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Feb 26
Innovation in International Affairs – Umut Uzer
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Umut Uzer, Istanbul Tech– February 26th at 12:30pm

Realism and Constructivism as Analytical Tools for Turkish Foreign Policy Analysis

Abstract: By focusing on the basic assumptions of realism and constructivism, power and identity, respectively, Turkish foreign policy can be explicated utilizing both theories of international relations depending on different cases. With this purpose in mind, I will take three cases under consideration. The first one is Turkey’s involvement in Cyrus and its eventual intervention in 1974, which can be explained by analytical eclecticism; however, strategic considerations had the upper hand even though the security of the Turkish community on the island was also put forward as one of the reasons for its involvement.

The second case is Turkey’s close relations with Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, all of which can be explained by the kin-country syndrome argued by Samuel Huntington. In this case, there is also the commonality of identity, expressed in the slogan “One nation, two states” by the presidents of both countries; however, the combination of realist and ideational variables has strengthened bilateral relations beyond any ethnic sentimentalism.

The last case is Turkey’s policy toward Israel and Palestine, which can be explained from a constructivism framework as Islamism is the key variable in the explication of its policies, especially regarding Palestine. While Turkey, under the Justice and Development Party (2002-), tried to keep the channels of communication and diplomacy open with Israel, the party’s identification with Hamas has priority over its relations with the PLO as well as Israel. Therefore, Turkish liaisons with Palestine can be perceived from an Islamist/Ottomanist framework.

Considering these three cases, Turkish foreign policy behavior can be comprehended from a theoretical background based on empirical analysis. There is mutual interaction between state interests and the Islamist identity of JDP; therefore, taking both variables into account would offer a sophisticated understanding of Turkish foreign policy.


Meeting ID: 981 5055 0037

Passcode: science


February 26
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
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