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  • Author: Muhammed Kürsad Özekin, Zeynep Arıöz
  • Publication Date: 04-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: With the rise of intra-state conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in the last two decades, the causality relationship between oil wealth and political stability has become a matter of debate in the literature. However, despite the proliferating research interest, the impact of oil revenues on regime stability and civil conflicts still remains contested in both theoretical and empirical terms. Bearing this limitation in mind, this article aims to present a fairly general but analytically broadened framework to explain the relationship between the decline of the oil-rentier states, and the rise of intra-state conflicts experienced in the Middle East in the past two decades. Putting matter into the historical context of the state formation and the colonial legacy in the Middle East this study presents a slightly different reading of the causality relation between oil revenue and the conflict-proneness of rentier states. Thus this article, to a certain extent, moves beyond the conventional explanations of the rentier state theory and argues that oil revenue cannot be taken as an explanatory variable of conflicts per se.
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Philipp O. Amour
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: In December 2010, a revolutionary spark in Tunisia initiated what is now referred to as the Arab Spring. Since then, many countries across the broader Middle East have been swept up in uprisings that have led to fundamental shifts in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen. The same drive for change has also led to minor changes in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Egypt, Morocco
  • Author: Ayfer Erdogan
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The last two years have witnessed an unexpected series of events unfolding in the Arab World leading us to make comparisons with the fall of Communism in 1989. Developments in the Middle East and North Africa made headway at a rapid pace. The overthrow of governments in Tunisia and Egypt, the civil war in Libya and the ongoing inner conflicts in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen were just as unexpected and stunning as the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. It is ironic that many observers attempting to make sense of these events have chosen the term 'Arab Spring' to define this movement, which somehow recalls the Eastern European analogue 'Prague Spring' in 1968. Many political scientists and analysts viewed these events taking the fall of Communism as a common point of reference. The Arab Spring is reminiscent of the Eastern European Revolutions in 1989 in many respects, yet a deeper analysis shows that significant similarities are outweighed by key differences. This paper attempts to address the recent wave of democratization which has swept across the Arab world in a comparative context and discuss the similarities and differences between the Arab Spring in 2011 and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Eastern Europe, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Egypt, Bahrain
  • Author: Sean Foley
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: What was the intellectual vision that led to the Arab Spring and what are its roots? This article investigates how that vision took shape in the years immediately before the Arab Spring through the work of poets and popular Arab singers like Hamza Namira and Maher Zain. It argues that the vision in art and politics mirrored the desire of many Arabs and Muslims to find new ways to solve the challenges plaguing their societies. The vision also reflected a) how the downturn in the global economy after 2008 combined with major environmental changes to galvanize millions to act in the Arab World b) how social media and new communications tools helped to mobilize dissent and to limit the ability of governments to effectively repress their populations. More than two years after the Arab Spring began in late 2010 the movements it spawned are radically reconstructing societies in the Middle East. They are also undermining some of the basic assumptions of the international system, many of which have been in place since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Elizabeth Bishop
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Citizens of the Arab Middle East have taken part in a wave of democracy movements; in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia at least, their protests have resulted in regime change. Drawing on Michel Foucault's personal experiences in one of these countries, and informed by his concept of “biopolitics,” this essay connects Egyptians' current liberation struggle with their earlier revolution in 1952, in order to compare these experiences with Iraqis' 1958 Tammuz revolution. Were new social media as important, as the level of funding dedicated to the military? And what is the role of diplomacy in a revolutionary moment?
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Libya, Egypt
  • Author: Paul Kubicek
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The “Turkish model” has been upheld as a positive example for Middle Eastern countries, particularly in light of the Arab Spring. While Turkey is, in many respects, successful—it has a dynamic economy and in recent years has made great strides toward political liberalization— and the current Turkish government has high standing in the Arab world, this paper will argue that the applicability of a “Turkish model” to other settings is limited. In part, this is due to confusion over what the “Turkish model” precisely is or should be. For many years, the “Turkish model” was taken to be Kemalism, or a statist, authoritarian, secular order imposed “from above” with the goals of modernization and Westernization. More recently, the “Turkish model” would mean embracing a more moderate-type of political Islam, exemplified by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). While the AKP has proven to be successful in Turkey, it came to power in conditions very different than those that prevail in the Arab world at present. In particular, the AKP has evolved to reconcile itself to secularism in Turkey and embraced a program of Europeanization through accession talks with the European Union, an option not on the table in Arab states. Finally, a comparison of the political culture of Turkey with that in much of the Arab world reveals significant differences in values and priorities between the two cases.
  • Topic: Democratization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Moritz Pieper
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkey's role in the Iranian nuclear dossier is often portrayed as that of a 'facilitator' and 'mediator' in scholarly analyses. NATO member Turkey was seen as a potential bridge-builder between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the 'Western camp' of negotiators. During prime minister ErdoÄŸan's first legislature, however, Ankara's and Washington's foreign policy outlooks and strategic priorities started to diverge in the course of Turkey's new regional engagement in what has been theorized as a 'Middle-Easternization' of Turkish foreign policy. It is Turkey's location as a geostrategic hub in a politically instable region that informed Turkey's 'Zero problems with neighbors' policy and foreign minister DavutoÄŸlu's advocacy for a 'Strategic Depth' in Turkey's foreign and regional policies. Ankara emphasizes its need to uphold sound relations with its neighbors and publicly stresses an unwillingness to go along with Western pressure on Iran, and insists on the principle of non-interference and Iran's right to use nuclear power for peaceful purposes. All the same, Turkish-Iranian relations are undergoing a deterioration in the wake of the Syrian civil war at the time of writing, with both sides supporting diametrically opposite causes and factions. Turkish-Iranian fundamentally differing conceptions of regional order will also impact upon Turkey's leverage power to defuse the Iranian nuclear crisis. This paper therefore adds a timely contribution to our understanding of a multifaceted and nuanced Turkish foreign policy toward Iran that can be a critical complement to 'Western' diplomatic initiatives in the search for new paradigms for a new Middle East order.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Henelito A. Sevilla
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has brought significant changes to the political landscape in many Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries since early 2011. It has also affected the geo strategic and economic interests of powerful emerging Asian states, especially China and other net-energy consuming countries. One immediate result of the Arab Spring is its highly disrupted impact (a ' Black Swan') on the production and supply of crude oil to the economies in Asia due to their high degree of reliance on hydrocarbon from the Middle East. Chinese reactions to Arab Spring have fed tensions between itself and the countries with which it shares the South China Sea, most importantly the Philippines and Vietnam. This paper demonstrates that the black swan effect of the Arab Spring is manifested in the renewal of a geo-strategic competition in the South China Sea as China is re-asserting its historical claims over the control of the area and of its possible hydrocarbon reserves.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Middle East, Arabia, North Africa
  • Author: Vahit Yucesoy
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Well-researched, and well-documented, L'Iran et la Turquie face au Printemps arabe (Iran and Turkey in the face of the Arab Spring), written by authors Mohammad-Reza Djalili and Thierry Kellner, sets out to analyse the Arab Spring from the vantage point of two major non-Arab powers of the Middle East. Given the shortage of academic books on the reaction of these two major powers to the Arab Spring, the authors' book comes at a very pertinent time.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Bulend Aydin Ertekin
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: According to the common idea, "the economic power determines the political power." By this general principle, when we look at the powerful states, we see that these states (countries) have, at the same time, the powerful political effect on the other actors. In this paper, some trade and economic data of Turkey are shown in order to localize its place in the World rankings. By this purpose, this paper argues the fact that Turkey which, being one of the countries belonging G-20, has tried since 1991 to play a big role in its bilateral relations in Caucasia, Central Asia and Middle East (CCAME). However, when the data of international business of Turkey and those of each one of the countries of Central Asia treated in the contents of research are studied, it is seen very clearly that the influence of Turkey in Central Asia is not very dominant or does not create a dominating effect over the economic plan in spite of the existence of the diplomatic effects, visa facilities and the visits based upon the cultural level and mutually testified. Without any doubt, although nobody can deny the existence and the probability of the gradual growth of Turkey's relations in CCAME's countries, Turkey, whose face is turned mainly towards the occident and the large majority of trade made within the European countries,tries to be an influential actor in the determined areas. Naturally, in spite of the celebration of Nawruz with the Turkic World, acting as a Muslim country in Middle East, and accepting the norms of European Union as a European democratic and laicized country in Europe, Turkey presents several identities and makes it a multi-colored actor who can be used in favor of Turkey's interests.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Globalization
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Mustafa Yetim, Cengiz Dinc
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkey's foreign policy toward the Middle East has gone through a radical change over the decades. Earlier periods were marked by almost a complete neglect. However, since Özal, Turkey's interest toward the region has constantly increased. Especially in the last few years of the AKP government, in line with the new foreign policy vision, the Middle East has started to occupy a central place in Turkish foreign policy. In this article, underlying factors of this changing policy and newly envisioned regional role for Turkey will be analyzed. Turkey now pursues a pro-active and multidimensional foreign policy; and the Middle East seems to be the most suitable area for Turkey to implement a successful foreign policy based upon its new parameters.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Muhammad Azam, Sagheer Ahmad Khan
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Advanced democracies, including the United States, have been championing democratic promotion around the world. In the past, American policy towards the Arab Middle East, however, had been mainly based on just paying lip-service to democracy sans concrete measures for promoting a democratic culture in the region. The events of 9/11 marked a watershed in the history of US foreign policy towards the region. Facing calls for a democratic Arab World from home and abroad in the wake of 9/11 the US government raised the ante for pushing democracy in the Arab Middle East. The rhetoric and emphasis laid on 'democracy in the Arab World' by the American leadership over the years after 9/11 was unprecedented. This study deals with the visible shift in US foreign policy vis-à-vis democracy in the region, focusing on the six GCC states, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. In addition to American approach and strategy, practical measures taken in the areas of politics, economy, education, media, civil society, and human rights is also furnished. An effort is made to understand and highlight the methods and tools employed by the foreign democracy promoters, both at the levels of state and society. However, a large part of the study appertains to the activities conducted at the grass-roots level. The study is comparative in its nature, based on empirical analysis.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Kuwait, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman
  • Author: Reza Sanati
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Within the coming year, the American led-NATO mission will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Though the decrease in troop levels in the short-term has been expected, the final date wherein all American and NATO troops leave the country is still a matter of heated debate, primarily for two reasons: the inconclusive steadiness of the present Afghan regime and the uncertainty of what a post-withdrawal Afghanistan would like. With this in mind, this article intends to explore both the logic of NATO intervention and the subsequent occupation of that war-torn country. It examines the primary reasons why stability and progress within Afghanistan have been elusive, the current debate amongst policy makers regarding the steps ahead, and finally proposing an alternative model that proposes a new US and NATO regional strategy that places the burden on Afghanistan stability and reconstruction on neighbors who share the larger NATO goal of a self-sufficient and stable Afghan government. Accordingly, the most potentially successful NATO approach towards Afghan stability would adopt the proven economic, social, political, infrastructural, and local governance models of regional states, and honing and adopting those models into the broader Afghan domestic theatre. For this to happen, a new plan of cooperation from both NATO and American policy makers with regional states and their respective civil societies needs to be constructed and implemented.
  • Topic: NATO, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East
  • Author: Idrees Mohammed
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article explores the Turkish-Iranian rivalry and the conflicting interests of the two countries in the region with respect to the impact of the Arab Spring on the Syrian regime. It first looks into the background of the rivalry between Turkey and Iran. It then examines the reasons of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, particularly over Syria. It posits that the rapprochement between Turkey and Syria, which had taken place as a result of the change in Turkish foreign policy in the last decade, faced a rupture with the breaking of the Arab Spring. It then argues that the rupture in Turkish-Syrian relations increased the Iranian influence on the Syrian regime owing to the long Iranian-Syrian alliance and their converging interests in the region. Finally, the article argues that while Turkey is in favor of a change of regime in Syria towards democratization of the country, Iran is in favor of the Syrian status-quo
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Zeynep Arikanli
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: This article aims to study the British modalities of managing Kurdish nationalism in the vilayet1 of Mosul in the 1918-1926 period, when both Kurdish nationalism and Iraqi state-building were in their formative (if not infancy) period. There are two inter-dependent arguments: First, the new British policies of the post-WWI period were also in their formative period, since they were being formed through the issue of a geo-political and frontier re-structuring necessitated by the new international order. Second, Kurdish nationalism in the Mosul province evolved in the prism of the British policies, constituting both a trump card for and a challenge to the Kurdish population. This duality, I will argue, became the main characteristic of Kurdish nationalism in the future configurations in Iraq in particular, and in the Middle East, in general. This duality was the direct outcome of the British policies in the post-WWI period, which were stamped with a considerable polyarchy and tergiversations, due both to the uncertainties generated by the post-WWI period, the necessity of adapting to the new principles of the international order and inter-departmental competition. These polyarchy and tergiversations became manifest in the Iraqi state-building process, especially before the settlement of the Mosul question, the old Ottoman province with a substantial Kurdish population. In other words, it was in the vilayet of Mosul during this period (1918-1926) that the re-structuring of the British policies in the post-WWI era was crystallized -with all their ups-and-downs.
  • Topic: Race
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Amir M. Haji-Yousefi
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: After the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, it became evident that Iraq's Shia majority would dominate the future government if a free election was going to be held. In 2004, Jordan's King Abdullah, anxiously warned of the prospect of a “Shia crescent” spanning Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. This idea was then picked up by others in the Arab world, especially Egypt's President Mubarak and some elements within the Saudi government, to reaffirm the Iranian ambitions and portray its threats with regard to the Middle East. This article seeks to unearth the main causes of promoting the idea of a revived Shiism by some Arab countries, and argue that it was basically proposed out of the fear that what the American occupation of Iraq unleashed in the region would drastically change the old Arab order in which Sunni governments were dominant. While Iran downplayed the idea and perceived it as a new American conspiracy, it was grabbed by the Bush administration to intensify its pressures on Iran. It also sought to rally support in the Arab world for US Middle East policy in general, and its failed policy toward Iraq in particular. Thus, to answer the above mentioned question, a close attention would be paid to both the Arab and Iranian agenda in the Middle East after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in order to establish which entities benefit most from the perception of a Shia crescent.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Kutbettin Kilic
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: Turkish foreign policy has made a remarkable achievement in recent years, raising the influence of Turkey in surrounding critical regions, extending from the Balkans to the Middle East and as well as in international politics. With Harmonizing Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and the Middle East, Mesut Ozcan sets about to explicate a part of this picture, that is, the shift in Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East, which, the author argues, becomes more visible in policies towards Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 1999 is the beginning of the aforementioned shift, according to Ozcan, a year in which the EU gave Turkey a candidature status and Abdullah Ocalan, the leader and founder of the PKK, was arrested. This was also a year that provided Turkish decision makers with a democratic opening in foreign policy—a shift from security-oriented foreign policy to a democracy-oriented one. From that time onwards, Turkey, according to Ozcan, has been exposed to the process of Europeanization of foreign policy, a process that has taken Turkey away from a foreign policy under American influence.
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Munir Hussain
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: After a decade of stagnant relations, Pakistan-Turkey relations seem to be improving in the right direction. Both countries have traditionally enjoyed close and cordial relations. The manifold commonalties between the two countries have been reinforced by the firm resolve of their leadership to further deepen mutual cooperation in all fields.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Affairs, History
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Nilgun Onder
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: The world is simultaneously globalizing and regionalizing. The double processes of globalization and regionalization appear to be paradoxical. This seemingly paradoxical phenomenon has raised the question of whether regionalism contradicts or complements globalization and whether it obstructs or reinforces globalization. The paradox of the resurgence of regionalism amidst globalization has attracted considerable scholarly attention.
  • Topic: Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Enayatollah Yazdani
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
  • Institution: Prof. Bulent Aras
  • Abstract: US relations with the Islamic world are a part of its international relations that cannot be overlooked. Here the main questions are how America has instituted its policy towards the Muslim world? How has the US global hegemony affected the Islamic World? How US policy towards the Islamic World may be influenced by the radical Islamic movements? And what is the influence of the war in Iraq on perceptions of US relations with the Islamic World? This paper aims to answer these questions.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East