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


Murat Ülgül

Karadeniz Technical University
Murat Ülgül
Negotiating Survival: Civilian-Insurgent Relations in Afghanistan
August 1, 2022
Despite this analytical weakness, Negotiating Survival offers readers a brilliant glimpse into the realities on the ground and the considerations and motivations of the civilians who now find themselves under Taliban rule, as well as a new perspective on the Taliban itself. It is a must-read for students and scholars of IR, Middle Eastern Studies, and any reader interested in understanding the Afghan conflict in greater depth.
The Problem of Overextension: Analyzing America’s Black Sea Policies through Jentleson’s 4 Ps Framework
March 29, 2022
Historically, the U.S. strategy in the Black Sea region has been stable, limited, and not ambitious as American administrations prioritized certain foreign policy objectives over other interests. This careful strategy was transformed during the Clinton Administration in the mid-1990s as the U.S. started following an extensive foreign policy framework, which included all American national interests, formulated by Bruce Jentleson in his 4Ps framework: power, peace, prosperity, and principles. The article argues that this transformation was problematic because of two obstacles –the illusion of the unipolar moment and the growing polarization in American domestic politics– which prevented the U.S. from following an effective policy in the Black Sea region.
Islam and Good Governance: A Political Philosophy of Ihsan
March 24, 2020
Questions about Islam’s compatibility with democracy, its relationship with terrorism and the lack of good governance in Muslim countries have dominated academic discourse for a long time and Muslim scholars, who are generally defensive in these discussions, have had difficulty making their voices heard. Undoubtedly, the facts on the ground do not help those scholars who argue that Islam is not incompatible with good governance.
Erdoğan’s Personal Diplomacy and Turkish Foreign Policy
December 13, 2019
In recent years, one of the most popular concepts in Turkish foreign policy has been public diplomacy, which refers to government activities to increase the country’s image among foreign societies. While the concept is important, the problem is that a similar emphasis and attention is not given to personal diplomacy, another state practice of modern diplomacy. This article illustrates that personal diplomacy is most effective in crisis periods, when there is dominant leadership, and when the political leader is confident about his/her ability to shape policies. As all these factors exist in Turkish foreign policy today, it is not surprising to see that Ankara increasingly relies on personal diplomacy in its relations with foreign countries.
From Politics to the Pews: How Partisanship and the Political Environment Shape Religious Identity
March 14, 2019
The Westphalian process and the subsequent Reformation and Enlightenment periods put a distance between religion and political science in Western thought for more than 300 years.
Ally: My Journey across the American-Israeli Divide
January 1, 2016
Given that we are approaching the end of his administration, President Obama’s American foreign policy has increasingly and critically been written about in a number of books. One of the most recent examples was written by Michael B. Oren, an Israeli historian, now-politician, but most importantly, the Israeli ambassador to the United States during 2009-13. In Ally: My Journey across the American-Israeli Divide, Oren chronicles his years as an ambassador in Washington and narrates the problems between the United States and Israel in this period while briefly talking about his academic and personal life as well as his political career at the beginning and end of the book respectively.

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