Avrupalılaşma ve Avroasya arasında


(For Turkish Studies-Special Issue)
Ziya Öniş-Şuhnaz Yılmaz*

While Turkey pursued a relatively passive or reactive foreign policy stance during the Cold War era, its post-Cold war foreign policy has been marked by subsequent waves of foreign policy activisim.  This article argues that Turkish foreign policy in the post-Cold War period may be conceptualized in terms of three distinct phases: (a) an initial wave of foreign policy activism in the immediate post-Cold War context; (b) a new or second wave of foreign policy activism during the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government with a strong emphasis on Europeanization; (c) the current tension between Europeanization and Eurasianism. The roots of the second wave of activism can, in fact, be traced to the pre-AKP era to the crucial Helsinki Decision on Turkey’s EU candidacy and the reforms undertaken by the coalition government of 1999-2002 particularly in the aftermath of the deep financial crisis of 2001. However, the AKP era itself has not been homogenous in terms of foreign policy behavior.  Our central contention is that there is considerable continuity in terms of foreign policy activism and a multilateral approach to policy making during the AKP era. Yet, at the same time a certain discontinuity or rupture may be identified towards the middle of the first AKP government signifying shift from a commitment to deep Europeanization to loose Europeanization and a parallel shift to what may be classified as soft Euro-asianism.
The prominent strategist Brzezinski portrayed Eurasia as a “grand chessboard,” where both regional and global actors compete arduously to enhance their geo-strategic and economic interests.  Turkey is clearly a pivotal country in this grand chess board, which tries to reconcile its long-lasting European orientation with a countervailing trend towards Euro-asianism.  Moreover, there are significant tensions on the domestic front in trying to balance different components of its identity, cultural, geographical, historical, and strategic factors, as well as in struggling to consolidate democracy, while preserving secularism in a predominantly Muslim society. The critical equilibrium, which will emerge on both fronts and the interaction of these domestic and international factors will also ultimately determine the path of the new wave of activism in Turkish Foreign policy.

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