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Chapter 5 focuses on Turkey’s energy policies in the context of the country’s relations with the West. It provides case studies of Turkey’s rejection of full membership status in the Energy Community Treaty (ECT), the reinstating of the Turkish Stream pipeline project with Russia, and Turkey’s refusal to implement the renewed sanctions against Iran. It makes a case that through rejecting its full membership into the Energy Community Treaty without its full accession into the EU and the revived Turkish Stream project with Russia, Turkey engages in challenging the boundaries of its partnership with the EU in the energy sector, using informed strategic noncooperation, cooperative balancing with Russia, and economic statecraft. Turkey has been signaling to the EU that it can undertake alternative projects to the Southern Gas Corridor project, a project of strategic importance for the EU, which would help EU decrease its dependency on Russia. The chapter further illustrates Turkey's boundary breaking against the USA through the evasion of Iran sanctions from 2010 to 2015 and the announcement of its unwillingness to implement the renewed sanctions against Iran.
Against the background of deteriorating EU–Turkey relations and EU’s multiple crises, Turkey has been attempting to use its soft power to consolidate its influence in the Western Balkans and fill a power vacuum left by the EU in the region. Turkey pursues pragmatic Neo-Ottomanism, a Realpolitik, pragmatic and interests-based, rather than ideological, foreign policy in the region. Through active diplomacy and economic statecraft, it seeks to establish itself as an economic and political power in the region before these countries become EU members. As long as Turkey’s accession to the EU remains deadlocked and the Turkish political elites feel alienated from the West, Turkey is tempted to split with the EU to pursue an increasingly independent foreign policy or play a spoiler role in the Western Balkans. Turkey has stepped up its economic, cultural, political, and diplomatic relations with the countries in the region and demanded that priority to be given to regional ownership initiatives and regional economic zones. Turkish foreign policy in the region moves from boundary testing to boundary challenging, as Turkey increasingly competes against the EU for regional influence.
This chapter provides an analysis of the implications of Turkish foreign policy on Syria and Iraq for Turkey–USA–NATO relations and argues that US support for the Syrian Kurds in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) caused a significant strain in USA–Turkey relations. It provides evidence for boundary-challenging behavior against the USA and NATO in light of Turkey’s long-lasting reluctance to join the fight against the IS, lax control of its border with Syria, and its denial of the Incirlik Air Base to US warplanes in the fight against the terrorist organization up until July 2015. It also makes a case for boundary-breaking behavior as a result of the use of compellent threats against US forces deployed in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-held areas in Syria, the Turkish military and diplomatic cooperative balancing with Russia leading to Turkey’s involvement in the Astana peace talks, and the Russian air support to Turkey’s ground operations in Syria. It concludes that Turkish foreign policy in the region increasingly shows tendencies for boundary breaking against the West through the use of more traditional tools of balancing.
This chapter reflects on the book’s findings and elucidates three major factors behind Turkey’s intra–alliance opposition behavior: 1) international systemic and regional sub–systemic factors; 2) irreconcilable interests due to lack of progress in its EU accession talks, US support for Syrian Kurds at the expense of Turkey’s key interests in the Middle East, the unresolved Cyprus problem, Turkey’s resentment for its exclusion from European and Middle Eastern security developments by its transatlantic partners, causing biases and mistrust in Turkey’s relations with the EU, the USA, and NATO; and 3) domestic factors. It then explores three potential scenarios on the future of Turkey’s relations with the West and argues that the factors outlined here provoke unease and reinforce ambitions on the part of Turkey to provide a hedge against the West. It places the book’s findings in a larger context of intra–alliance opposition/conflict and discusses the implications of its findings for the IR literature. It argues that Turkish hard balancing is on the horizon and concludes by making recommendations for engaging Turkey in a mutually beneficial way.
Chapter 4 focuses on the EU–Turkey Syrian refugee deal, which was activated on November 29, 2015. It makes the argument that Turkey used the urgency of the refugee crisis and its position as a major transit country for refugees en route to Europe as leverage to acquire visa liberalization with the EU and bring momentum to its accession negotiation talks. By using active diplomacy and issue-linkage bargaining, Turkey was also able to secure the EU’s commitment to modernization of the Customs Union Agreement and provision of financial support for the welfare and protection of Syrian refugees in Turkey. Upon realizing that the perquisites secured through the deal were not going to materialize due to a multiplicity of reasons, Turkey switched to compellent threats and blackmail and engaged in boundary challenging against the EU. The refugee deal between the EU and Turkey makes it very costly for the EU to ‘lose’ Turkey and will serve as a good litmus test on whether Turkey will switch from challenging to breaking its boundaries with the EU. If the threat of revoking the deal becomes reasonably credible, then it is possible to talk about a switch to boundary breaking.
While Turkey has been traditionally deeply entrenched in the Western alliance, the country lately had a significant deterioration of its relationship with the West. This chapter first outlines the puzzle that this book addresses: How and why does Turkey increasingly go its own way within the Western alliance and grow further apart from its traditional Western allies? It then places Turkey’s relations with the West in a historical perspective, by focusing first on the history of Turkey–EU relations and then on Turkey–NATO–USA relations. It discusses the research methodology used in addressing these questions, especially the author’s unique fieldwork and semi-structured elite interviews with over 200 government officials, diplomats, EU, NATO, and OSCE officials, academics, non-governmental organization officials, and journalists in Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. It offers a justification for the selection of cases examined throughout the book and concludes by discussing the outline of the book.
This chapter analyzes Turkey’s rapprochement with Russia, particularly in security and defense. It analyzes two case studies: Turkey’s declared intent of becoming a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the agreement signed with Russia to buy a missile defense system. It argues that Turkey’s intention to become an SCO member may be labeled as a compellent threat for alternative alliances against the West. Hence, it represents boundary challenging. Furthermore, by signing an agreement to purchase an S-400 missile defense system, Turkey signals to the West that the NATO defense shield system is not the only alternative and engages in collaborative balancing with Russia on defense. Representing boundary breaking against the West, as an S-400 missile defense system would not only be incompatible with the defense network of NATO but also risk intelligence infiltration into NATO’s networks. Turkey signals its resolve to engage in cooperative balancing with Russia, as it does not give in to the threats that its potential F-35 deal with the USA would be jeopardized, uses blackmail power, and makes compellent threats, which indicate a switch to boundary breaking.
The academic literature is abundant with works on Turkey–EU and Turkey–USA–NATO relations. Nevertheless, most of the works in the literature study these topics through descriptive analysis, without the incorporation of any theoretical framework, or through the lenses of Europeanization theory or Constructivism. This chapter identifies the gaps in the existing literature and formulates a framework of intra-alliance opposition. The extant literature on soft balancing is theoretically vague (Brooks and Wohlforth 2005) and lacks rigor in terms of the definition of the tools of statecraft a second-tier power utilizes within an alliance. There is conceptual overlap between different tools that are identified by the IR literature in general, and the soft balancing literature in particular, which leads to conceptual confusion, as they may also be used for different ends, i.e. bargaining, issue linkages, retaliation, and tit-for-tat strategies. Accordingly, Chapter 1 offers a clear delineation of the interactive processes of intra-alliance opposition and offers a framework of intra-alliance opposition.
While the new security environment necessitates an enhanced dialogue between the EU and NATO, since 2004 Turkey opposes NATO’s sharing of sensitive intelligence information with non-NATO EU members that did not sign a bilateral agreement with NATO (i.e. the Republic of Cyprus) on protecting classified information. Through its NATO membership, Turkey constitutes a veto player in the inter-institutional relations between the EU and NATO and engages in boundary-testing strategy using active diplomacy, entangling diplomacy, and issue-linkage bargaining. Turkey engages in boundary challenging through strategic noncooperation and inter-institutional balancing against the EU. The veto gives Turkey a voice against the EU and helps Turkey pursue long-term interests, such as increasing its leverage against the EU in its accession negotiations, resolving the Cyprus problem to its advantage, and getting fully integrated into the European Defence Agency (EDA). The chapter concludes that as long as the uncertainties around Turkey’s EU accession and EDA associate membership remain and the Cyprus conflict remains unresolved, Turkey will continue to challenge its boundaries against the EU.
This timely book fills an important gap in the literature of international relations, providing a thorough, up-to-date, empirically supported, and theoretically grounded analysis of how and why Turkish foreign policy has changed in recent years vis-à-vis the West. Presenting one of the first balancing studies that employs elite interviews as data, Turkey–West Relations develops a framework of intra-alliance opposition, classifying the tools of statecraft into three categories - boundary testing, boundary challenging, and boundary breaking. Six case studies are examined regarding Turkish foreign policy over the past nine years, exploring an array of topics including Turkey's foreign policy in relation to various nations and organizations, the refugee crisis, defense procurement, energy policies, and more. Dursun-Özkanca demonstrates how international, regional, issue-specific, and domestic factors may serve to explain Turkey's increasing boundary-breaking behavior. This book is crucial for anyone who seeks to understand the recent growing rifts between Turkey and the US, the EU, and NATO.
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