Westernization, modernization and Turkish-Arab relations during Democrat Party era
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Academic studies on Turkish foreign policy claim that Turkey’s foreign policy objectives after the transition to a multiparty democracy indicate cleavages with the mono-party period. According to these studies, while the Republican rule between 1923-1950 refrained from intervening in Middle Eastern matters, the Democrats drew Turkey into adventures in the region. This thesis argues that although Turkish foreign policy objectives during the Democrat era seemed to indicate differences from the preceding era, these differences insofar as the Middle East was concerned were more of style than substance. Turkey’s attitudes towards the Middle East were strongly affected by western objectives in the region which themselves were affected by changes in the world balance of power after 1945. Turkey’s own foreign policy objectives were very much framed within the context of the overarching goal of adaptation to westernisation laid down by the founders of the republic. The western factor therefore played a determining role in Turkey’s foreign policy planning. Given that the Arab world remained under western domination, it was therefore inevitable that relations between Turkey and Arab governments would be adversely affected.