Modernity, Identity and Turkey’s Foreign Policy
Despite its unique geographical and cultural position between East and the West, Turkey, throughout its modern history, has followed a Western-oriented foreign policy. This essay argues that Turkey’s Western orientation is closely linked to Turkey’s official Western identity created as a result of Turkey’s modernization project in the years following the Independence War. The Islamist challenge to this new identity occasionally created a tension between the secular/Kemalist elite and the Islamists in Turkey, which from time to time impinged upon Turkey’s foreign policy. The debate on Turkish foreign policy has been an extension of the debate on national identity in the past and still continues to be so. Therefore, in order to better understand the main determinants of Turkey’s foreign policy preferences and behaviors, an analysis of Turkish identity is needed.
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