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OCMO 2245 - Turkey: Identity and Foreign Policy Transformation

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

Turkey was hailed as a model for a long time for having a secular multiparty system as a predominantly Muslim country. The emphasis was more on the ‘revolution from above' that the founding elites have carried on and the secular dimension was seen as more important by western countries' club in which Turkey wanted to be an equal member. Therefore occasional coups to straighten things up have not been until recently received with a strong reaction by Turkey's allies.
Modernization, end of the cold war, urbanization and steady integration of Turkey in the global economy brought forth new societal forces that were more conservative than the founding fathers and in an age that saw identity politics rising, the Turkish military's ruse to continue to use religion as a tool of domination gradually backfired. The advent of the Islamism movement, that shared power in coalition governments as early as the 1970s, began to change the political landscape of the country.
The justice and development party represented the new and more confident generation of Islamism elites who, in 2002, took advantage of the exhaustion of the old order and came to power. Since this assumption of power took place after 9/11 “turkey as a model” argument received a third lease on life (the second having come after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of independent Turkic states).

After having broadened the contours of Turkish democracy, the democratizing but not necessarily democratic force that AKP/political Islam is consolidated its power and is now trying to redefine the Turkish republic and Turkish identity in all spheres.

Finally, turkey in addition to adopt a western identity in terms of its political orientation, institutions and norms also became a full member of the transatlantic alliance and thus became a strategically western country. Nowadays the quest for autonomy and zones of influence that emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, in relations with the EU and in the Middle East, particularly after the catastrophe of Syria brought about a new context in which Turkey would have to define its strategic interests and manage its relations with its putative allies and its neighbours.
On all these spheres, the decisions of Turkey will have implications and reverberations that go way beyond its borders.


ÖZEL, Soli (Enseignant)

Course validation

Written mid-term and final exams (take-home)