INAF-452 Turkish Foreign Policy
Spring for 2015-2016
Turkey has always been renowned for occupying a strategic position and having a foothold in one of the most sensitive regions of the world. For many years, Turkish diplomats were keen to point out thatTurkey was located in an “unfriendly neighbourhood”. During the Cold War, Turkey was a front-line state, situated on the edge of the USSR and was perceived to be an indispensible actor against the spread of communism and has been the only Muslim member of NATO since it became a member in 1952. Furthermore, Turkey is the only Muslim country which has begun full accession negotiations with the European Union and the possibly the only country which has strived for over half a century to consolidate liberal democratic norms. The country and its people pride themselves in the fact that they have never been ruled by a foreign country and the modern republic’s predecessor, the Ottoman Empire was a land-based imperial power. In today’s world, interest in Turkey and Turkish foreign policy is growing exponentially, particularly following the so-called Arab Spring, where Turkey is being portrayed as a ‘model’ for regional Muslim countries to emulate. Over the last two decades, Turkey hasgrown economically, as well as become increasingly politically stable (in terms of government longevity). As Turkey’s national and per capita incomes have risen, so too has the country’s economic interests, both regionally and globally. This has prompted several questions: to what extent is Turkey becoming the regional power and to what extent is Turkey likely to move beyond its traditional western foreign policy commitments in pursuit of its diversifying economic and strategic goals?
The course is designed to focus on providing students a clear understanding of the determinants that go into the making of Turkish foreign policy in republican times (1923-present). A general survey of Turkish foreign policy will be completed in the first half of the semester. This will give students both a chronological and historical understanding of the development of international politics surrounding Turkey. This is followed by a regional analysis of foreign policy goals and developments in the contemporary period, in aid of answering the questions posed above.
Other academic years
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