Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

Historical Legacies in the Region: “What’s Past is Prologue”?, Spring 2014

Historical Legacies in the Region: “What’s Past is Prologue”?, Spring 2014

On the occasion of the centennial of the onset of World War I, in this issue of TPQ, we explore historical legacies in Turkey and across its neighborhood. In doing so, we reflect on the effects of history on current politics of identity and on geostrategic alignments in the region.   Focusing on key dynamics taking place in Turkey and its neighborhood, particularly in the post-Ottoman geography, we trace the role of collective memories and narratives in fueling both ethnic and religious...

Nigâr Göksel | 05 June 2014

Turkish–Armenian Relations: Is a “Just Memory” Possible?, Spring 2014

Turkish–Armenian Relations: Is a “Just Memory” Possible?, Spring 2014

The greatest injustice that has been visited on both history and to any two nations is to set aside their previous rich centuries of shared history and to begin instead with traumatic events like war and conflict, or to reconstruct the previous centuries by making traumatic events the center of everything. The “unjust memory” created around the events of 1915 constitutes the most important example of this phenomenon as it mortgages the shared past and future of the Turks and...

Ahmet Davutoğlu | 05 June 2014

The New (Dis)Order of the Middle East, Spring 2014

The New (Dis)Order of the Middle East, Spring 2014

As the Cold War’s domination of the geopolitics of the Middle East recedes, a new architecture is emerging, reminiscent of that of Europe in the 19th century. It is an architecture of mid-sized powers engaging in ever shifting alliances and covert and overt struggles to expand and protect their spheres of influence. Like in 19th century Europe, there is a strong connection between countries vying for influence and the cohesiveness of their national, ethnic, sectarian, and religious...

Einat Wilf | 05 June 2014

Cultural Diplomacy in the Post-Communist Space, Spring 2014

Cultural Diplomacy in the Post-Communist Space, Spring 2014

Cultural diplomacy remains neglected as a tool of intercommunal relations in many parts of the world. In particular, the “classic” model of cultural diplomacy is ineffective in the post-communist area. This article argues that the source of this failure lies in the imposition by former communist regimes of the wrong understanding of the role of religion, history, and ethnic identity in society. This led to the emergence of many “cultural” conflicts after the abolishment...

Egidijus Vareikis | 05 June 2014

Historical Commissions, Democracy, and Diversity, Spring 2014

Historical Commissions, Democracy, and Diversity, Spring 2014

Numerous historical or truth commissions have been set up in the last few decades. They have generally contributed to laying the foundations of a new coexistence in context of conflicts. In this regard the recognition of the past events is playing a crucial role, and has often opened up the path to the development of new societal relationships. This article addresses the normative bases of formally constituted historical commissions, briefly analyzing several experiences of such commissions....

Mô Bleeker | 05 June 2014

The First World War 100 Years Later, Spring 2014

The First World War 100 Years Later, Spring 2014

The Turkish Republic, along with a number of other states in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, represents the end product of the dissolution of multiethnic and multireligious empires. In contrast to other defeated nations of the First World War, it has appeared like Turkey had successfully addressed many of the problems it encountered during the War, or in its immediate aftermath. As time has shown, however, elements of a legacy sometimes disappear and then later reappear; they are...

İlter Turan | 05 June 2014

Turkish Society: Driving the Politics of Memory, Spring 2014

Turkish Society: Driving the Politics of Memory, Spring 2014

Over the last decade, during which the discussion of memory was opened in the Turkish public sphere, Turkish civil society has taken part in initiatives that go well beyond those launched by the state and the political elite, especially concerning policies related to memory, culture, and the environment. In this regard, the December 2008 campaign, which apologized for the Great Catastrophe inflicted upon the Ottoman Armenians in 1915, constituted an important milestone. This article examines the...

Cengiz Aktar | 05 June 2014

1912–18 in Greek Literature, Spring 2014

1912–18 in Greek Literature, Spring 2014

The events of the turbulent years of 1912-18 surface in the novels and memoirs of several Greeks born as Ottoman subjects. All writers quoted in this article were later forced to emigrate, and all eventually ended up in Greece. Their works have become classics in contemporary Greek literature. Describing the reign of Abdülhamid II as the community’s golden years, these writers chronicle a gradual descent into chaos and violence following the Balkan Wars. In what has become a topos in...

Alexandros Massavetas | 05 June 2014

Towards Deconstructing Greek–Turkish Enmity, Spring 2014

Towards Deconstructing Greek–Turkish Enmity, Spring 2014

Even though the last war between Greece and Turkey ended nearly 100 years ago, the ill feelings generated by the conflict are still quite common in both societies. In this article, the author traces the roots of this enmity, analyzing the effects of the resultant “us vs. them” dichotomy in perpetuating pervasive misperceptions. By sharing examples from her documentary film The Other Town, which she made in collaboration with Hercules Millas, the author points out the ways in which “myths” have...

Nefin Dinç | 05 June 2014

Non-Muslim Minorities in Modern Turkey, Spring 2014

Non-Muslim Minorities in Modern Turkey, Spring 2014

The differentiation between the ruling Muslim segment of Ottoman society and the non-Muslim communities marked the de facto social and political –albeit not economic– marginalization of the latter in the Empire. This marginalization continued in the Republican era, as the modernization and secularization of Turkish society did not keep the state’s promises for a multicultural social establishment in every part of life. However, during the last decade, this trend has begun to...

Laki Vingas | 05 June 2014

History Education in the South Caucasus, Spring 2014

History Education in the South Caucasus, Spring 2014

As the entire South Caucasus has been immersed in ethnically-framed conflicts since the late 1980s, an ethos of conflict has been constructed in the region. The commonly held views of the Armenian-Azerbaijani, Georgian-South Ossetian, Georgian-Abkhaz, but also Armenian-Turkish and Georgian-Russian conflicts as ancient, natural, intractable, and all-encompassing have been largely shaped by professional historians. Considering that the dynamics that sustain these ongoing conflicts are a serious...

Philip Gamaghelyan & Sergey Rumyansev | 05 June 2014

The Balkan Wars of 1912–13, Spring 2014

The Balkan Wars of 1912–13, Spring 2014

The Balkan Wars of 1912-13 represent a milestone in the transformation of Southeastern Europe. From a region managed on the basis of multiculturalism under Ottoman authority, an area of nationalist states emerged. While this process was already well underway before the Balkan Wars, by their completion the process of the nationalization of Southeastern Europe had become assured. This article investigates the demise of the Ottoman system and its aftermath, highlighting the historical roots of...

Richard C. Hall | 05 June 2014

Kurds at the Transition from Empire to Republic, Spring 2014

Kurds at the Transition from Empire to Republic, Spring 2014

Kurds constitute one of the largest ethnic groups without a state of their own, with an estimated population of 25 to 30 million dispersed across Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. This article highlights the dynamics of Kurdish autonomy during the Ottoman era and outlines the driving forces behind the assimilation policy implemented towards the Kurds by the founders of the Turkish Republic. In doing so, the article points to rising fascism in Europe, the pervasive fear of further fragmentation of...

Maya Arakon | 05 June 2014

The Alevis’ Latest Struggle Against Discrimination, Spring 2014

The Alevis’ Latest Struggle Against Discrimination, Spring 2014

This article is an attempt to elaborate on recent political and sociological discussions between Alevis and the state institutions. The current stage of the “Alevi issue” is composed mainly of four problem areas: difficulties encountered in the transmission of the belief, demands that “cemevis” be officially recognized as houses of prayer, debates revolving around compulsory courses on religion in secondary education, and discriminations that Alevis experience both in...

Nil Mutluer | 05 June 2014

Elements of Uncertainty in Turkey’s Refugee System, Spring 2014

Elements of Uncertainty in Turkey’s Refugee System, Spring 2014

Located at the crossroads of regions in turmoil, Turkey has been a safe haven for refugees for years. Refugees from Iran, Iraq, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Kosovo have arrived in Turkey at different periods, receiving different policy responses. With the recent crisis in Syria, Turkey has received almost 700,000 Syrians, a figure reflecting only those refugees who are registered under a temporary protection regime. The aim of this article is to revisit Turkey’s varying responses to major refugee...

Deniz Sert | 05 June 2014

The Gallipoli Campaign and its Commemoration, Spring 2014

The Gallipoli Campaign and its Commemoration, Spring 2014

People from Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, and Great Britain come to Gallipoli to commemorate their fallen soldiers who were lost nearly one hundred years ago, in 1915, during the Great War. This article elaborates on the rediscovery of the Gallipoli campaign by Australians, New Zealanders, and Turks in the 1980s. The collective remembrance enacted by these peoples, divided by nationalities but united by history, provides an exemplary precedent of reconciliation that can extend to all parts of...

Kenan Çelik | 05 June 2014

The North Caucasus Diaspora in Turkey–Russia Relations, Spring 2014

The North Caucasus Diaspora in Turkey–Russia Relations, Spring 2014

Chechen, Abkhazian, and Circassian peoples, including those who had to immigrate to the Ottoman Empire, still remember the difficult and painful times faced in the Northern Caucasus under Czarist Russian rule. In particular, those communities that immigrated to Ottoman lands have impacted Russia-Turkey relations following the Cold War. The 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Russia was an opportunity for these historical events to be brought to the attention of the world. This article provides an...

Orkhan Gafarli | 05 June 2014

Bosnia–Turkey Relations: A Political Romance?, Spring 2014

Bosnia–Turkey Relations: A Political Romance?, Spring 2014

Turkish influence over deeply fragmented Bosnia has been omnipresent in recent years. This article explains the foundations and dynamics of this relationship, both historically and in contemporary Bosnia, examining how Bosnia–Turkey relations affect political elites, business, and the two countries’ general populations. Specifically, the article elaborates on Turkish foreign policy in Bosnia, and Bosnia’s response in turn. In analyzing this relationship, while recognizing that...

Alida Vracic | 05 June 2014

From the Desk of the Editor Over the last couple of years, Turkey has weathered multiples storms in close succession: two general elections that took place in a polarized political climate, an escalation of the Turkey-PKK conflict, a crisis with Russia, the 2016 failed coup attempt followed by state of emergency measures, and the continued threat of terrorist attacks. The aftermath of the constitutional referendum in April...
STAY CONNECTED
SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTER
TWEETS
FACEBOOK
PARTNERS