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  • Author: Abdullah Al-Arian
  • Publication Date: 05-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Prof. Abdullah Al-Arian discusses how Islamist movements have historically viewed diplomacy as important to their activist missions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Cold War, Diplomacy, Politics, History, Islamism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, Egypt, United States of America
  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Russia is strengthening its relations with both the Palestinian Authority leadership and Hamas in Gaza Strip. It is part of Russia’s consistent strategy towards the Middle East to build a network of influence among regional actors and boost its image as an attractive political partner. In developing relations with the Palestinians, Russia exploits Israel’s sensitivity to Russian activity in Syria, poor relations between Palestine and the U.S., and the deadlock in the peace process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Grand Strategy, Hamas
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Sara Nowacka
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The fight against the spread of the coronavirus in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has forced cooperation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, which were in conflict within the GCC. At the same time, the UAE took advantage of other countries’ need for support in countering COVID-19 to strengthen relations with China, Iran, and Syria, among others. The UAE’s activity emphasizes its ambition for domination of the region, which may lead to a new dispute within the GCC between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Coronavirus
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Gulf Cooperation Council, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Hamzeh al-Shadeedi, Erwin van Veen
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations
  • Abstract: Iraq’s emergent democracy stands at an important junction. The continuing intensity of the protests that have rocked Iraq since early October 2019 shows that its citizens are only too aware of this. Moreover, the necessity of going through three government formation attempts to install a new prime minister and cabinet after the resignation of Adil Abdul-Mahdi in December 2019 suggests that Iraq’s political elites are conscious of the precarious state of ‘their’ democracy as well. Although, so far, with the intent to block rather than enable reform. This report largely focuses on how international actors can help strengthen the democratic mechanisms of Iraq’s political system. One contribution that they can – and should - make is to facilitate processes of contestation between Iraq’s social forces (its political parties, elite networks, tribes, ethno-sectarian groups, religious authorities and protestors) about the hierarchy of systemic reform priorities for the country’s political system, and the balance between the speed, scope and feasibility of their implementation so that such reform can be undertaken as peacefully and as well-informed as possible.
  • Topic: International Relations, Democracy, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Mordechai Chaziza
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: The Middle East was already plagued by war, famine, and wholesale death in the form of multiple civil wars when the outbreak of Covid-19, a novel coronavirus, added pestilence to the mix. The pandemic offers a unique prism through which to assess the way China interacts with Middle Eastern states in time of crisis. While many countries in the Middle East suspended bilateral air travel, repatriated their citizens from China, and prevented Chinese workers from returning to the region, the same governments also sought to maintain close relations, expressed support for Beijing, and delivered aid to China. The findings show that at least for now, the relationship between China and the Middle Eastern states remains close. However, it may take months to see the full ramifications of the pandemic in the Middle East, so it is too soon to tell how China’s interactions with the countries of the region will develop.
  • Topic: International Relations, Health, Bilateral Relations, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: During the month of January 2020, most world capitals, diplomats, and think tanks sought to evaluate the status of the already-fragile balance of power in the Gulf. The U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate the Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad has triggered the most acute escalation between Washington and Tehran since 1979. The White House’s pursuit of neutralizing the second most important figure in Iran, after the spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei, has shifted the US-Iranian rivalry into a fierce confrontation between Washington’s “maximum pressure” and Tehran’s “maximum resistance”. There have been several interpretations and predictions of Iran’s possible direct or indirect acts of retaliation vis-à-vis Trump’s threats of targeting 52 sites, which have political and cultural significance for the Iranians. Some Washington-based analysts have been wary that “the U.S. and Iran are now in a traditional escalatory slope, and although neither side wants war, there is a real risk that it might happen.”(1) Anthony H. Cordesman, leading analyst at Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, has cautioned that the new US-Iran crisis “has now led to consistent failures in the U.S. strategy when dealing with Iraq and the Middle East for the last two decades – and has already turned two apparent ‘victories’ into real world defeats.”(2) In Doha, two research institutions, Aljazeera Centre for Studies and Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Centre, hosted a two-day conference, “Toward a New Gulf Security Order: Abandoning Zero-sum Approaches” at Qatar University January 19 and 20, to formulate new perspectives of the waning regional security order, and explore how to construct an alternative paradigm. As a point of entry, the Conference concept highlighted two manifestations of the failure of the existing security order, formally adopted by all Gulf States, since the establishment of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) May 25, 1981: First, to prevent the invasion, and later liberation, of Kuwait in the early 1990s. GCC established a coalition land force, “the Peninsular Shield Force”, with the objective of defending the six nation states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Second, the decision of three member states - Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain - to impose a blockade on Qatar, a founding member of GCC since June 2017.(3) In this turbulent part of the world, Iran’s pursuit of creating a regional security order, but on the parsuit of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region—a condition rejected by Gulf states, which see the United States as the principal guarantor of their national security. Moreover, Iran still considers its own foreign interventions in the Gulf and Arab region as part of its revolutionary identity, to which it has devoted resources and agencies.(4) This paper “Seven Ironies of Reconstructing a New Security Paradigm in the Gulf” is a summary of the presentation I delivered at the Conference’s fifth panel “The Gulf and the US-Gulf Conflict”. It probes into several challenges of deconstructing the status quo, before envisioning an alternative framework of mutual security cooperation among several actors in the Gulf and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Oil, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North America, United States of America, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: On June 6, 2020, the Qatari crisis entered its fourth year with two parallel political discourses, which have endured the complexity of issues between Qatar and the Quartet [Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt] since early June 2017: a) diplomatic hopes in the U.S.-backed Kuwaiti mediation amidst several gestures of rapprochement between the Qataris and the Saudis; and b) disparity of positions by the disputing parties while maintaining status quo politics. The Trump administration has urged the Quartet capitals to reopen their airspace for Qatari airlines as a step toward ending the open-ended blockade. The Wall Street Journal quoted U.S. officials saying "there is a greater sense of urgency to resolve the airspace issue. It's an ongoing irritation for us that money goes into Iran's coffers due to Qatar Airways overflights." (1) The Trump White House has been irritated by the so-called "overfly fees" that Qatar pays to Iran to use its airspace. There is growing hope Washington’s call will trigger momentum for lifting the land and sea blockade imposed on Qatar as well. Qatar’s foreign minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani hopes “the initiative will produce results, we are open to dialogue and ready to meet each step forward with 10 steps from our side.” (2) Unlike the Saudis, the Emiratis have maintained the 2017 demands, and UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash insists “this issue will stay with us, and we have to manage it in a better way until we reach a future stage.” He has often characterized the blockade as “a result of Doha's interference policies," and argued "the solution for this crisis should be based on dealing with the causes of it." (3) As a result, the three-year blockade is causing a hurting stalemate for both sides of the Gulf conflict. In his new book “Qatar and the Gulf Crisis”, Kristian C. Ulrichsen argues the blockade has become “stuck at a political level where the Saudi and Emirati leadership—and especially Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Mohammed bin Zayed—appear reluctant to make the first move to offer concessions or progress to a negotiated compromise.” (4) This paper examines some major narrative turns of the Quartet-Qatar showdown and the transformation of Trump’s position. It traces the possibility of a de-escalation shift along Washington’s pursuit of mediation in the framework of the Kuwaiti diplomacy; and weighs on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as a counterbalance of the Arab Gulf strategic (dis)unity and common existentialism in a turbulent region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Crisis Management
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi
  • Author: ONG Keng Yong
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
  • Abstract: Ambassador ONG Keng Yong, who graduated from MAAS in 1983, remembers his time in Washington and sheds light on Singapore’s “price taker” approach to foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Higher Education
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Asia, Arab Countries, Singapore, United States of America
  • Author: Michał Wojnarowicz
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The significance of the Eastern Mediterranean for Israel has increased in the last decade, an outcome of interlocking factors associated with the civil war in Syria, the deterioration of relations with Turkey, and discoveries of new gas fields. The effectiveness of Israeli policy, especially in energy issues, depends on strengthening relations with the states of the region, such as Egypt or Cyprus. Hence, regional cooperation will deepen, which may have a positive impact on Israel-EU relations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, Mediterranean
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: IEMed/EuroMeSCo
  • Abstract: On 12 October ISPI in cooperation with the IEMed organised a workshop “New Euro-Mediterranean Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean”. The event was organised in the framework of the EuroMeSCo ENI Project, co-funded by the European Commission. This dialogue workshop aimed at discussing the initial research results of the Joint Policy Study and engaging the participants in analyzing and sharing their perspectives on whether the Russian moment in the MENA region corresponds to opportunism, a new strategy or it falls in between these options. Additionally, this workshop aimed at shedding light on the role Russia is currently playing, how this can influence the balance of power as well as how regional players look at Russia. The present report is a summary of main points raised in workshop discussions
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Itamar Radai
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies
  • Abstract: “On the deck of the Titanic,” thus sailed the members of the Joint List of Arab parties on the eve of the 2015 Knesset (parliamentary) elections, according to senior journalist Wadea Awawdy.[1] Four years later, in light of the results of the 2019 elections, it seems that this prophecy has almost materialized, even though the ships have narrowly escaped the iceberg, at least for the time being. The Hadash-Taʿal list attained 193,293 votes, equivalent to six seats in the Knesset, while Raʿam-Balad barely crossed the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent with 143,863 votes, giving them four seats. Arab voters’ turnout declined to a historic low of about 50 percent, as opposed to the overall turnout of around 68 percent.[2] The sharp drop in Arab voter turnout led to Arab parties’ political representation declining from 13 seats in 2015 to 10. Israeli Hebrew-language media coverage explained this change in terms of Arab alienation and marginalization. However, the mainstream Hebrew media outlets tend to neglect the coverage of Arab politics, including the election campaigns,[3] hence ignoring at large an important internal factor: the collapse of the Joint List on the eve of the 2019 elections, and its implications. This article will focus on the rise and dramatic fall of the Joint List, and its repercussions.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Elections
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Maha Yahya
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: Lebanon’s and Iraq’s political systems are based on sectarian and ethnic power-sharing. In summer 2015, both countries faced popular protests demanding better governance. These protests began over poor service provision but escalated into opposition to the countries’ overarching power-sharing systems. These demonstrations were framed as nonsectarian, civic responses to deteriorating conditions and corrupt leadership. While protestors raised hopes that change was possible, their curtailment by the sectarian leadership underlined the challenges of political transformation in divided societies.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Husain Haqqani, Arpana Pandey
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Hudson Institute
  • Abstract: arendra Modi led the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power during the May 2014 elections, promising radical changes. The party’s electoral manifesto outlined numerous problems that threatened Indian society, while promising to protect social values and enact “urgent changes” in the economy, agriculture, energy, education, and governance.1 Observers from around the world hailed the BJP’s victory as a success, and believed that a pro-business government assuring fundamental changes would tap into India’s unfulfilled economic potential.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Alexander Velez-Green
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The United States has long looked to Egypt as a key partner in the Middle East. Egypt’s adherence to the Camp David Accords is fundamental to Israeli security. Cairo has also been a key player in the Israeli–Palestinian peace process for many years. In addition, the Egyptian state has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. fight against global jihadism. Its provision of reliable access to the Suez Canal, Egyptian airspace, and intelligence sharing directly enables U.S. operations against al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) across the Middle East. That is not to mention the blood and treasure that Egypt itself has spent to defeat terrorist groups operating in the Sinai Peninsula and elsewhere.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Nicholas Heras
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for a New American Security
  • Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and trans-Sahara regions are undergoing a period of instability and state collapse, with active civil wars raging in four of the most important countries in the region: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Libya. As witnessed during the Arab uprisings of 2010–2011, the MENA region has begun to grapple with the once and future challenges of instability as the regional population grows and skews younger, economies stagnate and start to collapse, and resources become scarcer. U.S. national security policy toward the MENA and trans-Sahara regions is at a point of high uncertainty, with a new administration developing strategies to address the security threats to the United States and its partner nations being caused by the region’s civil wars.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Mohammed Cherkaoui
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: The new approach of the U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East has increasingly pivoted around possible ways of fighting radical groups with various denominations.
  • Topic: International Relations, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Stasa Salacanin
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: The GCC crisis has put all international actors, including Europe, in a complicated position, and as ever louder calls for the greater engagement in the mediation process comes at challenging times as Europe is facing countless problems at home.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Dr. Mohamed Erraji
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: This paper reviews the role of media fabrication and propaganda in the current political crisis in the Gulf. Propagandists have deliberately created a new political reality to demonise Qatari politics and political leaders with a detailed political approach to create a prefabricated reality.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Murat Yeşiltaş
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Al Jazeera Center for Studies
  • Abstract: Turkey's current strategic move is it is a continuation of Turkey’s new vision for regional politics within the context of the new regional geopolitical realities.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: ISIS appears to be planning to attack the interests of some states that are in- volved in the war against it. The terror group’s recent assault was conducted in retaliation for its defeat in Mosul, liberated on July 10, 2017. That is evi- denced in ISIS’ quick claim of responsi- bility of the attack on the Iraqi Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 31, 2017.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: European states seek to increase the chances of maintaining the implementation of the nuclear agreement, also known as the Joint Comprehen- sive Plan of Action (JCPOA), concluded on July 14, 2017 between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the European Union, France as well as Germany. The bid is especially driven by the European view that a collapse of the deal would in ict grave consequences on their interests. However, the European bid is facing no easy hurdles. While the United States is keen to impose new sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, Iran is similarly adamant about continuing this program as well as exploiting the nuclear deal to expand its in infuence in the region through backing terrorist organizations and establishing relations with non-state actors.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: Current data on the political and military situation in Syria indicate that the military as- pect remains the dominant factor in the crisis due to the faltering political track at Geneva and Astana. Nonetheless, significant political changes that developed recently cannot be underestimated in determining the future of the crisis.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria
  • Publication Date: 08-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Future for Advanced Research and Studies (FARAS)
  • Abstract: The Kurdistan Democratic Union party (PYD) led by Saleh Musallam continues its ef- forts and takes new executive actions with the aim of turning the federal system, an- nounced on 17 March 2016 in areas under its control in northern Syria (Rojava regions) into reality. The previous step taken by PYD was preparing a draft Federal Constitution composed of 85 articles stipulating that the constitution is a social contract for the dem- ocratic federal Rojava, and considering the city of Qamishli as the capital and center of the federation.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Dylan O'Driscoll
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Middle East Research Institute (MERI)
  • Abstract: The post-conflict planning following the 2003 invasion of Iraq was weak at best and as a result many elements were at play that led to the marginalisation and political disenfranchisement of the Sunni community. Consequently, radical entities, such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS), exploited local dynamics to take up a position within society in the Sunni areas of Iraq. It is important that the current fight against IS in Iraq avoids this pattern at all costs; if the liberation is devoid of long-term planning it will likely result in the resurfacing of a number of issues responsible for the rise of IS in Iraq in the first place. Lessons must be learnt from the mistakes of post-Saddam planning and these must not be repeated post-IS. There needs to be a multifaceted approach to the preparation for the liberation of Mosul that goes well beyond the military dimension.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, International Security
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Eran Lerman
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: The Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA)
  • Abstract: This study maps four Arab ideological camps and their interactions: The Iranian camp, Islamic State camp, Muslim Brotherhood camp, and the “counter camp” – which consists of the forces of stability, ranging from Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf states to Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco, as well as the Kurds and other non-Arab players. Israel shares the fears and goals of the latter camp, and is joined with it in countering Iran. The US administration’s courtship of Iran, as well as the hope held broadly in the West that the Muslim Brotherhood could play a constructive role, has done little to restore stability or restrain the rise of radicalism.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for International and Regional Studies: CIRS
  • Abstract: A growing body of literature within the social science disciplines has developed over the last few decades around the concept of “state failure.” Initially, the scholarship focused on the poor economic performance of certain states, highlighting their weaknesses in delivering efficient economic growth and fostering development. An emerging developmental discourse, fuelled by the enthusiasm of international organizations that embraced the notion of inherent but potentially “fixable” weaknesses, added weight to this body of scholarship. Aid and assistance programs were implemented on the basis of this idea of state weakness, and on the assumption that these internal “weaknesses” could somehow be mitigated through externally-supported and specifically targeted development initiatives. Bilateral and multilateral efforts were devoted to turning these weak states around, supposedly from the brink of failure, into healthy, viable entities
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, Fragile States
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aycan Akdeniz
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report is written by Aycan Akdeniz who is a political analyst at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Turkey. This report analyzes the “cautious optimism” elicited by the recent developments after a long period of stalemate in Turkey-EU relations. Written in a period after the opening of Chapter 22 through the lifting of the French veto and the publication of the 16. Progress Report, the report examines the effects of the euro crisis, the “Arab Spring”, the Cyprus Issue and the Gezi Park protests on the future of Turkey-EU relations and draws conclusions on what is needed to be done by both sides for a constructive re-engagement between Turkey and the EU. Bu çalışma, Avrupa Birliği(AB) Türkiye Delegasyonu’ndan Aycan Akdeniz tarafından hazırlanmıştır. Rapor Türkiye-AB ilişkilerinin tıkanma noktasına geldiği bir dönemin ardından son gelişmeler ışığında ortaya çıkan “temkinli iyimserlik” ortamını değerlendirmektedir. 22. Başlık’ın Fransa’nın vetosunu kaldırmasıyla açıldığı ve 16. İlerleme Raporu’nun yayımlandığı bir dönemde yazılan bu rapor euro krizi, “Arap Baharı”, Kıbrıs sorunu ve Gezi protestolarının Türkiye-AB ilişkileri ve ilişkilerinin geleceği üzerinde etkisini ve bu ilişkilerin güçlenmesi için tarafların ne yapması gerektiğini incelemektedir.
  • Topic: International Relations, European Union, Arab Spring, Protests
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Publication Date: 07-2013
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The paper presents the results of three meetings co-organized by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) Foreign Policy Programme (FPP) and the The PeaceResearch Institute Oslo (PRIO) Cyprus Centre. The workshops, held in Tbilisi, Istanbul and the buffer zone in Nicosia, discussed the policies followed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the former imperial geography and noted current expectations from the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Caucasus.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Economy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Bayram Balci
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: For ideological and practical reasons the AKP government, in power since November 2002, has engaged in a policy of progressive integration of Turkey into the Muslim, and more particularly, the Arab world. This policy has been facilitated by the country’s booming economy and assertive foreign policy. Turkey, whose government embraced a political ideology similar to those, brought to power by the Arab Spring, benefitted greatly from the ideological effects of the Arab Spring. These benefits were enhanced by the fact that the political ideology of those brought to power by the « Arab Spring » was similar to that of the AKP. Turkey appeared to be becoming a model for the Arab world. However, the crisis in Syria, a country central to Turkey’s Arab policy, and the inability of the Turkish government to remain neutral has put an end to Turkey’s Arab dream. Turkish engagement in the Syrian crisis has caused deterioration in Turkey’s relations with a number of its neighbors and forced it to renew ties with its traditional western allies from whom it had hoped to distance itself in order to be an independent regional and international player.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Arab Spring, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Saban Kardas
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In his article “Turkey and the Gulf Dialogue in the Middle East” Şaban Kardaş reflects on the enhancement of the Turkey- Gulf relationship, arguing that both sides have overlapping interests in deepening economic and trade connections as well as in achieving a more equitable settlement to regional disputes. To this end, Kardaş draws on the insights of the TESEV- Derasat workshop on 5 September 2012 where experts discussed the current regional environment, the diverging and converging views on regional issues, the implications of Turkey’s growing involvement in Gulf affairs and the policy options available to the sides. Şaban Kardaş, “Turkey and the Gulf Dialogue in the Middle East” adlı makalesinde Türkiye ve Körfez ülkeleri arasında gelişmekte olan ilişkileri ele alıyor ve taraflar arası iktisadi ve ticari bağların güçlenmesi ile bölgesel anlaşmazlıklarda çözüm sağlanabilmesi noktalarının her iki tarafın da yararına olduğunu belirtiyor.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation, Economy, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Fulya Memişoğlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The article “Easing Mental Barriers in Turkey-Armenia Relations, written by Fulya Memisoglu from Cukurova University International Relations Department, hopes to shed light on the reconciliation and normalization process between Turkey and Armenia by focusing on the role and importance of intercultural exchange initiated by the civil society. Memisoğlu, provides the reader with an overview of the main themes addressed during the meetings in Adana, Yerevan and Istanbul organized in 2011 and 2012 by TESEV in collaboration with its local partners. As she argues, these meetings reveal that in addition to diplomatic efforts for normalization and reconciliation at state level, there is a crucial need to reach out to people and work on “people-to-people” relations between two countries in order to tackle perceptions of hostility and create intercultural dialogue. Çukurova Universitesi Uluslararasi İlişkiler Bölümü ögretim görevlisi Fulya Memişoğlu tarafından kaleme alınan bu makalede, Türkiye-Ermenistan ilişkilerinin normalleşme sürecinde, toplumlararası iletişimin sağlanmasında sivil toplumun sahip olduğu rol ve önem konu ediniliyor.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Armenia
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Onnik Krikorian
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: On March 2, 2012, Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and Turkish Economic Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) organized an international conference titled “Turkey’s South Caucasus Agenda: Roles of State and Non-State Actors” in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event brought together analysts, diplomats and decision makers from Turkey, Europe and the South Caucasus to discuss Turkey’s role in stabilizing the region both on the level of government engagement and civil society. This publication is the reflection of the commentary that was made by participants during the conference.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Georgia, South Caucasus
  • Author: Henri J. Barkey
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The Evolution of Turkish Foreing Policy in the Middle East is written by Henri J. barkey from Lehigh University. The article analysis Turkish foreign policy since the AK Party assumed power and reveals three distinct phases, especially in regard to the Middle East. Lehigh Üniversitesi’nden Henri J. Barkey’nin kaleme aldığı The Evolution of Turkish Foreing Policy in the Middle East Türkiye’nin AK Parti hükümeti dönemindeki dış politikasını üç ayrı evreye ayırarak analiz etmekte ve özellikle Ortadoğu’da izlediği siyasetin gelişimini değerlendirmektedir.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Politics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Iran, Malaysia, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia
  • Author: Doğan Ertuğrul
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: “A Test for Turkey’s Foreign Policy: The Syria Crisis “is written by the Star Newspaper columnist Doğan Ertuğrul. Ertuğrul, who has been working on Iran, northern Iraq and the Kurdish issue for over 10 years, has produced numerous research papers and articles concerning the political system in Iran, Iranian Kurds and other minorities as well as political groups in northern Iraq. The article provides an in-depth analysis of the situation in Syria since March 2011 and elaborates on Turkish and Iranian policies towards Syria. It further examines the competition between Tehran and Ankara along with the perception of Turkey in the region.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Arab Spring, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Ömür Orhun
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this article, Ömür Orhun suggests that the creation of a regional cooperation and “security process”in the Middle East, rather than an organization, would provide a framework of rules and procedures for sustained and focused dialogue, transparency and cooperation, in a range of issues that should cover security, socio-economic challenges, democratic governance and human rights. The “process” can function simultaneously on multiple layers: civil society/academia, track-two, and governmental. Each of these layers should aim to contribute to the achievement of agreed goals. The success of the process (and eventually of the organization to be worked out) can be defined as a reduction over time, and eventual elimination of conflicts, improvement of social and political conditions and development of the economic situation. A side implication no doubt will be improvement of human interaction.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Human Rights, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Aybars Görgülü, Enis Erdem Aydın, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This report contains the results of a survey conducted on 6-14th December 2010 by KA Research that has been evaluated by TESEV Foreign Policy Programme. Based on a sample size of 1,000, the survey aims to understand the perception of foreign policy in Turkey. A first of its kind for TESEV, the survey includes striking findings that may be of interest to decision-makers in Turkey and those following Turkey around the world. This report finds many results for the opinion on the foreign policy vision of Turkey concerning the Turkish government, the US government, the EU and the Middle East.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus, United States of America, European Union
  • Author: Paul Salem
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The author of this article, Paul Salem states that Turkey’s image in the Arab World (and Iran) became positive in past few years which was negative among the people of the Arab World (and Iran) throughout the 20th century. TESEV’s second survey of public opinion in the Arab world (and Iran) confirms this transformation. The positive opinion includes Turkey as a political, economic and social model; Turkey’s regional mediation and investment; and its popular culture. The TESEV survey shows that the people of the region are very positively inclined toward Turkey, and this implies that they would be favorable to a broader Turkish role that goes beyond confronting Israel, and toward helping the societies of the region move more steadily toward democratic change and economic development. Paul Salem concludes that as the people of the region rebel in favor of democratic change, Turkey certainly has even more potential and responsibility in the Arab World.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Public Opinion, Arab Spring
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Barchard, Matthew Duss
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: In this article, Matthew Duss analyses the evolution of the US-Turkey relations since the Justice and Development Party (the AK Party) has come to the power in Turkish politics (in past 10 years) with regards to the perceptions of the American people and the American government. It is stated that the relationship has been developed better during the Obama Administration comparing with the Bush era. There are different opinions on the importance of Turkey in American National Policy. Among foreign policy analysts, however, the significance of Turkey’s foreign policy evolution is more clearly understood, though there is some disagreement over whether this evolution is a good or bad thing for U.S. interests. However, there is considerable agreement that the relationship will continue to be a very consequential one for the United States, and thus that U.S. policy should reflect this.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, United States of America
  • Author: David Barchard, Gökçe Perçinoğlu, Jonathan Levack, Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: This study contains the results of the second survey conducted by KA Research Limited between August 25th and September 27th 2010 with my contribution and that of TESEV’s researchers. Again, the 2010 survey was conducted in the same seven Arab countries but, unlike 2009, it was also conducted in Iran. In total, 2,267 people were surveyed by telephone or face-to-face. These results show a statistically significant increase in positive opinion of Turkey. Although they are dealt with more thoroughly in the report, there are a few social and thus political findings that are different from the previous year.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Regional Cooperation, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Jordan
  • Author: Alexander Iskandaryan, Aybars Görgülü, David Barchard, Sergey Minasyan
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: After unimaginable steps in recent years, Turkish-Armenian relations have reached a point where full diplomatic relations could be established and the land border between the two countries could be opened. However seven months on from the signing of the historic protocols in Zurich, the process has stalled. TESEV Foreign Policy Program and Caucasus Institute’s new report “Assessing the Rapprochement Process” attempts to analyse progress to this point, identify why the process has stalled and offers recommendations aimed at solving the current impasse. Working in a collaborative fashion, the authors from both organisations identified the following areas where progress can be made: The ratification process must continue. Momentum is fickle and letting the protocols sit and fester is in no one’s interest. Rapprochement is a two pronged process: one involves the technical normalisation of relations and the other is reconciliation between the two societies. Both are extremely important and require both states and society to play a significant and active role. The media in both Turkey and Armenia has a responsibility to create an atmosphere conducive to rapprochement. Unbiased, positive and accurate reporting is far more favourable than the existing sensationalism common on both sides of the border.
  • Topic: International Relations, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Caucasus, Middle East, Armenia
  • Author: Meliha Benli Altunisik, Mustafa Ellabbad
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV)
  • Abstract: The main objective of this study is to uncover different views on Turkey among opinion makers and bureaucrats as well as among the public in the Arab world. To this aim, along with the aforementioned survey data, personal interviews were also conducted and incorporated into the publication. As the report makes clear, not only have Arab perspectives on Turkey become increasingly positive in recent years but also debate of Turkey in the Arab world has become more nuanced.
  • Topic: International Relations, Regional Cooperation, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries