Turkey's foreign policy is usually represented as peaceful, using diplomacy and multilateralism in the resolution of its conflicts with other states. Here, Umut Uzer offers a necessary corrective to this standard analysis by revealing the Kemalist influence in Turkey's state ideology. This defined the identity of the state as Turkish, resulting in responsibilities towards Turks residing beyond its borders, and a more engaged foreign policy that ranged from declarations of support for ethnic kin outside Turkey to outright takeover of territory. Drawing on theoretical and cultural factors, Uzer describes the specific notion of identity that underlay Kemalism, and traces its continuing influence on varieties of Turkish nationalisms and their respective foreign policy outcomes with regard to 'D?? Trkler' (external Turks). Kemalism identified the state as neither Ottoman nor Muslim but Turkish, and traced Turkish history beyond Anatolia to Central Asia, embracing both the Turkish people of modern Turkey and the Turkic peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia as 'Turks'. Although never expressed as a national crusade to save fellow Turks, this expansive definition allows surges of concern for those considered to be ethnic kin beyond the modern Turkish heartland. Such action to 'protect' Turks living in foreign countries, Uzer shows, is sanctioned under certain conditions - if and only if it serves the higher goal of state interests. He analyses the simultaneous influence of rational calculation of state interests and deepens his analysis of internal factors with a consideration of external ones. He thus offers a penetrating understanding of the preconditions for and varying levels of Turkish intervention in the affairs of 'external Turks'. This involvement ranged from material and verbal support given to Turkish Cypriots and Azeris, to lobbying on their behalf at international organizations, and further to direct military action. Through a close examination of the annexation of Hatay from Syria in 1939, Turkey's involvement in Cyprus culminating in a military operation in 1974, and its policy toward the Karabagh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the 1990s, Uzer shows that where the state found a national consensus, often articulated as the need to save 'external Turks', as well as a reasonably favourable international climate, it did not hesitate to use force against its neighbours. With a nuanced and comprehensive view of Turkey's predisposition to interventionist foreign policy, and a discussion of the implications for the future, Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy is indispensable for all those interested in Middle East politics and international relations as well as Turkey more specifically.
Identity and Turkish Foreign Policy
The Kemalist Influence in Cyprus and the Caucasus