Insight Turkey
Insight Turkey
Challenging ideas
On Turkish politics and International affairs


E. Fuat Keyman

Sabancı University, Turkey
E. Fuat Keyman
A New Turkish Foreign Policy: Towards Proactive “Moral Realism”
January 1, 2017
In a time when our globalizing world is confronted by a deepening global turmoil, political instability and multiplying security threats have set in motion a global tectonic shift. Turkey is not immune from these challenges; on the contrary, with its pivotal state/regional leadership position, its foreign policy choices will shape the effectiveness of any international effort for enduring peace and stability in the region. While Turkey’s proactive mode of operation since 2002 has remained, its vision, identity, and strategy have gained new characteristics. Over the last two years we have witnessed not only a reset, but the emergence of a new Turkish foreign policy whose proactive nature and main principles are shaped by what I call ‘moral realism,’ that combines hard power-based military assertiveness and humanitarian norms in addition to new capacity- and strategy-based parameters.
The AK Party: Dominant Party, New Turkey and Polarization
April 1, 2014
One of the fiercest electoral battles fought in the Turkish political history, the March 30, 2014 local elections yielded results akin to an outcome of a general election. The AK Party’s victory in the ballot box has serious implications for Turkish politics and society in general. This paper will thus discuss and explain the implications of the elections for the AK Party’ metamorphosis into a dominant party. The paper will also shed light on how the AK Party’s consolidation of its power has led to the emegence of a “New Turkey.” Last, the article will point to the increased polarization in Turkish society, an externality of the AK Party’s dominant party status and the New Turkey.
The CHP and the “Democratic Opening”: Reactions to AK Party’s Electoral Hegemony
April 1, 2010
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has initiated a number of democratic opening initiatives to tackle with the Kurdish question, the Alevi question, the Roma question, and the minorities question. This paper focuses on the reaction of the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to the initiative. It seeks to explain the CHP’s reaction through the concept of “electoral hegemony”, which refers to a situation where one party becomes an uncontestable actor in the electoral process, which, while weakening the possibility of the opposition parties winning elections, also weakens the faith and trust of their supporters that these parties could govern Turkey through winning elections. It is argued that the CHP’s reaction to the democratic opening initiative is in fact directly related to its need to respond effectively to the electoral hegemony of the AK Party, and that it has developed its response through the concept of sovereignty which has always been integral to its historical identity as the main carrier of the state-centric Turkish modernity.

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