Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

From The Desk Of The Editor

From The Desk Of The Editor

The Winter 2017 issue of Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) marks a significant 15-year milestone in providing independent and balanced analyses on dynamics in Turkey and its neighborhood. Over the past 15 years, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to presenting all sides of the debate, encouraging critical opinions, and upholding the principles of freedom of speech. Amid an increasingly polarized political and intellectual environment, as well as global challenges to liberal democratic...

Süreya Martha Köprülü | 14 March 2017

The Ukrainian Crisis: The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission

The Ukrainian Crisis: The OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission

The article describes the case of the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) as a civilian mission operating in an environment of armed crisis. It describes its tasks, achievements, and main challenges, observing that this mission has been entrusted with functions that in the past have been performed by peacekeeping operations. At the same time, the authors highlight the fact that the SMM not only serves as an instrument of conflict management and resolution, but has an...

Ertuğrul Apakan & Wolfgang Sporrer | 14 March 2017

A Common Vision for a Way Out of the Cyprus Conflict

A Common Vision for a Way Out of the Cyprus Conflict

UN-broked peace talks with Cyrpiot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have brought the Cyrpus problem once again to the edge of resolution. However, the thorny issue of security and guarantees presents a significant challenge to reaching a deal. The author argues that the key to solving the security and guarantees issue is to start with a “common vision” that would be agreeable by all relevant parties. That common vision should be based upon...

Ahmet Sözen | 14 March 2017

Revisiting the Cyprus Question and the Way Forward

Revisiting the Cyprus Question and the Way Forward

This article provides context for the recent round of Cyprus negotiations by giving a historical overview of the Cyprus problem – the political landscape after the Turkish invasion in 1974, EU involvement, the UN initiatives and the rejection of the Annan Plan.  The author argues that the current negotiations are unlikely to lead to a comprehensive agreement in 2017 as there are still some major stumbling blocks.  Furthermore, he notes that conscociational federal models based on...

Andreas Theophanous | 14 March 2017

The “Four-Day War”: Changing Paradigms in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The “Four-Day War”: Changing Paradigms in the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

The April 2016 clashes between the Azerbaijani and Armenian armies along the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact caused the highest number of human losses since the 1994 ceasefire, and highlighted the fragility of the status quo and necessity for substantive, properly mediated talks. From Azerbaijan’s perspective, there were various reasons behind the April war, including the deadlock in negotiations and lack of prospects for substantive talk. The intensifying and increasing frequency of...

Zaur Shiriyev | 14 March 2017

Turkey’s Security Sector after July 15: Democratizing Security or Securitizing the State?

Turkey’s Security Sector after July 15: Democratizing Security or Securitizing the State?

Turkey’s security sector is at a critical juncture due to hasty reforms and mass purges after the failed coup attempt on 15 July. This article aims to elucidate the impact of reforms and purges on the organizational structures and institutional identities of the actors within the Turkish security sector – the Turkish Armed Forces, National Intelligence Agency, the Gendarmerie Command, the National Police, private security companies, and village guards – under the state of...

Metin Gürcan & Megan Gisclon | 14 March 2017

Turkey’s Role in the Arab Spring and the Syrian Conflict

Turkey’s Role in the Arab Spring and the Syrian Conflict

Turkey’s geopolitical identity has been in flux since the end of the Cold War. While societal pressures for democratization initially motivated popular support for European integration, seemingly incompatible identity narratives and rising Islamophobia made such integration increasingly difficult. Turkey’s vocal support for democratization in the context of the Arab Spring brought these contradictions to the fore. The coup in Egypt in July 2013 was a turning point with Turkey and key...

Şener Aktürk | 14 March 2017

Shifting Human Smuggling Networks Along Turkey’s Borders

Shifting Human Smuggling Networks Along Turkey’s Borders

Despite externalized migration policies within Europe to secure borders and an enormous concern for human smuggling in the media and political debates, people continue to cross borders under desperate circumstances – regardless of the dangers. Paradoxically, rather than achieving its proclaimed aim of “preventing unwanted entries,” externalized migration policies and increased border controls generate displacement towards more dangerous routes and perilous journeys....

Ayşem Biriz Karaçay | 14 March 2017

The Karabakh Conflict after the “Four-Day War”: A Dynamic Status Quo

The Karabakh Conflict after the “Four-Day War”: A Dynamic Status Quo

In April 2016, an escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, often called the “four-day war,” took place. The fighting, which threatened to transform into a full-scale war was halted with Russian mediation. In the aftermath of the fighting, there were attempts to re-energize the peace process around the Karabakh conflict, with mediation by the co-chairmen of the Minsk Group of OSCE – France, Russia and the US. In this article, the author parses the latest developments in the...

Mikayel Zolyan | 14 March 2017

Turkey and Russia: A Fragile Friendship

Turkey and Russia: A Fragile Friendship

The Turkey-Russia relationship was significantly ruptured in November 2015 after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 fighter jet. After a seven-month diplomatic rift and an apology by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, both sides committed to opening a new chapter. The parties started a multi-dimensional dialogue in the Summer of 2016 by reviving cooperation in the energy sphere and coordinating their policies over Syria. In this article, the author argues that wider political conjuncture was...

Hasan Selim Özertem | 14 March 2017

Opportunities & Setbacks in the Cyprus Geneva Negotiations

Opportunities & Setbacks in the Cyprus Geneva Negotiations

Negotiations on a settlement of the Cyprus problem, which has a history of about 50 years, are still in progress. In 2014, a new period of negotiations started under the leadership of Akıncı and Anastasiadis. In 2017, discussions were held in Geneva with the aim of achieving peace and an ultimate resolution to the Cyprus problem. However, the Geneva talks failed due to the parties’ disagreements on a number of matters. In this article, the authors provide a brief history of Cyprus...

Ayhan Dolunay & Dilan Çiftçi | 14 March 2017

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...
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