Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

With this Summer 2019 issue—the publication’s 70th—we are proud to present our readers with TPQ 2.0. Over the past 18 years, the Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) has established itself as a trusted and independent source of analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood, and at the forefront of media outlets that drive debate and push the boundaries of discussion in the country. In recent years, the journal has expanded its editorial scope to adopt a more global outlook, exploring topics such as cybersecurity, social and economic innovation, global finance and trade, energy and the environment, and the role of women in global security. TPQ 2.0 will build upon the continuity of the Turkish Policy Quarterly brand while reflecting the journal’s transformation.

We are privileged to count NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division and the Halifax International Security Forum as this issue’s main supporters. TPQ’s partnership with NATO goes back to our maiden issue in 2002, and it has helped TPQ in its efforts to cover security dynamics with depth and nuance. The Halifax International Security Forum—the leading conference of high-profile democratic leaders committed to global security and prosperity, at which TPQ has been represented for many years—makes a natural collaborator and supporter. In light of our supporters’ commitment to advancing security around the globe, our Summer issue focuses on issues pertaining to the international security landscape—from the intersection of security and technology to the key role women play in foreign policy—and their wider implications for global stability and power balances.

Headlining this issue is Clare Hutchinson, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security (WPS), who writes on the role of women in conflict and peacemaking matters. Special Rep. Hutchinson highlights the significance of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which links the role of women to peace and security, and NATO’s commitment to placing greater emphasis on incorporating gender considerations in all of its operations. As one of the leading voices in this effort, Hutchinson lays out how NATO aims to place the WPS agenda at the center of civilian and military structures to both promote inclusive security and improve the operational effectiveness of the organization.

Also discussing the importance of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, Assoc. Prof. Zeynep Alemdar, Head of the International Relations Department at Okan University, argues that NATO is the only acknowledged international organization that has the potential of opening new discussions within the civil sphere regarding women’s roles and participation in security matters. As a NATO member, this is relevant for Turkey, points out Alemdar, which has not yet adopted  a National Action Plan (NAP) for the implementation of UNSCR 1325. To improve the status of women in the country, Alemdar emphasizes the need for Turkey to draft an NAP with a gender perspective and lays out a roadmap for how state institutions and civil society organizations can collaborate in drafting one. Taking these steps will contribute to increasing Turkey’s normative power in the region, concludes Alemdar.

Dr. Sabine Freizer, Advisor on Governance, Peace and Security at UN Women’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, shines a light on the risks that women from ISIS-controlled territory pose to Turkey, particularly in light of Western countries’ reluctance to take back women who lived under the extremist group. Dr. Freizer’s suggestions regarding the return, repatriation, reintegration, and prosecution of Turkish women who were ISIS sympathizers involve designing and implementing a gender-responsive policy. When it comes to foreign women, cooperation with their countries of origin is necessary in order to mitigate security risks, opines Freizer.   

Charles A. Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, advances his views on NATO at 70 years, and what lies ahead for the Alliance. Professor Kupchan puts forth the argument that despite Trump’s outspoken criticisms and the unease surrounding the prospect of a US withdrawal from NATO, the Alliance has paradoxically strengthened. This has resulted in a newfound willingness on Europe’s part to increase its military spending and discuss the recent enlargement endeavors of the Alliance, argues Kupchan.

Taking stock of other tensions within the Alliance, Mark Meirowitz, Professor at SUNY Maritime College, discusses the implications of Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 defense system for the Turkey-US relationship. Meirowitz evaluates whether advancing military and economic relations with Russia will jeopardize Turkey’s status as a NATO member and as a US ally. In light of the ebb and flow of relations between Turkey, the US, and Russia, Meirowitz ultimately asserts that strategic interests in the region should and will most likely outweigh current tensions.

Petr Bohácek, Research Fellow at the Institute of Political Studies at Charles University and the Association for International Affairs Research Center, argues for the need to revamp transatlantic relations to adapt to technological advancements and military investments. Bohácek evaluates European-US relations in terms of military dependence and points out that Europe can address its military capability shortfalls by securing strong mutual dependence with the US, rather than seeking complete autonomy or American dependence. The author concludes by underscoring the importance of innovation and research for Europe, so that it can become a dependable military and technological partner.

Dr. Eleonora Tafuro Ambrosetti, Research Fellow at the Italian Institute for International Political Studies, sheds light on the EU’s position in relation to the developing partnership between China and Russia, while examining the security, economic, and political dimensions of this partnership. Dr. Ambrosetti asserts that the EU needs to engage with Russia and China beyond the economic sphere in order to prevent the Sino-Russian bloc from advancing any further. The author particularly accentuates the importance of further investing in EU-China relations due to China’s new found role as a security provider, with the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Elaborating on the global implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Dr.Liu Zongyi, Senior Fellow at Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, discusses a “new type of globalization movement,” that will occur as the BRI advances. Zongyi argues that Washington mainly perceives the Initiative as an economic and political threat and is concerned that it will ultimately weaken the US’ superpower status. As a result, Zongyi points to the Indo-pacific strategies of the US and regional countries, such as Japan and India that aim at preventing China’s economic rise, so that existing regional and global dynamics remain intact.

In a co-authored article, Ali Balcı, Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Sakarya University, and Cahit Çelik, a research assistant in the same department, analyze the shortcomings of David Singer’s “Correlates of War” (CoW) dataset and gross military indicators such as the number of military personnel and military expenditures used by scholars to measure a country’s military capability. The authors graphically point out what the CoW dataset fails to show and propose alternative measurement methods to assess a country’s military capacity.

Examining EU-Russian relations from an energy angle, Dr. Pavel K. Baev, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, underlines that Russia may not be able to fully instrumentalize or even “weaponize” its natural resources due to its unreliability as a key supplier and the emergence of alternative supplies such as Caspian gas. Dr. Baev stresses that current tensions between Russia and the West will carry high security risks but that there are still key instruments at the EU’s disposal to counter Russia’s influence.

Değer Saygın, Director of the SHURA Energy Transition Center, and Dolf Gielen, Director of the Innovation and Technology Centre at the International Renewable Energy Agency, write on the current state of global energy dynamics and its transformation with regards to renewable energy, energy efficiency, electrification, and digitalization. The authors argue that transitioning towards a renewable energy sourced global system, as well as increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity use, is crucial to mitigating climate change and resolving geopolitical conflicts that arise from fossil fuel export.

Further tackling the discussion of climate change, Barış Karapınar, the lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 5th Assessment Report and former Mercator-IPC Fellow at Istanbul Policy Center at Sabancı University, explores the link between climate change and inequality in the 21st century. The author asserts that although industrialized countries and high-income societies are the major shareholders in greenhouse gas emissions, it is low-income societies that are susceptible to climatic consequences, which will carry grave socio-economic and human security ramifications. Karapınar expresses his conviction that it is incumbent upon today’s world leaders to work to provide future generations with a sustainable future and that the international community cannot afford to continue with its current practices.

Zaur Gahramanov, CEO of Socar Turkey, evaluates the economic relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, and sheds light on how SOCAR’s energy investments in the region will enable Turkey to become more than a transit country through its share ownerships in TANAP and Shah Deniz. Gahramanov identifies Turkey as an energy corridor in the region and argues that Turkey’s current account deficit will decrease as SOCAR Turkey continues its investments in the country. 

Ödül Celep, Associate Professor of Political Science at the Department of International Relations at Işık University, analyzes the March 2019 municipal elections in Turkey and the events that led to a re-election. The author starts by explaining the history and formation of political party blocs in Turkey and compares and contrasts their ideological motivations. Celep then critically assesses what led to the victory of the CHP candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, and other CHP candidates across the country, calling their victory a “political earthquake” for the leading party AKP and President Erdoğan. In conclusion, Celep outlines the challenges and opportunities for CHP-led metropolitans and provinces and provides suggestions in the realms of social and public policy.

An important acknowledgement going to the premium corporate sponsor of this issue, Yapi Kredi. In addition, we would like to thank our online sponsor, Garanti BBVA. We also appreciate the continuing support of our other sponsors, QNB Finansbank, SOCAR, TEB and Turcas Petrol.

As always, we are grateful to the authors for sharing their opinions and recommendations and look forward to feedback from our readers.

The TPQ Team