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  • Author: Hajrudin Somun
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay examines the influence and performance as well as the perception of the new, pro-active Turkish foreign policy in South-East Europe. It emphasizes that certain political and intellectual circles in the Balkans have a different take on Turkey's policies in the region. The paper assesses how Turkey's activism in the Balkans has revived the debate on the Ottoman legacy in the region and Turkey's perceived aspirations to renew its influence under the guise of “neo-Ottomanism.” This paper will also address the impact in this debate caused by the recent book of the well-known Serbian orientalist, Darko Tanaskovic, entitled “Neo-Ottomanism – the Return of Turkey to the Balkans.”
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Serbia, Balkans
  • Author: Mahmood Monshipouri, Ali Assareh
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Recent uprisings and unrests across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have brought new leadership to Egypt and Tunisia, and could possibly result in more leadership changes. While it is too early to assess the meaning and implications of the MENA uprisings, it is even more difficult to predict whether the current ferment could fundamentally reshape the region by bringing real democratic transformation. What is evident, however, is that the United States' old bargain with autocrats is collapsing; and that U.S. strategic interests are seemingly better served, at least during this historic period, by working with governments that genuinely reflect the will of their people. This essay's central argument is that change and transformation in MENA has resulted from bottom- up, anti-establishment popular movements that have exposed the flaws of the U.S. foreign policy and will most likely challenge the conventional U.S. policies in the region for years to come.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, North Africa, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Ufuk Ulutaş
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since the early 2000s, Turkish foreign policy has experienced a fundamental transformation. Turkey's regional and global position, its relations with the countries in surrounding regions, and its long-lasting disputes with its neighbors were reshaped through the adoption of the "zero-problem with-neighbors" policy. In line with this policy, Turkey has taken a pro-active stance and followed a multi-dimensional foreign policy approach to establish itself, first, as a conciliatory partner for peace with its neighbors, and second, as an agent of mediation between its clashing neighboring countries. 2009 was a year of foreign policy initiatives towards Syria, Armenia, and Iraq, including the Kurdish Regional Government. And it marked the beginning of more positive and constructive relations between Turkey and the United States. Turkey gained substantial ground in becoming a regional hub for energy by undersigning two critical energy deals. Yet, two major issues remain as challenges for Turkish foreign policy: a) the EU accession process, and b) the Cyprus dispute.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Kılıç Buğra Kanat
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article agrees that there is a transformation in Turkish foreign policy. It suggests that the changes in foreign policy are not aimed to de-Westernize Turkey; instead they are attempts to create an autonomous, self-regulating, and self-confident foreign policy agenda while normalizing the previous crisis-driven policymaking in Turkey's foreign relations. These changes include: broadening of Turkey's foreign policy agenda to include regions other than Europe and North America, using the expertise of new actors in shaping foreign policy (such as civil experts and NGOs) and transforming decision making mechanisms to incorporate new initiatives. In fact, this article, while not denying some recurring problems in Turkey's foreign policy, suggests that Turkey is not turning away from the West; but striving to reconfigure and reformulate its foreign policy, reflecting the demands of an increasingly open and democratic society and adapting to the realities of a multi-polar world.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, North America
  • Author: Kadir Üstün
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed the fourth round of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran on June 9, 2010. Turkey, along with Brazil, voted in opposition to sanctions while Lebanon abstained from the vote. Turkey and Brazil's votes were particularly critical because they demonstrated a lack of unity within the international community. The rationale behind Brazil and Turkey's votes derived from the fact that the nuclear swap deal signed by Iran is, so far, the only concrete deal. It represents the only legal basis that the international community can build upon and hold Iran accountable. Although both countries' “no” votes were consistent with their diplomatic efforts, many analysts are criticizing Turkey in particular for not voting with its traditionally strong allies such as the US. Turkey's vote against the new round of sanctions represents an important milestone not because Turkey is abandoning its long-time allies but because Turkey is learning to make its own foreign policy calculations and decisions.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Brazil, Lebanon
  • Author: John Roberts
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has so many factors operating in favor of it becoming one of the world's great energy hubs – and yet there are so many reasons why it may completely fail to fulfill such a goal. The country's inherent geography – its classic position as a crossroads between east and west, between north and south – makes it natural to become a giant center for trading in oil, gas and petrochemicals. But its attitude – the accumulation of its foreign policy, its approach to energy transit and to internal energy development, and its own uncertainty as to its place in the world in general and its involvement in Europe in particular – tells quite a different story. The future of Turkey as a gas trading hub lies very much in Turkey's own hands. For such a hub to emerge will require Turkey to opt for domestic market liberalization over statism (étatism).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Oil
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Dimitrios Triantaphyllou, Eleni Fotiou
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Since 2000, Turkey's Europeanisation process has affected the country's foreign policy both as a structural and a conjunctural factor. As a structural factor, the EU has had a good deal of influence on Turkey's political and security culture by introducing elements of “soft power” and by expanding the number of Turkey's foreign policymaking agents, particularly in the realm of “pipeline diplomacy.” As a conjunctural factor, the EU has affected Turkey's foreign policy rhetoric by introducing new negotiating chips, and thus complicating the “bargaining” process. However, in order for Turkey's energy diplomacy to achieve its goals, Turkey's strategy towards the Middle East and the Caucasus must become coherent and its approach towards the EU, the US, and Russia, balanced. Most importantly, the question of whether Turkey perceives “pipeline diplomacy” as a means to achieve energy independence, thus enhancing its security, or as leverage to increase its power, thus leading to its recognition as a regional hegemon, remains open.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Tuncay Babalı
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey has become an important east-west and north-south gas and oil transit route and an energy hub, thanks to the Turkish straits, and the existing and proposed pipelines that run through its territory. Economic opportunities, however, can present diplomatic liabilities. In a tough and complicated region, Turkey finds itself caught between the interests of competing superpowers and regional players. As the world's 16th largest economy, Turkey's thirst for energy will only increase. Satisfying this thirst requires not only diversification of sources and routes, but also good relations with all neighbors, in addition to traditional partners. An analysis of Ankara's options and new foreign policy vision shows that Turkey has little choice but to use greater caution and engagement. Following its own national interests and security concerns will drive Turkey to new openings in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and other CIS countries. Energy will be one of the main pillars of Turkey's policy of engagement and integration in the region.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia, Syria
  • Author: Binnur Özkeçeci-Taner, Westenley Alcenat
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Today, energy security is an important domestic and foreign policy matter and states are looking for alternative energy sources more vigorously than ever before. Using the “Heartland Theory” of British geographer Halford Mackinder to evaluate the theoretical claims that the convergence of foreign policy and energy security is driving competition for influence in the world, we examine the “competition” among the powerful political actors in the Caspian. Our findings suggest that the need for a continued source of energy has shifted national energy security policies from purely military affairs to prioritizing stable oil markets and has created potential roles, especially for powerful regional actors. After our review of the historical and present competition over Caspian energy sources, we analyze the effects of growing internationalization and securitization of global energy issues for Turkey and the possible implications of different foreign policy options Turkey is likely to pursue in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Turkey
  • Author: Ömer Taspinar
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Under the Obama administration American foreign policy will be engaged in genuine coalition building with allies. Such a return to multilateralism will have a positive impact on transatlantic and Turkish-American relations. Just like under the Clinton presidency during the late 1990s, Turkey needs American support to undo the deadlock with the European Union. America's return to Middle East diplomacy will also improve Turkish-American relations since the Obama administration is much more likely to support Ankara's openings to Damascus. Turkey should make an effort to host a new Arab-Israeli peace process in the framework of an international conference in Istanbul. In the short run Ankara can avoid problems with Washington on the Armenian issue if it decides to enhance its military and civilian support to NATO forces in Afghanistan.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Armenia