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


Kıvanç Ulusoy

İstanbul University, Türkiye
Kıvanç Ulusoy
The Cyprus Conflict: A Case for ‘Joint Decision Trap’
October 2, 2023
This paper is about the current stage of the Cyprus conflict in the context of the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean. The energy discoveries could have been a catalyst for a solution, but the opposite occurred. The Greek Cypriot administration aimed to expand its regional ‘allies’ through maritime delimitation agreements. Meanwhile, Türkiye has continued its exploratory drilling. The trajectory that the Cyprus conflict followed after the Greek Cypriot administration’s EU membership in 2004 is a case of a ‘joint decision trap.’ The EU’s paralysis towards the conflict has pushed Türkiye, once proactive to resolve it with the expectation of becoming an EU member, to slide back to its traditional hard power strategy.
The “Democratic Opening” in Turkey: A Historical/Comparative Perspective
April 1, 2010
This article aims to analyze the process of AKP’s democratic opening in an historical and comparative perspective with respect to various other experiences of transition to democracy in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe. With the current democratic opening, first labeled as “Kurdish opening,” and continuing with a large constitutional reform package, the AKP seems to be engaged in a huge task of deeply transforming the post-1980 regime. Comparing with the experiences in Southern Europe, Latin America and Eastern Europe, the consolidation of a new democratic regime introduced by the democratic opening in Turkey will be a governmental enterprise: a matter of political maneuver to reach a compromise among the various sections of the governing elite with the opposition; a matter of institution building to create channels of mobilization for societal demands; and finally a matter of timing.
The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World
November 22, 2008
Graham Fuller's latest book on Turkey provides a critical account of Turkey's foreign policy in the post-September 11 period and an insightful analysis of its structural features and domestic linkages. In fact, the challenges that Turkey faces in the post-Cold War era has been a focus of academic and strategic thinking in a series of recent studies.
Turkey and the EU: Democratization, Civil-Military Relations, and the Cyprus Issue
November 1, 2008
The paper analyzes Turkey’s democratization efforts between 2004 and 2008. In addition to the challenges that the EU accession process brings to the Turkish political structure, an assessment of the current impasse of Turkey’s democratization along the EU accession process is made with respect to the detailed analysis of two major issues: the Cyprus issue and civil-military relations. With an eye to studying the EU’s impact on the domestic politics of accession countries with special reference to Turkey, the paper concentrates on the current government’s performance over the past three years in EU accession negotiations, showing how this immediate experience reveals the main problematical issues of Turkey-EU relations under these two headings. The concluding remarks focus on two crucial problems of the post-2004 period in Turkey: the sustainability of the reform process and the importance of the time factor in evaluating the EU’s leverage on democratization.

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