Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty

Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty

F. Stephen Larrabee
Ian O. Lesser
Copyright Date: 2003
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 240
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1612cmepp
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  • Book Info
    Turkish Foreign Policy in an Age of Uncertainty
    Book Description:

    The authors describe the challenges and opportunities facing Turkey in the international environment during a time of extraordinary flux. Special emphasis is given to the strategic and security issues facing Turkey, including a number of new issues posed by the terrorist attacks of September 2001 and the subsequent international response. They conclude by offering some prognostications regarding the country's future and their implications on Turkey's western partners.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3404-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. SUMMARY
    (pp. ix-xvi)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. ACRONYMS
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  7. Chapter One INTRODUCTION: TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY IN TRANSITION
    (pp. 1-14)

    Turkey faces a troubled environment, domestically and internationally. Uncertainties regarding the country’s future and its external policies have increased significantly as a result of Turkey’s own economic crises and political turmoil, troubling developments in nearby regions, and challenges further afield. The opening of the 21st century has seen a multiplication of variables influencing Turkey’s foreign and security policy. As a consequence, the task of understanding and assessing Turkey’s international role has become more complex and far more difficult.

    During the Cold War, Turkey was a key part of the Western defense system. Ankara acted as a bulwark against the expansion...

  8. Chapter Two THE CHANGING DOMESTIC CONTEXT
    (pp. 15-44)

    Changes in the international environment are placing new pressures on Turkish policymakers and the Turkish public and are having important effects on Turkish policy. This is particularly true given the magnitude and rapidity of developments in adjacent regions, whether in the Balkans, the Caucasus, or the Middle East. These pressures alone would be stressful for Turkish foreign and security policymaking, which has a tradition of marked conservatism.

    At the same time, Turkey confronts changes on the domestic scene that are arguably even more significant in their foreign and security policy implications. Turkey remains embroiled in a severe economic crisis that...

  9. Chapter Three TURKEY AND EUROPE
    (pp. 45-70)

    Diplomatically, Turkey has been part of the European state system since the 19th century when the Ottoman empire was included in the Concert of Europe. At the Paris Peace Conference in 1856, Europe’s great powers decided that the territorial integrity of the Ottoman empire was essential for European stability. Indeed, for much of the last half of the 19th century, European diplomacy was dominated by the “Eastern Question”—that is, how to manage the decline of the Ottoman empire, which by the mid-1800s had become, in Czar Nicholas I’s famous phrase, “the sick man of Europe.”

    Yet although the Ottoman...

  10. Chapter Four RELATIONS WITH GREECE AND THE BALKANS
    (pp. 71-98)

    Turkey’s relations with Greece form an important part of Turkey’s broader agenda. The conflict between the two countries has been a persistent threat to security in the Eastern Mediterranean since the mid-1950s. During the Cold War, the differences between the two countries threatened to break out into open conflict on several occasions.¹ However, these differences have taken on added importance since the end of the Cold War for several reasons.

    First, the Aegean has been one of Europe’s most dangerous flashpoints. Turkey and Greece have come close to armed conflict several times in the last two decades—most recently in...

  11. Chapter Five TURKEY AND EURASIA
    (pp. 99-126)

    Since the early 1990s, Central Asia and the Caucasus have emerged as significant focal points of Turkish policy. This represents an important shift in Turkish foreign policy. Under Atatürk, Turkey consciously eschewed efforts to cultivate contacts with the Turkic and Muslim populations beyond Turkey’s borders. In addition, the closed nature of the Soviet political regime and Moscow’s sensitivity regarding its control over the non-Russian nationalities made any communication with the peoples of Central Asia and the Caucasus difficult. As a result, after the founding of the Turkish Republic (1923), Turkey had little contact with the peoples of Central Asia and...

  12. Chapter Six THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE MEDITERRANEAN
    (pp. 127-158)

    Over the last decade, Turkey has become a more important and assertive regional actor, and much of this new activism has been directed toward the Middle East.¹ Ankara is focused more heavily than ever before on events to the south and east, not as an alternative foreign policy orientation but rather as a response to perceived security challenges. With some exceptions, Turks tend to see the Middle East more as a sphere of risk than as a sphere of opportunity.² Leaving aside Turkish policy toward Cyprus and the Aegean, addressed in Chapter Four, Ankara also has some emerging challenges and...

  13. Chapter Seven TURKEY AND THE UNITED STATES
    (pp. 159-186)

    The relationship with the United States has been a key aspect of Turkey’s foreign and security policy since 1945. Despite fears on both sides that this “strategic relationship” would become less strategic and less important with the end of the Cold War, the relationship has retained its significance for both countries. Indeed, the relationship has arguably acquired even greater significance in the post–Cold War strategic environment—a significance underscored by events since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the looming confrontation with Iraq. This sustained importance reflects the unsettled character of regions surrounding Turkey and the primacy...

  14. Chapter Eight CONCLUSION
    (pp. 187-200)

    In the last decade Turkey has emerged as a more active and important actor on the international stage. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Turkey rediscovered a world of interests and affinities stretching “from the Balkans to Western China”—areas that had been largely absent from the mainstream Turkish foreign policy debate, not just since the start of the Cold War but since the foundation of the Republic. More recently, analysts have focused on the increasing activism in Turkish external policy. With few exceptions, this activism has been evident largely in traditional areas of interest such as Europe, as...

  15. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 201-216)
  16. ABOUT THE AUTHORS
    (pp. 217-218)