Transnationalism and the state : Turkish foreign policy towards the Turkic world
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Transformation in world politics, which is marked by globalization, has led to the emergence of transnational actors. This on the one hand caused different forms of governance to occur and on the other hand resulted in cooperative behavior by states in their interaction with non-state units. This cooperation is a result of the necessity felt by states to incorporate normative issues in their national interests as well as changing identity perceptions of decision-makers. This study focuses on how Turkish foreign policy towards Turkic-speaking states and communities has been influenced by the transnational idea of “Turkic World” in the post-Cold War era. The explanatory factor or the independent behavior in this case study is the transnational idea of “Turkic World”, which is advocated by non-state actors. Although the Turkish state distanced itself from the idea of “Turkic World” in the early Republican period and during the Cold War, it re-emerged in Turkish politics in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. In the last two decades Turkish foreign policy towards the Turkic world has passed through a process evolution; in which stages were rapid entrance in the early 1990s, disappointment in the late 1990s and revision in the 2000s. This evolution includes certain patterns of behavior that indicate that the idea of “Turkic World” is institutionalizing in Turkish foreign policy. This institutionalization stages indicate that Turkish foreign policy in this case is not only influenced by the geopolitical factor, but by ideational factor, which has driven Turkish decision-makers towards closer political, economic and cultural cooperation with Turkic states.