Turkey has been going through a transformation phase since the rule of the Justice of Development Party (JDP) in 2002. I argue that in the period from 2002-2007, domestic politics were complementary and supportive of the foreign policy of Turkey, in particular in the Middle East, and in relations with the European Union. Following the Arab uprisings and the consolidation of power by the JDP, Turkish foreign policy became an instrument for further consolidation and advancement of domestic politics. Following the crisis with Russia and Israel, tension between Turkey and Western European states such as Germany, the Netherlands and the EU seems to be increasing. These tensions were especially high before and during the referendum for the amendments in the constitution paving the way for a type of presidential system.
The lecture will argue that Turkish foreign policy is highly linked to the domestic political debate and that the ongoing polarisation within domestic politics is reflected in the foreign policy discourse and even actions. The divided public opinion within Turkish domestic politics also appears to be a major independent variable for Turkish foreign policy analysis.
About the Speaker:
Özgehan Şenyuva is an Associate Professor in the International Relations Department at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, where he works extensively on public opinion, Turkey-European relations and the politics of European football. He has extensive experience in research projects, and was the Principal Investigator for the FREE: Football Research in an Enlarged Europe (free-project.eu), a pioneer FP7 project that was completed in 2015. He was also part of the FP7 SAHWA project (Researching Arab Mediterranean Youth: Towards a New Social Contract) (sahwa.eu), publishing numerous policy papers, reports and articles on Arab-Mediterranean Youth. He is currently one of the Principal Investigators of a large scale Horizon 2020 research project: FEUTURE – The Future of EU-Turkey Relations: Mapping Dynamics and Testing Scenarios (feuture.eu).
Özgehan Şenyuva is also a member of the Pool of European Youth Researchers of the European Commission and the Council of Europe (http://pjp-eu.coe.int/es/web/youth-partnership/peyr).