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From 2002-2017, to What Extent has Turkish Security Policy Been Effective

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2016,31 May 2017

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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This monograph examines Turkish foreign and domestic security policy since 2002 in order to understand how the effective delivery of policy has been influenced by changing Turkish perceptions of the role of religion, history, geography, the military and key political figures. Turkey has gradually undergone a transformation away from its secular roots as envisaged by the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kemal Atatrk. The role of religion, so long repressed as Turkey sought to create a secular state, has re-emerged as a powerful force in Turkish politics, and eventually brought the Adalet ve Kalknma Partisi AKP Islamist leaning party to power in 2002. Turkish perceptions of its history and central geographic position, particularly as it relates to the Ottoman Empire period, has also become a key driver in policymaking. The role of the Turkish military has undergone a fundamental transformation with its traditional role as the guarantors of the state in the Kemalist tradition challenged and ultimately broken by the AKP leadership. The cult of personality has once again come to the fore, with Recep Tayyip Erdoan, first as Prime Minister and now the incumbent President, dominating Turkish politics in a way not seen since Atatrk in the 1920s-1930s. Turkeys perception of regional and major actors such as the U.S. and Russia has also fundamentally changed, with Turkey adopting a more aggressive policy internally and externally in response to changing security threats. As a result of the complex interaction of these varying factors, this paper concludes that the effectiveness of Turkeys security policymaking has declined to the point where it has become reactive and therefore generally ineffective in realizing Turkeys foreign and domestic policy goals.

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  • Government and Political Science

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