Churches in Malatya and Trabzon—the scenes of lethal attacks against Christians a decade ago—were the first to be targeted. Attacks against religious minorities have remained at the elevated level reached shortly after the failed coup. Since the abortive coup, revisionist historical dramas disseminating anti-minority conspiracy theories—funded by or broadcasted on state-run or pro-government outlets—have become the most effective form of propaganda. Studies show that Turkish citizens on average watch four hours of television every day, and two thirds of this time is spent watching TV series, many of which glorify the Ottoman past and indoctrinate viewers with neo-Ottoman and pan-Islamist ideology.
It is a blatantly anti-Semitic and anti-Christian series. In the show, Jewish conspiracies often meld together with those of Britain and other European powers, the Catholic Church, socialists, Young Turks, and Freemasons. Meanwhile, each episode of The Last Emperor has led to an upsurge in hate speech and incitement online.
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One Twitter user, after watching this state-funded drama, vowed to turn the territory between the Euphrates and Nile rivers into Jewish graveyards. You infidels, you filthy creatures. This is best illustrated by the farcical case against U. Pastor Andrew Brunson. Following the attempted coup in July , Turkish authorities initially charged Pastor Brunson with membership in an armed terrorist organization. Such smear campaigns also have had a detrimental effect on the Christian community at large. In addition to helping propagate a conspiracy theory that the U.
This offer, however, was a red herring. He has so much money and he spends it this way. Turkish authorities detained Kavala on October 18, and held him without an indictment for days, denying him bail 19 times without the prosecutors questioning him even once. The Turkish president and prosecutors accuse Kavala of masterminding the Gezi Park protests of , as well as the abortive coup of , demanding that he be sentenced to life in prison.
At the same time, Erdogan was bolstering his own international image as a patron of minorities abroad, while also proving to his followers that he could defend the rights of Muslims in former Ottoman territories by astutely extracting concessions from Western Christian powers. Shortly after these discussions, the Turkish government announced its decision to issue the first permit in the history of the Republic of Turkey to build a new church.
Coincidentally, it was a Syriac Christian church, a project that had been stalled since Journalists who scrutinized the project more closely, however, discovered that the plot of ground in Istanbul, which the Turkish authorities had allocated for the Syriac church was a Catholic cemetery that had earlier been seized by the state. The conflict that the project triggered between Catholic and Syriac communities was only resolved through the intervention of Pope Francis. Jewish leaders to launder his reputation? The economic crisis in Europe made EU membership even less attractive.
In the years between and , there were strong normative and moral considerations in Turkish foreign policy practices, particularly in the Middle East. Despite warning calls that Turkey would likely suffer from a gap between its expectations and capabilities, particularly in Syria, AK Party rulers ignored them and continued to believe that Turkey was on the right side of history. The assumption was that Turkey would eventually benefit from its moral position in the region, no matter which developments might temporarily alienate the country. After all, the alleged loneliness would be precious.
The quest for strategic autonomy was mainly informed and aided by the retrenchment policies of the US under Obama, as well as the increasing failure of the European Union to craft a convincing approach towards the Middle East in the midst of its structural problems at home.
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The determination of the Obama administration to scale down the American presence in the Middle East by gradually withdrawing US soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq , and stay away from the internal war in Syria, seems to have motivated Turkey to play a more assertive role in the region. One should also note that during this time period, neither Russia nor China stood against core American interests in the Middle East and East Asia. Russia was put under US-led economic sanctions in the wake of its annexation of Crimea in , and its support of Russian speaking separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
China was trying to challenge western primacy in East Asia, while avoiding global responsibilities as much as possible. When American willingness to outsource security responsibilities to regional players combined with the relative absence of non-western global actors in the Middle Eastern theater, it was not difficult for Turkish rulers to clamor for regional leadership and aggressively pursue an order-creator role to the south. As Turkey has been disappointed by the turn of developments in the Middle East from early onward, particularly in Syria, a sense of realism seems to have come back to Turkish foreign policy.
First, Trump, during the election campaign and during his first year in office, severely accused the Obama administration of deconstructing American leadership in Middle East. In recent years, Turkey has not proven to be an influential actor in shaping the developments in its neighborhood. The practice of dealing with traditional security problems through further politicization seems to have now been replaced by practicing resecuritization at multiple fronts. In light of deteriorating relations with the United States and diminishing prospects of Turkey's accession to the European Union, Turkish decision makers have lately invested much more capital and energy into improving relations with Russia and China.
The more Turkey felt excluded from the western international community, the closer it came to non-western rising powers.
First, Turkish rulers have realized that Turkey's ability to help shape the course of developments in the Middle East has now significantly weakened in the presence of Russian military elements. Russian and Iranian support to Assad seems to have bolstered the ability of the Damascus regime to remain in power.
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Improving relations with Russia has become important in terms of Turkey's worsening relations with western powers in the wake of the July coup attempt. The eroding trust of western powers seems to have brought Turkey much closer to Russia. It is now believed in Ankara that western powers are not happy to see Turkey become a regional heavyweight that continuously criticizes the legitimacy of western policies in Middle East. Signing up to Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, showing interest in developing joint projects with China within the framework of the One Belt One Road initiative , contributing to global and regional governance initiatives such MIKTA and MINT , buying a S missile defense system from Russia, and establishing military bases in faraway regions such as Qatar and Somalia are all noteworthy examples of these efforts.
This article argues that the structure of the international order and the way Turkish foreign policy has unfolded over the last fifteen years are closely interrelated. As the international system has evolved from a unipolar order in which the US in cooperation with its European allies , provided the main public goods in a hegemonic fashion, into a post-unipolar era, Turkey has accelerated its efforts to pursue a more multi-dimensional and multi-directional foreign approach. As Turkey moved away from a predominantly pro-western foreign policy understanding to a more strategic autonomy, analysts have increasingly asked whether this has signified a shift of axis in Turkish foreign policy.
Despite Turkey still valuing its NATO membership and its prospective membership in the European Union, in recent years Turkey has had an increasing tendency to come closer to Russia and China, and become more active than ever in Middle East. The weakening of westernism in Turkish foreign policy cannot be solely attributed to the gradual erosion of western primacy in global politics. In recent years, Turkey has had more anxiety concerning security, and American policies in the Middle East over the last fifteen years have played the key role.
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One should also admit that both Russia and China appear to approach Turkey from an instrumental perspective; driving wedges among NATO allies, in this case particularly between Turkey and the United States, would likely increase their bargaining power with the United States. Worth noting is that neither Russia nor China is willing to admit Turkey to the international organizations that they lead as full members.
This suggests that Turkey comes closer to these countries and other non-western international organizations in its efforts to help soft-balance western powers. Turkey has not proven that it is a revolutionary state aiming at radically overhauling liberal international order. Lobell, Norin M.
Turkey`s international relations
Ripsman and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds. Acharya, Amitav. Boyle, Michael J. Duncombe, Constance, and Tim Dunne. Feng, Liu. Gardner, David. Han, Ahmet K. Ikenberry, G. Krieg, Andreas. Lobell, Steven E.
Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Neoclasical Realism, the State and, and Foreign Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Lukin, Alexander. Oguzlu, Tarik. Oguzlu, Tarik, and Emel Parlar Dal. Oguzlu, Tarik, and Mustafa Kibaroglu. Onis, Ziya. Posen, Barry R.
Introduction and summary
Wilkins, Thomas S. All Azimuth V0, N0, 19 October Pro-Western Realism in Turkish Foreign Policy, During the first decade of the AK Party rule, Turkey adopted a pro-western, pro-European stance in its foreign policy, for strategic reasons, with more engagement in non-western environments, particularly the Middle East.
Realism Redux in the Emerging Multipolar World Order, As Turkey has been disappointed by the turn of developments in the Middle East from early onward, particularly in Syria, a sense of realism seems to have come back to Turkish foreign policy. Conclusion This article argues that the structure of the international order and the way Turkish foreign policy has unfolded over the last fifteen years are closely interrelated. Bibliography Acharya, Amitav. Older Post Newer Post. Tarik Oguzlu.