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THE RISE AND FALL OF SOFT POWER IN TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY DURING JDP: THE RISE AND FALL OF `TURKISH MODEL` IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

The Rise and Fall of Soft Power in Turkish Foreign Policy During JDP: The rise and fall of `Turkish model` in the Muslim World
A book: The Rise and Fall of Soft Power in Turkish Foreign Policy During JDP: The rise and fall of `Turkish model` in the Muslim World, Lambert Academic Publishing, February 23, 2016, ISBN: 978-3659853401.
Author: Muharrem Eksi
In this book author is to explore a transformations in Turkish foreing policy and had explained the shift  from “soft power” to “hard-power” during JDP governments.  
Turkey had been directed to design pragmatic foreign policy since JDP came to government. Since JDP came to government there were some transformations and changings in 90 year Turkish foreign policy tradition. There are Turkey’s own pragmatic foreing policy reflections on the bases of all changings and transformations which planned by its own initiative. The pragmatic foreign policy of Turkey is being implemented actively by Prime Ministry Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), the Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and Yunus Emre Institute (YEI).
In this book the theme that Turkey’s foreign policy directed to Middle East contries is taken in broad aspect. Because, during JDP government the foreing policy with Middle East countries opened new era. A dependence of Turkish foreign policy on Western countries had been abondened by Turkey itself and focused on to build new relations with countries in Middle East region.
One thing should not forgotten that the political school of JDP elites is influential on making a decision on political issues.
9/11 incidents had strongly influenced on foreign policy of JDP and Middle East politics. After a terror organized to the USA the sounds like; “Islamic Terrorism”, “Political Islam”, the clash of civilization”, “Conflict of Islam and Christianity”, “Conflict of West and East” are being focus of world agenda and at the center of political disputes. At that moment, JDP government began to designe foreign policy frames of Turkey. On this case, important steps made by Turkey and other countries in oder to shape Middle East policy. Espacially, as an active part of Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative Turkey could not stay far from changings of region.
In this book the main emphasis made on “Islamizaton”  and “Sunnization” of Turkish foreign policy. The other dispute was concerned to identity, cultural and Islam based policy of JDP government reflected by thinkers like Ahmet Davutoğlu.
As of designed new cultural and identity policy, Turkey had used Islam and tried to find space in Middle East by using some discourses.
Main attention was paid for “soft-power” on Turkish foreign policy since JDP take conrtol over government. On this case, the school taught supporters of using “soft-power” is important.  Main figures among elites of JDP were taught in the school of National Outlook (Milli Görüş) movement. The vision they took from this movement was influential on process of making decision. But, there were misunderstandings between “students” and “teachers” on some cases. The discourse that finished misunderstandings was “taking off National Outlook’s t-shirt”. Those who “took off t-shirt” had massages that they supported liberalism, capitalism, secular structure of Muslim country. 
There is speech of main three period of Turkish foreign policy in this book. First period is, from 2003 to 2011 there were significant transformations in Turkish foreign policy and significant steps to implement “soft-power”.  But, after 2011 the “soft-power” Turkey used had been transformed to as to “hard-power”.  This situation was developed by Arap Spring and got peak with the civilian war in Syria.  Second period is concerned with Turkiye’s activities to be ‘model country’ and using of “soft-power” carefully. To be ‘model country’ desire was not for only Middle East countries, but, for other part of Muslim world, too.  Therefore, by providing policy over identity discourses, sometimes using public diplomacy factor, Turkey aimed to provide “soft-power” policy, be leader and ‘model country’ over region.  By using “soft-power” factors Turkey tries to enlage acting space. According to “soft-power” policy, Turkey has organized some state-controled departments like Prime Ministry Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and Yunus Emre Institute (YEI).
Author paid attention to a discussion of ‘public diplomacy’ and ‘soft-power’ in this book. By setting examples from books of the most familiar writers of International Relations author supported significance of ‘public diplomacy’ befor using “soft-power”. Accent was made on possibility of using “soft-power” by getting only productable ‘public diplomacy’. As of this, Turkey tries to use public diplomacy first, than “soft-power”.
While Turkey is trying to provide “soft-power” some discourses have been produced. For instance, becoming Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Davutoglu used such discourses on designing foreign policy. “Zero problem with neighbours” took first place among other discourses to shape Turkish foreign policy concern to Middle East. Even, during Davutoglu, some departments were organized in Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These are:
1. General Directorate for Global and Humane Issues
2. General Directorate for Confliction Prevention and Crisis Management
3. General Directorate for Economic Relations with Neighboring Countries
4. General Directorate for International Law
5. General Directorate for Agreements
6. General Directorate for Information
7. General Directorate for Foreign Promotion and Cultural Relations
8. Department of Information Technologies
9. Department of Translation
10. Department of Diplomacy Academy.
Except these departments state-controled structures like TİKA, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, Diyanet and Yunus Emre Institute are used to shape Turkish foreign policy. JDP elites evaluated some discourses and used them in organizing foreign policy. There are; “Not bridge country, but, central country”, “wise country”, “donor country”, “regional power”, “global power and global actor”, “multidimensional policy”, “zero problem”, “strategic depth”, “rhythmic diplomacy”, “visionary foreign policy” etc. All these discourses had contribution to shape Turkish foreign policy.
As of this, the discussions made by academicians and foreign policy makers are concerned with lines of foreign policy. As some policy makers and academicians used “Turkish world from Adriatic to Chinese Wall”, some discourses, like “21 century will be Turkish century” used by others. Especially, the discourse “multidimensional policy” caused to discussion “shift of axis”. The independently organized foreign policy Turkey was hiden behind this discussion.
As using “wise country” Turkish policy makers emphasized only Turkey could build security and stability over region. Except this, Turkish policy makers supported Turkey “as a country to read history right”. As of being “donor country”, TİKA and Turkish Red Crescent (Kızılay) served as an main structure of foreign policy organizers.
The transformations in Turkish foreign policy included efforts to provide the best relations with Middle East countries and African countries. Improving bilateral relations with these regions caused to a emergence of the question “ Is Ottoman back?”. With foreing policy to Middle East Turkey understood impossibility of being inactive in Middle East policy. In this way, Turkey spred massages that could interfere with Middle East problems.
Indeed during JDP government relations with Middle East and Arab countries developed to strategic partnership. During bilateral relations Turkey was dicribed as a “trade country”, in result, economic and commercial realtions were supported, too. Progresses of bilateral relations were approved by high volume of Turkish export developed as day went by.
The other effort of JDP government was diplomacy with Armenians on a discourse “Armenian Holocaust”. In this area JDP government was forced to work with diasporas and change opinions with Armenian rullers. In order to come to a decision, JDP government went to conversations with Armenians in the country and abroad.
The other foreign policy factor was as an anti-thesis “civilizations do not clash, but, be mixed with” to the thesis “civilizations clash”. Producing this discourse Turkey tried to spread its influence over old Ottoman geographies. On the project “civilizations can be mixed” Turkey had organized numerous activities with UN. 
Turkey had used identity-image when providing policy with Middle East. The policy organized over Muslim and Islam helped Turkey to possess space in Middle East. For this purpose, cultural connections were repeated. The school of ruling elites like National Outlook played as an decisive rol on conducting relations with Islamic countries.
The image of Turkey had been changed in front of Arab world after 1, Mart 2003 Resolution was not supported by Turkish Parliament. Turkey was accepted an agent of the US in the eyes of Arabs until JDP government. Especially, “One Minute” and “Mavi Marmara” issues greatly changed Turkey’s image in Middle East. All these issues helped Turkey to provide “soft-power” over Middle East. 
In this book author thought Turkey has changed its “soft-power” policy to “hard power” with the emergence of Arab Spring. Problems with Egypt’s Sisi, Syria’s Asad, and Israel made Turkey to use “hard-power” in region. Support to Ihvan-i Muslim, support to sunni parts of Syria and support to Palestinians caused Turkey to provide sunnization policy over the region.
Different NGOs made influences on a shaping of Turkish foreign policy to “soft-power” while author thought fall of “soft-power” over region. Turkey’s foreign policy over region is supported by some Arab countries, and can be seen as a “fruit” of previous “soft-power” efforts.(M.O) 
Kubangazy Bugubaev, Analyst, Strategic Outlook
20.03.2016 - Hit : 1818


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