as a transit hub for energy supplies to Europe, and its potential to become a great power, engaging in regional competition with Russia.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey