Man vs. the system: Turkish foreign policy after the Arab uprisings
Sala, V. D.
177 - 195
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Fear and uncertainty in Europe: the return to realism?
The aim of this article is to examine the much-debated Turkish foreign policy preferences towards the Middle East during the Arab uprisings through a neoclassical realist framework. Turkey is a middle power in the international system and in order to grasp Turkey’s decision makers’ policy toward the region, it is important to comprehend human factors (perceptions, analysis, heuristics, analogies, cultural references) and variables of domestic politics (public opinion, electoral processes, border cities, Turkey’s own ethno-religious structure). If we only examine systemic factors, it is impossible to explain tensions derived from asymmetries between roles and motivations of a state prescribed by its leaders and its actual abilities. In this context, explanations regarding domestic politics and character of leadership become important. Examining how decision makers reach specific decisions through interpreting structural pressures and Turkey’s desire to “shape” the region with its own cognitive perspectives as well as how they synthesize this with the necessities of the domestic political cycles will provide an insight to understand decisions that seem unintelligible at first glance.
Published Version (Please cite this version)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91965-2_9