Die Türkei als Regionalmacht

The main purpose of this research on Turkish foreign policy and its security measures is to analyze various paradigms of international politics in which our current understanding of the phenomena of a new international system is cognizabled and, from the point of perspective of political science, is valid and justified. The subject is about the development and -vice versa- the capacities and potentials for development of Turkey´s foreign policy and its fundamental doctrines. Since the end of the Cold War (1990/1991) Turkish foreign policy, which had been anchored upon the strategic doctrine of NATO (main items: deterrence and mutual assured destruction) and the particular and globally scaled interests of the USA, has undergone a transformation. The hypothesis of my research on Turkish policy (1990-2007) is that the regional standing and influence of Turkey has increased and will increase in the coming years. The new situation which is depending on various parameters of the international system has affected Turkey´s relations not only with the direct neighbours, but also with Central Asia and Islamic World. Today, in Turkey´s foreign policy the main principle is its multi-dimensional character. The essential point of Turkish foreign policy is to establish a regional balance of power under the guideline of developing bilateral and, as many as possible, multilateral relationship to its neighbours. Turkish foreign policy can be described as a reiteration and intensification of political scopes by promoting the goal of `a new regional system´. Turkey´s foreign policy can be analyzed as a so-called `regional power policy´ based on non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Bilateral or multilateral cooperation is accepted as corroboration, but there are counterarguments which are depending on the various parameters of the international system and the particular conditions of the so-called `most dangerous triangle of the world´. Threat perceptions are sets of beliefs about the nature of insecurity and what constitutes challenges to instability. To understand how Turkey perceives security and -vice versa- insecurity (or insecurity threats) is to know the value priorities Turkey projects onto its security environment. In this context and under these conditions, it is frequently argued that the parameters of the international system and world politics have been changed by refocusing American foreign policy, redefining transatlantic relations, and not at least, increasing the scope of NATO (`Out-of-area-Concepts´, for example). Comparing EU threat perceptions with Turkish perspectives poses at least two challenges. The first obstacle is the difference between the two decision-making systems in the field of foreign security policy. Turkish Military (General Staff as elite) makes foreign policy decisions not only, but also at the national level. The EU, on the other hand, is a system of multi-level governance in which member states retain autonomy in foreign and security policy, an autonomy that has to be negotiated toward a common position in intergovernmental negotiations foccused and mediated by the EU. Turkey is a single actor-only mediated by NATO´s policy and by particular interests of the USA. The end of the Cold War led to fundamental changes in Turkey´s foreign policy in general: 1. Turkey began to exert influence in Central Asia, the Black Sea region, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and the Balkans. This was a major shift from Ankara´s previous policies of non-involment. But there was no other way. Contrary to the Cold War period, during which Turkey´s foreign and security policy was relatively defined and circumscribed because of its role in the containment of the USSR power, in the post-Cold War era, Turkey has experienced an enlargement of its external horizons. That´s why Turkey began to pay particular attention to regional cooperation, cooperative security and bi-or multilateralism in foreign, but also economic etc. affairs. In this regard, Turkey initiated the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), and started to expand its political, cultural, and economic ties with the newly established Turkish republics. 2. But there are two constants of turkish foreign policy: Turkey´s western orientation (EU) and security integration (NATO, USA). Although Turkey´s western orientation and security integration are first policy priority objectives, the end of the Cold War and the bipolar world opened new opportunities to Ankara in further fields, and its relations with the neighboured countries have been developed. Turkish foreign policy in the post-Cold War area provides a striking example of the linkage between domestic and foreign policy. So, one simply cannot adequately analyse contemporary Turkish foreign and security policy without an explicit multiple explanatory model. There is every indication that Turkey´s role can be clarified from the perspective of an explicit multiple explanatory model.



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