Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A New Course: Turkish Foreign Policy - IREU 421 MALTEPE UNIVERSITY

Turkish Foreign Policy - IREU 421
Critical Approach

Instructor:           Tugrul Keskin               
Office:                312 Iktisadi ve Idari Bilimler Fakultesi
Cell:                 533-607-8465
Office Hours:       Tuesday ve Thursday All Day or by appointment
(PLEASE include “Turkish Foreign Policy” in the subject line in your emails)

A country that demands moral perfection in its foreign policy will achieve neither perfection nor security
Henry Kissinger

Course Description and Objective

The focus of this course is Turkish Foreign Policy from 1923 to the present day. We will review and explore the different stages in Turkish Foreign Policy. In the early republican era, Turkish foreign policy was more independent than today. This independent focus was caused by different factors, but in historical context, the republic was established just after the Independence War, and at this time the world was less connected than today. This era is called the Ataturk era. Between 1923 and 1938, Turkish Foreign Policy was rooted in a nation-state centric ideology; more so than after 1938. However, Ataturk’s death in 1938 led to a transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy. This will be referred to as the Inonu Era, and this accelerated especially after the end of WWII in 1946. The third stage in Turkish Foreign Policy is the Democrat Party era between 1950 and 1960, which consisted of different political actors, and a more NATO-learning policy orientation that was adopted in this time.  The fourth stage is one that can be characterized as purely NATO orientation an approach, which hijacked Turkish Foreign Policy between 1960 and 1980. However in the 1974 conflict between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus, Turkey did have an independent foreign policy from NATO and the US.


1.     1923-1938 Ataturk Era
2.     1938-1950 Inonu Era: Moving Toward the West
3.     1950-1960 The Democrat Party Era: Adaptation of NATO Policies
4.     1960-1980 Chaos and the NATO Orientation 
5.     1980-1983 The Military Era: Continuation of NATO Policies
6.     1984-2002 Europeanization of Turkish Foreign Policy and the Liberal Era
7.     2002-Present Pan-Islamist and Middle East Orientation Era  

Between 1980 and 1983, the military guardian of the secularist regime, took over Turkish foreign relations and policy. This era can be characterized as the combination of an independent and a NATO-oriented Foreign Policy. At the beginning of 1984 (just after the 1983 election), Turkey’s foreign policy was redesigned based on the Europeanization and modernization of the country. Membership in the European Union had become the main goal of the country’s foreign policy. This period can be described as the liberal European era, and ended in 2002. From 2002 to today, Turkish Foreign Policy has undergone another shift, that can be described as a more Middle East and Islamist-centric foreign policy. In this class, we will review each of these eras and foreign actors, and domestic political parties that have impacted Turkish Foreign policy from 1923 to today.


Learning Outcomes (Tugrul Keskin):
By the end of the course, you will have enhanced your:
§  Critical thinking in relation to international studies
§  Ability to question dogmas and taboos in today’s societies
§  Consciousness of differing perspectives and diversity
§  Understanding of world issues and trends
§  Understanding of the impact of colonialism and imperialism in                     developing nations

You also will have increased your knowledge concerning:
§  Resources in your potential discipline
§  Resources specific to your region
§  Traditional information sources
§  Alternative information sources
§  Knowledge of relevant methodologies

Learning Outcomes

Core Learning Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding of world cultures, politics, and economics, within the context of globalization, as well as developing the skills and attitudes to function as “global citizens.”

Specific Outcomes:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of global issues, processes, trends and systems (i.e. economic and political interdependency among nations; environmental-cultural interaction; global governance bodies).
  • Can articulate an understanding of her/his culture in global and comparative context; that is, recognizes that her/his culture is one of many diverse cultures and that alternate perceptions and behaviors may be based in cultural differences.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the meaning and practice of political, military, economic, and cultural hegemony within states and within the global system.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of how her/his field is viewed and practiced in different international contexts.
  • Uses diverse cultural perspectives and frames of reference, including those of the media, to think critically and solve problems.
  • Uses information from other languages and other countries to extend their access to information and experiences.
  • Interprets issues and situations from more than one cultural perspective.
  • Can articulate differences among cultures; demonstrates tolerance for the diverse viewpoints that emerge from these differences.
  • Demonstrates a critical understanding of the historical origins of the nation-state, and its current role in the global system.
  • Can apply the key theoretical concepts in the field to interpret global issues.
  • Exhibits an ongoing willingness to seek out international or intercultural opportunities.

Required Readings:

Please see the course schedule!

Recommended Texts:
1.     Ali Carkoglu and E. Kalaycioglu (2009). The Rising Tide of Conservatism in Turkey. New York, Palgrave/MacMillan.
2.     Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey. Oxford University Press, 2001.
3.     Turkish Studies, Volume 11 Issue 1 2010: Special Issue: Islamization of Turkey under AKP Rule. Birol Yesilada and Barry Rubin. Routledge Press.  
4.     Erik J. Zurcher. 2005. Turkey: A Modern History, Revised Edition. New York: I.B Tairus&Co Ltd. 
5.     Ersin Kalaycioglu, Turkish Dynamics: Bridge Across Troubled Lands. Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
6.     Hakan M. Yavuz 2003. Islamic Political Identity in Turkey. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 
7.     Hakan M. Yavuz. 2006. The Emergence of A New Turkey: Democracy and The Ak Party. Salt Lake City, UT: The University of Utah Press.
8.     Graham Fuller. 2007. New Turkish Republic: Turkey As a Pivotal State in the Muslim World. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace Press.
9.     Stephen Kinzer. 2008. Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Other Readings will be posted on MUBIS and you will find them under the course news.   

Course Philosophy:
The goal of this course is to enable students to write a theoretically guided and empirically rooted research paper.  I expect you to become familiar with the social, political and economic underpinnings of Contemporary Turkish Foreign Policy.

The success of this course depends on your continued and sustained reading and participation. The course will be based on a four-dimensional method of learning, and this includes inquiry and critical thinking; communication; the diversity of human experience; and ethics and social responsibility. First, I would like you to critically analyze what you learn in this class or have learned so far through the media and education, because in today’s world, truth is a relative concept. Throughout human history, critical thinking is the one of the most important factors that has contributed to human development.  In order to become active, self-motivated, empowered learners and future leaders, you will need to have the ability to think critically, and therefore your criticism, feedback and suggestions are necessary. Second, I would like you to enhance your writing and oral communication skills in this course. Therefore, it is important to clearly elaborate your arguments in the class discussion as well as in the written assignments.

Third, we are each part of the human mosaic, and all have different experiences based on our social, political and economic differences. We can all learn from and respect each other and benefit from our diversity. Please try to learn from and understand those with different perspectives than you. Lastly, we need to learn that we are all part of this intellectual community and larger society, and all have social and ethical responsibilities to our family, community, classmates, and humanity. We live in a globalized world and therefore, we need to be aware of events in our community, and the world today. In order to enhance our knowledge, we must critically examine our social, political and economic environment in order to apply this knowledge to our experience.

Course Requirements

To prevent confusion later, please read the following information:

Grades: Your grade for this course will be based on your performance on the following components, shown below with their dates and respective weights.

Item                                                    Date                                        Weight (%)

Quizzes (5)                                                                                                     30.0
Short Analytical Paper                       November 30                                      20.0
Class Participation/Attendance                                                                      10.0
Newspaper Articles                                                                                        10.0
Final Online Exam                               Friday January 8                                 30.0

Final Exam: You will take the final exam on Friday, January 8th (15:00 – 16:00). I will ask 30 multiple-choice/true and false questions and you will have two hours to finish the exam. If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know as soon as possible.

Quizzes: You will have 5 quizzes. The quizzes will have 12 questions from each week’s class readings and discussions. Each Quiz is worth 6 points and each question is worth 0.5 point. You will find the schedule of quizzes below. Please carefully review the quiz schedule. If you have schedule conflict, drop the class. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.       

Quiz Schedule:
October 23, 30, November 6, 13 and 20

Analytical Paper: In this requirement, you will select a topic related with Turkish Foreign Policy and will critically analyze based on our readings. This paper should be at least 1500 words in length. You must provide a word count at the end of your paper. The paper is due on Sunday November 29th. Everyone will select a different topic and period. Your selection must be approved and registered by me; therefore you must contact me directly regarding your selection. The deadline for selecting/registering your subject with me is Sunday, November 1st. The deadline for submitting your review is Sunday November 29th. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Attendance: Regular attendance is one of the most important parameters to successful completion of the course requirements. If you miss more than 4 classes, you will not receive an attendance grade.  Excuses will not be permitted for any reason.

Class Participation: Each student must read the course materials before they attend class and I expect them to participate in class discussion. Class participation in the form of informed questions and comments will be taken into consideration when determining your final grade. Additionally, the class participation grade also depends on class attendance.

Newspaper Articles: During the semester, you can bring 10 newspaper articles related with our class subjects. You cannot bring more than one article in the same week. You will have to summarize these articles in class and will find the recommended newspapers listed on, under the external links section. Newspaper articles sent by email will not be accepted. Please bring it to class, the first page of the printed/hard copy of the article. You can only bring an article from the selected newspapers, posted on http://internationalstudiesandsociology.blogspot and you will find them under links section. Some of the recommended newspapers are The Guardian, Al-Jazeera,, Financial Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Pravda, Haaretz, China Daily, and the Economist. Please do not bring articles from Turkish newspapers!

Extra Credit: For this extra credit option, you will build your resume based on one of the samples on Mubis. The first sample resume is for academic job applications, and the second one is for general job applications. You will only build a resume based on your interests, Please select only one. For your resume, please use Times New Roman, 12 font size. Please submit your hard copy of your resume/vita/cv to me. The last day to submit your resume and/or internship proof letter is Sunday, November 29. 

You will find the two sample resumes on Mubis.

For this second extra credit option, you will find an organization, NGO, government agency or a corporation based in Istanbul, Ankara, Berlin, Beijing, Moscow, Paris, Washington DC or anywhere in Turkey or the World and you will apply for an internship for the spring or summer 2016. Please bring a print copy of your proof of your internship application to me. In the internship application, if you are asked for a recommendation, you may include my name as your reference. You can find recommended agencies, corporations, organization or think tanks on http://internationalstudiesandsociology.blogspot.

Coming late to class: Late comers will not be accepted to class, so be on time. If you are late for a class, please do not disturb your classmates and me and do not come at all. Please also do not send an email or call me regarding your class attendance. If there is a medical need, bring an official letter from a doctor. Whatever the reason is, if you cannot come to class, this is your responsibility. If you miss more than 4 classes, you will not receive an attendance grade.

Laptop and cell phone policy: No laptops or cell phones will be allowed in this class. Please turn your cell phone off before you come to class. If you use the Internet/laptop or your cell phone during class, you will be asked to leave.

  • Why a leading professor of new media just banned technology use in class
  • Why you should take notes by hand — not on a laptop
  • To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand

Responsibility: You and/or your parents pay tuition for this class; therefore, you have responsibility to yourself and/or your parents. Passing or failing the class is not the main objective, rather that you learn and improve your knowledge. Please read and try to understand the main concepts of this class. If you are having difficulty, please do not hesitate to see me and discuss your concerns!

Each year, almost half a million people graduate from American public universities (see As you will see from the statistics, the job market is very competitive; therefore, students need to improve their knowledge, skill, and experience in order to find a job they want. Learning is a lifelong process. An academic institution like Maltepe University will provide you with an educational discipline and methodology; everything else is up to you. You should study and improve your skills, in order to compete with the rest of the graduates. While you are in the program, you should apply for internships to obtain relevant experiences before you graduate. Therefore, if you need a letter of recommendation for an internship or job, please do not hesitate to ask me, if you receive at least an A, A- or B+ grade from my class. Please also remember that an undergraduate degree might not be enough to find the job you want; therefore, you might need to apply to graduate school. In order to apply to graduate school, you will also need to have a letter of recommendation. I am also happy to advise you on graduate school or provide a letter of recommendation if you receive an A, A- or B+ grade. 

No Laptops and cell phones will be allowed in this class.

Course Timeline

September 21-25

1923-1938 Ataturk Era
Social and Political Transformations of Modern Turkish Politics – Tugrul Keskin
Turkish Foreign Policy During Ataturk's Era
A Short Summary of Turkish Foreign Policy: 1923-1939 by Ayla Gol

September 28-October 2

1923-1938 Ataturk Era
Orientalism in Modern Turkish Studies – Tugrul Keskin
Atatürk's Foreign Policy By Seyfi Tashan

Turkish Foreign Policy: Four Pillars of Tradition By Leonard Stone

October 5-9

1938-1950 Inonu Era: Moving Toward the West
The Diplomatic Maneuvers of Turkey in World War II By Hakan Ozden

October 12-16

1938-1950 Inonu Era: Moving Toward the West
Turkish Foreign Policy During the Second World War: An Active Neutrality By Selim Deringil

October 19-23

1950-1960 The Democrat Party Era: Adaptation of a NATO Policies
The Democratic Foreign Policy Approach  (1950-1960) Sedat Laciner
Turkey’s Accession to NATO: Building a ‘Little America’ By Reem Abou-El-Fadl

Friday October 23
  • QUIZ – 1

October 26-30

1950-1960 The Democrat Party Era: Adaptation of a NATO Policies
Turkish Foreign Policy during Adnan Menderes Period By Gül Tuba Dağcı and Kaan Diyarbakırlıoğlu

November 2-6

1960-1980 Chaos and the NATO Orientation 
Securing Turkey through Western-Oriented Foreign Policy By Pınar Bilgin

Turkish Foreign Policy Between 1960-1971:  Neo-Kemalism vs. Neo-Democrats? By Sedat Laçiner

Friday October 30
  • QUIZ – 2

November 9-13

1960-1980 Chaos and the NATO Orientation 
NATO's Islamists: Hegemony and Americanization in Turkey - Cihan Tugal - New Left Review 44, March-April 2007

November 16-20

1980-1983 The Military Era: Continuation of NATO Policies
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): From Pan-Turkism to Localization – Tugrul Keskin 
Turkish Foreign Policy Framework and Analysis By Mustafa Aydin

Friday November 6
  • QUIZ – 3

November 23-27

1984-2002 Europeanization of Turkish Foreign Policy and the Liberal Era
Turkish Foreign Policy Framework and Analysis By Mustafa Aydin
Friday November 13
  • QUIZ – 4

November 30-December 4

1984-2002 Europeanization of Turkish Foreign Policy and the Liberal Era
Turgut Ozal Period in Turkish Foreign Policy: ÖZALISM By Sedat Laciner
December 7-11

1984-2002 Europeanization of Turkish Foreign Policy and the Liberal Era
Turkish Foreign Policy at the end of the Cold War: Roots and Dynamics By Mustafa Aydin
Friday November 20
  • QUIZ – 5

December 14-18

2002-Present Islamist and Middle East Era  
A Paradigm Shift in Turkish Foreign Policy: Transition and Challenges By Ahmet Sözen

December 21-25
2002-Present Islamist and Middle East Era  
Turkey’s Foreign Policy in the AKP Era: Has There Been a Shift in the Axis? By Laura Batalla Adam

January 8


No comments:

Post a Comment