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  • Author: Hasan Kösebalaban
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the impact of contested national identity on Turkish and Japanese foreign policies. Applying a modified constructivist theoretical framework, it seeks to explore the ways in which the national identities of Turkey and Japan are constructed, internalized and in turn externalized through their foreign policies. In examining the case of Turkey and Japan, the paper problematizes national identity as a contested space characterized by a clash of opposing sub-national identities with distinct readings of national interests and security. Hence foreign policy decisions emerge in the context of this contestation among opposing national identities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Japan, Turkey
  • Author: Yücel Bozdağlıoğlu
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite its unique geographical and cultural position between East and the West, Turkey, throughout its modern history, has followed a Western-oriented foreign policy. This essay argues that Turkey's Western orientation is closely linked to Turkey's official Western identity created as a result of Turkey's modernization project in the years following the Independence War. The Islamist challenge to this new identity occasionally created a tension between the secular/Kemalist elite and the Islamists in Turkey, which from time to time impinged upon Turkey's foreign policy. The debate on Turkish foreign policy has been an extension of the debate on national identity in the past and still continues to be so. Therefore, in order to better understand the main determinants of Turkey's foreign policy preferences and behaviors, an analysis of Turkish identity is needed.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Harry G. Tzimitras
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to evaluate the forces behind the Turkish-Greek rapprochement, its prospects and its limitations. In the first part, through an analysis of the route from détente to rapprochement, the case for sustainable changes in the foreign policies of the two countries will be made, from confrontation to cooperation. In the second part, the effect of Europeanization on the foreign policies of Greece and Turkey and on their bilateral disputes will be discussed, with a view to presenting the overall contribution of the EU to bilateral affairs in the way of opportunities offered and constraints set. Finally, in the third and fourth parts it is argued that obstacles to rapprochement still remain, particularly in the form of nationalism.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Greece
  • Author: Joshua W. Walker
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey stands at the threshold of all major trends within its neighborhood and is actively seeking to harness the assets that its geography and historical experiences afford it. As a staunch ally of the United States which has traditionally privileged its "strategic partnership," Turkey's global role has shifted from being a Western geo-strategic military deterrent to an exemplary model of a Muslim-majority, secular, and democratic nation. This article offers an introduction to Turkey's new foreign policy doctrine known as "strategic depth" and then seeks to examine its implications for Turkey's emerging role in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Central Asia. In the following sections, this article will outline how Turkey is beginning to realize its full potential as a versatile multiregional and increasingly powerful international actor.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Central Asia, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Lasha Tchantouridze
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The results of the January 5 2008 presidential elections in Georgia will have a long-lasting effect on this emerging democracy, as well as its foreign policy orientation, and on overall stability in the Caucasus. The winner, Mikheil Saakashvili, widely seen as a pro-American and pro-Western politician very keen on the issues of joining NATO and the EU, has in fact done nothing during his first four years in power to secure his country's political independence from Russia or to weaken Moscow's position in the Caucasus. If Saakashvilis's deeds, rather than his words, are examined more carefully, he appears to be more pro-Russian in his foreign orientation rather than pro-Western. It is not entirely unlikely that President Putin of Russia and his Georgian counterpart Saakashvili are staging the hate game between themselves for the benefit of Western observers and their respective domestic audiences. Saakashvili has just managed to secure his second term in office on the anti-Russian ticket, with all the legal and illegal means at his disposal. This will keep his political opposition, whatever is left of the independent news media, and the majority of Georgians actively opposed to him for years to come. If pressured hard by the West, Saakashvili may be forced to make a turn in his foreign policy orientation, and openly choose Moscow as his political overlord. Such a turn of events would have long reaching consequences for the overall stability and security of the Caucasus, as well as for extra-regional links and energy cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: America, Caucasus, Moscow, Georgia