The Effect of Turkey’s Internal Ideological Divisions on its Changing Foreign Policy

Sen, Melis Su (2021) The Effect of Turkey’s Internal Ideological Divisions on its Changing Foreign Policy. BA/BSc thesis, BCE Nemzetközi, Politikai és Regionális Tanulmányok Intézet, Nemzetközi Kapcsolatok Tanszék.

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Since the inception of the independent and modern Turkish Republic, in line with the western principles of its founding father Ataturk and those who followed in his absence, the country has proudly boasted its long tradition of being a loyal ally of Europe and West at large. Modeling itself upon the liberal ideas of the Western world during the 20th century, Turkey’s path after it cast away its Ottoman visage has been a success story of great proportions. The country and its people went from being referred to as the “sick man of Europe”, to an equal partner withing various economic, political and military alliance with the leading powers of the 20th century. However, the rapid and fundamental nature of the reforms, which Ataturk and his successors had implemented, drew the ire of many within Turkish society who refused to forsake their Islamic faith, values and customs in exchange for the idea of Western progress that Ataturk had envisioned for his nation. This fundamental disagreement in ideology and personal identity would fester over the years and divide Turkish society to its core. Through my research and narrative in this thesis I have aimed to provide a clearer look of how this fundamental division within Turkish society has manifested itself as a driving factor behind the most significant changes in modern Turkish foreign policy since the inception of the Republic a century prior. I have aimed to provide an understanding at how a conservative-traditionalist and Islamic party such as the AK Party, with Erdogan at its helm, came to power in seemingly liberal and progressive Turkey during the 2000’s. Furthermore, I have aimed depict how Turkey’s foreign policy has long been enslaved to the approach of the personal priorities of the current Turkish President, Erdogan and his populist AK Party. And how their alterations of the basic principles of the Republic, with their success based in the cultural division of Turkish society, has led to the outburst from the secularist military in the faithful 15th July, 2016 failed coup attempt. With the aftermath of this significant event in recent Turkish history comes the most significant anti-Western policies that any Turkish government has ever publicly espoused, bringing to light unfortunate perceptions of a greatly altered Turkey from the vision of its legendary founders.

Item Type:BA/BSc thesis
Subjects:Political science
International relations
ID Code:14398
Specialisation:International Relations
Deposited On:06 Dec 2021 15:06
Last Modified:06 Dec 2021 15:06

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