Turkey's involvement in the Gulf War in 1991 paved the way for the country's acceptance into the European Union. This book traces that process, and in the first part looks at Turkey's foreign policy in the 1990s, considering the ability of the country to withstand the repercussions of the fall of communism. It focuses on Turkey's achievement in halting and minimising the effects of the temporary devaluation in its strategic importance that resulted from the waning of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union; the skilful way in which Turkey avoided becoming embroiled in the ethnic upheavals in Central Asia, the Balkans and the Middle East; and the development of a continued policy of closer integration into the European and western worlds. Internal politics are the focus of the second part of the book, addressing the curbing of the Kurdish revolt, the economic gains made and the strengthening of civil society. The book goes on to analyse the prospects for Turkey in the twenty-first century, in the light of the possible integration into Europe, which may leave the country's leadership free to deal effectively with domestic issues.
This introduction discusses the theme of this book, which is about how Turkey coped with the intertwined conflicts it faced in the 1990s, explaining that, during this period, Turkey had to deal with foreign matters while simultaneously dealing with domestic issues. The book focuses on the external and internal affairs and explores Turkey's involvement in the Gulf War, its accession to the European Union, the Kurdish problem and its international relations.
This chapter looks at the situation of Turkey before and after the Gulf War, from the mid-1980s to the end of the 1990s, analysing the claims surrounding Turkey's unequivocal readiness to serve as the West's policeman in the Middle East. It discusses the problems of Turkey during this period, which include the decline in its strategic value, the Greco-Turkish conflict over Cyprus and the persistent territorial quarrel with Syria over the Hatay province, explaining how Turkey coped with these problems through its relations with the West.
This chapter focuses on the Kurdish problem and the victory Turkey gained over the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), describing the guerrilla and terror campaigns launched by the PKK after 1984 that forced the Turkish government to declare a state of emergency. It discusses the capture of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in February 1999 and the organisation's declaration of a unilateral, no preconditions ceasefire in February 2000, and explains that Turkey was able to deal with domestic problems after external circumstances became more favourable.
This chapter discusses the ambivalent relations between the European Union (EU) and Turkey and the economic aspects of this, explaining that Turkey's relations with Europe and the EU have covered a multitude of issues including political and ethnic concerns, the democratic process and human rights. It highlights the efforts of the EU to find common ground with Turkey, and analyses the Turkish government's reservations about the amount of change and alterations that it should apply before being acceded to the EU. The chapter also describes the economic condition of Turkey.
This chapter focuses on Turkey's quest for national identity and nationalism. It analyses the connection between Turkish nationalism and Islam, the encounter between Turkey and the Turkic peoples in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and Turkey's conflict with Syria over the latter's support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party. The chapter also highlights the view of the state, and of its Western and secular establishments and elite, that Muslim manifestations are detrimental to the very existence of modern Turkey.
This chapter examines Turkey's major international encounters during the 1990s. It analyses Turkey's relations with Russia, Central Asia and the United States, eveluating their impact on energy and human rights issues. The chapter also identifies their shared interests and areas of disagreement. It contends that the manner in which the United States dealt with Turkey's human rights records was, in many ways, representative of the nature of American–Turkish relations as a whole.
This chapter focuses on Turkey's relations with Greece. There are several factors that combine to explain the surprising turn for the better in Greek–Turkish relations, one of which is the political and strategic changes occurring around Turkey from the late 1980s, which have intensified since the Gulf War. Another is the violent earthquakes that both Turkey and Greece experienced in 1999, after which each sent humanitarian aid to help ease their neighbour's plight. However, the chapter suggests that, despite the improvement in Greek–Turkish relations, there remain several serious differences between the two countries, particularly over questions of sovereignty and flying rights over the Aegean Sea.
This chapter examines Turkey's relations with Israel, suggesting that Israel and Turkey have been motivated to weave their close ties by mutual interests, some of them existential. Israel aids Turkey with arms and equipment denied by an indifferent Europe and hostile American public opinion, while Turkey is making its space, ports and other installations available to Israel. The chapter contends that Turkey's relations with Israel and the inevitably pro-Israel position which that relationship projects offer a further expression of Turkey's growing involvement in the Middle East. It also argues that the development in Turkish–Israeli relations adds a more solid element to the much-publicised Turkish–Israeli military cooperation, implying long-term relations, even if Middle Eastern military and political circumstances change.
This chapter sums up the key findings of this study on Turkey's involvement and handling of intertwined conflicts in the 1990s. The analysis reveals that Turkey's political and strategic status seems to be solid, and suggests that the country's leadership should be complimented for avoiding becoming embroiled in the conflicts around it. The chapter also analyses the prospects for Turkey in the twenty-first century and comments on its depiction in the media as a rising Middle Eastern power, emerging regional superpower and multi-regional power.