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The transformation of Turkish foreign policy: The rise of the trading state

  • Kemal Kirişçi (a1)

Recently, Turkish foreign policy, compared to the 1990s, has manifested a number of puzzlements. They range from the rapprochement with Greece, the turnabout over Cyprus, mediation efforts involving a series of regional conflicts to a policy seeking an improvement in relations with Armenia and Kurds of Northern Iraq. These puzzlements have increasingly transformed Turkey from being cited as a “post-Cold War warrior” or a “regional coercive power” to a “benign” if not “soft” power. Academic literature has tried to account for these puzzlements and the accompanying transformation in Turkish foreign policy from a wide range of theoretical perspectives. This literature has undoubtedly enriched our understanding of what drives Turkish foreign policy. At the same time, this literature has not paid adequate attention to the role of economic factors shaping Turkish foreign policy as we approach the end of the first decade of the new century. This article aims to highlight this gap and at the same time offer a preliminary conceptual framework based on Richard Rosecrance's notion of the “trading state” and Robert Putnam's idea of “two-level diplomatic games” to explore the impact of economic considerations on Turkish foreign policy.

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New Perspectives on Turkey
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