Turkish Foreign Policy (POLS 555)

2019 Fall
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Meltem Müftüler-Baç muftuler@sabanciuniv.edu,
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Doctoral, Master
Formal lecture,Interactive lecture
Interactive,Communicative,Discussion based learning,Project based learning,Simulation
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This course aims to provide students with a ststematic study of Turkish foreign policy. The course will elaborate on the basic principles of Turkish foreign policy making in the 20th century. Major turning points such as the developments in the Post World War II period and Cold War era, as well as the post-Cold War era will be yhoroughly investigated. The course analyzes the basic parameters of Turkish foreign policy during the Cold War era and then proceeds onto an analysis of the changes in these parameters after the end of the Cold War. The course empirically focuses on Turkey's foreign policy towards Europe, Turkey's policy towards the NATO-EU relations, the Middle East, Arab-Israeli conflict, and Transcaucasia. In addition, Turkey's positon in the Gulf crisis of 1990-1991 and the Cyprus problem are investigated through the theoretical lenses provided in the course.


Provide students a systematic study of Turkish foreign policy.
Provide students a comprehensive understanding of change and continuity in Turkish Foreign Policy


Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to

a) develop the skills to analyze Turkish foreign policy
b) identify the main regional and international issues in Turkey's international relations
c) analyze the nature of the foreign policy-making process in Turkey
d) discuss Turkey's relations with the Middle East, the Caucasus, Europe, and the U.S.


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 4

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 3

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 3

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 3

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 3

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 3

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 2

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 3

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 3

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 3

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 2

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 4

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 3

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 3

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 3

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 3

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 4

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 4

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 3

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 4

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 4

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 3

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 4

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 3

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data.

1. Be informed about the design and implementation processes of international policies in Turkey and around the world. 5

2. Understand the historical development and current functioning of international structures and establishments. 4

3. Comprehend the structures, roles, and functions of international, regional and inter-governmental organizations. 4

4. Develop an understanding of the process of foreign policy making, along with its bureaucratic structure, actor-structure relationship, and the interaction with domestic political environment and actors; and to acquire the ability to appraise the effects thereof and to bring forth suggestions for improvement. 4

5. Obtain the scientific background and formation leading to advanced academic study. 4

1. Have knowledge of a comprehensive and integrated picture of contemporary Turkey, including all its promise and problems.

2. Have knowledge of an up-to-date grasp of the overall shape and basic outlines of the country?s history; the complexity of the multiple and often contradictory strands of its culture; the fundamental structures and emerging dynamics of its economy; and the basic setting, enduring legacies as well as shifting realignments of its politics.

3. Have a sensitive appreciation of the possible paths and choices it faces early in the 21st century.

4. Able to Respond to the international demand for knowledge about the history, culture, languages, politics and economy of Turkey.

5. Able to Independently formulate critical research questions, and pursue them into a deepening knowledge of the subject.

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 3

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics.

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate.

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools.

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome.


  Percentage (%)
Term-Paper 50
Participation 20
Presentation 30



Week 1: Foreign Policy Analysis
Ahmet Davutoğlu, Stratejik Derinlik: Türkiye?nin Uluslararası Konumu [?Strategic Depth: Turkey?s International Position?](Istanbul: Küre Yayınları, 2001)
Juliet Kaarbo, ?Foreign Policy Analysis in the Twenty-first Century: Back to Comparison, Forward to Identity and Ideas,? International Studies Review, 5, no.2 (2003) pp.155-202.
Charles F. Hermann, ?Changing Course: When Governments Choose to Redirect Foreign Policy,? International Studies Quarterly, 34, no.1 (1990), pp.3-21.

Week 2: Principles of Turkish Foreign Policy
Ahmet Davutoğlu, ?The Three Major Earthquakes in the International System and Turkey,? International Spectator, 48, no.2 (June 2013), pp.1-11.
İbrahim Kalın, ?Turkish Foreign Policy: Framework, Values and Mechanisms,? International Journal, (Winter 2011-12), 7-21.
Bülent Aras, ?Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy,? SETA Policy Brief, no.32, 2009
Fuat Keyman, ?Turkish Foreign Policy in the Era of Global Turmoil,? SETA Policy Brief, no. 39 (December 2009).
Murat Yeşiltaş and Ali Balcı, ?A Dictionary of Turkish Foreign Policy in the AK Party Era: A Conceptual Map,? SAM Papers, No.7, (May 2013).

Week 3: Turkey?s Humanitarian Diplomacy
Ahmet Davutoğlu, ?Turkey?s Humanitarian Diplomacy: Objectives. Challenges and Prospects,? Nationalities Papers: The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity, 41:6, 865-870, DOI: 10.1080/00905992.2013.857299
Pınar Akpınar, ?Turkey?s Peacebuilding in Somalia: The Limits of Humanitarian Diplomacy,? Turkish Studies, 14:4, 735-757, DOI: 10.1080/14683849.2013.863448
Reşat Bayer and E. Fuat Keyman, ?Turkey: An Emerging Hub of Globalization and Internationalist Humanitarian Actor?,? Globalizations, Vol.9, No.1 (2012), p.77.
Kemal Kirişçi, ?The Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy: The Rise of the Trading State,? New Perspectives on Turkey (Spring 2009), 29-56.
Tarık Oğuzlu, ?Soft Power in Turkish Foreign Policy,? Australian Journal of International Affairs, Volume: 61, no. 1, 2007
Teri Murphy and Onur Sazak, ?Turkey?s Civilian Capacity in post-Conflict Reconstruction,? Istanbul Policy Center, Sabancı University, 2012, p.11, 2012, retrieved, December 25, 2012, from http://ipc.sabanciuniv.edu/en/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/IPM-Turkish-CivCap.pdf.

Week 4: Turkey?s Regional Engagements I: Balkans
Birgül Demirtaş, ?Turkey and the Balkans: Overcoming Prejudices, Building Bridges and Constructing a Common Future,? Perceptions: Journal of International Affairs, Vol.18, No.3 (2013): pp.163-185
Bülent Aras, ?Turkey and the Balkans: New Policy in a Changing Regional Environment?, GMF On Turkey Analysis, (31 October 2012).
Ronald H. Linden and Yasemin İrepoğlu, ?Turkey and the Balkans: New Forms of Political Community?. Turkish Studies, Vol. 14, No.3(2013): pp.229-255
Gergana Noutcheva and Senem Aydin-Düzgit, ?Lost in Europeanisation: The Western Balkans and Turkey,? West European Politics, Vol. 35, No.1 (2012), pp.59-78

Week 5: Turkey?s Regional Engagements II: Middle East and Gulf Region
Bülent Aras, ?Turkish-Israeli Relations after the Apology?, GMF On Turkey Analysis, 12 April 2013.
?Turkey and Iran after the Arab Spring: Finding Common Ground,? Middle East Policy, 21 (4), Winter 2014: 112-121 (with Emirhan Yorulmazlar).
Mensur Akgün, Sabiha Senyücel Gündoğar, ?The Perception of Turkey in the Middle East 2012?, TESEV Foreign Policy Programme, 2012, available at http://www.tesev.org.tr/Upload/Editor/Perceptions2012.pdf
Bulent Aras & Rabia Karakaya Polat (2007) Turkey and the Middle East: frontiers of the new geographic imagination, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 61:4, 471-488
Şaban Kardaş ?Turkey: Redrawing in the Middle East Map Or Building Sandcastles?,? Middle East Policy, Vol. 17, No.1 (2010), pp. 122-136.
Ali Balcı and Tuncay Kardaş, ?The Chancing Dynamics of Turkey Relations with Israel: An Analysis of Securitization?, Insight Turkey, Vol 14, No 2, 2012, pp. 99-120.
Kemal Krişçi, ?Turkey?s ?Demonstrative Effect? and the Transformation of the Middle East?, Insight Turkey, Vol. 13 / No. 2 / 2011 pp. 33-55
Pınar Akpınar, ?Mediation as a Foreign Policy Tool in the Arab Spring: Turkey, Qatar and Iran,? Journal of Balkan & Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 17, No.3 (2015), p252-268.

Week 6: Turkey?s Regional Engagements III: Eurasia
Bülent Aras, ?Turkey and Eurasia: Frontiers of a New Geographic Imagination,? New Perspectives on Turkey, (40): 2009, 195-217. (with Hakan Fidan).
Fatih Özbay, ?The Relations between Turkey and Russia in the 2000s, Perceptions,? Vol.16, No.3, (Autumn 2011), pp. 69-92.
Bülent Aras ve Pınar Akpınar, ?The Relations between Turkey and the Caucasus,? Perceptions, v.16, 2011.
Şener Aktürk, ?Turkish-Russian Relations after the Cold War, 1992-2002,? Turkish Studies, 7(3), September 2006, pp. 337-364
Şaban Kardaş, ?Turkey-Russia Energy Relations,? International Journal, (Winter 2011-12), pp.81-100.
Pınar Bilgin ve Ali Bilgic, ?Turkey's 'New' Foreign Policy towards Eurasia,? Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 52, 2011, pp. 173-195
Viatcheslav Morozov and Bahar Rumelili, ?The External Constitution of European Identity: Russia and Turkey as Europe-makers?, Cooperation and Con?ict, 2012, 47(1) pp. 28?48

Week 7: Turkey?s International Engagements
Tarık Oğuzlu, ?Testing the Strength of the Turkish?American Strategic Relationship through NATO: Convergence or Divergence within the Alliance?? Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol.15, No.2 (2013)
Bulent Aras ?Making Sense of Turkish-EU Relations in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring?, IAI- GTE Policy Brief, No. 8 (March 2013).
Şaban Kardaş, ?Geo-strategic position as leverage in EU accession: the case of Turkish?EU negotiations on the Nabucco pipeline,? Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, vol.11, no.1, (March 2011).
İbrahim Kalın, ?US?Turkish relations under Obama: promise, challenge and opportunity in the 21st century,? Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol.12, No.1 (2010).
İsa Çamyar and Halit Mustafa Tağma, ?Why does Turkey seek European Union membership a Historical Institutional Approach?, Turkish Studies, Vol.11, No.3, September 2010, pp. 371-386

Week 8: Turkey?s Global Engagements
Selçuk Çolakoğlu, ?Turkey?s East Asian Policy: From Security Concerns to Trade Partnership,? Perceptions, Vol.17, No.4 (Winter 2012), pp. 129-158.
Mehmet Özkan, ?A New Actor or Passer-By? The Political Economy of Turkey?s Engagement with Africa,? Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, Vol.14, No.1 (2012).
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, "Tears of Somalia," Foreign Policy, (October 10, 2011), retrieved December 26, 2012, from http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/10/10/the_tears_of_somalia.
Aslı Ilgıt and Binnur Özkeçeci Taner, ?Turkey at the United Nations Security Council: ?Rhythmic Diplomacy? and a Quest for Global Influence,? Mediterranean Politics, published online, 9 September 2013.
Bülent Aras and Pınar Akpınar, ?Turkey?s Policy in Africa,? GMF On Turkey Brief, September 2013.
Bülent Aras ?The Role of Humanitarian NGOs in Turkey?s Peacebuilding,? International Peacekeeping, 2015, DOI:10.1080/13533312.2015.1033374.

Week 9: Turkey?s Perspective on Global Governance
Ahmet Davutoğlu, ?Global Governance,? Vision Papers, Center for Strategic Research, No.2 (March 2012).
Ahmet Davutoğlu, ?A New Vision for Least Developed Countries,? Vision Papers, Center for Strategic Research, No.4 (July 2012).
Bülent Aras, ?Turkey?s Mediation and Friends of Mediation Initiative,? Turkey Policy Brief Series, No. 6 (2012), pp.1-2.
Ali Balcı and Nebi Miş, ?Turkey?s Role in the ?Alliance of Civilizations?: A New Perspective in Turkish Foreign Policy?? Turkish Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 (September 2008), pp. 387-406
Week 10: Turkish Foreign Policy Revisited
Sinan Ülgen, ?A Transformed Turkey: What is the Role for Ankara as a Regional Power?? SAIS Review, Vol.32, No.2 (2012).
Ömer Taşpınar, ?Turkey?s Strategic Vision and Syria,? Washington Quarterly, Vol.35, No.3 (2012).
Philip Robins, "Turkey?s ?Double Gravity? Predicament: The Foreign Policy of a Newly Activist Power," International Affairs, Vol. 89, No. 2 (2013).
Soner Çağaptay, The New Turkey and U.S. Policy (Washington: WINEP, 2013).
Faruk Yalvaç, ?Strategic Depth or Hegemonic Depth? A Critical Realist Analysis of Turkey's Position in the World System?, International Relations, 2012, 26 (2), pp. 165-180
Cihan Tuğal, ?Democratic Janissaries Turkey?s Role in the Arab Spring?, New Left Review, Volume: 76, July August 2012, pp. 5-24

Week 11: Presentations
Week 12: Presentations

Week 13: Conclusion
Tarık Oğuzlu, The ?Arab Spring? and the Rise of the 2.0 Version of Turkey?s ?Zero Problems with Neighbors? Policy, Sam Papers, No.1 (2012).
Şaban Kardaş, From Zero Problems to Leading the Change: Making Sense of Transformation in Turkey?s Regional Policy, TEPAV-ILPI Turkey Policy Brief Series, No.5 (2012).
Hakan Fidan, ?A Work in Progress: The New Turkish Foreign Policy,? Middle East Policy, Vol.20, No.1 (Spring 2013).
Ahmet Davutoğlu, ?Zero Problems with Neighbors: Firm and Alive,? Foreign Policy, 21 March 2013, available at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/21/zero_problems_in_a_new_era_turkey
Bülent Aras, ?Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy Revisited,? Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, DOI: 10.1080/19448953.2014.938451
Behlül Özkan, ?Turkey, Davutoğlu and the Idea of Pan-Islamism,? Survival, Vol.56, No.4 (2014)