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  • Author: Çiğdem Üstün
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The debate on the future of the Turkish-American partnership has puzzled scholars in recent years due to its constant fluctuations. In the first year of the Obama administration, the parties tried to heal relations with high level exchanges and a new conceptual framework to define the relationship. However, in 2010 the discord between the US and Turkey on major policy issues, including Iran and relations with Israel, once again strained bilateral relations. With the Arab Spring, the pendulum swung once again. Since the eruption of the people's movement in different parts of the Middle East, Turkey and the US have acted in coordination, and taken similar positions in debates in international forums. The Obama administration announced a new Asia- Pacific strategy, which will entail the concentration of its diplomatic, military, and economic resources to build partnerships and curb emerging threats in this region. This new doctrine may have a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.
  • Topic: Security, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey, Middle East, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: F. Stephen Larrabee
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The United States has to deal with a very different Turkey today than the Turkey during the Cold War. The disappearance of the Soviet threat has reduced Turkey's dependence on the United States for its security and deprived the U.S.-Turkish security partnership of a clear unifying purpose. At the same time, Turkey's geographic role and interests have expanded. Turkey now has interests and stakes in various regions it did not have two decades ago. It is thus less willing to automatically follow the U.S.'s lead on many issues, especially when U.S. policy conflicts with Turkey's own interests. This does not mean that Turkey is turning its back on the West or the United States. Turkey still wants—and needs—strong ties with the United States. But the terms of engagement have changed. Ankara is a rising regional power and is no longer content to play the role of junior partner.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Turkey
  • Author: Rahman G. Bonab
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The international community is worried about the security implications of Iran's nuclear activities. Although it has been argued that Iran is very close to make a nuclear bomb, the results of the latest official reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and some American intelligence institutions demonstrate that Iran is not reluctant to consider the concerns of the international community in its decisions. One of the main policies of great powers is to cooperate with regional actors, like Turkey, to persuade Iran to be more flexible in its nuclear policy and particularly in its uranium enrichment activity. The historical mistrust between Iran and the great powers reinforces the necessity of having other regional actors act as mediators and countries like Turkey can play an important role in this context. The governing AKP's mediation policy in the regional level is a catalyst to Turkey's attempts to mediate between Iran and the 5+1 Group, although mediation can have its own difficulties.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Turkey
  • 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