You are not currently logged in.

Login through your institution for access.


Log in through your institution.

Turkey facing east

Turkey facing east: Islam, modernity and foreign policy

Ayla Göl
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 272
Stable URL:
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Turkey facing east
    Book Description:

    Turkey facing east is about the importance of Turkey’s relations with its Eastern neighbours – Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Soviet Union – during the emergence of the modern Turkish nation-state from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The principal strength of this book is that it not only combines historical and theoretical arguments in order to provide a better understanding of the foreign relations of a predominantly Muslim country from a critical and interdisciplinary perspective, but it also applies the new approach to the analysis of Turkish foreign policy towards the South Caucasus between 1918 and 1921. Hence, it stands out with its original interdisciplinary approach to the Turkish transition and foreign policy-making that offers perspectives on the extant possibilities for the particular transitional states resulting from the Arab spring uprisings.

    eISBN: 978-1-5261-0333-8
    Subjects: Political Science
    × Close Overlay

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Maps (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgements (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Abbreviations (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. 1 Foreign policy analysis and transitional states Foreign policy and transitional states (pp. 1-25)

    Turkey between 1918 and 1921 is identified as a transitional state, which had gone through a transformation from an Islamic empire to a modern nation-state. Turkey was the first historical example of a secular, nation-state in the Islamic world. However, such a complex process of transformation is usually explained as a ‘one-man revolution’, and its foreign relations as ‘Kemalist’ foreign policy in orthodox Turkish historiography.¹ The emergence of Turkish nationalism under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and foreign relations between the Turkish nationalists and Western Allies after the First World War became the dominant point of departure in understanding...

  7. 2 The Turkish transition and alternative modernity (pp. 26-53)

    Having established the first pillar of an alternative approach to the foreign policies of transitional states in Chapter 1, this chapter explains why the study of modernity is chosen as the second pillar. The previous chapter argued that FPA as a ‘bridging’ sub-field of IR is helpful in bringing the arguments of historical sociology on modernity and state-building together within a new interdisciplinary approach to foreign policy of transitional states. To begin with, the concept of modernity is questioned in IR. Both what it means and how it relates to the study of international relations are problematised.¹ In order to...

  8. 3 Modernity, nationalism and Islamic identity (pp. 54-76)

    Having suggested a new approach to understanding the foreign policies of transitional states by using FPA and historical sociology, this chapter shows why the study of nationalism is the third pillar that completes the new theoretical framework. Chapter 1 argued that the foreign policies of transitional states reflect their preoccupation with domestic politics — which indicates nation-state building as an integral part of modernity. Chapter 2 then explained what the transition to modernity meant in Turkish politics and this chapter now examines the relationship between nationalism and modernity in order to understand the emergence of Turkish nationalism.

    This chapter will, first,...

  9. 4 Challenges of nationalist foreign policy (pp. 77-110)

    The Ottoman defeat in the First World War by the signature of the Armistice of Mudros with Britain, representing the other Allied powers, on 30 October 1918, had been a turning point in deciding the future of an Islamic empire. The international conjuncture surrounding the empire undermined its anachronistic social, economic and political structures at the end of the First World War. As argued in Chapter 2, the Ottoman state had implicitly accepted the validity of European modernity when it had been accepted as a member of the European system with the Treaty of Paris in 1856. The main question...

  10. 5 New rules of engagement between Ankara and Moscow in the East (pp. 111-134)

    As stated in the previous chapter, after the final defeat of the Ottoman Empire in October 1918, the Turkish nationalists proceeded to establish their authority in 1919 and determined the main goals of the nationalist movement in the National Pact of April 1920. In this document, the eastern provinces ofElviye-i Selase(Kars, Ardahan and Batum) were accepted as an integral part of the Turkish state. While this goal was inherited from the previous CUP policies, a radical break with these policies occurred in relation to Azerbaijan as opposed to the Ottoman imperial foreign policy, which was designed by Enver...

  11. 6 The Turkish question: Islamist, communist or nationalist? (pp. 135-156)

    In international politics, the period between 1918 and 1920 was a testing time in every sense for the two transitional states, administered from Ankara and Moscow. The peace treaties imposed on them at the end of the First World War, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Treaty of Sèvres, left no ‘breathing space’. During the erosion of their imperial identities, neither the Turks nor the Russians could associate themselves with their imperial statehood and had to replace these old political structures with new political identities. With the loss of their empires, not only had Ottoman and Russian status in the...

  12. 7 The recognition of the modern Turkish state (pp. 157-183)

    Although Mustafa Kemal asserted himself as the only leader of the Turkish national movement, he was under threat from Islamist Enver Pasha in terms of dominating the national movement. Moreover, the Allies did not acknowledge Kemal’s leadership until the first serious defeat of the Armenians in December 1920. For instance, the CUP was still regarded as the major political power in Turkey in the British Secret Intelligence Services’ report of December 1920. A British policy based on increasing the rivalry between Mustafa Kemal and Enver Pasha was suggested to the Foreign Office.¹ At that time, the Bolsheviks also had a...

  13. 8 Conclusion (pp. 184-196)

    This book critically analysed Turkey’s historical engagement with European modernity as the transformation of an Islamic, Ottoman state structure into a modern nation-state, in particular in order to understand the role of its foreign policy towards the East during this process. It is unlikely that we will come across a closely similar historical transformation, but it is also true that some ‘stateless’ nations, such as the Palestinians and Kurds in the Middle East, are driven towards becoming nation-states via the driving force of nationalism as part of modernity, and that new states are still joining international society. In the modern...

  14. Appendices (pp. 197-203)
  15. Index (pp. 204-210)