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  • Author: Ozan Kuyumcuoglu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: Developments in Syria over the past eight years prompted the arguments claiming that Early Republican Turkey had turned her back to the Middle East. However, after a close consideration regarding the discourses of the political elite in Turkey, it becomes evident that Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy had been tending to rapprochement with Arab countries rather than avoidance of getting involved in regional issues. This article aims to scrutinize the viewpoints of the outstanding political elite of the Late Ottoman and Early Republican periods like Hüseyin Cahit Yalçın and Falih Rıfkı Atay toward Greater Syria (Bilad-al-Sham) in order to understand the historical and intellectual backgrounds of Early Republican Turkey’s Middle East policy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, History, Elites, Ottoman Empire
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Behlül Özkan
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine how continuities and discontinuities over a period of nearly half a century have shaped the AKP government’s relationship with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Assad regime. From the start of the 1980s until the 2011 Arab Uprisings, relations between Turkey, Turkish Islamists, Syria, and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood remained highly complex. Based on the information available from open sources and newspaper archives, this study terms the conflict between the Turkish and Syrian intelligence services that broke out in the 1980s as an “intelligence war.” Both countries viewed the PKK and the Muslim Brotherhood – domestic enemies which they were trying to stamp out – as useful actors to be played off against the other party. While the Syrian/PKK part of the equation was frequently alluded to by the Turkish media and Turkish academia, Turkey’s relations with the Muslim Brotherhood were gradually forgotten. Though open support for the Brotherhood was never an element in Ankara’s official foreign policy, Turkey’s intelligence and security forces did establish ties to the Brotherhood in order to strengthen Turkey’s hand against Syria and made use of the organization insofar as it was in their interest to do so.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, History, Syrian War, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Murat Tinas, Özlem Tür
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This paper analyses the role of sub-state sectarian actors in foreign policy making in weakly established states by re-visiting the July War of 2006 in Lebanon. It mainly asks how sub-state sectarian actors behave as foreign policy actors in countries where society is divided along sectarian identities and how sectarian identities matter in terms of the definition of the self and the other and the ally and the enemy in weak states. By doing so, the paper analyses the emergence and the consolidation of foreign policy orientations, preferences and behaviour of the Maronite, Sunni, Shi’a and Druze communities in Lebanon, with a specific emphasis on the role of Hezbollah during the war. Building its main findings on various fieldworks in Lebanon, interviewing leaders of major sects; this study concludes that in the absence of a cohesive foreign policy stance in a weak state, the role of sectarian identity in defining self and other becomes central for understanding the foreign policy choices of sectarian actors.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, History, Sectarianism, Identities, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Lebanon
  • Author: Dilek Barlas
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This article discusses Turkey’s activities after its membership to the League of Nations in 1932 and especially to the Council in 1934 and its ambivalent position towards to the League. This work is based on the archival documents on Turkey at the League of Nations’ Archives in Switzerland. Even though bulk of documents on Turkey has not been classified yet, collection presently available is sufficient to reflect the ambivalent position of Ankara towards the League in the interwar era. Ankara believed that the League could contribute a great deal to the world peace but at the same time it questioned the implementation of its principles.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, History, League of Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Mediterranean
  • Author: Beste Işleyen
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The central objective of this article is to contribute to studies on EU counter-terrorism discourse by bringing the “external dimension” in. To that end, it borrows concepts of the Discourse-Historical Approach and provides an in-depth linguistic examination of the international aspect of the EU’s counter-terrorism discourse. The article identifies good governance and the Arab “Spring” as two central themes of this discourse and illustrates the linguistic means in which the two topics are made “natural” and “normal” by reference to counter-terrorism. The analysis also discusses the political and normative effects of EU discursive construction of counter-terrorism.
  • Topic: History, Governance, European Union, Counter-terrorism, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East