Academic journal article International Journal of Turkish Studies

Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy: The Kemalist Influence in Cyprus and the Caucasus

Academic journal article International Journal of Turkish Studies

Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy: The Kemalist Influence in Cyprus and the Caucasus

Article excerpt

Cyprus

UMUT UZER, Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy: The Kemalist Influence in Cyprus and the Caucasus (London, New York, I. B. Tauris, 2011), Pp. 242, £59.50 cloth

The first part of this book is devoted to a discussion of strategic-rational and "ideational-sentimental" factors in foreign policy. Turkey has sometimes followed its own realistic strategic-rational interests or, it is suggested, has also been motivated by larger considerations, like nationalism, by sympathy for fellow Turkic states, by its Islamic connections, or by the Europeanist ambitions of its Kemalist elites. It is with a mind open to these possibilities, as well as to realistic strategic considerations, that three major issues in the history of Turkish foreign policy are examined: the annexation of Hatay, military intervention in Cyprus, and the Karabagh conflict.

In the background to the Hatay annexation there is more that is controversial than is recounted in this study about the ways in which it first became independent and then voted to join Turkey, but the reasons why France accepted the annexation are made perfectly clear. It is also shown that Atatürk was utterly determined to make the sancak part of Turkey, especially as it was contained in the National Pact voted for by the nationalist Ottoman parliament in 1920. However, Hatay was strategically of great value to Turkey.

A careful history the Karabagh dispute is prefaced by an account of Turkey's relations with the new post-Soviet Turkic republics, generally unrewarding save in the case of Azerbaijan. Despite support by the United Nations, and despite considerable sympathy in Turkey for their fellow Turks of Azerbaijan, it is convincingly shown that, in this case, Turkey primarily took account of its strategic interests in order to avoid conflict with Russia.

In the case of Cyprus we are usefully reminded that the growth of national sentiment among the Turkish Cypriots began in the early 1950s and was not, as often claimed, just created by the United Kingdom to counter Greek pressure during and after the 1955 Tripartite Conference of the United Kingdom, Turkey and Greece. …

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