Insight Turkey Volume 14 No 2

Insight Turkey Volume 14 No 2

Insight Turkey Volume 14 No 2


Charting Transitions in the Middle East: Lessons Learned from Tunisia and Egypt 

Leila Hilal

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 1-12

The Arab revolts have resulted in deposed heads of state in Yemen, Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. Of these countries the latter two—Egypt and Tunisia—saw mass street protestors quickly topple entrenched autocrats without significant violence or foreign intervention. One year on, Egypt is still ruled by elements of the Mubarak regime with vested interests in the former order. It is also racked by political battles and economic troubles that are threatening its transition. Tunisia, on the other hand, is moving steadily closer toward a potential democratic consolidation. What explains the differences? This commentary discusses the prior institutional characteristics of the two countries. It then examines three areas of early transitional choices that contributed to Tunisia’s progress and undermined Egypt’s. In identifying lessons learned it makes the case that oppositional movements should avoid constitutional and institutional vacuums, establish broadly representative civilian-led transitional planning mechanisms, and follow appropriately-timed, transparent electoral sequencing. [Read more ]

The Syrian Quagmire: What’s Holding Turkey Back?

Erol Cebeci and Kadir Üstün

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 13-21

The Assad regime has been playing all the diplomatic, political, and security cards it has accumulated over the past several decades. While keeping the violence under a certain threshold on a daily basis so as not to provoke immediate international action, the regime has benefited from the entangled and often conflicted international interests in Syria. The opposition has been unable to deal a serious blow to the regime and international pressure has so far yielded no major results. Though calls for international and regional action have recently intensified, there exists no clear international leadership or consensus on how to handle Syria. The Arab League and Turkey, along with other countries, have created the “Friends of Syria” group after the failure of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, but Russian and Iranian backing for the Assad regime is seriously limiting options. Given its support for the people against authoritarian regimes during the Arab Spring and its anti Assad stance, expectations for Turkey to “do something” are increasingly more pronounced. So, what’s holding Turkey back? [Read more]

Monetary Policy of Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey after Global Financial Crisis

Erdem Başçı

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 23-26

The recent global financial crisis presented substantial challenges and lessons for all economic agents. One of the most important lessons learned was the indispensability of financial stability for the smooth functioning of the economy as a whole. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), being aware of the conditions that new global economic conjuncture necessitates, decided to modify its existing framework of inflation targeting by adopting a new policy by using required reserve ratios and interest rate corridor. The new policy mix approach preserves the main objective of achieving and maintaining price stability while safeguarding financial stability as a supporting objective. [Read more]

Insight Greece: The Origins of the Present Crisis

Vassilis K. Fouskas

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 27-36

This commentary counters conservative, liberal, and social democratic explanations about Greece’s sovereign debt crisis. It advances an original analysis as to what the sources of the Greek debt are and what steps should be taken in order to emerge successfully from it. The argument put forth is that responsibility for the country’s debt should be placed squarely on the shoulders of Greece’s two main parties ruling the country since 1974 (New Democracy and PASOK) in conjunction with the Euro-Atlantic political elites, the inter-section of which is straddled by a compradorcum financial oligarchy Greek style. The solution is a debtor-led default and immediate exit from the eurozone. But, it is maintained that this cannot take place under the aegis of the old two-party corrupt regime. [Read more]


The Rise and Fall of Military Tutelage in Turkey: Fears of Islamism, Kurdism, and Communism

Ahmet T. Kuru

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 37-57

What explains the rise and fall of military tutelage over Turkish democracy? This article argues that the military’s civilian allies, particularly in the judiciary, political parties, and the media, provided it with political power. The reason why these civilian supported the military tutelage over democracy was their ideological fears of ‘Islamic reactionism,’ ‘Kurdish separatism,’ and ‘communism.’ Yet since 2007, the military’s political influence has declined due to the weakening of its ideological allies and the rise of a counterelite, mainly the alliance of the pro-Islamic conservatives and the liberals. The article reviews the alternative state-centric, culturalist, and institutionalist explanations, while comparing the pre-2007 and post-2007 periods of civil-military relations. [Read more]

Refining the Story of the Financial Crises in Europe and the USA

Murat Yülek and Anthony Randazzo

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 59-81

A significant amount of research has already been made about the financial crisis. But a midterm primer is nevertheless necessary; it is critical to assess the nature of the crises to ensure that the proper lessons are learned. This article aims to present a history on the causes of the financial crisis that first emerged in the U.S. in 2007. Then it will analyze the roots of the current state of the economic crisis in Europe and the U.S. It will also assess the effects of the crises on the European and American economies. Consequently, a range of topics are discussed in the article, some of which have received deeper treatment elsewhere in economic literature, but have not been pieced together to provide a coherent past and present picture of the situation. The article concludes briefly on how this story relates to today’s economic environment and the next steps that need to be taken going forward. [Read more]

The Political Origins of the Greek Crisis: Domestic Failures and the EU Factor

Dimitris Tsarouhas

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 83-98

This article argues that the origins of the Greek malaise are primarily political rather than economic and rooted in the delay, postponement, and half-hearted implementation of public policy reforms that preceded the crisis. The 2007-08 global economic crisis triggered market scrutiny over Greece, as it brought to an end a period of abundant liquidity and a relaxed attitude by global markets vis a vis Eurozone members. Greece’s impossible fiscal position was brutally exposed, and a downward spiral began. The article also argues that although Greece set itself up for failure, the Eurozone’s inability to act swiftly and early, to diagnose the problem correctly and to combine a policy mix consisting of budgetary consolidation and policy reform further exacerbated the problem. Despite the fact that disorderly default has been avoided and a sense of normalcy has returned, Greece has to move swiftly on the reforms front to avoid disaster.[Read more]

The Changing Dynamics of Turkey’s Relations with Israel: An Analysis of ‘Securitization’ 

Ali Balcı and Tuncay Kardaş

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 99-120

The present study seeks to answer the following questions: How was it possible that a state such as Turkey, which had until then pursued a low-profile policy in the Middle East, has able to forge a bold strategic alliance with the state of Israel in the 1990s? Conversely then, why was the unparalleled and positive nature of relations in the 1990s replaced by a hostile and toxic nature in the first decade of the 2000s? How can this difference in the relations between the 1990s and 2000s be explained? To answer such questions, this article uses the Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization. This approach not only helps to illustrate the characteristics of different periods in Turkish-Israeli relations, it also helps to highlight the specificity of the politics of civil-military relations in foreign policy making.[Read more]

An Unfulfilled Opportunity for Reconciliation: Israel and Turkey during the Arab Spring

Nimrod Goren

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 121-135

2011 brought an opportunity for Israel and Turkey to mend their bilateral relations. The re-election of Erdoğan in
June 2011, coupled with the dramatic events of the Arab Spring, provided a new political and regional context in
which the relations could be reevaluated. This context enabled Turkey and Israel, with US mediation, to make progress towards drafting an agreement between them – an agreement intended to enable the two countries to restore normal working relations following the 2010 flotilla incident. However, the draft agreement was eventually rejected by the Israeli government in August 2011, leading to a new cycle of escalating tensions between the two countries. This article analyzes the Israeli decision-making process and discourse regarding the crisis with Turkey, and examines the changing circumstances of 2011, including the impact of the Arab Spring and the contrasting Israeli and Turkish reactions to it; the dynamics leading to the Israeli decision to reject the draft agreement; and the possible next phases in Israel-Turkey relations, including the conditions that can provide a new opportunity for the two former allies to become less alienated.[Read more]

Rationalization of Turkey-Iran Relations: Prospects and Limits

Bayram Sinkaya

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 137-156

This article examines Turkish Iranian relations in the 2000s, when the two countries initiated an unprecedented rapprochement. It argues that modification of foreign policy paradigms in Turkey and Iran led to the rationalization of bilateral relations that paved the way for improvement of economic and political ties between the two states. In addition to the rationalization, a supportive regional context helped them expand their relations. However, structural differences prevent the Turkish-Iranian rapprochement from turning into a strategic partnership. Moreover, restructuring of the regional context and rise of the specter of a conflictual relationship, which is still alive, threaten the future of
Turkish-Iranian relations.[Read more]

America’s Asia-Pacific Strategy and Turkish-American Partnership

Kılıç Buğra Kanat

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 157-175

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 mayhave a major impact on US relations with Turkey by opening up new opportunities for cooperation and new necessities to deepen the partnership.[Read more]

Turkey Between Environmental Protection and Energy Security : A Regional Perspective

Çiğdem Üstün

Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, pp. 177-192

Today, states not only find it necessary to secure energy supplies but also to address environmental threats due to climate change, decrease in biological diversity, concerns over water resources, and increasing individual and industrial energy needs. In this framework, Turkey is also focusing on environment and energy policies in its relations with its neighbors. Droughts, decreases in water resources, transit passage of oil tankers through the Black Sea and the Turkish Straits and a decline in biodiversity force Turkey to emphasize the access and use of environmentally friendly energy. However, economic and geopolitical concerns are also playing a crucial role in agreements with the energy producing countries. This paper demonstrates the dichotomy between energy and environment policies in the Black Sea region and Turkey, with references to international and regional needs.[Read more]


Book Reviews

Allies with the Infidels, the Ottoman and French Alliance in the Sixteenth Century by Christine Isom Verhaaren
Nicolas Vatin
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 195

The Muslim Empires of the Ottomans, Safavids, and Mughals by Stephen F. Dale
Christine Philliou
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 197

Turkey: A Short History by Norman Stone
William Armstrong
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 199

The Influence of the European Union on Turkish Foreign Policy by Özlem Terzi
Levent Kirval
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 201

Kurds of Modern Turkey: Migration, Neoliberalism and Exclusion in Turkish Society by Cenk Saracoglu
Serhun Al
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 203

Activists in Office: Kurdish Politics and Protest in Turkey by Nicole F. Watts
Michael M. Gunter
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 206

The European Union and Central Asia edited by Alexander Warkotsch
Maria Raquel Freire
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 209

Producing Islamic Knowledge, Transmission and Dissemination in Western Europe edited by Martin van Bruinessen and Stefano Allievi
Ahmet Yükleyen
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 211

Thinking Through Islamophobia: Global Perspectives edited by S. Sayyid and AbdoolKarim Vakil
Pamela Irving Jackson
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 213

Global Security Watch: The Caucasus States by Houman A. Sadri
Gregory Hall
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 214

Years of Blood: A History of the Armenian-Muslim Clashes in the Caucasus, 1905-1906 by Mammad Said Ordubadi
Emre Erşen
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 217

Ethnicity, Migration and Enterprise by Prodromos Panayiotopoulos
Şule Toktaş
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 219

Islam and the Veil: Theoretical and Regional Contexts edited by Theodore Gabriel and Rabiha Hannan
Joan W. Scott
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 220

The Narrative of the Occident by Georg Schmid
M. Akif Kireçci
Insight Turkey, Vol. 14, No.2, 2012, p. 222