Title page for ETD etd-11022008-215511

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Dicle, Betul
Author's Email Address bdicle1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11022008-215511
Title Factors Driving Turkish Foreign Policy
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mark Gasiorowski Committee Chair
Leonard Ray Committee Member
William Clark Committee Member
  • foreign policy
  • Middle East
  • Turkey
Date of Defense 2008-09-18
Availability unrestricted
Evaluation of Turkish foreign policy events suggests that both external and domestic factors have affected its determination. While a consistent pattern in foreign policy has been observed since Ottoman times, the 20th century has led to substantial challenges. Long-established Turkish foreign policy, based exclusively on external factors, was reshaped to include domestic factors as well. With the new Republic in 1923, the process of reshaping foreign policy, based on Western values, has started. The end of the Cold War started a new era in which domestic factors gained predominance.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the factors that have driven Turkish foreign policy and the changes thereto in three different time periods. The most important change is primarily the shift from external factors to domestic factors, especially after the Cold War. However, the period before the end of Cold War is further subdivided into two distinct periods—before and after the Second World War. Balanced neutrality in the pre-World War II period shaped Turkish foreign policy. After the war, with the change in the balance of power in the international system, the U.S.S.R. appeared as a serious threat. The Western Alliance was in the center of Turkish foreign policy.

Domestic factors became evident with the 1960 coup d’état, which led to a new constitution to allow different political groups to become active. It was the end of the Cold War which put domestic factors in a predominant position. Ethnic and religious politics posed the biggest challenge for Turkey. Based on the recent events in the international system, Turkish foreign policy is again at a turning point in which domestic factors are not only predominant, but may in fact be the driving force behind foreign policy making.

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