Regional Security Complex Theory and Turkish Foreign Policy: NATO Missile Shield, Eurasian Energy Politics and the Arab Spring
Turkish foreign policy is coming under increasing scrutiny since the election of the ruling Justice and Development Party in 2002. Critiques state that Turkish foreign policy is becoming 'neo-Ottoman' or 'Islamist', arguing that Turkey is moving closer to the Middle East than Europe. The underlying hypothesis of Unver's lecture however, argues that Turkey's foreign policy is not becoming more Islamist; it is becoming more British, following a pattern of external affairs in which identity is becoming increasingly more pronounced. By focusing on three case studies: Turkey’s self-appointed role as an energy hub between Europe and Russia, its role in NATO and its recent installation of the missile defense shield, and finally, its changing stance against Iran and Syria following the Arab Spring, the lecture will discuss how identity (as it relates to the narratives of history and culture) shape Turkey’s foreign policy understanding and patterns of cooperation and conflict.
Hamid Akin Unver is the Ertegun Lecturer of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at the Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies department. Unver has been a joint post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan’s Center for European Studies and the Center for the Middle East and North African Studies. He was able to publish several articles while at the University of Michigan, including Turkey’s deep-state and the Ergenekon conundrum. Previously, he has assumed teaching positions at the University of Essex and Sabanci University. Also, Unver has held positions with the European Union Secretariat-General, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Eurasian Center for Strategic Studies, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.