The analysis of Turkey's approach to peace operations
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This dissertation aims at analyzing the motivations that lie at the roots of Turkey’s involvement in peace operations, mostly organized under the leadership of the United Nations in the post-Cold War era. The main contention is that participation in such operations has been an identity-constructing activity in the sense that Turkey has tried to reinforce its eroding western identity in the 1990s through this particular way. This dissertation also discusses alternative motivations behind Turkey’s involvement in peace operations, such as security-related considerations in a neo-realist vein and domestic influence of ethnic and religion pressure groups, but argues that these accounts fail short of offering convincing explanations. Methodologically, the research for this dissertation will be thematic, not theoretical. The purpose of this study is not to make value judgments concerning Turkey’s participation in peace operations, but instead to describe, understand, and explain its role. Based on Turkey’s experiences in peace operations, this dissertation reaches the following conclusions. First, Turkey’s western image has improved. Second, Turkey could transform its security identity and interests in line with the changing security conceptualizations in the West. Third, the modernization process of Turkish armed forces has become much easier following Turkey’s presence in such operations. Fourth, the prospects of Turkey’s membership in the EU have increased following Turkey’s cooperation with EU members in various peace operations in different regions of the world. Fifth, participation in peace operations has contributed to the improvement of Turkey’s relations with the United States which have gradually deteriorated in the postCold War era.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization