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The Republic of Turkey celebrates the centenary of its proclamation in 2023. Founded on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire,

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Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society
 3031334434, 9783031334436

Table of contents :
Acknowledgments
Contents
Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction: From the Ottoman Empire to Republican Turkey—A Century of Disjunctions and Continuities
1.1 Continuities and Disjunctions
1.1.1 Disjunctions
1.1.2 Continuities
1.2 The Great Dates That Marked the Republican Century
1.2.1 The Single Party Period
1.2.2 The End of World War II: Adopting a Multi-party System and Integrating the Western Bloc
1.2.3 Military Interventions and Their Impact on Turkish Political Life
1.2.4 The End of the Cold War and the AKP in Power
1.3 Structure and Contents of the Book
References
2 Belonging to a Republic or Something Else: An Assessment of the Evolution and Challenges to Modern Citizenship in Contemporary Turkey
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Citizenship as Modernization: Two Models of Nationhood and the Turkish Experience
2.3 Turkish Citizenship: Civic-Territorial or Ethnic-Genealogical
2.4 Citizenship as a Political Mode of Integration: Two Modalities and Turkish Republicanism
2.5 Turkish Citizenship: Liberal or Republican?
2.6 Democratic Versus Authoritarian Contexts: The Achievements and Failures of Turkish Modernization and the Challenges to Republican Citizenship in Contemporary Turkey
2.7 Citizenship and Democracy in Turkey Today
2.8 Conclusion
Notes
References
3 Transformations in the Turkish Economy: A Political Economy Analysis of 100 Years of the Republic of Turkey
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Formation: The New Republic and Its Economy
3.2.1 The Great Depression and the Rise of Statism
3.2.2 World War II and Turkey’s Adjustments to the Post-War Era
3.3 Import Substitution Industrialization and Planning
3.3.1 Limits of Capitalist Planning
3.3.2 The ISI Crisis
3.4 Transition to Neoliberalism
3.4.1 The Measures of January 24, 1980 and the Changing Growth Model
3.4.2 Liberalization of Capital Movements
3.5 Dependent Financialization and Its Crisis
3.5.1 2001 Crisis and Post-Crisis Program
3.5.2 2013 as a Turning Point
3.5.3 New Directions After 2018
3.6 Conclusion
Notes
References
4 The State and Religion from 1923 to 2023: Major Tendencies in an Incomplete Development
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Creating a Modern Secular State on the Western Model: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Original Aim
4.2.1 Institutions Serving Kemalist Secularism
4.2.2 The Turkish Army as the Guardian of a Particular Form of Secularism
4.2.3 The Diyanet and Its Ambiguous Vision of Secularism
4.2.4 The Issue of Education at the Centre of the Debate About Secularism
4.3 Between Re-Islamization and Democratization, Reforms of Secularism by the Ruling AKP Party
4.3.1 The AKP in Power, and Its Reforms of the Kemalist Establishment
4.3.2 The Diyanet More Than Ever at the Service of the AKP Government
4.3.3 Education Now More Open to Islam
4.3.4 The Turkish Army is No Longer the Guardian of Secularism
4.4 Conclusion
Notes
References
5 Turkey’s Nation-Building and the Kurdish Question
5.1 The Ottoman Legacy
5.2 1920–1946: Negotiating National Identity
5.3 1946–1980: A Partial Opening?
5.4 After the Coup: 1960s-1980s
5.5 1980s: Emerging Forms of Kurdish Nationalism
5.6 1990s: The Bifurcated State
5.7 The 2000s: Muslim Identity or Progressive Politics?
5.8 The Kurdish Opening: Strategy of Incorporation?
5.9 Renewed Fighting
5.10 Conclusion
Notes
References
6 Turkey, the West and the Endless Search for Power
6.1 The Interwar Years and Balanced Westernism
6.2 Turkey as an Outpost of the Containment Strategy
6.3 Detente and Balancing
6.4 The Peak of Autonomy in Foreign Policy: The Cyprus Intervention
6.5 Turkey Between Military Rule and Neoliberalism
6.6 The Tumultuous 1990s
6.7 The Rise of the Islamist Politics: The Many Faces of the AKP
6.8 The Arab Spring and the Illusion of Neo-Ottomanism
6.9 Conclusion
References
7 Turkey and Europe, an Ambivalent Relationship Since the Establishment of the Turkish Republic
7.1 Introduction
7.2 Turkey and Europe: An Age-Old Relationship
7.2.1 From the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey: Between Alliances and Conflicts
The Ottoman Empire, a “European Power”
“The Sick Man of Europe”: The Eastern Question
The Republic of Turkey: Europe, a “Model of Universal Civilisation”
7.2.2 Opting for Europe and the West After World War II
Turkey as a Key Member of NATO
Membership of Major European Organisations
7.3 Multidimensional Relations Between Turkey and Europe
7.3.1 A Privileged Economic Partnership
7.3.2 A Pro-Western Military and Security Commitment
7.3.3 Turkish Immigration and Integration in Europe
7.3.4 Participation in Sporting and Cultural Events
7.4 The Issue of Turkey’s Membership of the European Union
7.4.1 The Ankara Association Agreement at the Start of Accession Negotiations
7.4.2 Opening Negotiations: A Decisive Lever
7.4.3 What is at Issue Over Turkey's Accession: Debates and Perceptions
Objective and Subjective Criteria
Turkey, a “Mirror” of European Issues
Different Partisan Positions in Different European Countries
7.4.4 The Future of Turkey-EU Relations
Europeans’ Dilemma About Turkey, Cooperation or Denunciation
Scenarios and Hypotheses
7.5 Conclusion: Where Are Turkish-EU Relations Going?
Notes
References
8 Conclusion: Turkey at the Crossroads in 2023
Notes
Republic of Turkey
Box A—Back To: The Origins of the Cyprus Question
Box B—The Alevis in Turkey: The Maintaining of Discrimination
References
Box C—Turkey in Africa, A New Power
Historical Perspective
Political Relationships
Economic Relations
Soft Power That Is Here to Stay
Military Links
Conclusion

Citation preview

THE SCIENCES PO SERIES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND POLITICAL ECONOMY

Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society

Edited by Bayram Balci · Nicolas Monceau

The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy

Series Editor Alain Dieckhoff, Center for International Studies (CERI), Sciences Po - CNRS, Paris, France

Advisory Editor Miriam Perier, Center for International Studies (CERI), Sciences Po - CNRS, Paris, France

The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy focuses on the transformations of the international arena and of political societies, in a world where the state keeps reinventing itself and appears resilient in many ways, though its sovereignty is increasingly questioned. The series publishes books that have two main objectives: explore the various aspects of contemporary international/transnational relations, from a theoretical and an empirical perspective; and analyze the transformations of political societies through comparative lenses. Evolution in world affairs sustains a variety of networks from the ideological to the criminal or terrorist that impact both on international relations and local societies. Besides the geopolitical transformations of the globalized planet, the new political economy of the world has a decided impact on its destiny as well, and this series hopes to uncover what that is. The series consists of works emanating from the foremost French researchers from Sciences Po, Paris. It also welcomes works by academics who share our methods and philosophy of research in an open-minded perspective of what academic research in social sciences allows for and should aim for. Sciences Po was founded in 1872 and is today one of the most prestigious universities for teaching and research in social sciences in France, recognized worldwide.

Bayram Balci · Nicolas Monceau Editors

Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society

Editors Bayram Balci CERI Sciences Po Paris, France

Nicolas Monceau University of Bordeaux Bordeaux, France

ISSN 2945-607X ISSN 2945-6088 (electronic) The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy ISBN 978-3-031-33443-6 ISBN 978-3-031-33444-3 (eBook) https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3 © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Cover illusration: © MirageC gettyimages This Palgrave Macmillan imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Acknowledgments

The editors of the book would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following institutions and individuals for their support and their contributions to this book: – The IPLI Foundation and its director, Timothy Reno, for his steadfast support since the beginning of the book project. – The CERI-Sciences Po research center, in particular its director, Alain Dieckhoff and Miriam Perrier, head of English language publications. – The University of Bordeaux and the Institut de recherche Montesquieu. – The Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes—Georges Dumézil and ¸ its director, Philippe Bourmaud, and also Aynur Sen. The editors would like to thank Moya Jones for her work as translator, chapter editor, and proofreader. Finally, thanks go to Hazal Karabulut and Emmanuel Houalla for their contribution and help with bibliographic research and the updating of data in certain chapters.

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Contents

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2

3

4

Introduction: From the Ottoman Empire to Republican Turkey—A Century of Disjunctions and Continuities Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau Belonging to a Republic or Something Else: An Assessment of the Evolution and Challenges to Modern Citizenship in Contemporary Turkey Özlem Kaygusuz

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Transformations in the Turkish Economy: A Political Economy Analysis of 100 Years of the Republic of Turkey Ümit Akçay

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The State and Religion from 1923 to 2023: Major Tendencies in an Incomplete Development Bayram Balci

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Turkey’s Nation-Building and the Kurdish Question Evren Balta

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Turkey, the West and the Endless Search for Power Ilhan Uzgel

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Turkey and Europe, an Ambivalent Relationship Since the Establishment of the Turkish Republic Nicolas Monceau

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CONTENTS

Conclusion: Turkey at the Crossroads in 2023 Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau

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Republic of Turkey

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Box A—Back To: The Origins of the Cyprus Question

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Box B—The Alevis in Turkey: The Maintaining of Discrimination

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Box C—Turkey in Africa, A New Power

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Notes on Contributors

Ümit Akçay is Associate Professor of Economics and has been a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at Berlin School of Economics and Law since 2017. His research interests consist in the political economy of development and growth regimes, the political economy of new authoritarianisms, and Turkey’s political economy. He has published three books on the economic planning experience of Turkey, the political economy of central bank independence in Turkey, and the 2008 global financial crisis. His publications include many academic articles some of which have appeared in the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Contemporary Politics, and Globalizations. He also contributes to public debate with scientifically informed opinion pieces in Turkey since 2011. His academic works are available at https://hwr-berlin.academia.edu/UmitAkcay. Bayram Balci holds degrees in political science and in Arab and Islamic studies from the Political Studies Institutes of Grenoble and Aix-enProvence. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Turkish Islamic movements and their missionary activities in post-Soviet Central Asia. He was a Jean Monnet post-doctoral fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, where he pursued his researches on Islam between Central Asia and the Middle East. From 2006 to 2010, he was the director of the French Institute of Central-Asian Studies (IFEAC) in Tashkent. Between 2011 and 2014, he was a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. From 20017 to 2022, he was the director of the Institut Français d’Études Anatoliennes (IEFA) in ix

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Istanbul. His current research focuses on Islam and politics in the former Soviet Union and on Turkey in its regional environment (Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East). Evren Balta is a Professor of International Relations at Özye˘gin University. She is the co-author of The American Passport in Turkey: National Citizenship in the Age of Transnationalism (with O. Altan-Olcay, Upenn Press, 2020). This won the American Sociological Association Global and Transnational Sociology Section’s Best Book by an International Scholar Award. Her research areas include transnational identities, internal conflict, populism, and domestic sources of international relations. Hazal Karabulut was born in Istanbul to a Bosnian Turkish family. After her middle school years in Karamürsel, she went to The Sezin School in Istanbul, spent a year in Sociology and now studies Political Science in Galatasaray University. Currently, she is an Erasmus student in Sciences Po Paris. She hopes to continue further research on Turkish Politics, Minorities in Turkey, and Political Communication. Özlem Kaygusuz is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Relations at Ankara University, Turkey. She studied International Relations at the Middle East Technical University and completed her Ph.D. at Bilkent University. She was a visiting scholar at Georgetown University in 2003–2004 as Turkish Academy of Sciences fellow and at Stanford University in 2012. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on globalization, IR theory, critical security, democratization, contemporary EU politics, and Turkey-European Union relations. Her research interests involve democratic backsliding, critical security, and the effects of neoliberal transformation on state-society relations in Turkey. Her articles and works covering all these areas have appeared in various academic journals and books in both Turkish and English. She has also published various research reports, policy papers, and media outlets with the support of different institutions. Her recent publication is Turkey’s New State in the Making: Transformations in Legality, Economy and Coercion, published by Zed Books, 2020, to which she contributed as an editor and author. Nicolas Monceau is Associate Professor in Political Science at the University of Bordeaux, France. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and is a Researcher at Montesquieu Research Institute (Bordeaux) as well as a Research Associate at IFEA-Georges Dumézil (Istanbul). His research

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

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focuses on Turkish Politics and Turkey in its regional and international environment. He has recently co-edited Turkey, Russia and Iran in the Middle East. Establishing a New Regional Order (Palgrave, 2021) with Bayram Balci, and Rising Powers, Institutions and Elites. Brazil, China, Russia, Turkey (Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux, 2018). He has published several books on Turkey and the EU as well as on the Turkish elite. Dr. Ilhan Uzgel is a Professor of International Relations. He received his master’s degree from Cambridge University and Ph.D. from Ankara University. He worked at Ankara University teaching and contributing on Turkish foreign policy and regional politics. He was dismissed from his job in 2017 by a government decree while serving as the head of department. He contributes regularly to internet sites and national newspapers on Turkish politics and foreign policy.

CHAPTER 1

Introduction: From the Ottoman Empire to Republican Turkey—A Century of Disjunctions and Continuities Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau

The Republic of Turkey celebrates the centenary of its proclamation in 2023. Founded on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, one of the world’s greatest empires both in terms of its geographical extent and its longevity, republican Turkey has gone through a century of profound and constant changes and transformations. It has maintained an ambiguous, if not ambivalent, relationship with its imperial heritage, which it has sometimes accepted, and sometimes rejected outright, in accordance with the wishes of its founder, Mustafa Kemal, also called Atatürk (Yavuz 2020).

B. Balci (B) CERI-Sciences Po, Paris, France e-mail: [email protected] N. Monceau University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_1

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Although supposedly buried in the past, the memory of this empire is nevertheless still alive in the national memory as well as in the minds of those Middle Eastern peoples who were part of it, and even in the memories of the Western countries that fought against it. Some people in Turkey often refer to it out of nostalgia or as a dream of greatness (Yavuz 2020). The peoples who were part of it in the Balkans or in the Arab world built their nation-states in opposition to this heritage. While the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on October 29, 1923 (following the abolition of the Sultanate in 1922) undoubtedly marked a break with the Ottoman past, the change of regime has also been characterized by many continuities being maintained, as shown by the relationship republican Turkey has sustained with its Ottoman imperial heritage over the century of its existence.

1.1

Continuities and Disjunctions 1.1.1

Disjunctions

Speaking of a break in Turkish republican history from the Ottoman past inevitably requires reference to Mustafa Kemal, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. A general in the Ottoman army—he had fought in various provinces, in the Balkans, in Libya and Palestine and in Anatolia—he was the national hero of the war of independence, 1919– 1922. In the inter-war period, he implemented many reforms in order to build the Turkish nation-state and to found a modern Turkish civilisation quite different from everything that the Ottoman Empire represented. As a result, he imposed on Turkey many breaks with the Ottoman past. As the chapters by Bayram Balci and Özlem Kaygusuz discuss in more detail, it is in relation to religion and the conception of citizenship that the Republic’s break with the Ottoman heritage has been most evident. While the Empire characterized itself as multi-ethnic and multireligious, in terms of ethnicity and citizenship, the Republic of Turkey was built on the cult of homogeneity in both ethnic and religious terms. In fact, at the end of the war of independence, in order to build a new nation on the European model, the leaders of the young Republic of Turkey, and those of neighboring Greece, proceeded to effect population exchanges according to the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923). More than one and a half million Greeks moved from Anatolia to Greece, while about half a million Turks moved to Turkey from Greece (Baldwin-Edwards

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2007). In Turkey, this homogenization, this rejection of the Ottoman cosmopolitan heritage, affected other populations as well. The Armenian population, numerous in Istanbul as well as in the cities of Eastern Anatolia—Kars, Mus, Van and Bitlis—was almost completely wiped out or driven into exile. The many Circassian communities, although they were Muslims, were gradually assimilated, as were the numerous Arab populations in Urfa, Mardin, Siirt and Hatay as soon as they were incorporated into Turkey. The Republic’s detachment from the Empire was even more striking in religious matters. Although the Ottoman Empire was not a purely Islamic state, and was far from being a theocracy (Clayer 2004), Islam was fundamental to it. In foreign policy, one of its priorities was to help Muslim minorities in Christian states that denied Muslim rights. One of the causes of the many conflicts between Russia and the Ottoman Empire was the fate of Muslims under the Tsars. By contrast the Turkish Republic, at least under Mustafa Kemal and his successor Ismet Inönü, ceased to make any reference to Islam in its foreign policy. This disconnection was even more evident in the management of Islam internally. Indeed, until after World War II, the relationship of the Turkish state with religion completely broke with Ottoman principles and practices. The numerous secularization reforms implemented by Atatürk and the Kemalists during the interwar period bore witness to a desire to make a complete break with the Ottoman imperial and Islamic past. This was very apparent in the abolition of the caliphate in 1924 and the enshrining of the principle of secularism in the constitution in 1937, the closure of religious schools and Islamic courts, the abandonment of Sharia law in favor of positive law, notably with the adoption of a civil code (1926) inspired by Switzerland (Karpat 2000; Walker 2009). Finally, one of the main points of rupture between the new Republic of Turkey and the Ottoman past concerns, more broadly, the domain of ideas, values and cultural and social practices. Indeed, in terms of references and sources of inspiration, the leaders of the new regime are strongly influenced by the ideas of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and French positivism. Under the leadership of Atatürk, the first president (1923–1938) of the Turkish Republic, this “new Turkey” was to rise to the level of European civilization, considered universal, by relying on an unprecedented modernization movement led by the Kemalist leaders. Numerous

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Westernization (which would be called Europeanization today) and secularization reforms were implemented in an authoritarian manner by the Kemalist authorities during the 1920s and 1930s with the aim of founding a “modern Turkish civilization” in a radical break with the Ottoman imperial and Islamic past. Europe was adopted as a model and source of influence through the importation of political concepts (republicanism, nation-state, secularism, citizenship), cultural practices and ways of life, or even rules of dress. This period is characterized by a very strong influence of modernity associated with the West, and more precisely with Europe, on Kemalist Turkey, as shown in the chapters by Ilhan Uzgel and Nicolas Monceau. 1.1.2

Continuities

The Republic of Turkey, in its historical trajectory over the past century, has not always been in complete division from the Ottoman past. While the first two presidents of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Ismet Inönü, pursued policies of change until 1950 in order to profoundly transform the new state of Turkey, at least two of their successors, Turgut Özal and Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan, have been more in continuity with the Ottoman legacy, so much so that some Western analysts have described their domestic and foreign policies as neo-Ottomanist. Moreover, often it is in relation to a need in domestic or foreign policy that reference is made to the Ottoman legacy. Faced with the Kurdish question, aggravated by the Jacobin character of the Turkish central state, Turgut Özal (Prime Minister and then President of the Republic of Turkey from 1983 to 1993) was one of the first Turkish leaders to try to resolve this contemporary issue by referring to the country’s imperial past. Thus, in order to ease the tension in Turkish society in the face of the emergence of the Kurdish identity movement, which was perceived as a threat to the country’s unity, he advocated an Ottoman approach to this issue (Ataman 2002). In recalling that the Ottoman Empire had recognized and respected multi-communitarianism in its midst, in his time in office, the head of state attempted to settle the Kurdish question by inscribing his action in a continuity with the Ottoman method of managing ethnic and religious groups. Later, after the AKP came to power in 2002, the same continuity with the Ottoman legacy was proposed as a reference for settling the Kurdish problem. Thus, Prime Minister Erdo˘gan, in his policy of openness and reforms on the Kurdish issue, often referred to

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the Ottoman era, when the brotherhood between Kurds and Turks (and others) encouraged positive cohabitation between the different communities of the Empire. He did not even hesitate to mention the province of Kurdistan which existed in the Ottoman era, whereas the Republic of Turkey does not recognize the existence of this region which could threaten its territorial integrity. In foreign policy, the same break and continuity regarding the Ottoman legacy can be observed. While Mustafa Kemal and Ismet Inönü never mentioned the Ottoman past for foreign policy purposes, Turgut Özal and especially R. T. Erdo˘gan have regularly referred to a glorified Ottoman past to affirm or even justify certain foreign policy choices. In one of his speeches, Prime Minister Ahmet Davuto˘glu (2014–2016) recalled that Turkey had to intervene in the Palestinian issue insofar as the land code and land register were written in Ottoman less than a century before (Aydin 2022). Thus, with an idealized rereading of the Ottoman past, obscuring some dark episodes of Ottoman history, Erdo˘gan’s policy invokes the Ottoman model to strengthen Turkey’s influence in the Balkans, in the former Arab provinces of the empire, and even in Africa. During the AKP’s rule in Turkey, there has generally been a form of rehabilitation of the Ottoman past in political discourse, accompanied by a renewed interest in the Ottoman legacy in culture and the arts (literature and cinema, or even some very popular historical television series about Ottoman splendor, such as Muhtesem Yuzyıl or Abdulhamid: Payitaht ). Idealized, this Ottoman past is seen as a remedy against the evils of Jacobinism imposed by Mustafa Kemal’s Republic.

1.2 The Great Dates That Marked the Republican Century In its century of existence, Turkey has undergone many changes in many areas: religious, political, diplomatic or other. These changes have been produced by policies developed and implemented by the country’s leaders, but also, often, under the influence of the international context. Thus, several significant dates that are pivotal in the history of the Republic can be highlighted since its foundation in 1923. The different chapters in the book refer to them.

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1.2.1

The Single Party Period

The interwar years, marked by the one-party period in Turkey, were rich in political, cultural and social events. During this first period of republican history, most of Mustafa Kemal’s modernization and secularization reforms—mentioned above—were implemented. At the same time, the country was developing a national economy. Hesitating between capitalist and socialist models, Mustafa Kemal’s reforms established a hybrid system, marked by an increasing role of the state in the economic and social modernization of the country from the 1930s onwards, as well as by strong economic ties with Europe, as evidenced by the Izmir Economic Congress mentioned in Ümit Akçay’s chapter. The authoritarian character of the early period of republican Turkey, evidenced by the one-party system throughout the interwar period, was, however, mitigated by several—abortive—experiments in political liberalization. In 1924, the foundation of the Terrakkiperver Cumhuriyet Fırkası (Progressive Republican Party) was allowed to proceed, only to be dissolved a year later due to the growing influence acquired by the new party. In 1930, a new attempt under Atatürk to foster some political openness in Turkey led to the creation of the Serbest Cumhuriyet Fırkası (Liberal Republican Party). Again, in a national context troubled by the religiously based Menemen insurrection, the party was dissolved having become the focus of discontent with Mustafa Kemal’s reforms. According to some biographers of Atatürk, his wish was to liberalize Turkish political life in his time, but the socio-political conditions did not allow it (Mango 2002). Finally, the period of the single party was also marked by resistance and opposition to Kemalist reforms as well as by political agitation, particularly in the Kurdish provinces where, as Evren Balta’s chapter shows, several insurrections broke out on both religious and ethnic grounds. Among the most important, the Sheikh Said revolt in 1925 and the Dersim revolt in 1937 marked the history of the Republic both at the time and still today, with important work on memory being realized among both Alevi and Sunni Kurds (Orhan 2012).

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The End of World War II: Adopting a Multi-party System and Integrating the Western Bloc

Against all expectations, the death of Atatürk in November 1938, the founder of modern Turkey, the father of the nation, did not have any earth-shattering effects on the country, neither in domestic nor in foreign policy. His wartime companion and successor at the head of the single party CHP and the state, Ismet Inönü, continued his policy of modernization at home and the adoption of cautious and non-aligned positions on the international scene. In accordance with the Kemalist principle of non-interference in external conflicts, the “second man” (Inönü) chose to keep Turkey neutral during World War II. However, in the aftermath of the world conflict, the opening of Turkey to the international scene in the new context of the Cold War brought about profound changes. After having adopted a position of neutrality during the world conflict, Turkey joined the Western camp at the beginning of the Cold War in the face of the Soviet threat which was reinforced by Stalin’s claims to control the Straits, Bosphorus and Dardanelle. For Turkey, the choice to join NATO and to get closer to several Western organizations, constituted a historical turning point which would deeply change the country in all fields. The major effects of this joining the West were numerous. Among them was the evolution of domestic politics marked by the adoption of political pluralism and the transition to a multiparty system, which ended the period of single-party rule that had been in force since 1923. Among the many new political parties founded during this period, the Democratic Party won the parliamentary elections of 1950 and ruled the country for ten years, marking the first political changeover in Turkey’s republican history. The foundations of the country’s foreign policy, until then driven by the principles of non-alignment, underwent a transformation to align with the interests of Western countries (Turkey’s participation in the Korean War in particular). The place of secularism in Turkish society, one of the fundamental principles of the official Kemalist ideology, was also evolving to make room for the expression of more conservative and religious inclinations, especially in political life. Finally, the country experienced a growing rural exodus from the 1950s onwards, which contributed to the urbanization and industrialization of the country.

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1.2.3

Military Interventions and Their Impact on Turkish Political Life

The army’s interventions in national politics, in the form of coups d’etat or memoranda, have been decisive moments or turning points in different periods of republican history. There have been several reasons for these interventions. In addition to the historical role of the military in achieving national independence after a war and in founding the Republic of Turkey, the country was ruled by the military until the late 1980s, except for the 1950s, from Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to Kenan Evren. Moreover, the military played a political role in Turkey through the National Security Council, which was founded by the Turkish Constitution of 1961. Intervening in different political contexts, the three military interventions of 1960, 1971 and 1980 contributed to the profound recomposition of Turkish political life, notably through the banning of political parties. Without minimizing the multiple effects of the 1960 and 1971 interventions, the coup d’etat of September 12, 1980 undoubtedly had the most important impact on the country’s political life, both internally and externally. It led to very strong political repression, especially in left-wing circles, aggravated the Kurdish question by the repressive policy adopted and led to a total recomposition of the party system in Turkey after all parties, trade unions and associations had been banned. For fear of the influence of the communist “threat” among Turkish youth at the time, the military intervention of 1980 also paradoxically favored—in the form of compulsory courses—the spread of religion within the Turkish education system, indirectly contributing to the strengthening of political Islam, which the military wanted to combat. Subsequently, two other military interventions played an important role in Turkish political life. The “decisions of February 28, 1997” consisted of a series of secularization measures formulated by the National Security Council and submitted to the conservative and religiously oriented DYP-Refah coalition government chaired by Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. Faced with his passive resistance to the implementation of these measures, pressure from the military authorities led the government to resign in June 1997. This intervention of the military authorities in national politics, referred to as the “February 28 process,” has been interpreted by some observers as a “postmodern coup” because of any descent of the military into the streets unlike previous coups (Bayramo˘glu 2001).

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Different from other military interventions, the attempted military coup of July 2016 continues to have major effects on contemporary Turkey. The uniqueness of this putsch lies in the fact that for the first time in the country’s history, “Islamists” were accused of having carried it out, whereas they were usually subjected to military interventions by the army. The imam Fethullah Gülen, in exile in the U.S.A., and activists among his supporters, were accused of instigating the military attempt. Long an ally of the AKP, which it had supported since it came to power in 2002, the so-called Gülen movement (stemming from a new form of Islamic brotherhood) had been distancing itself from the ruling party since the early 2010s (Yavuz and Balci 2017). The failure of the coup d’etat led to a period of increased repression in the country, with a state of emergency for two years, which was accompanied by a more pronounced anti-Western orientation in foreign policy, as evidenced in particular by the rapprochement with Russia to the detriment of EU member states and NATO allies (Aras 2019). 1.2.4

The End of the Cold War and the AKP in Power

In the historical trajectory of the Republic of Turkey, another pivotal date was marked by the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the USSR in 1991. As a neighboring state of the Soviet Union, sharing common borders to the north and east of its national territory, Turkey was more profoundly affected than the other countries of the Western bloc by this major change in the international order that was the dismantling of the Eastern bloc. The consequences of the end of the Cold War were numerous for Turkey, among them a weakening of the security risk in the East, which has allowed Turkey to act more freely, an opening of new opportunities in the Turkish world (Caucasus, Central Asia) and a possible empowerment of foreign policy that is no longer dependent on a faithful alignment to the West in terms of military alliances (Monceau 2021; Sayarı 2000). Finally, the coming to power of the AKP in 2002 can also be seen as an important turning point in Turkey’s republican history. In November 2002, with its clear victory in the parliamentary elections (36% of the vote) and a very large majority in Parliament, the AKP is the first party of Islamic political origin—even though it defines itself as a conservative democrat—to take over the leadership of the country with such a result.

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Since 2002, and until 2023, the AKP has won every election in Turkey— presidential, parliamentary and municipal (except Ankara and Istanbul in 2019), and referendums—ushering in a period of unprecedented political stability for the country after decades of government instability. The fact that the AKP has remained in power for more than 20 years has profoundly changed Turkey politically, diplomatically, economically and socially.

1.3

Structure and Contents of the Book

The edited volume has been written by academics who specialize in Turkish studies in several fields such as political science, economics or international relations. This book follows an earlier one (Turkey, Russia and Iran in the Middle East. Establishing a New Regional Order) which was published by Palgrave in 2021, co-edited by the same two editors. The volume is divided in six chapters which aim to address the main areas of the evolution of the Turkish Republic since 1923, from politics and citizenship to relations with Europe including the economy, the relationship between religion and state, minority issues (in particular the Kurdish issue) and foreign policy. Özlem Kaygusuz focuses on Turkish republicanism which introduced a secular and ideally egalitarian notion of political community and the principle of popular sovereignty as the building blocks of the new state. Her chapter provides an alternative reading of Turkey’s political history with a discussion around the failures and the achievements of modern Turkish citizenship up to 2023. As a final point, it addresses the challenges that the recent authoritarian rule has posed to Turkey’s century-old institution of republican citizenship. Ümit Akçay analyzes Turkey’s economy over the past century from a critical political economy perspective, focusing on its integration into the global economy and its domestic socio-political transformations. It divides the century into four sub-periods. The first sub-period from 1923 to 1960 was characterized by the state-building efforts to establish Western-style capitalism. The second sub-period from 1960 to 1980 was dominated by the import substitution industrialization strategy within the framework of economic planning. The third sub-period from 1980 to 2001 was marked by economic liberalization, a transition from import substitution to export-led industrialization, and authoritarian politics introduced by the 1980 military coup. The final sub-period, which started in 2001, saw the rise and crisis of dependent financialization in Turkey. The author

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argues that Turkey’s economic trajectory has been shaped by the alignment between the political and economic elites and calls for a more nuanced historiography to understand the country’s political economy direction. Bayram Balci analyses the major tendencies and transformations in the relationship between religion and the state from 1923 up to 2023. His contribution insists on the relative democratization of Turkish secularism in the sense that religious liberties have increased under the AKP power but in favor of the Sunni Muslims, without enough improvement of their rights for Alevis and other groups. Evren Balta addresses Turkey’s nation-building and the Kurdish question. Her chapter analyses the different phases of the Kurdish issue in the country, showing that the first decades of the republican regime were characterized by a denial of Kurdish identity, with several episodes of tensions and violence before the World War II. The rejection of the Kurdish issue in Turkey evolved after the military coup of 1980 and the presidency of Turgut Özal in the early 1990s and led to the first reforms still limited in scope. In 2002, the coming to power of the AKP marked a new stage in the recognition of the Kurdish issue with a policy of openness and pragmatism led by Prime Minister Erdoˇgan until the end of the decade. However, the peace process engaged with the Kurdish national movement in Turkey collapsed because of the Syrian civil war which led Turkey and the main Kurdish groups in Syria to adopt diverging approaches. Ilhan Uzgel deals with Turkey’s foreign policy towards Western powers. In his chapter, he discusses the main phases and key dates as well as the main characteristics and evolution of Turkish foreign policy. This was established on an alliance with the USSR in the context of a national liberation war against the European powers but, in the context of the Cold War, Turkey gradually moved away from the Eastern bloc to become a member and key pillar of NATO, against the Soviet Union and its satellites. However, the end of the Cold War represented Turkey’s loss of geostrategic value for Western countries whose perception of threat shifted to other spheres, especially the Middle East. Twenty years after the end of the Cold War, the level of economic development has made Turkey the world’s seventeenth most powerful country. This has favored the development and implementation of a foreign policy that is perceived as more assertive and independent, and which, from the 2010s onwards, has appeared to be in opposition to its traditional allies, the EU and the

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United States. In this ever-changing context, Uzgel’s chapter attempts to present and analyze the transformations of a Turkish foreign policy that today is leading Turkey to distinguish itself as a singular country. While still a member of NATO it is nevertheless developing a strategic partnership with Putin’s Russia, that is not without ambiguities and regular tensions. Concerning the important Turkish-European relations, Nicolas Monceau analyzes them with a particular insistence on their ambiguity. In his chapter, he traces the long and close historical relations between Ottoman and republican Turkey and Europe, characterized by their ambivalence, between alliances and closeness to the point of representing a model of inspiration with universal scope on the one hand, and on the other, oppositions and confrontations over the centuries until the national independence acquired in 1922 at the end of a war against the European powers. After World War II, Europe and republican Turkey came closer together in the context of European construction and developed relations in a variety of political, economic, commercial and military fields. The chapter then presents the different stages of the rapprochement between Turkey and the European Union, from the 1963 Association Agreement to the opening of official accession negotiations in 2005. Finally, it highlights the main issues and debates of the accession process as well as the difficulties and obstacles encountered by the latter. In this context, it analyses the EU-Turkey partnership, launched in the context of the migration crisis of the 2010s, as a new indicator of the ambivalence of relations between the two partners, and presents the numerous debates raised in recent years within the EU on the future of relations with Turkey.

References Aras, Bülent. 2019. The Crisis and Change in Turkish Foreign Policy After July 15. Alternatives 44 (1): 6–18. Ataman, Mühittin. 2002. Özal Leadership and Restructuring of Turkish Ethnic Policy in the 1980s. Middle Eastern Studies 38 (4): 123–142. Aydin, Habib. 2022. Neo-Ottomanism Revisited: An Evaluation of Ahmet Davuto˘glu’s Failed Foreign Policy. Israel Journal of Foreign Policy 16 (1): 99–109. Baldwin-Edwards, Martin. 2007. Migration Between Greece and Turkey: From the ‘Exchange of Populations’ to the Non-recognition of Borders. Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe 9 (3): 115–122.

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Bayramo˘glu, Ali. 2001. 28 Subat. Bir mudahalenin güncesi. Istanbul: Birey Yayıncılık. Clayer, Nathalie. 2004. L’Autorité religieuse dans l’islam ottoman sous le contrôle de l’État? Archives des sciences sociales des religions (125): 45–62. Karpat, Kemal H., ed. 2000. Ottoman Past and Today’s Turkey. Leiden: Brill. Mango, Andrew. 2002. Atatürk. The Biography of the Founder of Modern Turkey. New York: Overlook Press. Monceau, Nicolas. 2021. Relations Between Turkey and Russia: Between Strategic Partnerships and Regional Rivalries. In Turkey, Russia and Iran in the Middle East. Establishing a New Regional Order, ed. Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau, 167–195. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Orhan, Mehmet. 2012. Kurdish Rebellions and Conflict Groups in Turkey During the 1920s and 1930s. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs 32 (3): 339–358. Sayarı, Sabri. 2000. Turkish Foreign Policy in the Post-Cold War Era: The Challenges of Multi-regionalism. Journal of International Affairs 54 (1): 169–182. Walker, Joshua. 2009. Turkey’s Imperial Legacy: Understanding Contemporary Turkey Through Its Ottoman Past. In The Nation in the Global Era. Conflict and Transformation, ed. Jerry Harris, 384–398. Leiden: Brill. Yavuz, Hakan. 2020. Nostalgia for the Empire: The Politics of Neo-Ottomanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yavuz, Hakan, and Bayram Balci. 2017. Turkey’s July 15th Coup: What Happened and Why. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

CHAPTER 2

Belonging to a Republic or Something Else: An Assessment of the Evolution and Challenges to Modern Citizenship in Contemporary Turkey

Özlem Kaygusuz

2.1

Introduction

As the Turkish Republic is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its establishment, not only the democratic values and institutions but also the very foundations of republican rule, especially the institution and practice of citizenship, have been severely damaged in Turkey. Obviously, the reasons for the recent radical deterioration in Turkey’s flawed democracy are multidimensional and have their roots in the extensive socioeconomic and political transformations that the country has experienced since the early 2000s. However, the authoritarian drive of the ruling party has

Ö. Kaygusuz (B) Faculty of Political Sciences, Department of International Relations, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_2

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gained pace, has become more deliberate especially since 2010 and has passed through several turning points such as the Gezi uprisings and the intensifying power struggle within the ruling bloc, rising political violence and state oppression in the aftermath of (renewed) 2015 general elections and finally the coup attempt by a Gülenist sect in the army which moved Turkey to emergency rule in 2016. After each of these turning points, not only have the democratic/civic institutions and practices increasingly broken down but deepening authoritarianism has turned Turkey into an exceptional state where all constitutional control mechanisms have been gradually eroded and ultimately political power has been left almost completely unchecked. However, of all the traumatic political developments in the period between 2010 and 2022, one should pay greater attention to the shattering effects of the regime change that is the passage to a sui generis model of presidential rule in 2018.1 The new model is characterized by disempowered legislation, extreme centralization of the executive and severely weakened judicial independence and rule of law principles to a degree that was never seen before in Turkey. The last five years’ experience of a presidential system has brought irrevocable political/institutional degeneration which has gone well beyond a regime change. Rather, the current political situation in Turkey should be defined as a deconstitutionalization of the state since this best explains deeply rooted, essential and persistent deregulations that have taken place in the very foundations of the state (Acar 2016; Kabo˘glu 2017; Gözler 2016). As the judiciary has been reduced to a partner of this regime of civil tutelage since 2018, the constitutional establishment of the state has begun to be dismantled, with no domestic and/or international constitutional control mechanism with either the capability or the willingness to stop this (Yılmaz 2020; Kaygusuz and Aydın 2020). While the current AKP rule has dragged Turkey into a severe political crisis which is also characterized by an unprecedented erosion of citizenship rights and fundamental freedoms, one of the most damaged features of the state is its republican quality, i.e., its constitutional system of people’s rule based on civic participation and representation. The modern Turkish state was established as a republic in 1923 which was the culmination of centuries-long constitutionalization efforts by the modernizing Ottoman elites. However as briefly analysed below, after prolonged years of wars and political decay, the founders of the Republic attempted to build a new political community which would replace the religious ties

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and the imperial identity of the Ottoman Millets (the religiously differentiated peoples living as different citizenship groups within the empire) with a new secular, national and unitary political allegiance. The new republican regime also distanced itself from its imperial predecessor in order to be recognized as a new and legitimate member of the European system of nation-states. This paper argues that basically the current AKP regime has an uncomfortable relationship with this achievement of the republican modernizing elites, i.e. their relative but still considerable success in building a new ethos and the institution of equal and participatory citizenship. Turkish republicanism abolished the centuries-old imperial notion of political community that is the Umma, the community of the Sultan’s Muslim subjects, and introduced both a secular and ideally egalitarian notion of political community as well as the principle of popular sovereignty as the building blocks of the new state. Space does not allow a comprehensive analysis of the current ruling elite’s anti-republican tenet and the anomalies it has caused in the republican qualities of Turkey’s state/society ensemble. In this respect, by following a specific theme, that is the evolution of modern citizenship, this chapter aims to provide an alternative reading of Turkey’s political history. It will present an assessment of the evolution of Turkey’s politics since 1923 with a discussion built around the failures and the achievements of modern Turkish citizenship and then will focus on the challenges that the recent authoritarian rule has posed to Turkey’s century-old institution of republican citizenship. Therefore, after a compact discussion on the origins, features and deficiencies of modern Turkish citizenship, the analysis will be wrapped up with a brief analysis of the effects of the recent AKP rule on Turkey’s conception of republican citizenship. The argument is that successive AKP governments have failed to remove the ethnic bias in Turkish citizenship in parallel to their failure in solving the Kurdish problem. By severely restricting the use of citizenship rights and fundamental freedoms and by reducing citizenship practices to mere partisanship, Turkey’s current government has practically ruled out the two indispensable elements of republican rule: participatory citizenship and qualified representation as mechanisms of popular sovereignty. In other words, the recent authoritarian drive has turned civic participation into a plebiscitary mechanism for the endorsement of a single person rule.2 The analysis will show that after two decades of AKP rule, Turkish citizenship can be characterized as a plebiscitary authoritarian type of membership rather than a passive

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democratic one as discussed in the related literature since the 1990s.3 It is very questionable, however, that the republican ethos of belonging to a political community of rights and duties could have totally evaporated despite all the attempts to replace it with an idea of belonging to a community of belief and obedience.

2.2 Citizenship as Modernization: Two Models of Nationhood and the Turkish Experience Before going into the details of the above argument, it is necessary to place the origins and evolution of Turkish citizenship within a conceptual framework of citizenship as modernization because most of the pressing problems with regard to Turkish citizenship are not problems specific to Turkey, but they are basically related to the controversies of modernization in general.4 Although modern citizenship is a status given by the state and implies being a member of a state, it inevitably entails a cultural belonging, i.e., belonging to an ethnic, religious, linguistic and/ or regional community which enables a citizen to feel identified, having fully adopted a (national) culture (Turner 1994: 158–160). Modern citizenship emerged first as a civic-territorial notion, therefore as an inclusive concept, but this originally emancipatory idea was circumscribed by exclusive nationality laws throughout the nineteenth-century thought and politics (Stolcke 1997: 63). These requirements gradually gained an ethnic-genealogical character, even in France where citizenship depended primarily on territory and commitment to political integrity. Furthermore and historically, the strands of republicanism (the notions of popular sovereignty and participation) and nationalism ran together in modernizing European societies throughout the nineteenth-century. As Habermas states remarkably, without this cultural interpretation of political membership rights, the European state would hardly have established a new basis of social integration. Through the legal institution and implementation of egalitarian citizenship, the nation-state not only provided democratic legitimization, but also created a new level of integration through widespread participation (Habermas 1996: 289). Historically, two models of citizenship appeared in Europe, the civicterritorial and the ethnic-genealogical models, parallel to the emergence of two types of nationhood. In the civic-territorial model the nation is conceived primarily in relation to the institutional and territorial frame

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of the state. It is political unity and not shared culture that constitutes the nation and, in principle, all members of the nation are equally bound by the same laws and institutions of the patria (Brubaker 1990: 379; Smith 1991: 100). This universalistic and secular conception of citizenship emerged with the French Revolution, and the main historical process creating the political community of citizens was the bureaucratic incorporation of vast territories, their ethnies and classes by a dominant lateral ethnie parallel with the regime change. Therefore, the French model proposes a state-sponsored national identity which is generated through the military, fiscal, judicial, and administrative activities of the modernizing bureaucratic state (Smith 1991: 101–102). There is however, a paradoxical aspect in this model. Political unity is not just a starting point but also an objective and a fundamental value and it is ideally expressed in struggles for cultural unity (Brubaker 1990: 317–321). In other words, political inclusion is conditioned by the cultural assimilation of the ethnic, religious, sectional and other kinds of differences within a delimited territory.5 Therefore, the French model is marked at least by intolerance and at worst by oppression of cultural pluralism. In political rhetoric this model always claims openness to all who share common the political objectives. However, the commitment to political unity is conditioned by the abandonment of the original cultural allegiances as they are viewed as divisive elements. The equation of the ideal political community with the cultural community, indeed with the culture of the dominant ethnic group, undermined the public, open, and shared character of citizenship. In contrast to the French model, where the state was formed long before the formation of a homogenous nation, the ethnic-genealogical type is known as the German model and it is marked by the emergence of the nation before the state. Here, membership of a particular political community is expressed not in political unity but in cultural and ethnic authenticity since that authentic cultural identity, a distinct Volksgeist emerges long before the organization of the state (Brubaker 1990: 317–322). One should emphasize the fact that every conception of citizenship contains ethnic-cultural and civic-political elements in varying degrees, and the balance between them again displays great variety in accordance with the modernization route that the society followed (Smith 1991: 12–13). What is more, despite one of these elements being prominent, the other may become more influential and a particular citizenship model may oscillate between these conceptions. The next part will discuss

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the root causes of the controversies and the oscillations in Turkish experience which claimed to be an integrative rather than an exclusionary model of membership.

2.3 Turkish Citizenship: Civic-Territorial or Ethnic-Genealogical Critiques of modern citizenship appeared during the late 1980s and early 1990s under the influence of rising identity politics, accelerated flows of cultural globalization and increasing demands made by immigrants, ethnic and religious groups, women and black people in most of the Western democracies. Beginning in the mid-1990s, a new interest in citizenship also emerged in Turkey and the evolution of its modern citizenship has been studied extensively through the use of different analytical instruments such as successive Turkish constitutions and citizenship laws, the content of the education system, cultural policies and identity politics, immigration and settlement policies, and the effects of the secularist ideology and the military coups on citizenship (Kadıo˘glu 1996; Tanör ˙ 1996; Ünsal 1998; Üstel 2002; Kiri¸sçi 2000; Içduygu and Kaygusuz 2004). In most of these studies, Turkish citizenship has been described as a civic-territorial, secular and republican form of membership mostly in compliance with the French model. It is commonly argued that Turkish citizenship almost perfectly reflects the achievements as well as the failures of this model. On the other hand, the debate of the 1990s also made it clear that as early as the mid-1920s, an ethno-cultural understanding of Turkishness, which was formulated as being ethnically Turk, sectionally Sunni and secular, appeared as an uncodified conception of proper citizen (makbul vatanda¸s) and this formulation has never disappeared in official state policies since that time. What then, was the essence of citizenship in Turkey originally? To explore the essence of modern Turkish citizenship—both as a legal status and as a practice—it is necessary to analyse it by focusing on the modernization route that the founders of the Republic designed in the early formative years of the Republic. The Turkish Republic was established after long years of political decline and the territorial dissolution of an empire, therefore political and territorial integrity appeared as the two fundamental objectives and the supreme values that would supervise state policies in all areas of socio-political life. It was even before the establishment of the Republic that the territorial, national and political boundaries

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of Turkish citizenship were drawn, mainly through wartime agreements and treaties—the Lausanne Treaty was the primary one—entailing an early politics of citizenship. In these early steps there was a clear objective to create a new and integrated community inside which was defined initially ˙ on the basis of religion (Içduygu and Kaygusuz 2004). The main feature of the French model, which is the supreme objective of political unity rather than cultural authenticity, was prioritized as the basis of the new community inside in the minds, discourses and policies of the founders of the Republic. The first constitution of the new state which granted Turkish nationality to all residents of the Republic irrespective of race or religion reflected this understanding (Tanör 1996; Kiri¸sçi 2000). The 1924 Constitution made an explicit reference to the equality of the people of Turkey regardless of religion and race. Similarly, the nationality law which was accepted in 1928 was based on jus sanguinis like its Ottoman predecessor but was also complemented by a territorial understanding. There was a clear desire that Turkish citizenship should be extended to as many people as possible and it should be opened to non-Turkish Muslim peoples living within the new borders (Aybay 1982).6 Here, one can observe another basic characteristic of the civic-territorial conception, that is to say, the principle of the extension of citizenship with a universalistic and unitary political perspective. On the other hand, however, a close reading of the early official texts and regulations of the period shows that there were also traces of an ethicist logic in the very definition of Turkishness. As early as the mid-1920s indeed, the criteria for Turkish citizenship and for the ideal political community inside began to oscillate between civic and ethnic definitions (Ye˘gen 2004: 54–58). While during the early, formative years the pendulum was more toward the civic end, the delicate balance between the civic and ethnic elements was disrupted very quickly. The core controversy of the French conception, that is the conditioning of political inclusion by cultural assimilation, crystallized towards the end of the 1920s.7 The Kurdish Sheikh Said revolt in 1925 and the Menemen incident in 1930 changed the political climate and the mindset of the ruling elite to the extent that ethnic and religious differences came to be seen as significant threats against the unity of the state. After these incidents, demands for ethnic, religious and sectarian pluralism were oppressed rigorously and a period of political repression began which was marked by increasing criminalization of the opposition and stigmatization of all kinds

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of criticisms against the regime. After the Sheikh Said Rebellion, there was no longer any reference to peoples of Turkey and all citizens were expected to adopt Turkish identity, particularly the Turkish language.8 The point is that what had been seen in France throughout the nineteenth century, i.e., the striving for cultural and linguistic homogeneity as the foundation of political unity was experienced in the young Turkish Republic in a similar vein, albeit compressed into a few decades. Especially between the years 1929 and 1938, the ethno-cultural dimension became prominent and a process of Turkification began through assimilatory practices, addressing not only the Kurds but also religious minorities such as Greek Orthodox people, Armenians, Jews, Circassians, and some other ethnic and religious groups (Aktar 1996; Yıldız 2001). The period of single-party rule between 1923 and 1946 witnessed great efforts to establish a perfectly homogenous community inside and therefore the politics of citizenship increasingly gained an essentialist/exclusionist character akin to the German model. The republican ideology of six arrows which was declared as the official ideology of the state during the 1931 Congress of the Republican People’s Party formulated Turkish nationalism as an essential element for the membership of the political community inside. The establishment of the Turkish Language Society, the Turkish History Society, and the People’s Houses during the early 1930s provided a serious impetus for the promotion of the ideal citizen who primarily belonged to the Turkish nation rather than to the state.9 Inevitably, the rise of fascism in Europe and the wartime conditions were important factors that seriously influenced the minds and attitudes of the intellectuals, the bureaucrats and the politicians of the time. On the other hand, religion continued to be a part of the definition of the nation. The Law of Settlement, which was adopted in 1934, provided refugee and immigrant status for Muslim Bosnians, Albanians, Circassians, and Tatars but avoided allowing the settlement of Christian Orthodox Gagauz Turks and Shia Azeris (Kiri¸sçi 2000). Moreover, this law was used as a legal instrument for the reorganization of the demographic composition of Anatolia along ethnic lines and for the Turkification of all non-Muslim and Muslim elements, mostly the Kurds (Ye˘gen 2004: 57). As a result, there were simultaneously two logics being applied, one discriminatory and one assimilatory and they both directed state policies for many years. The assimilatory policies, especially those of linguistic unity, relegated the Kurds to a status of alien citizens (Varol 2018) and prepared the ground

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for Turkey’s still unresolved Kurdish Question as discussed in more detail in Evren Balta’s chapter. This existentialist paradigm of the single party rule, that is the identification between the state and the nation as the vital condition for survival, did not disappear after the passage to multi-party politics in 1946 and marked the Cold War years as well. For years, as the main ground for the justification of the military’s interventions in civil politics, this one state one nation paradigm brought great violations of human rights especially during the periods of military rule which severely damaged and indeed inhibited the development of real democracy in Turkey. The 1961 Constitution which was accepted after the 1960 coup, known as the most emancipatory of Turkish political history, also brought a more authentic idea of political citizenship and this amendment was further protected in the 1982 Constitution. However, both constitutions had severe inconsistencies regarding definitions of the state and its citizens (Ye˘gen 2004: 61–62). During the late 1990s and early 2000s, strong Kurdish resistance and the EU membership negotiations empowered the searches for a new, more egalitarian understanding of constitutional citizenship and paved the way for AKP’s openings toward the Kurds. However, as will be discussed in the final part, all efforts at democratization were reversed radically after 2013. The oppressive policies of the ultra-nationalist power coalition, which was formed after the 2015 elections and is still in power, have made any attempt to find a democratic solution to the Kurdish Question simply impossible. Today, an essentialist notion of citizenship with its always present ethno-culturalist traces continues to exacerbate the Kurdish Question and is seriously disrupting the development of a pluralistic political culture and democracy in Turkey. The indivisibility of the Turkish nation with the state as the major pillar of modernization could not be replaced with a genuinely egalitarian, pluralistic and democratic notion of modernization within the first century of the Turkish Republic.

2.4

Citizenship as a Political Mode of Integration: Two Modalities and Turkish Republicanism

As a status and a practice, modern citizenship refers to a political mode of integration which comprises a body of institutions and a corresponding system of values, mores and modes of behavior that holds a society

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together. This aspect of modern citizenship is related to the vision, the range of political options, and the possibilities of political regeneration in a given society (Shills 1963: 21; Walzer 1989: 211). The proper functioning of a particular mode of integration socializes the heterogenous peoples of a delimited territory into an integrated community sharing a new common political vision and turns them into citizens who have the capability to act. It is through popular sovereignty and participation that citizens own their new identities and take their place in a new political universe. Historically, two modes of integration emerged in Europe, the liberal and the republican modes of integration which differed according to their pre-modern features and the particular modernization trajectories of each European society. The point is that the basic character of a particular mode of integration was born from a unique history, formulated by an elite coalition as a result of a peculiar combination of social demands and state structures and then it was made use of by particular groups (Schnapper 1998: 41–42). The differences between liberal and republican modes are noticeable mostly in their conceptions of citizenship.

2.5

Turkish Citizenship: Liberal or Republican?

In the liberal model, citizenship is defined more in terms of rights rather than obligations. With citizenship, an individual obtains full civil, political and social rights which are entitlements making them a proper member of the political community (Oldfield 1994: 188). Freedom of speech and assembly, the right to participate in political activities, freedom from arbitrary arrest, the right to trial by a jury and all social and economic rights are formulated on this common ground. In this respect, the core value in liberal citizenship is the primacy of individuals’ natural rights and entitlements which ensure maximum equality and justice for all in society. The primary concern is not the realization of a common good but the restriction of state power so as to allow a larger space for the individual and for society free from state intervention. In civic-republicanism, on the other hand, citizenship is not simply a status but an activity or practice through which an individual becomes a proper member of the community. A republican citizen plays an active role in shaping the common good and the future of their society through political debate and participation (Miller 1995: 444). Citizenship practices such as voting, military duty, raising new generations to ensure

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future continuity, having judgments about vitally important matters and acting in accordance with them, are all public services which bind citizens to each other and to the faith of the republic (Oldfield 1990: 153; 190– 192). The problem is that the emphasis on the common good provides it with a status beyond politics and makes it a moral imperative. When it is moralized, the defence of the common good becomes an authorized practice for every individual and participation may lose its significance as a way of political re-examination of it. Here, republicanism moves away from its ideal of reaching a compromised common good and runs a serious risk of authoritarianism, monism and coercive consensualism (Oldfield 1990: 162). The above details are helpful to understand the achievements, the failures and the controversies of the Turkish modernization, especially in terms of its objective of creating the new citizen. As stated above, Turkish modernization was much older than the establishment of the Republic and there had been a long history of constitutionalization and bureaucratic development as well as one concerning the institutionalization of the modern infrastructural systems of the military, education, administration, transportation etc. since the late eighteenth century. However, the Ottoman state was a constitutional monarchy and Ottoman citizens were the subjects of the Sultan. The abolition of the sultanate was a political revolution that was just a beginning for the radical changes that would take place in state/society relations in the coming decades. The promulgation of the Republic and the sovereignty located in the people unfolded a new political universe within which the peoples of Anatolia gained new entitlements as well as a new public/political identity. A wide range of radical reforms, which aimed to modernize the society within a short period of time, brought brand new values such as equality before law, a common destiny determined by citizens’ participation, citizenship duties, individual autonomy, women’s rights, a public life free from arbitrariness and the oppression of a single ruler and the rule of law, all characterized the republican ideology that was supposed to bind the population to the new state. A new mode of integration was born at this critical historical moment which was nothing but a revolution from above in the classical sense of the term. In a nutshell, Turkish citizenship as formulated and imposed by the founding elites during the early formative years, especially between 1923 and 1935, was born as a republican identity par excellence (Üstel 2002).

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Like the classical civic-republican formulation, the Turkish conception of republican citizenship bound popular sovereignty tightly to the ideal of political integrity which was not just an objective that could be obtained once and for all as stated above. Rather, under the shadow of the Sevres Treaty which divided Anatolia along ethnic lines, the founders of the new state embraced it as a supreme political principle that should be constantly defended, not only against external enemies but also against all kinds of internal resistances and criticisms.10 From that time onwards, it became a founding principle and an inalienable value which categorically predominates over other qualities of the new mode of integration, particularly the principles of equality before law and civic participation. There have been two consequences of this historically unique experience: First, an idea of ‘the state is the first’ has dominated and has framed state/society relations. Let alone acknowledging any sense of individual’s natural rights and liberties, Turkish republicanism did not even recognize the citizens’ right to participate in the formation of the common good in their own will. Citizens’ participation was valued and expected only on the condition that it would serve for the protection of an already defined common good (Ünsal 1998). In this respect, modern citizenship was established as an institution which was expected to empower the state rather than the people. This was true especially in the early years of the Republic. As the founding elite forced a kind of coercive consensualism onto the modernizing reforms, citizenship moved away from the ideal of popular sovereignty and functioned as an instrument for the imposition of a single understanding of modernization on society. It served as a ground for the forced identification of particular needs, interests, identities and loyalties with a common good and with a centrally defined supreme political identity (Ünsal 1998; Üstel 2002; Kasaba 2006; Gülalp 2006). Secondly, parallel to the above-mentioned characteristics, Turkish citizenship was born as a communally-based identity with a strong emphasis on duties rather than rights. Again, this was an original characteristic of the French civic republican model and it was adopted enthusiastically by the founding elites. In several texts of the period such as the political declarations of the Republican Peoples Party, parliamentary proceedings, legal and political arrangements and policy papers, a discourse of the proper citizen which had constant references not only to ethnic Turkishness, but also to citizens’ public responsibilities such as the defence of modernizing reforms, raising future generations in line with RPP’s six arrows and completing sacred public duties emerged. In this respect,

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single party rule left a legacy of proper citizenship which was equated with the perfect accomplishment of public duties, as the only way for an individual to gain autonomy and respect in society (Üstel 2002). These early controversies of modern citizenship constituted one of the defining characteristics of Turkish politics that would have strong repercussions in the following decades. Legitimate political activity is that which perfectly serves in favour of the political integrity of the state rather than for the free pursuit of individual and/or communitarian interests (Kasaba 1997; Ünsal 1998; Üstel 2002). Throughout these early formative years, this duty-based citizenship was bolstered with a sense of patriotism which together tied the citizens to new values, ideals, and goals almost like a civil religion and in time they became the main pillars of an integrated, but non-pluralistic public sphere in Turkey. Political participation was reduced to the promotion of an already defined common good which was rarely open to political re-examination and opposition. In sum, political integrity as an ever-enduring objective of the state-sponsored modernization has not only been constitutive of Turkish national identity, but also the main element which determines the civicpolitical content of citizenship throughout the multi-party years. This content has successfully legitimated the restrictions on citizenship practices which have been introduced almost regularly and they have been much harder on the minorities, especially on the Kurds. Furthermore, during and after the military interventions in civil politics, the Turkish military elite could properly legitimize their role and justify their suprapolitical status by arguing that the protection of the state’s political integrity is their main duty. This settled perception, that it is the military’s right to make occasional interventions, had long-term consequences not only on the nature of politics but also on the restricted character of Turkish citizenship (Cizre-Sakallıo˘glu 2008).

2.6 Democratic Versus Authoritarian Contexts: The Achievements and Failures of Turkish Modernization and the Challenges to Republican Citizenship in Contemporary Turkey The above discussion which complementarily utilizes the literatures on the French and German models of nationhood and the liberal and republican modes of integration provides us with an analytical framework to grasp the

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legacy of the foundational period which still determines the contours of political participation, of identity politics and the limits of the legitimate democratic struggles in Turkey. This last typology, which can be utilized in this discussion, originated from Bryan Turner who attempted to articulate a historically dynamic theory of citizenship (Turner 1995: 56). This part will use Turner’s typology separately, since it has the capacity to explain not only the foundational controversies of Turkish modernization, but also the transformations that have taken place in Turkish citizenship over the years, especially the transformations of the last two decades. Turner compares different histories of citizenship in Europe and suggests a two-dimensional typology and four types of citizenship: The two dimensions are passive versus active and (the supremacy of) public versus private domains. And the four contexts within which four models have evolved are revolutionary, liberal-pluralist, passive-democratic and plebiscitary-authoritarian ones. The passive-active contrast refers to whether citizenship rights grow from above or below. According to Turner, citizenship may stand in a passive relationship to the state when it is primarily an effect of state action, like in the German and English traditions. By contrast, when the citizenship conception was the consequence of long historical struggles, it arose as an active model, like in American liberalism and French republicanism, which are similarly marked by the strong rejection of the centralized power by the independent citizens (Turner 1995: 53). The second dimension is the tension between the private realm of individual/ family and the public arena of political action. In this respect, while the German and American cases represent the importance of the family, religion and individual ethical development, the French and English conceptions rest on a strong public space and the value of citizens’ participation. For Turner, these two axes provide us with a typology of citizenship which informs four different contexts and four different models developed in the Western tradition. Revolutionary citizenship is marked by an active citizenry with an emphasis on a strong public sphere. French tradition represents this model since centuries-long social struggles have resulted in a highly articulate conception of active citizenship there. Opposing this, there is plebiscitary authoritarian model with a more pervasive private sphere and a passive citizenry reflected in the German example. In this model, the failure of a bourgeois revolution and the establishment of the

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state without strong social and political struggles brought an underdeveloped public space and a passive citizenry. Especially during the fascist era, German citizenship degenerated into a plebiscitary democracy where the individual was subordinate to the sacred state, strong leaders and private moral rules. While the co-existence of a pervasive private space with an active citizenry marks the American liberal-pluralist model, the British passive-democratic system reflects a strong public space with a passive citizenry, imposed from above. In Turner’s typology the structural relationship between the public and private spheres and the active or passive citizenship are essential to understanding the relationship between totalitarianism and democracy (Turner 1995: 53–55). While revolutionary democracy may collapse into totalitarianism, plebiscitary democracy may degenerate into fascism. At first glance, Turkish citizenship seems closer again to the French conception in many respects. First of all, one of the main objectives of the early founding elites, that is the invention of a new kind of political membership, set up a strong public space and the priority of duties rather than rights. Secondly, most of the modernizing reforms of the new Turkish Republic attempted to downplay the private space of family and religion in favour of a secular public identity akin to the French conception. However, being remarkably different from the revolutionary French experience, citizenship rights were given from above and consequently political membership was reduced to passive acceptance of rights and duties in the Turkish case. In this respect, Turkish citizenship can be characterized as a state-sponsored, passive status with an exaggerated emphasis on public space. At this point the Turkish model comes closer to the British passive-democratic model where citizens have been granted rights but have not been allowed to use them to question state policies formulated and executed by the elite. Here, one should remember the fact that historically, an active citizenry has always been the product of a socio-economic formation rather than the result of top-down, elite-directed modernization. In the Turkish case, the founders of the Republic were deprived of the support of a strong bourgeois class which acted as the main pillar of the democratic revolution in most of the European examples. On the other hand, they were viewing the citizens as a community of unenlightened and immature individuals who were not expected to understand the transformations that the new regime initiated but to follow them unquestioningly. Disengaging from the centuries-old Ottoman conception of a patrimonial state was not an

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easy task for those who were raised and served in state institutions as the subjects of the Sultan for many years (Ünsal 1998; Kadıo˘glu 2013). They were extensively impressed by the French positivist philosophy and the Jacobin conception of government but could not apply them to the full since they did not have any notion of empowered citizenry nor an autonomous civil society to control the state power. Not only in the early formative years but in the following decades as well, the civil, political and social rights associated with citizenship were not obtained as a result of social struggles. On the contrary, the scope and limits of these rights were configured mainly by the state. Some groups, primarily the working classes, even dared to demand new rights and freedoms parallel to the emergence of a more institutionalized capitalist order during the 1970s, but they were not allowed to determine the contours of the welfare state. In this respect, the emancipatory dimension of modernization that is the development of a civil society, comprising organized communities functioning as the school of citizenship virtues and practices, remained structurally weak in Turkey up until the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, one should underline the fact that although it was born as a passive status, Turkish citizenship was in no way determined in a purely authoritarian manner. Turner’s typology makes clear that modern Turkish citizenship emerged out of a passive-democratic context which was marked by rights and duties defined from above, but also by the existence of legitimate and functioning representative institutions, moderately democratic constitutional frameworks, regular and free elections and by quite a strong welfare provision. All these were introduced during the republican era for the first time in Turkish political history. Over the years, these republican institutions shaped a modern public realm where the idea of belonging to a religious community of obedience was gradually replaced by a political community of citizens having rights and freedoms. In other words, as the Turkish political system evolved from the single party rule to the multiparty system, the public realm progressively became the realm of the citizens who were equipped with sufficient if not proper entitlements through which they could affect and shape political developments to a considerable extent. It is true that the causes of Turkey’s continuing problems such as fluctuating fundamental freedoms, unevenly recognized minority rights, precarious political accountability, unstable application of the rule of law principle and a weak civil society can be found rooted in the legacy of the early formative years. Furthermore, successive military interventions have consistently restricted and

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damaged citizenship rights and freedoms. However, after every interruption of democratic life by the military coups, the republican institutions, particularly citizenship, have functioned as open channels wherein the citizens could participate or oppose the shaping of the post-coup democratic order. On the other hand, one should also underline the fact that, given the structurally weak and oppressed civil society and citizenship participation, which remained limited regarding participation in elections, democratic processes have always been open to populist distortions by charismatic leaders in Turkey. All in all, on the hundredth anniversary of the Republic, Turkey has 72 years’ experience of regular and free elections which affirms a much longer democratic experience than most contemporary democracies. And after nine out of nineteen general elections that have been held since 1946, the parties or leaders who were openly supported by the military were either removed from government or were not elected at all. This is a striking indicator that the republican institutions and citizenship virtues have been successfully installed in the state/society ensemble of the Turkish Republic and that they have the potential to empower an autonomous citizenry. They have functioned quite well and have been able to shape the political outcomes since 1950 when compared to other non-Western modernization examples. In this respect one can surely argue that although citizenship rights did not grow from below, the Turkish model has never approached the plebiscitary-authoritarian model. The existence of functioning legitimate channels for democratic participation has not allowed the citizens to be submerged fully by the sacredness of the state power. At this point, before briefly examining the challenges that the last twenty years of AKP rule has posed to these relatively settled republican qualities of the Turkish state, some points about the achievements and failures of Turkey’s political modernization should be made explicit. Firstly, with the establishment of the republic, from a highly fragmented, war-torn society which had been divided along religious lines for centuries, a relatively integrated political community of citizens was created as the basis of the new state within a few decades. However, the collapse of the Ottoman imperial order deeply influenced the founding ideology of the new state which idealized political integrity in the striving for cultural homogeneity; therefore, there was no room for the development of an idea of cultural rights and/or cultural plurality. Secondly, a new sense of political belonging, that is belonging to a republic, replaced

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the centuries-old idea of belonging to a community of the Sultan’s obedient subjects. However, the statist ideology complemented by the lack of a strong bourgeoisie prevented the development of any notion of rights that could be effectively used within an organized civil society to check those in power. Thirdly, against the arbitrary rule of a single person, the republican rule was able to create a new ethos of the people’s rule and a public sphere structured by law, not only for the people but also for the rulers (Bilgin 1998). Locating sovereignty in the people was a radical break in the centuries-long understanding of the Sultan’s sovereignty and it did not remain on paper. i.e., the principle of popular sovereignty has made Turkey a flawed but still functioning democracy. And finally, although Turkey’s age-old statist political culture and the non-liberal constitutions have never promoted citizen participation, the decisive role that the voting citizens can play in shaping political outcomes, sometimes under very tough conditions, has constituted a very valuable basis for the future development of democracy in Turkey.

2.7

Citizenship and Democracy in Turkey Today

During the 1990s, the deficiencies of Turkish modernization and its citizenship model were extensively discussed and the notion of constitutional citizenship induced a lively debate on the possibilities of a multicultural democracy in Turkey (Üstel 1996; Vergin 1996). As an effect of this debate and of the increasing interactions with the EU, the law that prohibited the use of Kurdish in public was repealed and the publication of newspapers and magazines in Kurdish was allowed. This was a radical break in the decades-long claim that national homogeneity was indispensable as the basis of political integrity. However, the teaching of Kurdish in schools and Kurdish radio and television still remain prohibited (Varol 2018: 785). In the early 2000s, the EU accession process prompted a series of legal and constitutional reforms which paved the way for the adoption of a more democratic conception of the equality of differences. The 2001 constitutional amendment package repealed most of the restrictions on the use of languages prohibited by law, especially those related to the freedom of the media, freedom of expression and of the dissemination of thought. However, the laws implementing these rights allowed them to be exercised only on the condition that they would not threaten the indivisibility of the state, its territory and the nation. The EU reforms

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not only helped the democratic forces to question the power of the onestate-one nation paradigm that surfaced once again, but also unmasked the formation of a new opposition coalition which brought the extreme nationalists of the left and the right together as a new dynamic in Turkish politics in the early 2000s. After 2002, as the new actor in Turkish politics, with its liberal, nonconfrontational and inclusive rhetoric emphasizing human rights and pluralism, the AKP increased hopes for a genuinely egalitarian and pluralistic citizenship. The EU reforms and the efforts to solve the Kurdish Question continued unevenly up until the 2010s with great support from the liberals. However, as the AKP consolidated its position in power, especially after the 2011 elections, it started its own social engineering project which recalled the heavily anti-Western tradition of Turkish Islamism with an intensive religious-nationalist stance, and it reintroduced restrictions on the citizenship rights of mainly minorities. From 2011 onwards, several issues such as rising political tension in the Kurdish issue, investigations and mass trials against high officials in the military, growing involvement in the Syrian civil war and effective support for the radical Islamic organizations in the region, the increasing Islamization of public life and corruption allegations, all changed the political climate drastically. There have been two consequences of the AKP’s explicit shift toward religious-nationalist authoritarianism: firstly, after the Arab revolts, as the ruling party began to exploit the changing regional environment and started to manipulate internal security concerns, its anti-liberal and anti-democratic stance severely damaged the civic-participatory dimension of citizenship. Secondly, the AKP’s promotion of cultural homogeneity, which is defined exclusively around Muslim identity, has severely curtailed the secular feature of Turkish citizenship. Regarding the first point, the authoritarian shift was sharpened especially after the 2013 Gezi protests and it has brought an unprecedented erosion of fundamental rights and freedoms in Turkey that can only be compared with the periods of military rule (I˘gsız 2014; Somer 2016; Tansel 2018). The consolidation of the AKP’s hegemony in electoral politics and its increasing authoritarianism have carried non-electoral forms of participation, which could be called active citizenship, to the forefront of political struggles and the Gezi protests were the reflection of this trend (Kaya 2022: 607). However, these active citizenship practices created a counter effect and pushed the government to put more pressure on opposition. The E. U. accession process came to a halt and the government

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responded to growing criticisms and protests by increasing its pressure on the media, on the Kurdish opposition especially and on civil society at large. The AKP’s authoritarian drive reached its peak in 2015–2016 with the enactment of the Internal Security Law, the lifting of immunity for opposition parliamentarians and the declaration of a state of emergency after the coup attempt. Each of these junctures have constituted critical turning points in the deconstitutionalization process through which AKP rule has radically eroded the regulatory power of the rule of law and the separation of powers which are the foundational principles of republican constitutional order (Kaygusuz and Aydın 2020). In particular, since the renewed elections in 2015, the covert power coalition that the AKP has established with the ultra-nationalist NAP (Nationalist Action Party) and the Vatan Party have paved the way for unprecedented coercive practices by the executive in the name of state security. The restrictions on civil rights, especially on freedom of expression and freedom of the media have reached a point that the journalists, civil society leaders and intellectuals who exposed corruption cases were arrested one by one and they were systematically deprived of their rights to a fair hearing.11 The government has started to criminalize every attempt at opposition and civil acts of disobedience by labelling them as terrorist activities.12 After the 2015 general elections, a new wave of restrictions of citizenship rights has targeted the Kurdish political movement especially. At the time of writing, most of the Kurdish politicians and ex-parliamentarians of the PDP (pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party) including its co-chairs are still in prison and many elected Kurdish mayors have either been removed from office or put in prison. This is nothing but the de facto abolition of the fundamental civil and political rights of the Kurdish people and the ratification of their status as alien citizens. It is obvious that the AKP’s recent policies regarding the Kurdish Question will have long-term effects on Turkish politics since the relations between the Kurdish people and the state have deteriorated once again very seriously.13 In sum, throughout these recent years, national security policies have almost terminated the most fundamental citizenship rights such as the right to life, liberty, security, housing, health, fair trial, access to effective legal means and prohibition from inhuman and degrading treatment for all opposition groups. The period of emergency rule witnessed the most wide-ranging and severe restrictions of civil and political rights that were put under a civil rule in the whole of Turkish political history (Kaygusuz and Aydın 2020; Yılmaz 2020; Rubin 2017). Finally, the sui

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generis presidential regime further curtailed citizenship rights and freedoms by destroying the independent judiciary, which is the last resort for citizens to protect their rights and freedoms against the arbitrary use of state power by the executive.14 Secondly, as to the curtailment of the secular dimension of citizenship, the coup attempt of July 2016 was again a turning point. In Erdogan’s words, the attempt was ‘a Gift from God’ for the ruling party to engineer its political agenda of more deepened Islamization in all areas of public life as well as in the state institutions (Bedirhano˘glu et al. 2020: 15–16). It was after the 2011 elections that Islamization became more apparent and the AKP began to evolve into a populist authoritarian party with the objective of propagating its Islamist ideology, specifically its Sunni understanding through the Directorate of Religious Affairs. The replacement of eight years of compulsory education with a 4 + 4 + 4 system which turned the religious Imam Hatip schools into vocational secondary-level schools was a major attempt to perpetuate the AKP’s Islamist ideology and, in Erdogan’s words, to raise pious generations (Çıtak 2020; Lüküslü 2016). Already existing but radically increased numbers of Qur’an Courses, Islamic Foundations, private religious schools, charities and powerful companies in different sectors controlled by the religious orders are the mechanisms which function quite well in the AKP’s social engineering project of creating an Islamic society. Furthermore, the AKP leadership has successfully placed Islamist and conservative references, such as neo-Ottomanism, raising devout generations, being indigenous and national (yerli ve milli), into an openly anti-republican discourse which has accompanied the party’s struggle to capture the public/state institutions and to compel the citizens to accept their peculiar Islamic worldview. The point is that, the AKP’s objective of creating devout and pious generations is constructed in opposition to the early republican project of creating westernised and secular generations. This is their imposition of the proper citizen who is expected to be submissive to the party and to the leader. With these notions, the last decade of Turkish politics under the AKP rule has moved very closer to the plebiscitary-authoritarian model where citizenship rights are given from above and the individual citizen is submerged by the sacredness of the state power as well as by the unquestionable authority of the leader. Especially during the emergency rule which lasted two years between 2016 and 2018, Turkey’s flawed democracy and passive citizenship degenerated into a form of fascism due

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to the complete abandonment of the most critical citizenship rights of thousands of Turkish citizens who have been proscribed and turned into civic dead.15 Furthermore the presidential rule which has eroded all check and balance mechanisms has legally and practically undervalued citizens’ participation. Since 2018, President Erdogan’s discourses and policies conforms well to the plebiscitary authoritarian model which renders the right to vote to a mechanism for the affirmation of government’s policies. One clear example is Erdogan’s proposition to hold a referendum on the AKP’s draft bill on guaranteeing women’s right to wear a headscarf which is in fact an open violation of a democratic principle since a fundamental freedom cannot be the subject of a referendum. In sum, as Turkey’s political regime has gradually shifted to authoritarianism during the last two decades, its originally passive-democratic citizenship model has moved toward the plebiscitary authoritarianism.

2.8

Conclusion

As the Turkish Republic is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its establishment, Turkish citizenship is still some considerable way from being a genuinely egalitarian, pluralistic, active, cosmopolitan and rightsbased identity. In essence, it is still firmly associated with loyalty to the state and refers primarily to an ethno-national identity. However, as discussed above, Turkey’s century-old republican citizenship has had relative success in securing one particular aspect of modern citizenship: the ideal of citizenship as a collection of rights and freedoms and the value of civic participation. Although it could not be established to the full, this ideal has been accepted as a common political vision and it is still determining the range of political options and the possibilities of political regeneration even in Turkey’s currently flawed democracy. The Gezi protests which have surely empowered the citizens against the authoritarian tendencies of the AKP government as well as against the repressive hegemony of the state, has proved the resilience of the ethos of civic participation in Turkey. The declining electoral support of the AKP-led ruling coalition and the strong civil resistance against its agenda of authoritarian Islamization show that the republican ethos of belonging to a modern political community of rights and freedoms could not be wiped out completely despite all the efforts to replace it with a community of belief and obedience in Turkey.

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Notes 1. As several specialists of Turkish politics have agreed, this period can be characterized as a period of gradual but consistent democratic regression which reached its peak after the move to presidential rule in 2017. For different comments and conceptualizations of democratic backsliding in Turkey, see Kalaycıo˘glu 2018, Akça et al. (2014), Kaygusuz (2018), O˘guz (2016), and Somer (2016). 2. Turkey accepted a sui generis system of presidential rule with 51% of the votes in a public referendum in which was held in 2017 under the state of emergency rule following the coup attempt in 2016. The political climate had already been very strained since the 2015 general elections which ended the AKP’s one party rule. The elections were renewed because a coalition government could not be established; but there was widespread social anxiety due to the revival of violence over Kurdish issue and the successive terrorist attacks by ISIS that brought back violent state repression and widespread violations of human rights all over the country. 3. These categories will be explained in the last part. 4. The conceptual parts were based on the discussion on modern citizenship in my doctoral dissertation. See Özlem Kaygusuz (2003). 5. In the French experience, throughout the nineteenth century, the ideal of political unity was identified mainly with linguistic unity and engendered a deliberate policy of assimilation. The state could and should turn foreigners into citizens and make peasants or immigrants into Frenchmen through the assimilatory workings of school, the army and a centralized administration in every sphere of public and even private life. See Heater (1990: 58–62). 6. Soon after the War of Independence, Greece and Turkey signed an agreement on population exchange in 1923 which took religion as the primary criterion for admission. The agreement shows that the search for cultural homogeneity was the spirit of the time albeit in a complicated manner since Greek-speaking Muslims were accepted as citizens while Turkish-speaking Rums were seen as foreigners. 7. For a comprehensive discussion, see Evren Balta’s chapter in this book. 8. During the initial periods of the Turkish War of Independence, religion rather than ethnicity was the common denominator of the identity of the community inside, parallel to the continuing imperial vision of the founding elite. After these incidents, it shifted more toward ethnicity. 9. The Turkish History Society promoted an understanding of Turkish civilization as the sources of all other world civilizations and Turkish nation as an organic entity, in the sense of the German Volksgeist, having a timeless spirit, which established several Turkish states throughout history, see Üstel (2002).

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10. The Sevres Treaty was remembered in the collective memory in the form of a deep fear of disintegration and it has been a defining factor of Turkish citizenship for many years, determining its cultural and ideological boundaries. 11. Faced with extensive criticism because of the corruption allegations and some other occasions of power abuse by the upper strata of the AKP, the government prohibited access to social media outlets including the shutting down of Twitter and YouTube. These measures were deemed unconstitutional and a violation of basic civil rights, such as privacy and freedom of speech, by the Constitutional Court. The decision of the Court however, did not stop the government and they continued to take similar measures whenever they found it necessary to manipulate public perceptions. 12. One typical example was Erdogan’s reactions to the protests at the Middle East Technical University where the students protested against the cutting down of the trees on their campus for a highway project. Erdogan called these students, who were using their right to protest, terrorists and atheists. https://www.diken.com.tr/erdoganin-bitmeyen-odtu-kini/, accessed November 20, 2022. 13. The wave of violent repression in the Kurdish populated regions caused death, injury and the forced displacement of hundreds of people as well as major violations of fundamental human rights. See TMMOB (2019). 14. The referendum was held during the emergency rule. For a detailed account of human rights violations in the period 2016–17, see Human Rights Watch Reports on Turkey, https://www.hrw.org/worldreport/2017/country-chapters/turkey; https://www.hrw.org/world-rep ort/2018/country-chapters/turkey, accessed November 25, 2022. 15. One of the most striking examples of citizens as civic dead is the case of the signatories of the Academics for Peace Petition. There were around 1300 academics who signed a document criticizing the rising violence and the government’s harsh policies toward the Kurds after the end of the Solution Process of 2013–2015. They not only lost their jobs but sent before the Criminal Court; some of them were jailed pending trial and practically deprived of their most fundamental citizenship rights together with their families simply because they strongly criticized the government’s ultra nationalist policies in Kurdish Question. Most of them were forced to escape from the country by using very dangerous and illegal methods without their passports. Those who stayed have been punished in several ways and they are still struggling to get back their rights.

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References Acar, Ali. 2016. De-constitutionalism in Turkey? VerfBlog, 19 May. http://verfas sungsblog.de/de-constitutionalism-in-turkey/, accessed December 22, 2022. ˙ A. Bekmen, and B.A. Özden, eds. 2014. Turkey Reframed: Constituting Akça, I., Neoliberal Hegemony. London: Pluto Press. ˙ Aktar, A. 1996. Cumhuriyetin Ilk Yıllarında Uygulanan Türkle¸stirme Politikaları. Tarih ve Toplum 156 (11): 4–18. Aybay, Rona. 1982. Yurtta¸slık Hukuku. Ankara: AÜSBF Yayınları. Bedirhano˘glu, Pınar, Ç. Dölek, F. Hülagü, and Ö. Kaygusuz. 2020. Introduction: Putting the AKP-Led State Transformation in Its Neoliberal Historical Context. In Turkey’s New State in the Making: Transformations in Legality, Economy and Coercion, ed. P. Bedirhano˘glu, Ç. Dölek, F. Hülagü, and Ö. Kaygusuz, 1–12. London: Zed Books. Bilgin, Nuri. 1998. Cumhuriyet Fikri ve Yurtta¸s Kimli˘gi. In 75 Yılda Tebaa’dan ˙ Yurtta¸s’a Do˘gru, ed. A. Ünsal, 139–150. Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı. Brubaker, William Rogers. 1990. Immigration, Citizenship and the Nation-State in France and Germany: A Comparative Historical Analysis. International Sociology 5 (4): 379–407. Çıtak, Zana. 2020. The Transformation of the State–Religion Relationship Under the AKP: The Case of the Diyanet. In Turkey’s New State in the Making: Transformations in Legality, Economy and Coercion, ed. P. Bedirhano˘glu, Ç. Dölek, F. Hülagü, and Ö. Kaygusuz, 167–187. London: Zed Books. Cizre-Sakallıo˘glu, Ümit. 2008. Ideology Context and Interest: The Turkish Military. In The Cambridge History of Turkey, Volume 4: Turkey in the Modern World, ed. Re¸sat Kasaba, 301–332. New York: Cambridge University Press. Gözler, Kemal. 2016. 1982 Anayasası Hala Yürürlükte mi? Anayasasızla¸stırma Üzerine Bir Deneme. http://www.anayasa.gen.tr/anayasasizlastirma-v4.pdf, accessed November 20, 2022. Gülalp, Haldun. 2006. Introduction. In Citizenship and Ethnic Conflict, ed. H. Gülalp. London: Routledge. Habermas, Jürgen. 1996. The European Nation-State. Its Achievements and Its Limits: On the Post and Future of Sovereignty and Citizenship. In Mapping the Nation, ed. Gopal Balakrishnan. London: Verso. Heater, Derek. 1990. Citizenship: The Civic Ideal in World History, Politics and Education. London: Longman. ˙ Içduygu, Ahmet, and Özlem Kaygusuz. 2004. The Politics of Citizenship by Drawing Borders: Foreign Policy and the Construction of National Citizenship Identity in Turkey. Middle Eastern Studies 40 (6): 26–50. I˘gsız, A. 2014. Brand Turkey and the Gezi Protests: Authoritarianism in Flux, Law and Neoliberalism. In The Making of a Protest Movement in Turkey #occupygezi, ed. U. Özkırımlı, 22–49. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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˙ Kabo˘glu, Ibrahim Ö. 2017. Yunu¸s Yazısı: Anayasa Feti¸sizmi ve Anayasasızla¸stırma ˙Ikilemi. Anayasa Hukuku Dergisi 2 (4): 7–8. Kadıo˘glu, Ay¸se. 1996. The Paradox of Turkish Nationalism and the Construction of Official Identity. Middle Eastern Studies 32 (2): 177–193. Kadıo˘glu, Ay¸se. 2013. Can We Envision Turkish Citizenship as Nonmembership? In Citizenship in a Global World: European Questions, Turkish ˙ Experiences, ed. E.F. Keyman and A. Içduygu, 105–123. Abingdon: Routledge. Kalaycıo˘glu, Ersin. 2018. Two Elections and a Political Regime in Crisis: Turkish Politics at the Crossroads. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 18 (1): 21–51. Kasaba, Re¸sat. 1997. Kemalist Certainties and Modern Ambiguities. In Rethinking Modernity and National Identity in Turkey, ed. S. Bozdo˘gan and R. Kasaba, 15–36. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. Kasaba, Re¸sat. 2006. Introduction. In The Cambridge History of Turkey, Volume 4: Turkey in the Modern World. New York: Cambridge University Press. Kaya, Ayhan. 2022. Citizenship and Protest Behaviour in Turkey. In The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics, ed. Güne¸s Murat Tezcür, 607–626. New York: Oxford University Press. Kaygusuz, Özlem. 2003. Foreign Policy and the Construction of Modern Citizenship During the National Struggle Period. Unpublished Dissertation, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. Kaygusuz, Özlem. 2018. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Regime Security in Turkey: Moving to an “Exceptional State” Under AKP. South European Society and Politics 23 (2): 281–302. Kaygusuz, Özlem, and O. Aydın. 2020. Deconstitutionalization and the State Crisis in Turkey: The Role of the Turkish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights. In Turkey’s New State in the Making: Transformations in Legality, Economy and Coercion, ed. P. Bedirhano˘glu, Ç. Dölek, F. Hülagü, and Ö. Kaygusuz, 41–63. London: Zed Books. Kiri¸sçi, Kemal. 2000. Disaggregating Turkish Citizenship and Immigration Practices. Middle Eastern Studies 36 (3): 1–22. Lüküslü, Demet. 2016. Creating a Pious Generation: Youth and Education Policies of the AKP Turkey. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (4): 637–649. Miller, David. 1995. Citizenship and Pluralism. Political Studies XLII: 432–450. O˘guz, Sebnem. ¸ 2016. Yeni Türkiye’nin Siyasal Rejimi. In Yeni Türkiye? Kapitalizm, Devlet, Sınıflar, ed. Tolga Tören and Melahat Kutun, 81–127. ˙ Istanbul: SAV. Oldfield, Adrian. 1990. Citizenship and Community: Civic Republicanism and the Modern World. London: Routledge.

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Oldfield, Adrian. 1994. Citizenship: An Unnatural Practice? In Citizenship: Critical Concepts, ed. Bryan S. Turner and Peter Hamilton. London: Routledge. Rubin, Aviad. 2017. Turkish Citizenship: The Perils of Hegemonic Tendencies and The ‘Shadow of Securitization’. Citizenship Studies 21 (8): 872–888. Schnapper, Dominique. 1998. Community of Citizens: On the Modern Idea of Nationality. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers. Shills, Edward. 1963. On the Comparative Study of the New States. In Old Societies and New States, ed. Clifford Geertz. New York: The Free Press. Smith, Anthony. 1991. National Identity. London: Penguin Books. Somer, M. 2016. Understanding Turkey’s Democratic Breakdown: Old vs. New and Indigenous vs. Global Authoritarianism. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (4): 1–23. Stolcke, Verena. 1997. The Nature of Nationality. In Citizenship and Exclusion, ed. Veit Bader. London: Macmillan. ˙ Tanör, Bülent. 1996. Osmanlı-Türk Anayasal Geli¸smeleri: 1789–1980. Istanbul: YKY Press. Tansel, C.B. 2018. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Democratic Backsliding in Turkey: Beyond the Narratives of Progress. South European Society and Politics 23 (2): 197–217. TMMOB. 2019. Yıkılan Kentler Raporu (The Report on Demolished Cities). Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects. http:// www.tmmob.org.tr/sites/default/files/tmmob_yikilan_kentler_raporu.pdf, accessed November 25, 2022. Turner, Bryan S. 1994. Post-modern Culture/Modern Citizens. In The Condition of Citizenship, ed. B. von Steenbergen. London: Sage. Turner, Bryan S. 1995. Outline of a Theory of Citizenship. In Dimension of Radical Democracy: Pluralism, Citizenship and Community, 33–62. London: Verso. Ünsal, Artun. 1998. Yurtta¸slık Zor Zanaat. In 75 Yılda Tebaa’dan Yurtta¸s’a ˙ Do˘gru, ed. A. Ünsal, 1–35. Istanbul: Tarih Vakfı. Üstel, Füsun. 1996. Anayasal vatanda¸slık, Hangi Anayasaya Vatanda¸slık? Radikal, 17 Aralık. Üstel, Füsun. 2002. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nde Resmi Yurtta¸s Profilinin Evrimi. In Modern Türkiye’de Siyasi Dü¸sünce, Milliyetçilik, ed. Tanıl Bora and Murat ˙ ˙ sim. Gültekin, 275–283. Istanbul: Ileti¸ Varol, Ozan O. 2018. Alien Citizens: Kurds and Citizenship in the Turkish Constitution. Virginia Journal of International Law 57 (3): 769–797. Vergin, Nur. 1996. Anayasal Vatanda¸slık Ne Demektir? Milliyet, 28 December. Walzer, Michael. 1989. Citizenship. In Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, ed. T. Ball and J. Farr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ye˘gen, Mesut. 2004. Citizenship and Ethnicity in Turkey. Middle Eastern Studies 40 (6): 51–66.

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Yıldız, Ahmet. 2001. Ne Mutlu Türküm Diyebilene: Türk Ulusal Kimli˘ginin ˙ ˙ sim. Etno-Seküler Sınırları. Istanbul: Ileti¸ Yılmaz, Zafer. 2020. Erdo˘gan’s Presidential Regime and Strategic Legalism: Turkish Democracy in the Twilight Zone. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 20 (2): 265–287.

CHAPTER 3

Transformations in the Turkish Economy: A Political Economy Analysis of 100 Years of the Republic of Turkey

Ümit Akçay

3.1

Introduction

The Republic of Turkey was established after the War of Independence in 1923 in succession to the Ottoman Empire. The young Republic was shaped by the socio-political tensions of a double transformation from a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society to a nation state, and from a peasant society to a modern capitalist one. This chapter provides an overall evaluation of the century-long experience of the Turkish economy from a critical political economy perspective. I argue that the trajectory of Turkey’s political economy has been shaped by both its integration into the world economy and the domestic socio-political double transformation, specifically from a traditional peasant society to an industrial

Ü. Akçay (B) Berlin School of Economics and Law, Berlin, Germany e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_3

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capitalist one. To better comprehend this great transformation, I identify four main sub-periods based on the long-term structural tendencies of Turkey’s political economy. The first period, between 1923 and 1960, was shaped by the state building efforts of the new political elite and state managers, who aimed to establish Western-type capitalism to resolve the Republic’s economic backwardness. I argue that two seemingly contradictory political economy directions, i.e., liberalism and statism, actually complemented each other in these efforts, which anchored the country’s capitalist development. That is, while the Izmir Economy Congress shaped the main trajectory of economic development in the early 1920s, the Great Depression and its ramifications generated a statist response in the 1930s. Finally, the transition to a multiparty system after the Second World War and Turkey’s integration into the Western bloc ended the policy experimentation of the late 1940s. The main characteristic of the second period, between 1960 and 1980, was an import substitution industrialization (ISI) strategy implemented within an economic planning framework. Turkey was not alone in this strategy as ISI and development planning were two common policies of the Global South in the post-1945 era. This period saw robust economic growth and the emergence of both industrial capitalists and workers, with their institutional organizations forming two major social classes in modern Turkey. Contrary to assessments based on the “strong state tradition” in Turkey (Dinler 2003), I argue that Turkey’s economic elites were influential in shaping policy options during both the formation of development planning in the early 1960s and the crisis of the ISI regime in the late 1970s. The third period, between 1980 and 2001, was shaped by economic liberalization, including the transition from ISI to export-led industrialization (ELI), which was accompanied by the authoritarian politics introduced by the 1980 military coup. During these two decades, the main challenge for policymakers was implementing neoliberal reforms, which consisted of structural adjustment programmes supported by conditional loans from the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This period ended in 2001 with one of Turkey’s most serious economic crises and the collapse of the political center in the 2002 elections. The final and still ongoing period, which started in 2001, has been marked by the rise and crisis of dependent financialization in Turkey.

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During the early 2000s, institutional reforms left unfinished from the 1980 liberalization era were completed via further steps in line with postWashington Consensus policies, such as central bank independence and independent regulatory agencies. However, 2013 was a turning point in this neoliberal model as the following period was characterized by the crisis of dependent financialization, which forced policymakers to look for alternative policy options and to create a policy space for the government to pursue its political economy goals. This quest for an alternative growth strategy, which intensified after the 2018 currency crisis, resulted in a new experimental monetary policy after 2021. The core of this experiment is the attempt to resolve the monetary policy dilemma of simultaneously reducing interest rates while preventing a currency crisis. Over the last century, the main trajectory of the Turkish economy has not changed dramatically. Throughout the twentieth century, the seemingly contradictory economic policies of liberalism and statism were implemented by both center-right and center-left political parties. The current swing of the historical pendulum indicates that policymakers are once again attempting to establish a national capitalism. This orientation is in harmony with emerging global trends, particularly since the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, and increasing regional and global geopolitical tensions.

3.2 Formation: The New Republic and Its Economy The first sub-period can be called the formation era, in which statebuilding efforts shaped the main direction of economic policies. The main goal of the founders of the Republic was to create a new capitalist nation state. This goal had two dimensions: creating a new capitalist class with Muslim and Turkish origins and establishing a new social, economic, and political order organized around the requirements of the capitalist mode of production. Regarding this new native entrepreneur class, state managers deliberately supported capitalists with Turkish and Muslim origins, particularly after the Greek-Turkish war between 1919 and 1922, which created a vacuum after Anatolia’s non-Muslim minorities were expelled during the establishment of the new Republic of Turkey. As part of the nationstate building process, they needed to be replaced by new Turkish and

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Muslim capitalists (Keyder 1987). Thus, the aim of creating a native entrepreneurial class was a component of this process from the beginning. ˙ Regarding the second dimension, state managers organized the Izmir Economic Congress during peace negotiations in Lausanne between the new Republic and Western states. The Congress discussed the new Republic’s economic trajectory with participants whose invitation was based on their sectoral interests. The Congress gave out two messages. On the one hand, Turkey’s main economic orientation would be in line with Western capitalism. On the other hand, one of its main principles would be economic independence (Toprak 2022). That is, state managers declared that the Turkish Republic would be an independent pro-Western nation state. However, two events had dramatic impacts on the Turkish economy during this first period: the Great Depression and World War II. 3.2.1

The Great Depression and the Rise of Statism

The Great Depression had dramatic consequences for the world political economy, triggering changes in many areas, including foreign trade, monetary policy, and macroeconomic management in both the Global North and South. The main impact on Turkey was the interruption of foreign trade, specifically imports. In response, Turkish policymakers initiated an industrialization plan to produce essential goods within the domestic market. This plan consisted of establishing a series of State Economic Enterprises (SEEs) and relied on their investment plans to strengthen Turkey’s domestic industrial capacity. Initially, Turkey’s industrialization trajectory in the early 1930s was shaped by reactions to this statist framework. Mustafa Seref ¸ Özkan, the Minister of Economy at the beginning of these efforts, represented the state-led industrialization ˙ s Bank (Business Bank), which was the strategy while Celal Bayar, head of I¸ first private bank established after the Republic’s formation, represented the private sector-led industrialization strategy. The First Five-Year Industrialization Plan (FFYIP), implemented between 1934 and 1938, provided the key policy framework for the first interpretation of statism, i.e. the state-led industrialization strategy. The main aim was to produce basic “consumer goods, such as textiles, sugar and food processing” and some “intermediate goods, such as paper, cement, glass, iron and steel” (Özgür and Özveren 2022). However, preparations between 1932 and 1934 were shaped by the struggles between two industrialization strategies. The first approach, led by Özkan,

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was influential at the onset of the FFYIP. The plan was prepared with technical and financial assistance from Soviet planners. By about 1932, the plan’s institutional structure was almost ready, with the establishment of two key institutional bodies for the new industrialization project: Devlet Sanayi Ofisi (State Industrial Office) and Türkiye Sanayi Kredi ˙ 1982). However, Bankası (Turkey Industry Loan Bank) (Tekeli and Ilkin the resistance of business groups to a state-led industrialization strategy intensified in 1932 during the FFYIP’s formulation phase. This led Özkan to resign from the Ministry of Economy and be replaced by Bayar (Tekeli ˙ 1982). In line with the demands of powerful business groups, and Ilkin Bayar restructured the planning framework and established Sümerbank as the flagship of the industrialization initiative to replace the State Industry ˙ 1982). Office and the Turkey Industry Loan Bank (Tekeli and Ilkin In short, statism became the policymakers’ primary response to the Great Depression, although the second approach, i.e. Bayar’s interpretation of statism, shaped the new Republic’s industrialization efforts. While the FFYIP was successfully implemented and established the main SEE structure, implementation of the Second Five-Year Industrialization Plan (SFYIP) was cancelled due to the approaching Second World War. The FFYIP was not just a technical document or initiative stemming from economic necessity. Rather, policymakers also had socio-political motivations in implementing it to legitimize the new Republic and consolidate the political elite’s power over society (Birtek 1985). Moreover, contrary to state-centered perspectives regarding the early implementation of Turkey’s industrialization plans, Arnold (2012) suggests that the statism of the 1930s and the 1940s was “an attempt to recruit, retain, and relocate industrial workers, so as to create a disciplined industrial labor force”. That is, workers’ opposition to poor working and living conditions forced state managers to expand social services via the new SEE system. To sum up, the FFYIP should not be seen as an isolated initiative; rather, it was part of a broader statist policy framework. This included protectionist foreign trade policies, nationalization of infrastructural services like water and sanitation controlled by foreign companies, and integration of the domestic market through state investment in railroads. Yet, although statism was the main policy direction during the 1930s, it was not a clearly defined, planned, and implemented project. Instead, its development was shaped by policymakers’ ad hoc responses

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and the competing strategies of different social blocs. The policymakers’ reaction to the Great Depression was thus consistent with the main trajectory of the young Republic, i.e., a double-transformation from a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society to a nation state, and from a peasant society to a modern capitalist one. 3.2.2

World War II and Turkey’s Adjustments to the Post-War Era

Although Turkey was not involved in World War II, the social and economic preparations for it shaped the political economy of the early 1940s. For instance, preparations for implementing the SFYIP in 1938 had already started in 1936, but the plan was canceled because of the approaching war. Wartime economics was challenging for the subaltern classes and minorities whereas the Turkish and Muslim bourgeoisie gained a lot from wartime inflation, shortages, and the black market. Thus, while workers’ real incomes decreased between 1939 and 1945, merchants’ and industrialists’ profits, and the incomes of large land owners increased (Boratav 1998). One of the most dramatic pieces of legislation during the war was the wealth levy of 1942, which targeted non-Muslim minorities. This effort should be seen as a continuation of the nation-building process whereby state managers deliberately aimed at creating a new bourgeoisie with Turkish and Muslim origins (Keyder 1987). The post-1945 period was an era of adjustment for many capitalist countries aiming to integrate into the new U.S.-led international political, military, and economic international order. Turkey’s political elite also remodeled its priorities according to the necessities of this new era by, for example, replacing the original post-war development plan, prepared before the end of war (called the 1946 Plan), with a new plan in 1947 (known as the 1947 Plan). While the 1946 Plan aimed to increase state investments in industry, railroads, and electrification, the 1947 Plan aimed to increase investments in agriculture, highways, and large infrastructure projects. The former plan was designed by bureaucrats who supported the state-led industrialization strategy whereas the latter plan was designed by liberal-minded experts who believed that the private sector should be the leading actor in economic development (Tekeli and ˙ 1974). Kepenek (2022) argues that the main driver of this shift was Ilkin criticisms from U.S. experts that the original plan overemphasized industrialization at the expense of agriculture. They suggested that Turkey should specialize in “labor and land-intensive agricultural production

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rather than in capital-intensive sectors” (Kepenek 2022). Following these policy changes, Turkey was included in the Marshall Plan’s aid framework while the 1947 Plan became a key sign of Turkey’s integration into the newly established U.S.-led international order. In short, the 1947 Plan was “an ex-ante determiner of the 1948–1960 period” (Günçe 1981). 1950 was a turning point for Turkish politics after the Democratic Party (DP) government took power and peacefully ended single-party rule. The early 1950s saw robust economic growth thanks to high commodity prices as a consequence of the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. Additionally, U.S. aid under the Marshall Plan facilitated agricultural mechanization and triggered socio-economic transformations in both villages and cities. The DP’s second term, however, was marked by economic slowdown and a balance of payment crisis in 1958. Despite presenting itself as a champion of liberal policies and a supporter of the free market economy, the government had to form new SEEs in the second half of the 1950s and even implemented a de facto ISI strategy to prevent a balance of payment crisis (Kepenek 2022).

3.3 Import Substitution Industrialization and Planning The second period of Turkey’s economy between 1960 and 1980 saw the introduction of a development planning framework and implementation of the ISI strategy. The latter became a prominent policy option as a result of two interrelated developments: the 1958 crisis and industrialists’ increasing demands for an indicative planning framework. On the one hand, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (later the OECD), and the U.S. government offered an aid package to Turkey (Maxfield and Nolt 1990: 72), they strongly advised introducing a planning framework to oversee government spending and investments (Aral 2003) to ensure that Turkey could repay its current debt (Kepenek and Yentürk 2001). In tandem with this pressure from foreign institutions, domestic actors were also demanding a planning framework, including liberals and social democrats centered around the journal Forum. Both intellectuals and industrialists were demanding an ISI regime. The ISI strategy resulted in a structural transformation of the country’s social classes. As a natural consequence of capitalist development, a new fraction of capital, i.e. industrial capitalists with a primarily merchant background (Alexander

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1960), emerged as one of the most powerful economic actors. Thus, the ISI strategy, and particularly the development planning framework, facilitated the conversion of merchants into industrialists (Eralp 1981). Two important developments shaped the second period. First, at the beginning of the 1960s, the resistance by powerful business groups to the disciplinary part of the proposed indicative planning framework limited its scope. Second, like other countries in the Global South, Turkey’s ISI led to a crisis at the end of the period. 3.3.1

Limits of Capitalist Planning

Turkey’s political elites, state managers, and capitalists had been familiar with the idea of planning since the 1930s, when state institutions initiated coordinated industrial investments to provide the basic needs for society in response to the Great Depression of 1929 (Hershlag 1958), as summarized in Sect. 3.2.2. However, a full-fledged development planning framework was only introduced after the 1960 military coup when Cemal Gürsel, the coup’s leader and later President of the Republic, stated that “the government is determined to support the planning activities in every possible way” (SPO 1960). Following the establishment of the State Planning Organization (SPO), planners attempted to create a coherent planning framework based on two interconnected reform proposals: reorganization of SEEs and tax reform. The former was intended to create a dynamic domestic market by restructuring all SEEs under the management of the SPO. Planners also wanted to create an efficient, productive, and even profitable SEE structure to increase competitive pressures on the private sector to improve its productivity levels (Akçay and Türel 2022). Regarding the latter proposal, restructuring of the tax system was seen as a suitable tool for planners to reorient private investments according to the development plan’s priorities while land reform was designed to increase agricultural productivity (Kaldor 1963; Üstünel 1962). Using both incentives and disincentives, the planners aimed to encourage the private sector’s investment decisions to align with the plan’s priorities, specifically a shift from the housing and construction sector to heavy industry (SPO 1963). The reform program encountered severe opposition from Turkey’s economic elites. Major business groups demanded profit guarantees from the government and saw the SEE reform proposal as threatening their

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profitability (Milor 1989; Akçay 2007). For instance, a report on the planning regime written by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI), the main organization representing Turkey’s largest industrialists, expressed its strong support for the planning framework in principle while it also demanded that the SPO provide guarantees “on [a] secure location for investments, and on fulfillment of all necessary needs for investments” ˙ 1962). The ICI argued that this would be the only way to channel (ISO ˙ 1962). Similarly, the Union of new investments into favored areas (ISO Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, Turkey’s largest business organization, criticized the reform proposals and argued that the plan should be implemented on the basis of market mechanisms; private investment decisions should not be touched; the private sector could only be oriented towards the plan’s priorities through incentives (TOBB 1962). The most pressing problem that the planners faced while formulating the first plan was to restore business confidence (Karpat 1964: 69). Although there was no openly-declared investment strike, the problem of restoring business confidence put enormous pressure on the planners (OECD 1962). According to the SPO, a decline in business confidence “not only prevents new investments, but prevents the recovering of the usual operations” (SPO 1961). Thus, at the onset of the planning period, capitalists used their structural power to water down the planners’ attempt to establish a disciplinary planning framework. As a result of the lobbying activities of large capitalists, the Supreme Planning Council decided to amend the document to meet the demands of business groups. Consequently, the planners’ two key reform proposals, namely reorganization of SEEs and tax reform, were deleted. This had two benefits for Turkey’s capitalists. First, they would not be challenged by competition from SEEs, hence there would be no direct or indirect state intervention in their investment decisions. Second, SEEs would continue to provide subsidized raw materials and intermediate goods for the private sector. The elimination of the disciplinary part of the proposed plan turned the ISI and its planning regime into a mere resource-transfer mechanism for the private sector (Akçay and Türel 2022). 3.3.2

The ISI Crisis

The crisis in Turkey’s ISI strategy that became evident between 1978 and 1980 had four dimensions. First, Turkey’s experience ended in a

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similar way to other cases with a balance of payments crisis due to its internal contradictions of a market-based ISI strategy (Nixon 1981). That is, there was no incentive structure for Turkey’s industrialists to improve their productivity, change their investment patterns, and focus on export markets (Krueger 1993). This monopolistic and uncompetitive production structure further increased Turkey’s trade deficit and dependence on capital inflows to pay its energy and import bills. Yet, contrary to neoclassical arguments, this uncompetitive market structure had not emerged because of interventions by statist state managers or planners. Rather, powerful business groups who preferred to exploit their unchallenged domestic market opportunities had watered down the state’s disciplinary planning efforts since the beginning (Tüzün 1981; Akçay 2007). Their active lobbying efforts in the early 1960s made it impossible to create a dynamic domestic market. The second dimension of Turkey’s ISI crisis was the saturation of the domestic market. Due to the lack of industrial deepening and product differentiation, some sectors had already reached overcapacity by 1980 (Keyder 1979). Third, increasing global energy prices following the oil crises of the 1970s increased Turkey’s import bill. Finally, the emergence of a militant workers’ movement cornered the industrialists with demands for more control on the production lines, improvements in working conditions, and better wages. In response to these intensified crisis tendencies, powerful business groups under the leadership of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TIBA) started to demand a different kind of integration into the world economy by liberalizing trade relations, which necessitated abandoning the ISI strategy. For the industrialists, opening up the economy appeared to be the only solution because a scarcity of foreign exchange was blocking production in many industries (Yeldan 1995). Under these crisis conditions, TIBA launched an influential media campaign to pressure the center-left Republican People’s Party (RPP) government to either change Turkey’s accumulation model towards an export-oriented strategy or resign (Özel 2003). As a result of this campaign, the RPP government was finally replaced by a new right-wing Justice Party (JP) government, which promised to change the economic growth model.

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Transition to Neoliberalism

Turkey’s transition to neoliberalism started with measures introduced on January 24, 1980. These aimed at a shift in the growth model by changing the growth strategy from ISI to ELI. This transition to neoliberalism was accompanied by financial liberalization in 1989. These efforts were not completed until the early 2000s, when an institutional structure for the neoliberal reforms was finally established by creating independent regulatory agencies and making the central bank independent from the government. The following section focuses on two decades of structural adjustment efforts aimed at creating a liberal market economy in Turkey. 3.4.1

The Measures of January 24, 1980 and the Changing Growth Model

Turkey’s transition to an open economy was part of a global wave of conservative-right wing reforms, known as the Washington Consensus, which aimed to establish market economies guided by neoliberal principles (Fine et al. 2003). Likewise, many Global South countries, suffering balance of payments problems, were advised by the IMF to implement structural adjustment programs involving reduced state intervention, increased privatization, liberalization of foreign trade, the repeal of price controls, and flexibilization of labor markets (Saad-Filho and Johnson 2005). The main feature of Turkey’s 1980 transformation was opening its economy to international competition. The transition to the ELI strategy had two parts: domestic austerity and export subsidies (Aricanli and Rodrik 1990). The core of this economic reorientation was to diminish organized labor’s bargaining power because the strategy depended on the price competitiveness of exporters, primarily enabled via wage cuts and currency devaluation (Boratav et al. 1996). The JP government’s reform program, which became known as the January 24, 1980 measures were only fully implemented after the military coup of September12, 1980,1 basically because, in “normal conditions,” the government would have faced strong labor resistance (Hershlag 1988; Gülalp 1985). Thus, ironically, the establishment of a liberal market economy and economic liberalization aimed at creating a more competitive industries happened under an authoritarian (military) regime. International financial institutions were reluctant to finance the RPP government’s economic program

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between 1978 and 1980, while they provided generous financial support via stand-by (IMF) and structural adjustment (World Bank) programs. Öni¸s and Senses ¸ (2022) argue that “this change in the attitude of international donors must have increased the confidence of the military leaders regarding the sustainability of the program”. During the military regime (between 1980 and 1983), all trade union activities were banned, collective bargaining and strikes were suspended, a large number of trade union leaders were imprisoned, and new restric1994). tive regulations controlling trade unions were introduced (Senses ¸ Thus, “the military regime consolidated the political power of the bourgeoisie, and destroyed the opposition of the working classes through drafting a new constitution with many restrictive articles on civil rights” (Yeldan 1995). Real wages fell by 52.1% between their highest point in the 1970s, and 1985 (Boratav 1990). Furthermore, while real wages declined 25% between 1980 and 1988, the real profits of Turkey’s largest firms almost doubled (Yeldan 1995). In addition to austerity measures and new incentives for exporters, the ELI strategy also involved currency devaluation to stimulate exports (Baysan and Blitzer 1990). Accordingly, the Turkish lira (TL) was devalued by 74% against the U.S. dollar between 1980 and 1984 (Conway 1988). Tax rebates and credit allocation were also used to make 1995). exports more profitable for the industrialists (Barlow and Senses ¸ 1991). Finally, import restrictions were gradually reduced (Senses ¸ These economic measures were accompanied by a restructuring of the economic bureaucracy, particularly by dismantling the old protectionist bureaucracy and its supposedly statist economic policies (Sönmez 2011). This involved two important steps. First, the institutional and managerial power of the SPO, which had been the flagship of ISI policies within the bureaucracy, was reduced (Sezen 1999). Instead, economic management was centralized under the Prime Ministry (Boratav et al. 1996). The second important step was the formation of the Undersecretariat of the Treasury and Foreign Trade, attached to the Prime Ministry, equipped with tools to promote exports. Finally, along with the new constitution prepared under military rule, the executive branch was made dominant over the legislative (Ye¸silada 1988). As a result of these changes, exports increased dramatically during the 1989). Yet, although the 1980s, particularly in manufacturing (Senses ¸ “supporters of these adjustment policies” considered ISI industries “as the main source of distortion in the Turkish economy”, the rapid rise

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in exports depended on changing the orientation of these old industries (Yalman 2009). In this respect, the 1980 program “enjoyed some initial success and was widely praised as an example of successful transition from an inward to an outward development strategy and generously supported by multilateral institutions” (Akyüz and Boratav 2003). This first period of transition to neoliberalism, which began with the military coup in 1980, ended with growing workers’ demonstrations known as the 1989 Spring Movement, which were the first since the military intervention. This indicated that the reforms had reached “the limits of orthodox stabilization based on price incentives and surplus extraction via wage suppression” (Yeldan 1994). 3.4.2

Liberalization of Capital Movements

The 1990s were shaped by the Financial Deregulation Act of 1989 and its consequences. Capital movements were liberalized in 1989 when the TL was made fully convertible to foreign currencies (Yeldan 1995). The main motivation was to find alternative ways to finance an increasing public debt under the high inflation conditions of the late 1980s. This rapidly increasing public debt had two main causes: the new taxation structure and the rising labor movement in the late 1980s. Regarding the former, Turkey followed neoliberal principles on taxation after 1980, which included reducing the tax burden on capital (Orhangazi 2002). Consequently, declining revenues could not meet increasing public expenditure, which increased the budget deficit and in turn public debt. Regarding the latter cause, a strong working-class movement emerged after 1987 in response to the dramatic decline in real wages during and after the military intervention (Ataç and Grünewald 2008). Following the first mass demonstrations since the coup by trade unions during the Spring Movement of 1989, real wages increased almost 200% between 1989 and 1991 (Yeldan 1995). This also increased the public deficit, forcing policymakers to find new financing channels, such as opening the economy to free capital flows. The second half of the 1980s also saw a series of changes in the financial sector that allowed the state to shift the form of deficit financing. Specifically, primary and secondary markets were formed, government securities began trading on the Istanbul Stock Exchange, interbank functions were established within the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT), and the CBRT started open market operations (Akyüz

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1990; Öni¸s and Riedel 1991). Following the deregulation of capital flows in 1989, the banking system became the main intermediary for financing public debt, not only by borrowing from the CBRT, but also by borrowing from the international money markets. In other words, the private banking sector positioned itself at the center of these debt flows. This involved borrowing from the CBRT and the international money markets and lending to the Treasury while profiting from interest rate arbitrage (Öni¸s 2003). The crucial point here about Turkey’s banking system was that most individual banks, which functioned as a mediators of public debt, belong to large conglomerates (Ergüne¸s 2010). Consequently, public debt and its financing became a tool for transferring public resources to bank-owning capitalists.2 In short, liberalization of the capital account was a crucial step for Turkey’s integration into global financial markets. On the one hand, this integration helped governments find alternative ways to finance public debt. On the other hand, it created a new era of financial crises triggered by capital outflows, such as the 1994 and 1998 crises. The largest crisis came in 2001.

3.5

Dependent Financialization and Its Crisis 3.5.1

2001 Crisis and Post-Crisis Program

The 2001 crisis was a period of the most severe economic troubles in modern Turkey’s history (Kazgan 2006). While the key economic effects were a severe recession and skyrocketing unemployment, the main political effect was the elimination of the political center of Turkish politics in the 2002 elections. The newly formed Justice and Development Party (JDP), which emerged from Turkey’s political Islamist tradition to represent a new idea that moderate Islamism could be compatible with neoliberal market reforms, was elected as the first single-party government since a series of coalition governments during the 1990s. The JDP prudently continued an economic program called the Transition to a Strong Economy, which had been formulated and implemented by the previous government as part of an IMF agreement (Orhangazi 2020). The program had three important pillars: monetary policy reform, fiscal consolidation, and labor market deregulation. The core of the monetary policy reform was making the central bank independent from the government in the conduct of monetary policy

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with a new mandate to achieve price stability (Akçay 2009). This was part of the IMF’s required institutional restructuring, a condition in the European Union (EU) membership process, and demanded by large business groups like TIBA. Under the new economic program, policymakers introduced a flexible exchange rate regime, using short-term interest rates as the main tool for controlling inflation. The high real interest rates and high yields offered by the CBRT attracted capital inflows in the early 2000s. As long as these continued it could control inflation, mainly because capital inflows appreciated the TL. This over-valued TL was therefore an essential element of the post-2001 IMF program. However, while this program successfully curbed inflation, it had three significant shortcomings. First, the over-valued TL undermined domestic productive capacity in industry and agriculture by incentivizing imports. Second, these cheap imports systematically increased the current account deficit. Third, the reduced productive capacity generated high and persistent unemployment during the 2000s and 2010s (Orhangazi and Yeldan 2021). The second pillar, fiscal consolidation, aimed to reduce the ratio of public debt to GDP below the Maastricht criteria, another significant condition in the EU membership process. The main tools were privatization and reduced public spending. Although privatization was always on the agenda of policymakers in the 1980s and the 1990s, they had been unable to implement it. This was primarily because of strong resistance from trade unions following the recovery of the labor movement mentioned earlier that had even achieved real wage increases. Nevertheless, JDP governments successfully implemented all the crucial privatizations except once in the banking sector (Zaifer 2018). Labor market deregulation was implemented through amendments to the Labor Law in 2003 to create more flexible hiring and firing conditions for companies and to legalize sub-contracting relations (Bozkurt-Güngen 2018). As with privatization, these measures had been on policymakers’ agendas in the 1990s but the labor movement had prevented their implementation. However, the successful privatizations lifted the barrier against labor market deregulation by eliminating the labor movement’s backbone, namely public sector employees. The deregulations had dramatic effects, particularly a decline in union density and the weakening of labor’s institutional and organizational power (Erol 2018). Successive JDP governments offered two mechanisms, social and financial inclusion, to compensate for its neoliberal economic program. On the

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one hand, it expanded social inclusion by implementing a conditional cash transfer system supported by the World Bank (Bu˘gra and Keyder 2006). It also expanded health care coverage to included previously excluded social groups, i.e. informal workers and the poor (Özden 2014). On the other hand, the government increased financial inclusion by providing affordable long-term loans for the lower classes, which helped it prevent opposition to large-scale privatizations and stagnant wages (Akçay 2018). In contrast to the 1990s, these mechanisms enabled JDP policymakers to pursue a strict neoliberal program without facing serious opposition from the subaltern classes and trade unions. 3.5.2

2013 as a Turning Point

Between 2001 and 2013, Turkey saw robust economic growth thanks to abundant capital inflows. After the United States Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision in 2013, however, capital inflows declined as the global financial cycle shifted from expansion to contraction. This had multiple ramifications for Turkey’s growth model and its social underpinnings (Orhangazi and Yeldan 2021). Slowing capital inflows created a new dilemma for policymakers. On the one hand, they tried to stimulate economic growth by reducing interest rates. On the other hand, this caused successive currency shocks in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 (Akçay and Güngen 2022). Consequently, the dilemma of the post-2013 period was reflected in monetary policy zigzags. The combined reduction of capital inflows and the increasing frequency of currency shocks forced policymakers to search for different options to the growth regime between 2001 and 2013. Another main driver of the JDP government’s quest for an alternative growth regime was the changing priorities of different components of the growth coalition, in which the JDP and the TIBA were the two main partners between 2002 and 2013 (Deniz 2019). JDP governments have always been in a growth coalition, although the participants have varied over the last two decades. In the early 2000s, for example, the JDP followed the TIBA’s economic program anchored by the IMF program and Turkey’s EU membership process (Bekmen 2014), whereas the TIBA’s hegemony over the policymaking processes weakened after 2013. While the TIBA demanded a return to the economic policies of the early 2000s, the JDP faced multiple political challenges, such as the Gezi Park protests3 and intensifying struggles within the state in 2013

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between the government and the Gülenists.4 For the JDP, a return to the high interest rates and austerity policies demanded by the TIBA was a dangerous option because it would most likely undermine its political support in the midst of a state crisis. The government faced further challenges after losing its majority in the 2015 general elections while its political alliance lost its majority in the 2019 local elections. Meanwhile, the dominant capital fraction, the TIBA, and international investors had been increasingly pressuring the government to prevent further economic slowdown by implementing structural reforms, such as cutting public spending, increasing public revenue, and implementing a tighter monetary policy (The Financial Times 2018). Having previously avoided implementing such an austerity package, by 2013 the government found it increasingly difficult to postpone it further because of the adverse international financial conditions that arose due to the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening. However, the JDP’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, did not want to endanger his own position by implementing an austerity program at that conjuncture. Ultimately, his refusal to implement the austerity program further damaged relations between the TIBA and the government. The TIBA then started to look for other political alliances to create the necessary political economic conditions for implementing the austerity measures while the JDP established a closer relationship with the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (IIBA). In short, while the political interests of the JDP and the economic interests of the TIBA have diverged since 2013, the JDP’s political survival strategies have aligned with the IIBA’s economic interests. 3.5.3

New Directions After 2018

The post-2018 period has two important characteristics. First, the official transition from a parliamentary to a presidential system was completed after the 2018 elections. Second, the 2018 currency crisis demonstrated to policymakers that Turkey’s dependent financialization model was unsustainable. These two developments have led to a search for a new ELI regime. Regarding the political regime change, this further centralized power around Erdogan as the president, with previously independent regulatory agencies and, more importantly, management of monetary policy being fully re-politicized (Altınörs and Akçay 2022). The central bank

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has become a de facto development bank, responsible for financing selected industries, although its official mandate of price stability remains unchanged. Moreover, state banks, which account for over half of Turkey’s banking sector, have become a powerful tool for selective loan allocations. Finally, the newly established Turkey Wealth Fund has enabled policymakers to manage all SEEs as different units of the same holding company (Akçay 2021). The second aspect of the post-2018 period, the attempt to change Turkey’s growth model, became more evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the policymakers decided to promote exports more actively (Akçay and Jungmann 2022). During the first year of the pandemic, policymakers followed a very fiscally conservative policy mix. Indeed, Turkey even achieved a budget surplus in 2020. Instead of providing a basic income for the vulnerable population most affected by lockdown measures, policymakers offered subsidized loans with reduced interest rates. During this period, they attempted to suspend the monetary policy dilemma by simultaneously reducing interest rates while maintaining the TL’s international exchange value. This was achieved by introducing soft capital controls and a more active reserve management strategy by the CBRT, e.g. using central bank reserves to keep the TL’s value stable (Reuters 2021). Policymakers had already implemented soft capital controls in 2019 to overcome the monetary policy dilemma when they limited TL liquidity on international markets, mainly in the London swap market (Devranoglu and Butler 2019). Turkey’s Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency effectively suspended the Turkish banks’ offshore swap operations, thereby forcing them to make swap agreements with the CBRT and circulate their foreign exchange holdings within Turkey’s domestic market (Financial Times 2019). This step increased the CBRT’s reserve management flexibility and created additional capacity to avoid the monetary policy dilemma by using borrowed reserves. These strategies had two main effects: increasing domestic demand for foreign exchange and imported goods led to a shortage of foreign exchange liquidity, and an increase in the current account deficit. This attempt ended when the Treasury and Finance Minister, Berat Albayrak, resigned in October 2020 after the TL rapidly lost its value against the U.S. dollar, forcing policymakers to dramatically increase interest rates (Pitel 2020). The third attempt at overcoming the monetary policy

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dilemma occurred in 2021, when the CBRT initiated an interest rate reduction cycle between September and December (CBRT 2022). The government’s experiment during the pandemic taught the following lesson: in order to overcome the monetary policy dilemma, domestic demand for foreign currency should be restricted. Otherwise, offering low interest rates on the TL fuels the dollarization or euroization of deposits because households and companies expect future inflation. Accordingly, the government introduced a new mechanism in 2021 to enable households and companies to protect their TL deposits against depreciation of the national currency: a foreign currency-protected TL deposit account (the Turkish abbreviation for this deposit account is KKM). This was able to constrain domestic demand for foreign exchange because the government guaranteed that account holders would be compensated by the state if the TL lost value against foreign currencies. The KKM scheme thus not only provides a hedge against the exchange rate risk facing deposit holders who save in TL but also encourages foreign exchange deposit account holders to switch to TL deposit accounts (CBRT 2022). To sum up, between 2002 and 2013, external financial conditions had allowed the government to adopt a dependent financialization model possible, However, once these conditions changed, the JDP had to find different growth strategies, which also required some adjustments in the social underpinnings of the growth regime. In particular, while the interests of the JDP and the TIBA increasingly diverged after 2013, the IIBA’s policy influence increased (Akçay and Jungmann 2022). This was the main driver of Turkey’s recent monetary policy experiment, whose main result was skyrocketing inflation and a growing current account deficit. Nevertheless, the country’s main political economy direction still depends on the 2023 presidential elections.

3.6

Conclusion

This chapter aimed to summarize developments in Turkey’s economy over the last century from a critical political economy perspective. While the main trajectory has not changed dramatically, the seemingly contradictory economic policies of liberalism and statism have complemented each other regarding the capital accumulation process throughout the twentieth century.

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This brief review showed that a more nuanced historiography is required to better understand state and business relations, and the country’s main political economy direction. The mainstream understanding of Turkey’s political economy is still dominated by the strong state tradition. However, more detailed investigation of the interests of social actors and their influence on policymaking processes could provide more sophisticated explanations of key bottlenecks and challenges. For instance, contrary to the hegemonic accounts of the Turkish political economy, powerful business interests have shaped policymakers’ decisions at almost every historical turning point, such as the first industrialization efforts in the 1930s, the implementation of development planning in the early 1960s, and the ISI strategy crisis in the late 1970s. This review also showed that the main political economy direction depends on an alignment between powerful political and economic elites. Moreover, these alignments have created relatively stable growth regimes whenever they are compatible with hegemonic trends in the global political economy. Finally, it is important to include the role of subaltern classes in such analyses. As I showed, Turkey’s working-class movement and their formal organizations were able to influence the country’s political economy direction during certain historical periods, either directly during the late 1970s and 1990s or indirectly during the 2000s.

Notes 1. According to a World Bank (1981: 1) report on Turkey, “The January 1980 reforms did not have immediate impact on the conditions existing in Turkey at the time. Until the change in Government on September 12, there was considerable political uncertainty and production was disrupted as a result of intensifying violence, declining labor discipline, and increasing strike activity. As a result, 7.7 million workdays were lost in the first eight months of 1980 as compared to 1.1 million workdays in 1979. Exports hardly picked up in the first eight months of 1980 and overall production stagnated. However, since the last quarter of 1980, economic performance has improved and this seems to be continuing in 1981.” 2. For a similar argument, see Cizre-Sakallıo˘glu and Yeldan (2000: 489). 3. The Gezi Park protests aimed to protect the public park near the Taksim ˙ Square of Istanbul against the government’s project to turn this public park into a shopping mall. These protests were among the largest social opposition movements to the Justice and Development Party (JDP) in the last two decades (Yörük 2014).

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4. The Gülenists are an Islamic/religious community, led by a self-exiled Turkish cleric, Fettullah Gülen, living in the United States since the early 2000s. This organization was one of the key political allies of the JDP when it was struggling against the Kemalist establishment particularly after the presidential election crisis in 2007. This group had members in civil society institutions mostly in the education and media sectors. Yet, they increased their influence in crucial state institutions including among top police officials and judges, particularly after the 2010 constitutional referendum, and top generals of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) after the Ergenekon and Balyoz trials. Nevertheless, the conflicts between the Gülenists and the JDP surfaced after the elimination of the Kemalist forces from the judicial branch and the TAF. The failed coup attempt in 2016 was the latest round in the political struggle between the Gülenists and the JDP to control the bureaucracy and seize the ultimate political power (Altınörs and Akçay 2022).

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Karpat, Kemal H. 1964. Society, Economics, and Politics in Contemporary Turkey. World Politics 17 (1): 50–74. https://doi.org/10.2307/2009387. Accessed March 1, 2023. ˙ Kazgan, Gülten. 2006. Tanzimat’tan 21. Yüzyıla Türkiye Ekonomisi. Istanbul: ˙ Istanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları. Kepenek, Yakup. 2022. Transition to Dependent Development, 1947–1960. In Political Economy of Development in Turkey: 1838—Present, ed. Emre Özçelik and Yonca Özdemir, 135–62. The Political Economy of the Middle East. Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7318-4_5. Accessed March 1, 2023. Kepenek, Yakup, and Nurhan Yentürk. 2001. Türkiye Ekonomisi, 12th ˙ ed. Istanbul: Remzi Kitabevi. https://teyit.fra1.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/ wp-content/uploads/2020/07/turkiye-ekonomisi-1.pdf. Accessed March 1, 2023. Keyder, Çaglar. 1979. The Political Economy of Turkish Democracy.New Left Review, no. 115: 42. Keyder, Ça˘glar. 1987. State and Class in Turkey: A Study in Capitalist Development. London and New York: Verso. Krueger, Anne O. 1993. Political Economy of Policy Reform in Developing Countries. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press. https://mitpress.mit. edu/9780262611848/political-economy-of-policy-reform-in-developing-cou ntries/. Accessed March 1, 2023. Maxfield, Sylvia, and James H. Nolt. 1990. Protectionism and the Internationalization of Capital: U.S. Sponsorship of Import Substitution Industrialization in the Philippines, Turkey and Argentina. International Studies Quarterly 34 (1): 49. https://doi.org/10.2307/2600405. Accessed March 1, 2023. Milor, Vedat. 1989. A Comparative Study of Planning and Economic Development in Turkey and France: Bringing the State Back In. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley. https://www.proquest.com/openview/ d077736b9016b227d6b66673524547d8/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl= 18750&diss=y. Accessed March 1, 2023. Nixon, Frederick I. 1981. State Intervention, Economic Planning and Import Substituting Industrialization: The Experience of the Less Developed Countries. ODTÜ Geli¸sme Dergisi, no. Special Issue: 55–78. OECD. 1962. Report on Development Problems and Policy of Turkey. Archive No: 1.2.1.2/3 OECD. Ankara: Devlet Planlama Te¸skilatı. Öni¸s, Ziya. 2003. Domestic Politics versus Global Dynamics: Towards a Political Economy of the 2000 and 2001 Financial Crises in Turkey. Turkish Studies 4 (2): 1–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/14683849.2003.9687227. Accessed March 1, 2023.

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Öni¸s, Ziya, and James Reidel. 1991. Economic Crises and Long-Term Growth in Turkey. Text/HTML. Washington, DC: World Bank. https://documents. worldbank.org/en/publication/documents-reports/documentdetail/836251 468760496012/Economic-crises-and-long-term-growth-in-Turkey. Accessed March 1, 2023. Öni¸s, Ziya, and Fikret Senses. ¸ 2022. Turkey’s Encounter with Neoliberal Globalization and the Logic of Washington Consensus, 1980–1990. In Political Economy of Development in Turkey: 1838—Present, ed. E. Özçelik and Y. Özdemir, 197–226. The Political Economy of the Middle East. Singapore: Springer Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7318-4. Accessed March 1, 2023. Orhangazi, Ozgur. 2002. Turkey: Bankruptcy of Neoliberal Policies and the Possibility of Alternatives: Review of Radical Political Economics. https:// doi.org/10.1177/048661340203400310. Accessed March 1, 2023. Orhangazi, Özgür. 2020. Türkiye Ekonomisinin Yapısı: Sorunlar Kırılganlıklar ˙ ve Kriz Dinamikleri. 1. baskı. Ankara: Imge Kitabevi. Orhangazi, Özgür, and A. Erinç Yeldan. 2021. The Re-Making of the Turkish Crisis. Development and Change 52 (3): 460–503. https://doi.org/10.1111/ dech.12644. Accessed March 1, 2023. Özden, Barı¸s Alp. 2014. The Transformation of Social Welfare and Politics in Turkey: A Successful Convergence of Neoliberalism and Populism. In ˙ Turkey Reframed: Constituting Neoliberal Hegemony, ed. Ismet Akça, Ahmet Bekmen, and Barı¸s Alp Özden, 157–73. London: Pluto Press. Özel, I¸sık. 2003. Beyond the Orthodox Paradox: The Breakup of State-Business Coalitions in 1980s Turkey. Journal of International Affairs 57 (1): 97–112. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24357915. Accessed March 1, 2023. Özgür, M. Erdem, and Eyüp Özveren. 2022. Turkey’s Attempt to Break the Fetters Before the Ladder Was Kicked Away, 1929–1947. In Political Economy of Development in Turkey: 1838—Present, ed. Emre Özçelik and Yonca Özdemir, 107–33. The Political Economy of the Middle East. Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7318-4_4. Accessed March 1, 2023. Pitel, Laura. 2020. Turkish Lira Rebounds after Erdogan’s Son-in-Law Quits Finance Ministry. Financial Times, November 9. Reuters. 2021. Turkey Spends Money It Doesn’t Have. Reuters, December 1, 2021, sec. Breakingviews. https://www.reuters.com/breakingviews/turkeyspends-money-it-doesnt-have-2021-12-01/. Accessed March 1, 2023. Saad-Filho, Alfredo, and Deborah Johnston, eds. 2005. Neoliberalism: A Critical Reader. London: Pluto Press. Senses, ¸ Fikret. 1989. The Nature and Main Characteristics of Recent Turkish Growth in Export of Manufactures. The Developing Economies 27 (1): 19–33.

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https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1049.1989.tb00145.x. Accessed March 1, 2023. Senses, ¸ Fikret. 1991. Turkey’s Stabilization and Structural Adjustment Program in Retrospect and Prospect. The Developing Economies 29 (3): 210–34. https:/ /doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1049.1991.tb00208.x. Accessed March 1, 2023. Senses, ¸ Fikret (ed.). 1994. Recent Industrialization Experience of Turkey in a Global Context. Contributions in Economics and Economic History, no. 155. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Sezen, Seriye. 1999. Devletçilikten Özelle¸stirmeye Türkiye’de Planlama. 1. basım. ˙ Türkiye ve Orta Do˘gu Amme Idaresi Enstitüsü Yayın, no. 293. Ankara: ˙ Türkiye ve Orta Do˘gu Amme Idaresi Enstitüsü. Sönmez, Ümıt. 2011. The Political Economy of Market and Regulatory Reforms in Turkey: The Logic and Unintended Consequences of Ad-Hoc Strategies. New Political Economy 16 (1): 101–30. https://doi.org/10.1080/135634 60903452587. Accessed March 1, 2023. SPO. 1960. The Meeting Minutes Between Dr. Koopman, Planning Expert, and Cemal Gürsel, the President of the Republic. 338.9561 KOOs. Ankara: Devlet Planlama Te¸skilatı. ˙ SPO. 1961. Özel Sektör Ile Ilgili Ara¸stırma Hakkında Rapor. Archive No: 3.10/ 3 DPT. Ankara: Devlet Planlama Te¸skilatı. SPO. 1963. First Five Year Development Plan (1963–1967). Ankara: State Planning Organization. ˙ ˙ Tekeli, Ilkin, and Selim Ilkin. 1974. Sava¸s Sonrası Ortamında 1947 Türkiye ˙ ˙ ˙ Iktisadi Kalkınma Planı. Ankara: ODTÜ, Idari Ilimler Fakültesi Yayını. ˙ ˙ Tekeli, Ilhan, and Selim Ilkin. 1982. Uygulamaya Geçerken Türkiyede Devletçili˘gin Olu¸sumu. Ankara: ODTÜ. TOBB. 1962. Özel Sektörün Kalkınma Planı Hakkındaki Görü¸s ve Dilekleri. Ankara: TOBB. Toprak, Zafer. 2022. From Globalization to Deglobalization: Nationalism and Economics in the Making of Modern Turkey, 1908–1929. In Political Economy of Development in Turkey: 1838—Present, ed. Emre Özçelik and Yonca Özdemir, 79–106. The Political Economy of the Middle East. Singapore: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-7318-4_3. Accessed March 1, 2023. Tüzün, Gürel. 1981. Bunalım, Ekonomi Politikaları, Planlama ve Devlet: Bir Yakla¸sım Önerisi. ODTÜ Geli¸sme Dergisi, no. Special Issue: 3–18. ˙ Finansman ProblemÜstünel, Besim. 1962. Plan Hedefleri, Kaldor Raporu ve Iç leri. Archive No: 3.4.0.1.ÜST. Ankara: State Planning Organizatioın. World Bank. 1981. Turkey: Public Sector Investment Review. 3472-TU. Washington, DC: World Bank.

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CHAPTER 4

The State and Religion from 1923 to 2023: Major Tendencies in an Incomplete Development Bayram Balci

4.1

Introduction

Much as in France, if there is an inexhaustible subject of discussion that polarizes society in Turkey, it is the religious issue, or more precisely the place that religion should occupy in society and the state. Let us call it secularism or laicism, or rather laiklik in its Turkish version, this debate has for a long time allowed us to speak of two Turkeys, one secular, lay, modern and turned towards the West, and another Turkey, more religious and traditional (Yavuz 2019). According to Ertu˘g Tombu¸s and Berfu Aygenç, the founding fathers of the Republic saw religion as a threat to the state, or at least to their project of modernizing the country (Tombu¸s and Aygenç 2017). In the quest to modernize the country newly created from the ashes of the Ottoman

B. Balci (B) CERI-Sciences Po, Paris, France e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_4

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Empire, religion was perceived as a threat, an obstacle to modernity and to the creation of a new state. However, there was not and never has been any consensus within society or within the political class on a model for managing the link between religion and the state, the place of religion in society, or the position of the state and its institutions vis-à-vis religion (Yavuz 2012). In other words, Turkish modernity has undergone several crises, one of which is the crisis of secularism, i.e. the rise of Islamist demands in both social and political forms. Similarly, the rise of Alevi protest from the 1980s onwards clearly demonstrated the unsuitability of the secular model adopted by the country’s founders to a Turkish society that is plural both religiously and ethnically. Moreover, various reactions against and opposition to the secular model adopted by the country went hand in hand with the rise of various groups’ ethno-religious and cultural claims. Thus, the emergence of conflicts between secular elites and religious groups has highlighted the lack of consensus on the values and foundations of the Republic, whose very nature is a subject of endless debate. Another major characteristic of secularism in Turkey is that it cannot be discussed without reference to its initiator and founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. However, reference to the current President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is inevitable when it comes to discussing the development of secularism and what it has become after a century of republican life in Turkey. Indeed, on the eve of the commemoration of the Republic’s centenary, the country’s destiny seems to be linked to the legacy of the one and the actions of the other, i.e. to the foundations imposed by Atatürk and to the numerous reforms made to Turkish secularism by Erdogan. Therefore, any assessment of Turkey, its economy, its history, its foreign policy and its secularism a fortiori becomes a comparison between the policies and reforms imposed by its founder and their evolution and transformations shaped by the current president, head of state since 2002. From its foundation, or rather as it was strengthening its power in the country, in the state and in society, the Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP—Justice and Development Party challenged the restrictive and exclusivist, i.e. elitist, vision of the Kemalist model of secularism. As the political force that has won every local and national election in the country since 2002,1 from the outset the AKP has promised to reform the model of secularism to make it, in its view, more democratic. It liked

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to speak of conservative democracy muhafazakar demokrasi without foregrounding its initial Islamist ideology. Since it was formed when Erdogan was moving upwards in the circle of his mentor Erbakan, the great figure of Turkish political Islam, its political project was perceived by many as a solution or an antidote to the Kemalist model that was poorly suited to a plural society (Tepe 2005). This way of thinking about the relationship between state and religion, i.e. a more liberal conception than that of the Kemalists and of most Islamist parties in the Muslim world, the Muslim Brotherhood and others, helped the AKP to gain support and members far beyond its conservative Sunni base. In fact, liberal circles in the country, social democrats and leftists who were all strong critics of Kemalism for being too authoritarian, appreciated the alternative offered by the AKP government when it came to power (Hale and Ozbudun 2009). With this support, and after some time in power as the only political force in the country, the AKP gradually modified some of the institutional bases of the secular model and succeeded in ending the monopoly of Kemalist principles in the institutions of the state. However, the outcomes of Erdogan’s policy of transforming secularism and rendering the authoritarian Kemalist model more liberal have not been unanimously accepted in Turkey. For some, especially those who are ideologically close to him, the AKP’s reforms have dispelled Kemalist authoritarianism and illiberal practices and, they believe, somehow normalized the country (Dagi 2008). But for very many others, instead of advancing democratic principles, the AKP has actually taken hold of the state and its institutions in order to push through not democracy, but its own vision of democracy in the country. For the latter, the undemocratic character of the AKP’s policies became apparent from 2013 onwards when, in order to deal with democratic and libertarian protests, the response of Erdogan’s government was brutal and repressive. From then on, the AKP began to suspend certain fundamental rights such as the right to demonstrate and, in some cases, to criticize the government’s actions, but most importantly it began to obstruct the normal functioning of certain institutions (notably the judiciary, education and the regulation of the audiovisual sector) which now serve its political agenda rather than the diverse social, political and religious groups in the country. This work on the evolution of secularism will examine several ways of looking at the issue from Atatürk to Erdogan.

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We could have made a linear and chronological analysis of the development of the relationship between state, society and religion in Turkey, highlighting such turning points as the transition to a multiparty system after World War II, favoring liberalization of the whole country in all areas, the rise of political Islam from the 1970s onwards, and the military coup of 1980, which also had profound transformative effects on the country. However, we have preferred another approach, which focuses on the evolution throughout the history of the Republic of the functioning of three key institutions in the management of the relationship between state and religion, from Atatürk to Erdogan. These bodies are: the Army, the Turkish education system, and the Diyanet which acts as the Ministry of Religious Affairs. We know that Turkish State had other instruments (tools) to impose its own perception of secularism. Indeed, all the judiciary system, more precisely the Constitutional Court (Anayasa Mahkemesi), the Supreme Court (Yargıtay) and the Council of State (Dani¸stay) have been frequently utilized by the State to impose a certain vision of secularism. But more frequent and visible have been the roles of the Army, the Diyanet and the educational system in the management of the relations between State and religion (Kuru 2008). Thus, we will first see how these three institutions have served the state by helping it to endow the country with a secularism that allowed it to develop along Western lines, even if Turkish secularism bears little resemblance to how religion is managed in the West. Then, in a second part, we will focus on the way in which Erdogan’s long reign has handled this Kemalist heritage of religion. Finally, in the third and last part, we will see that Erdogan’s policies of reforming secularism in order to create a “pious generation” have not necessarily brought the expected results.

4.2 Creating a Modern Secular State on the Western Model: Mustafa ¨ Kemal Ataturk’s Original Aim The Kemalist elites, both fascinated by and apprehensive of the West, tried to inculcate Western attitudes and practices into Turkish society in order to build a modern nation-state and a new society. When drawing up this project, the Kemalists saw religion as a threat, an obstacle to achieving their goal (Yavuz 2000). And they saw Islam in particular as a real cause of the country’s social, cultural, economic and political “backwardness”.

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Therefore, as a precaution against the return of the old Ottoman regime, which was perceived as too religious by the country‘s new masters, the new state and its architects adopted a series of reforms that limited the visibility of religion and religious practices. Among their many reforms were the abolition of the caliphate and the sultanate, the closing down of religious orders tekke and the introduction of a new dress code for men and women, as well as far-reaching reforms in the educational and legal systems (Zurcher 2004). A new Turkish alphabet based on the Latin alphabet was adopted at the expense of Arabic characters, while a secularization of the law took place, notably by importing legal codes from various European countries. These reforms not only contributed to the standardization of social and religious practices throughout the country, but also made secularism one of the foundations of the new Turkish nation that was being built (Eisenstadt 1984). In this project to create a new nation-state, both the new national identity and the public space were to be marked by the seal of secularism. This means that the state and the elites inscribed their secularist ideal in the constitutional order and in the practices of everyday life. However, the model of secularism adopted by the Mustafa Kemal regime was not the result of societal evolution and did not originate from within society, as it had in Western societies (Yavuz 2019). In Turkey‘s case, this model was one of an authoritarian state implementing a social engineering project to shape a new society. Its authoritarian dimension was conspicuous from the start as it came from above, was elitist and imposed on the whole population. Thus, as Tombu¸s Ertu˘g and Aygenç Berfu argue, from the outset this secularism was problematic since the national interest of Kemalism imposed as a mode of government reduced politics to a social technique with the aim of producing a certain order and control over society. At the same time, secularist elites controlled power and the state in order to interpret, observe, monitor and administer religious doctrines and practices. Thus, the authoritarian dimension of the new relationship between the state and religion, which was embedded in the DNA of the Kemalist state, manifested itself in the monopolization of decisions on religious matters and by imposing a kind of orthodoxy on society. Moreover, this approach to secularism disregarded the issue of equality among all citizens, and was thus not responsive to the diverse nature of Turkish society. On the contrary, this policy insisted on a political doctrine that supervised

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and reproduced social cohesion, gave a new national identity and advocated the primacy of the state over the citizens and at the expense of collective and individual freedoms. The development of the modernization project showed that the state, in fact, controlled religion in order to achieve two opposing/ contradictory goals simultaneously. On the one hand, by placing religion under its strict control, the Kemalist state aimed to eliminate the possibly reactionary attitude of religious movements and other possible threats to the republican order and the newly adopted reforms. For the state, allowing religion to operate independently of the state’s monopoly was seen to imperil the values intended by the founding elites of the Republic. On the other hand, the state actively defined and reproduced Sunni Islam as an orthodoxy in Turkish society (Azak 2010). Thus, the Kemalists not only subordinated religion to the state, but also used and manipulated it for their own political interest. Thus, the Kemalist establishment ensured that the public role of religion was incorporated and/or suppressed, depending on how and to what extent religion was necessary to reproduce or maintain the monolithic identity of the nation. This was also done in order to limit manifestations of plurality and to mobilize the masses against religious, ethnic and other differences and particularisms. In other words, it could be argued that the state’s religious policy consisted in creating a national Islam. Ultimately, secularism in Turkey was anything but a mediator between different worldviews and cultural practices. Instead, in the early days of the republic, secularism blocked the various interpretations of institutions that could have helped to reconcile differences. A strong link was created by the state between official Sunnism, secularism and Turkish nationalism. More specifically, the initial Kemalist model failed to address the existing problems, and was unable to identify the principles and procedures for addressing them. By incorporating religion into the institutional infrastructure of the state, Kemalist secularism established a monopoly on religious affairs. Further to this, it managed the distribution of public resources in a discriminatory manner that favored a certain religion or a certain way of conceiving that religion. Then it tried to eliminate and suppress alternative visions of what constituted a political community and the public good. Finally, it used Sunni Islam as a basis or an indoctrination structure for creating the ideal citizen and the desired social order. In order to be more specific, we must examine just how three key institutions of the state were used to impose the state vision of secularism.

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Institutions Serving Kemalist Secularism

Contrary to the common belief that Kemalist secularists immediately sought to eradicate the role of religion in public life, in reality the state used religion to discipline, train and indoctrinate the new Turkish citizens by controlling their religious practices through institutional channels (Tombu¸s and Aygenç 2017). Thus, religion was not dissociated from society but integrated and articulated differently (Davison 1998). The seeds of this policy can be traced back to the War of Independence and the Misak-i-Milli, the national pact, which claimed the territories of Rumelia and Anatolia, where Muslims were in the majority, for the creation of the new Turkish state. While the spheres of politics, law and science began to detach themselves from religious interpretations, Islam and its teaching were inserted into public life as part of the new national identity or as a Turkish-Islamic synthesis. In this spirit, Kemalist secularism gave the armed forces, the national education system, and the Directorate of Religious Affairs, the famous Diyanet, the privilege of controlling and promoting an “enlightened” version of Islam in society. Within these institutions, religion became an instrument for the dissemination of a new and modern national idea within society, and for strengthening the political legitimacy of the new state (Cizre Sakkalioglu 1996). The assimilation of religion, particularly in its Sunni form, and nationalism was thus reinforced, and became embodied in the structures of the state and in the official national discourse. The management of religion by these institutions deserves special attention as it will help us to understand better the interventionist nature of secularism as it emerged in the early years of Kemalism and how the AKP government used it to impose its own vision of the relationship between state, society and religion. Let us see how the Army, the Diyanet and the education system were used in the service of a secularism that was consistently transformed since the earliest days of the Republic. 4.2.2

The Turkish Army as the Guardian of a Particular Form of Secularism

As in all countries where the military has played a primary role in the formation of the state, in Turkey the military institution is like a state within a state. Its pre-eminence in the country means that the relationship between civilians and the military in Turkey has always been exceptional

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and unequal, and its character has always served as a good indicator of who controls power. As a self-proclaimed modernizing institution that is in the vanguard of reform and also a forerunner in enlightening society and protecting secularism from its enemies, the military has the authority to impose its power in the public and political life of the country (Faroz 1993). More specifically, the army has been endowed with certain privileges, including the right not to be controlled by an elected political power. This means that it is not controlled by the people, and that it has the right to appoint its own officers and general staff and to control its own budget. In the Turkish context, the armed forces have great autonomy in the political system, which places them above political parties and the executive branch. The military is often represented as, and in fact has become, the “true guardian” of the nation and the national interest. Armed with this power, the military has interfered with civilian rule on several occasions by way of military coups, as in 1960, 1971, 1980 and in a different form in 1997. As protector, educator and enforcer, in line with its Kemalist principles, the army‘s links with religious groups, with political Islam and especially with the leaders of Islamic political parties and even some conservative political parties such as the Democratic Party and the ANAP have never been easy (Kaya Emir 2017). Thus, throughout Turkish history, the military has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with Islamist circles and other forces supposedly hostile to the principles of Kemalism (Cizre 2008). Indeed, it was for this reason, its “distancing” from Kemalist principles, that the ruling Democratic Party was ousted in 1960 by a coup d’état that deeply affected the country. The army punished the party and its leaders and enforced the adoption of a new constitution. In 1962 the military also set up the Milli Güvenlik Kurulu, MGK—National Security Council. whose initial aim was to give advice and recommendations to the government in matters of national security and to help it adopt policies that would not put it at risk (Bilgin 2008). In the 1982 Constitution, this pre-eminence of the army is such that one can speak of a kind of “second government” that duplicated the civilian government. It was in this spirit that, in 1997, the MGK played a central role in dissolving the government coalition and in banning the governing political party, the Islamist party Refah Partisi.2 More concretely, the MGK forced the coalition government to adopt a list of measures supposed to eliminate the rise of Islamism. This was a coup d’état in all but name. Similarly, in 2007, on the eve of presidential elections, the MGK, had published a warning against the AKP on the

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army’s website, in an unsuccessful attempt to bring it back into line with Kemalism. In fact, with this 2007 warning, the army wanted to regain control over the dissemination of religious ideas and other political issues, and to remind everyone that it still controlled the timetable. By listing the incidents that it believed threatened the secular nature of the state, it was addressing the population, and more importantly the government, inviting it to act according to its own principles of separating religion and state. However, as guardians of secularism, the military has not always been consistent in separating what is religious from what is not. Thus, in the history of the republic, the relationship between state and religion could be porous as long as Islam served the relations of the state and the homogeneity of the Turkish nation. This was particularly evident after the 1980 coup d’état when the military helped to institutionalize the role of religion in society in several ways. For example, by making a form of religious instruction obligatory in public schools, by sanctioning the opening of several thousand Imam hatip schools across the country, and by according constitutional protection to the Diyanet (Ahmad 1988). Another objective of the army in doing such things was to give itself the means to combat the Marxism and atheism of the extreme left, very active in the 1970s, against which the 1980 coup had been in many ways directed. In addition to this, and in order to better control the extreme left-wing movements that were particularly strong at the time, Sunni Islam and its principles were taught in public institutions (especially schools) under the strict supervision of the military. However, this practice was not limited to the decade after 1980. In fact, since the foundation of the republic, Islam had been integrated into military discourse. Ideas of Islam as a true religion, military service as a religious obligation and the idealization of martyrdom, ¸sehit, as the noblest duty of the good citizen were reinforced in civil and military education (Kaya Sümbül 2013). This created the paradox that while the army was seen as an agent of the separation of religion and the state it was also an authority that promoted specific religious values in the public space. This duality/ambiguity ran deep in the secularist model and Turkish experience, and the same could be said of the other pillars of Turkish secularism, and particularly the Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet.

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4.2.3

The Diyanet and Its Ambiguous Vision of Secularism

Founded in 1924 as a central state institution, Diyanet, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, was originally “responsible for the execution and administration of Islamic affairs and places of prayer.”3 In the following decades, its existence and role were extended and institutionalized by the constitution. In 1965, Law No. 633 gave it responsibility for performing religious obligations in accordance with Islamic beliefs, prayers and ethics, and also for enlightening the public about religion and administering places of prayer (Gözaydin 2006). Article 136 of the 1982 Constitution states that: “The Diyanet, together with the state administration, shall exercise the roles prescribed in law, in accordance with the principles of secularism, and remain above all political parties in order to contribute to the integrity and harmony of the nation.” Furthermore, according to Article 89 of the Political Parties Law, in the section “on the protection of the principles and reforms of Atatürk and the secular nature of the state,” the Diyanet also enjoys the protection of the constitution in the sense that the Constitutional Court can close down any political party that challenges it. Finally, the Diyanet has a constitutionally granted authority to manage religious affairs and educate the people about Islam. However, there are several problems with the “secular” character and role of this institution. For some, especially in religious circles or for Alevis, while it is a public institution that is funded by the taxpayer, the Diyanet informs the public and administers religious affairs according to the principles of a particular variant of Islam, which is in effect the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam. As a result, this bias compromises and even violates the rights of some Muslims adhering to other branches of Islam, as well as the rights of members of other religions and non-believers, who are forced to support financially a religious community that is not their own. Secondly, as the only authority responsible for enlightening the public on religious matters, it reproduces and disseminates the knowledge about Islam, at the same time as it does for the “true” practices, thus arrogating to itself the right to define the “true” Islam. Therefore, the Diyanet claims authority over what must be believed. In its desire to contribute to harmony within the nation and to its integrity, the institution seeks to blend nationality and Islam (Yilmaz et al. 2022). In other words, it seeks to homogenize the collective national mind-set by idealizing the fusion of nation and Islam and thus defining the ideal citizen as one who must be both Muslim and Turkish according to its own definition. The main

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consequence of this is that the Diyanet disregards the plural composition of society by leaving out other ethno-national or ethno-religious groups, such as Alevis, Jews, Greeks or Armenians. Moreover, by promoting a particular stream of Islam, the Diyanet’ s publications and its textbooks, which are compulsory in religious classes, sanctify the Turkish nation and the state, making itself a tool for legitimizing the established state order. Although its mode of operation contradicts the democratic character of the state, the Diyanet is protected by the constitution and does not seem to have a problem with the model of secularism as created by the founding fathers of the Turkish Republic. The place of religion in social life has been both determined and directed by the state’s prerogatives in religious matters. In this way, the Diyanet is not an institution that shows how ignorant and indifferent the Kemalists are about secularism. On the contrary, it shows how they have a very particular vision of secularism. It is one of the sundry instances of authoritarianism in Turkey according to numerous authors who have studied it in recent years (Öztürk 2020b). By elevating the security of the state and its integrity above democratic principles, the Diyanet has become one of the key weapons of the authoritarian Kemalist establishment. Restrictions on the practice and promotion of other religious traditions in the public space have produced constant tensions between statepromoted Islam and other streams of Islam, especially the Sufi orders. To give just one example, during the 1960s and 1970s, there was considerable tension between the Diyanet and the powerful Nakshibendi organisation founded by Hilmi Suleyman Tunahan. The disagreement was over the right to run Koranic schools and the means to do so (Cakir 1990). But the Diyanet ’s authoritarianism came under even more strain with the different variants of Alevism.4 According to the Diyanet, the different orders and currents of Islam fragment national unity and cohesion. Therefore, it does not recognize the Alevi interpretation of Alevism and does not recognize the distinctive faith of (Alevis Zarcone 2018). In practice the Diyanet discriminates against Alevis. Moreover, in its public statements, it states that “Alevism is a concept gathering together various religious groups such as the Bekta¸si, the Tahatcilar and other currents of Alevism” and adds that “these groups play a positive role in the historical formation of the social and cultural life of Turkish society.” (Koca 2004). Even so, in the same statement, it refuses to consider Alevism as a separate religion, on the grounds that Alevism has too many fragmented forms

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in the country and abroad, does not have a homogeneous structure, and that in any case, it recognizes Mohammed as the last of the Prophets and the Koran as the holy book. Therefore, it does not merit special treatment. Besides, the Diyanet insists that instead Alevism is rather a rich and valuable constituent of Islam that cannot be a separate religion that differs from the Sunni version of Islam. However, the Diyanet recognizes the importance of Alevis in Turkish history, and sees them more as an ethnic group than a religious group, while, the Alevis see things very differently. The fundamental problem is that the Diyanet, as a Sunni institution within a secular state, claims the authority to define what the Alevi faith is and what it should be. Through the Diyanet, the secular state positions itself as a theological authority, imposes orthodoxy over heterodoxy, and violates the equality of citizens before the law and religious freedoms generally (Omur and Gurpinar 2022). However, the Diyanet is not the only authoritarian institution serving the state to disseminate a single vision of religion and secularism. The issue of education has also always been at the centre of the debate about secularism in Turkey. 4.2.4

The Issue of Education at the Centre of the Debate About Secularism

Like religion, the place of religious education in a secular country has always been a thorny issue in Turkey. While the national education system and school curricula are determined and controlled by the Ministry of National Education, the army and the Diyanet consider that religious instruction should have its place in national education. However, its programs, the institutions involved in teaching and religious instruction have always been subject to debate. Religious education has often been reconfigured over the decades and by the particular governments in power. Faithful to its ideology that obliges it to keep the religious sphere “in order”, the state has always taken care to set up educational institutions that do not jeopardize its vision of secularism. Consequently, a series of laws have formalized the conditions for training religious elites, for organising Koranic courses, and for the compulsory presence of religious courses in primary and secondary schools, an obligation introduced by the 1982 constitution. Under the so-called Tevhîd-i Tedrîsât Kanunu (Law on the Unification of Education) adopted in 1924, the State closed all religious schools and opened so-called Imam-hatip (Imam and preaching) schools to train

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official cadres, capable of serving in places of worship, in harmony and fidelity with the principles of nationalism, secularism and “good Islam”, i.e. an Islam acceptable to the State (A¸slamacı and Kaymakcan 2017). The state wanted to impose a certain uniformity in religious practice, and to set a standard of piety across the structures of the nation-state. Since their creation, the fate of these schools has evolved in accordance with the interests and policies of the governments in place. These imam-hatips were closed in 1930 and reopened in 1948, when the state moved from a one-party political system to a multi-party democracy. After the 1971 military intervention, the first four years of this schooling were abolished, limiting the imam-hatip operating only at the high school level and for only three years (Shively 2018). However, in 1980, the military promoted the imam-hatip again, as it was in line with the importance they accorded to Islam, and to gain the necessary support of the population. Also, for them, the imam-hatip was a means of spreading a national homogeneous version of Islam as an antidote to the leftist and ethno-nationalist Kurdish ideologies that were booming at the time. Furthermore, the steep increase in the number of religious associations and orders, such as the various nakshibendi, nourdjou or gülenist orders, as well as the increase in popularity of Islamist parties such as the Refah Partisi, contributed to an increase in demand for these schools, especially in urban areas populated by people newly arrived from the countryside. Indeed, in the 1980’s, with the transition to a more liberal political and economic system in Turkey, religiosity became more apparent on the public sphere and boosted the demand for more religious schools and education. However, in 1997, seeing that the country had become too marked by Islam, the army intervened again. It organized a new kind of coup, postmodern as it was called in Turkey. By this means, it forced the government to comply with the “Memorandum of February 28”.5 Among the measures in the memorandum, the military demanded that compulsory education be changed again from 5 years in length to 8 years. The aim of this maneuver was to close down imam hatip schools at secondary level. In the wake of this military-imposed measure, secular groups within civil society began to see these schools as a potential threat to the secular foundations of the nation because of their contribution to the emergence of “radical” religious groups seeking to infiltrate the state by occupying strategic positions. Thus, with the February 28 measures, the army tried to restore its control over religion, but only after it realized that its

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previous efforts to use religion as a source of uniformity among citizens in the 1980s had gone too far. Apart from compulsory education, university education was also controlled by the state in the name of secularism. In order to make this control more effective, in 1980 the military regime established the Yüksek Ögretim Kurulu (Council of Higher Education), which was authorized to control the financial, ideological and administrative matters of universities, thus providing it with the means to thoroughly supervise and monitor all aspects of academic life, including the appointment of faculty members especially deans and rectors of universities. and extending to the control of student activities. Initially most students and academics welcomed the formation of this YÖK especially when it supported a ban on the veil in universities on the grounds that wearing such a religious symbol conflicted with the secular principles of the state. Considered a symbol of political Islam, women who wore the veil had to either give it up or resign themselves to not attending university. As a result, YÖK’s policies not only made it impossible for women from conservative backgrounds to attend university, but also affected the lifestyle of thousands of women affected by the bans. It also had implications for women’s ability to access jobs that require a university education. Finally, this ban also generated conflict within families and public resentment against government policies and groups that supported it. This form of state-mandated secularism did not in fact signify the Kemalist state‘s neutrality or animosity towards religion. On the contrary, as long as it remained under the control of the state, the pro-Sunni bias of this secularism allowed and justified restrictions on political freedoms in the name of secularism. In 2002, the AKP came to power with a new program that promised to reform this model of secularism within a liberal and democratic framework and also to guarantee and extend religious freedoms (Tombu¸s and Aygenç 2017).

4.3 Between Re-Islamization and Democratization, Reforms of Secularism by the Ruling AKP Party In a major political development in the history of the Turkish Republic, the AKP, which originated in a schism within Turkish political Islam, came to power in 2002, winning 34% of the vote and 363 of the 550 seats in

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the then Turkish parliament. In the 2007 elections, the party increased its score to 46% of the vote, and in 2011 and 2015 its score was 49% of the vote each time. And, more recently, in the presidential and legislative elections of May 2023, the AKP and his leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued the same electoral success story. Indeed, Erdogan has been re-elected President, and his party obtained the majority in the new parliament. Such a series of brilliant victories is rare in the history of Turkish political life, and is a record since the party came to power less than a year and a half after its foundation. Finally, another striking fact is that the party was founded by political figures emerging from political Islam, since the trio that led the party to victory, Erdogan, Gül and Arinç, were very much influenced by Necmettin Erbakan, founding father of Turkish political Islam. 4.3.1

The AKP in Power, and Its Reforms of the Kemalist Establishment

From 2002 onwards, to a large extent, all Turkish political life has been governed by the AKP and Erdogan. Over this twenty-year period, the AKP government can be divided into three phases: between 2002 and 2007, there was a liberal phase, in the sense that Erdogan’s government carried out liberal reforms, in consultation with the different social and political groups in the country. In foreign policy, there was a good dialogue with Europe, whose promises of membership of the European Union encouraged the liberal spirit of the Turkish government. The second phase ran from 2008 to 2013, when government’s return to a more conservative practice of power was observed, prompting some analysts to speak of a soft Islamisation (Yilmaz 2021). Finally, in a third phase, which began in 2013 and is still ongoing, the practice of power has been clearly more authoritarian, featuring a form of deinstitutionalization of the state, which is largely monopolized by the head of state (Yavuz 2021). Before going into the details of the AKP’s management of the religious question, an important observation must be made: the AKP differed greatly from other Islamist organisations in that it asserted strongly that it adhered to the values of democracy and liberalism, both political and economic. Moreover, it no longer called itself Islamist but conservative democrat, in Turkish Muhafazakar demokrasi, as one of its leading members, Yalçın Akdo˘gan, put it. The party has proved to be a strong

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supporter of Turkey’s integration process with the European Union. Based on the content of its programme, many analysts have defined the AKP as a centre-right or liberal Islamic or conservative democratic party. It was even referred to as an Islamo-democratic party, in analogy with the Christian Democrats in Europe, i.e. a party committed to a passive form of secularism (Kuru 2009). Both in its texts and in its initial practice of power, the party gave the impression that it could reconcile Islam and democracy, and its programme was seen as a guide to contributing to the democratization of the country. Moreover, as soon as it came to power, the AKP presented its programme as a fight against the dominance of the army, against the oppressive power of the secularism of the elites in power, i.e. against the authoritarian aspects of the secular model that prevailed in the country. Similarly, the party presented its programme as being in line with the principles of the European rule of law, and it was by using this argument that in 2008 it was able to obtain a constitutional revision to allow the wearing of the veil in universities. While in power, the AKP has challenged the Kemalist establishment and dismantled it so that it no longer controls the state. In particular, after its first term in government, the AKP succeeded in restricting the military’s control over civilian affairs in a struggle it conducted alongside its then allies, the Fethullah Gülen movement, which had been particularly active by virtue of being so extensively infiltrated into state structures (Balci 2022). The army tried to counter the AKP in 2007 by attempting a “coup d’état”.6 They failed, as the election of Abdullah Gül, a candidate from political Islam with a veiled wife, took place anyway despite all their attempts to prevent it. Similarly, and with the same objective, there was an abortive attempt by Kemalist judges to have the AKP dissolved in 2008 on the grounds that it was a threat to the secularism of the country. Following these successful battles against the Kemalist establishment, other victories for the AKP followed. The Constitutional Court gradually lost its status as the guardian of Kemalist ideology. Moreover, all other Kemalist institutions such as the Yüksek Ögretim Kurulu YÖK (Higher Education Council), the Diyanet, and the Hâkimler ve Savcilar Yüksek Kurulu HSHK (High Council of Judges and Prosecutors) HSKS. came under the control of the AKP, and notably under that of the president of the republic, after the 2017 constitutional revision, whereas they were previously under the control of the Prime Minister when Turkey still had a parliamentary political system. Thus, in the space of a few years the

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whole country has undergone profound transformations associated with the ideology of the AKP government. It is interesting to analyze the direction these changes have taken in relation to the principles of secularism inherited from Kemalism. Those who consider the AKP to be liberal or to promote a less rigid version of secularism base their arguments on how authoritarian the Kemalist model was, rather than on how the AKP has transformed the institutions of the Kemalist state in its own interest. In fact, an examination of how the Kemalist model has been transformed by the AKP can enlighten us on the question of whether the AKP has advanced a more democratic and liberal transformation of institutions, or whether it has appropriated the same repressive model in order to shape society according to its vision of secularism and to actually favor a measure of Islamization of the country. In its manifesto the AKP defines secularism as: “a principle that allows members of every religion and belief to practice their religion freely, to be able to express their religious convictions as they wish; in the same way, non-believers must be able to organize their spiritual life in their own way.”7 Yet, also in its programme, the AKP deems all policies that discriminate against religious people to be undemocratic and contrary to human rights principles. From this point of view, secularism is a principle of social freedom and peace for the AKP. Here, the party not only expresses its commitment to secularism defined within a pluralist framework but also condemns discrimination against religious beliefs. Judging by this programme one might expect the AKP to reform the state in order to make it more neutral towards all citizens, believers and non-believers alike. One might also think that it is working to institutionalize religious freedoms in order to abolish all the measures that favored Sunnis to the detriment of other religious and social strata in the country, thus making the secularism inherited from Kemalism more egalitarian and inclusive. However, the reforms carried out by the AKP regarding the relationship between state and religion show that the secular model that favors Sunnis at the expense of others remains intact. Or rather, that the AKP’s reform of secularism has benefited Sunnis but has not put an end to the injustices of which others, the non-Sunnis, were and still are victims. To give just one example, the veil was banned for a long time in certain official and public places, but in fact this only applied to Sunni women, and now it is tolerated almost everywhere: in universities, the police, the army, parliament, the courts, and in practically all state institutions. While

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the AKP’s detractors call this Islamization, it talks about democratization. But that is not the real issue. To better measure the democratic and egalitarian character of the AKP’s reforms of secularism, it is essential to analyze the way in which it has transformed the three key institutions that reveal the relationship between the state and secularism in Turkey: the Diyanet, education and the army. 4.3.2

The Diyanet More Than Ever at the Service of the AKP Government

The administrative capacity of the Diyanet has been considerably strengthened with the AKP coming to power. Its budget has quadrupled since 2006, to about 6.37 billion lira (e1.83 billion). Its share of public expenditure has increased from 30 to 50% and the number of its employees has risen by 50% over the same period, to almost 150,000 civil servants. It is notable that the Diyanet ’s budgetary allocation is 6.8 billion lira, which is more than the budget of eleven other ministries, including the Ministries of Economy, Tourism and Health, and so it can be considered one of the largest Turkish state agencies (Öztürk and Sözeri 2018). During the June 2015 elections, the AKP vehemently criticised a proposal by the main opposition party, the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi, Republican People’s Party, to reform the Diyanet to make it more impartial and inclusive of all religious elements of the country. However, the response given by Erdogan himself was very indicative of his vision of the links between Islam and the nation. He stated that “the country’s religion is clear, other religions have their own structure, so everything is clear” (Boyraz 2019). It is apparent that Erdogan’s words show to what extent he sees Sunnism as the religion of the nation, and the others, the non-Muslims and the non-Sunnis, as foreign to the country. When he admits that the Diyanet is the institution of the Sunnis, he does not recognize that the Diyanet ’s budget comes from all contributors, not just the Sunnis. The Alevis’ objection to the role and function of the Diyanet is vital for understanding the implications of the institution and also the efforts of AKP to use it in the service of its “integrationist” policy towards the various religious groups. Alevis demanded formal equality in the recognition of their religion through authorizing their specific places of worship, cemevi, by giving them legal status (Özkul 2015). Similarly, associations

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representing Alevis called for the abolition of compulsory religious education in public schools. Faced with the various Alevi demands, in 2009 the AKP initiated several meetings and debates as part of its policy of opening up to the Alevi community. Called Alevi açılımı, comparable to the Kurdish overture, which showed the authorities‘ desire to contribute to a better relationship between Kurds and Alevis and the state, this policy was supposed to change the practices of the state in order to put an end to the discrimination affecting all those who are not Turks and Sunnis (Köse 2010). However, in its approach to the Alevi problem, the AKP government in fact behaved in the same way as the Kemalist state, which could not and would not acknowledge the specificity of Alevi demands. In the various seminars on the Alevi issue, the crucial point of disagreement between the AKP government and the Alevis was the nature of Alevism. For the Alevis, their problems and concerns were political and should be solved in order to give them satisfaction in terms of religious freedom and worship. On the other side the AKP insisted on the need to clarify the relationship between Alevism and Islam before responding to Alevi demands and claims. The main concern of the AKP was to define the Alevi faith and determine its main characteristics rather than to recognize Alevi identity and the rights of those who claim that as equal citizens. Therefore, the Alevi issue, which is a political matter for the community concerned, is a theological issue according to the AKP leadership (Lord 2017). The existence of multiple interpretations of the Alevi faith within the community, and therefore the lack of a single definition, is seen by the AKP as a problem and even a pretext for not enacting the reforms the Alevis want. Instead of addressing the political dimension of the discrimination against and exclusion of Alevis, the AKP seems to condemn them for their particularity, for their difference from the Sunni majority. The real question is not whether there is a real definition of Alevis by the people concerned or by the state, but to respond to the demands of those who claim to be Alevis. The so-called Alevi opening has shown that the AKP does not intend to address the Alevi issue as a demand for equality and recognition of their identity. The AKP’s concern is to deal with the Alevi issue by defining the Alevi faith, its actors, rituals and spaces in order to make them conformable to Sunni orthodoxy. To this end, the AKP aspires to organizing the Alevi faith within the state by establishing educational institutions for Alevis, appointing their leaders and regulating their sacred

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space. Thus, it seems that the main objective of the AKP is to reconstruct the Alevi tradition in the same way that the Kemalist state dealt with religious and ethnic plurality, which was to regulate and organize Sunni Islam within and with the state, in order to establish a particular orthodoxy (Bozan 2021). In other words, the AKP would like to do for the Alevis what Kemalism did for Islam, that is, to set a standard and an orthodoxy with which the Alevis can identify. But the Diyanet ’s distortions of secularism do not consist only in its handling of the Alevi issue: other major facts show how this institution has become a tool for the AKP. Several facts and activities of the Diyanet show how, under AKP power, it has been over-politicized to serve the interests of the government. Thus, at the behest of the AKP government, the Diyanet has restored some mosques dating from the Ottoman era in the Balkans and contributed to the construction of new ones in several countries around the world, in Europe, Asia and the Caucasus. Not content with the strong politicization of the Diyanet by the ruling party, Erdogan dismissed its president Ali Bardakoglu and replaced him with Mehmet Görmez, more submissive to the AKP and above all more favorable to a greater role for the Diyanet in society. Furthermore, from 2010 onwards, there was a change in the policy for recruiting the Diyanet ’s employees. Whereas until then the managers were ordinary civil servants, from then on the most pious and conservative ones were chosen, making the Diyanet more of an Islamic organisation than a mere religious management structure. In the same year, the Diyanet obtained a monopoly on the certification of halal products, which contributed to its wealth. In 2011, the Diyanet launched a TV channel that was aimed exclusively at Sunnis, despite Alevis representing at least 20% of the population. In 2015, it gave instructions for voting in favor of the AKP party. In line with the government, it criticised abortion and feminism. As a final example of the Diyanet ’s partiality, in the struggle between Erdogan and his former ally Gülen, the Diyanet clearly took a position in favor of the former, and has banned members of the Gülen movement from entering mosques both in Turkey and in the mosques it manages abroad. In short, the Diyanet has become a vehicle for the conservative policies decided by Erdogan’s government. A scrutiny of the history of secularism in Turkey shows that the AKP has failed to challenge and reform the status of the Diyanet, which remains an exclusively Sunni institution. As such, as a body that acts on behalf of and in the interest of a single strain of Islam in Turkey, it seems

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difficult to speak of a Diyanet that accords with the values of neutrality and religious freedom and equality that the AKP claims to defend. 4.3.3

Education Now More Open to Islam

The issue of compulsory religious education in public schools has been another source of conflict between the state and the Alevis. And not only the Alevis. Many Sunni families deplore the fact that their children are forced to take religious classes in public schools. More concerned than others, the Alevis have taken this issue to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on two occasions. In both cases, the European Court of Human Rights found that compulsory religion classes in the Turkish education system violated some fundamental human rights. In its September 2014 decision, the Court called on Turkey to introduce a system where pupils could be exempted from classes in religion and ethics in order not to offend their parents’ religious or philosophical beliefs. Despite the objections made by Alevis and the recommendations of European court, the AKP insists on the necessity of compulsory education and thus continues to impose Sunnism on everyone. The reason for this insistence had been clearly explained by Erdogan, who sees the compulsory education programme as a means of achieving a specific goal of the government, which is to train a generation of pious people (Lüküslü 2016). Disregarding the objections of Alevis and other secular groups, and contrary to the recommendations of the ECHR, in 2012 the AKP introduced three courses in the school curriculum, covering the Qu’ran, the life of the Prophet and the basics of religion. The objective of forming a pious generation is not only being carried out through compulsory religious education. The AKP reformed the education system substantially for the same reason. In 2012, the ruling majority extended the eight years of compulsory education to twelve years with a new 4 + 4 + 4 structure (Law 6287): four years for primary, four for secondary and four for high school (Mine 2020). With the new system, the AKP reopened the imam-hatip from secondary school on, allowing children to start these schools at a younger age. The new system brought new enrolments of students into the system. As a result, 400,000 pupils were automatically enrolled in imam-hatip schools with no choice in the matter. In addition to supporting imam-hatips, the AKP also increased their number. Between 2010 and 2014, they increased by 73%. With the new arrangements, the AKP transformed these institutions

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from an option into a central institution in the Turkish education system (Yilmaz 2022). This is how Erdogan hoped to create a pious generation. Finally, in addition to the educational issue and the mission of the Diyanet, the Army was the other pillar of Turkish secularism that his government succeeded in unleashing, to put it at the service of his vision of secularism. 4.3.4

The Turkish Army is No Longer the Guardian of Secularism

As we have already seen, the Turkish army had participated in the foundation of the republic by Mustafa Kemal, who was above all a military man. Never indifferent to religion, it was in fact the guardian of secularism, as evinced in the many warnings it issued against the “anti-secular tendencies” of various governments that have run the country. Here again, we can see that in twenty years at the head of the country, Erdogan’s power has largely succeeded in changing the relationship between the army and secularism. This has been achieved in two ways. First, by sending the army back to its barracks. Then by managing to “Islamize” the army. While Erdogan was initially cautious regarding the army, as he consolidated his power he managed to diminish its role in the internal affairs of the country. In the famous Balyoz and Ergenekon affairs, which were a series of false accusations against senior army officers, accused of attempting putsches, the then Erdogan-Gülen coalition allowed the army to be purged of some of its most anticlerical officers (Ersel 2011). But in addition to this eradication from the army of the elements most hostile to conservative power in the country, what is most striking in the history of the links between the Turkish armed forces and Islam is the relative Islamization of the Turkish army in recent years. Even if that term is a bit strong, one can observe at least a kind of “hybridization within the army” (Kaya Sümbül 2022) in the sense that references to or even direct identification with Islam are no longer prohibited within the institution. This “Islamization” of the army accelerated in the aftermath of the failed coup of July 2016. Thus, since that date, we have witnessed a feature of the army that was previously unimaginable: it has become common to see Turkish soldiers praying before going into battle in the guerrilla zones against the PKK in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. The former Chief of Staff of the army, now Minister of Defense, takes part in religious ceremonies (Kenez 2022). Likewise, and even more striking, Erdogan, the army hierarchy and the president of the Diyanet are inaugurating mosques in military

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establishments, whereas formerly no sign of religion was tolerated in the army.

4.4

Conclusion

A product of the period of the founding of the Republic in a post-imperial context and of nation building, Turkish secularism has evolved continuously over the century of its existence. This has been brought about by the evolution of power relations between the various actors in Turkish society, and in particular a change in the balance of power between civilians and the military. As the guardian of secularism, the Turkish army gradually withdrew into its barracks and it gave ground to the country’s conservative forces, whose demands for a more open, less rigid secularism eventually came to fruition. Thus, in the long run, the more political authority was freed from the tutelage of the army, the more it gave free rein to the liberal evolution of secularism in Turkey. But the international factor should not be underestimated in its effect on Turkish secularism. Indeed, if Turkish secularism was conceived by its founding fathers to allow Turkey to modernize on the model of the West, following the Second World War, reforms were adopted to gain a place for Turkey in the free world, allowing Turkish secularism to take a further step in a more liberal direction. Indeed, the transition to a multiparty system in order to join NATO and become part of the Western family forced the Turkish state to democratize, and that included in the management of religious affairs. It has been under the AKP, whose long reign has changed the whole country, that the greatest reforms have been made to Turkish secularism. The AKP’s strength in transforming the country was acquired first of all through its impressive electoral victories: in 2002 it obtained 34% of the vote, in 2007 45%, in 2011 and 2015 its score was close to 50%. Having won every local and national election, the AKP and its leader Erdogan have been able to carry out reforms that have democratized the country and changed Turkish secularism from being militant and rigid to being more open and less dogmatic. But the AKP’s transformation of Turkish secularism was not always the product of AKP liberalism. From 2013 onwards, its political vision in general and its conception of secularism in particular have become more authoritarian. With a personal, Bonapartist exercise of power, Erdogan marginalizes his allies, puts the country’s institutions at his service, and conducts an authoritarian policy altogether

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unlike his first years as head of state. As far as religion is concerned, it is no longer a question of reforming Turkish secularism to give more religious freedoms to conservative sections of the country, but of doing everything possible to ensure that Turkish society is shaped according to the new vision of the AKP or, more precisely, of its leader Recep Erdogan. In this second phase of AKP power, which began in 2013, the Diyanet, which has become an apparatus of sanctification and “baptism” in the service of the Party, and the imam-hatip schools are used to train a pious generation that gives the government the feeling of having made Turkey a Muslim power. However, if one were to take stock of these two decades of AKP rule, the first reformist and the second more authoritarian, and ask whether the long AKP rule has made Turkish society more religious or more secular, the answer would be surprising, to say the least. In fact, although most analyses speak of an Islamization of Turkey as a result of the AKP’s policies, in reality, as other research argues, Erdogan’s efforts have not been enough to Islamize Turkey, where deism and atheism are on the rise and secularization is making headway despite the AKP’s wishes. Indeed, since 2018, several sociological surveys, researchers and analysts like (Volkan Ertit 2018; Mücahit Bilici 2015 and Mustafa Akyol 2020) among others have shown that despite all the work done by the State and the Diyanet, younger sections of the Turkish population have in part turned away from religion to embrace new forms of piety, and even to move towards deism and atheism (Malçok 2022). They argue that the policy of Islamization by force, and the fact that the state is now controlled by Islamists aspiring to shape society in their image, is in fact having the opposite effect. This defection of part of the nation’s youth from religion has been recognized by the authorities themselves, and the Diyanet has even set up a research policy on this phenomenon to better combat it (Bildircin 2022). For Mustafa Akyol, the phenomenon is inevitable, and the AKP state itself is responsible for it, as its conception of Islam and Islamism, and its corrupt practices, have produced a revulsion from Islam, a phenomenon that can also be observed in Iran, where a very religious state has generated a society drawn to atheism. Going further, Hakan Yavuz believes that the “kleptocracy of the AKP government” is wholly responsible for the alienation of young people from religion in Turkey (Yavuz 2021).

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With a less polemical approach, the research of (Hakan Yilmaz 2008) from 2012, well before Erdogan’s Islamist policy, pointed to the major changes in Turkish society, which is less and less under the influence of conservatism and religion. But above all, it is the work carried out by Volkan Ertit, who compiled numerous studies of the subject, which demonstrates how diverse aspects of Turkish society have been evolving in recent years towards a very clear and decisive secularization (Ertit 2018). His argument is based on several examples. Thus, according to him, even if the AKP decades were indeed characterized by a policy of building mosques, in reality, if one compares the rate of growth of mosques to that of the population, the ratio puts things into perspective. In recent years, the Turkish population has reportedly grown faster than the number of mosques. Furthermore, all surveys show that mosques are less frequented than before. Also, the author argues, the prestige and function of imams are no longer what they were. In the past, imams were consulted by people on diverse issues: prayer, marriage, births, social and family problems, etc. In recent years, however, their function has become less important. For some years now it has been reduced to calling for prayer and reading the preaching sent by the Diyanet in email form. For their daily problems, the faithful no longer turn to the imam, but to the doctor, the psychologist, the social worker, the mediator, etc. Other criteria support the argument that Turkey is less and less under the influence of religion. Thus, flirtations and sexual relations before marriage and outside marriage are more common. Homosexuality is increasingly accepted by society and even though gay pride has been banned in Turkey for several years for security reasons, in reality it is more accepted and therefore much more visible than before. The AKP government has been in power since 2002, and despite all the authority it has enjoyed, it has not been able to impose conservative and religious norms in the way it wanted to. When it has sought to do so, the opposite has happened, as the country’s very marked urbanization has generated a movement away from religion that is only just beginning and that will profoundly change Turkish society.

Notes 1. The list of AKP victories under Recep Tayyip Erdogan is as follows: 25.2% in the municipal elections where Erdogan was elected mayor of Istanbul. In 2002, with 34.4% of the vote, the AKP came to power with a clear majority

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2.

3. 4.

5.

in parliament. In the 2004 local elections his party obtained 41% of the votes. In 2007, in the national parliamentary elections, the Erdogan/AKP tandem obtained 46.6% of the votes. In the 2007 referendum, 68.9% of the votes approved the constitutional change proposed by the AKP. In the 2009 local elections, the AKP obtained 38% of the votes. In 2010, another referendum was held to change the method of electing the President of the Republic, with 54.9 per cent of the votes obtained by the AKP’s motion. In the 2011 general elections, 49.9% of the votes went to the AKP, while in the 2014 local elections, 43.3% went to the AKP. In the same year, 2014, in the presidential elections Erdogan got 51.8% of the votes. In June 2015, parliamentary elections, the AKP got 40.9% of the votes, and the same year, in November, its score increased to 49.5% of the votes. In the 2017 referendum, it obtained 51.4% of the vote. Finally in 2018, in the presidential elections, it obtained 52.6% of the votes. The Refah Partisi, Welfare Party, also called “Prosperity Party” was a political party of Islamic origin. Founded by Necmettin Erbakan, it is the successor of the Milli Selamet Partisi, National Salvation Party, also founded by Necmettin Erbakan and dissolved by the Constitutional Court in 1981. This party has left its mark on Turkish political Islam as it was the first Islamist political organisation to come to power in the form of a coalition government, which lasted only a few months. In 1996.the Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP, Justice and Development Party founded by Recep Tayyip Erodgan, divided itself off from this party. On this point see the Diyanet website: https://diyanet.gov.tr/tr-TR/Kur umsal/Detay//1/diyanet-isleri-baskanligi-kurulus-ve-tarihcesi Alevism in Turkey is a significant stream with various subgroups of Islam, representing about one-fifth of the country’s population, about 20 million people. Persecuted under the Ottoman Empire, or ignored, i.e. neglected, because of its beliefs deemed “heretical” in the eyes of Sunni Islam, this Turkish or Kurdish religious group has a history punctuated, under the Turkish Republic, by revolts repressed by the Kemalist state and confrontations with Sunni or political opponents. Most of the decisions and measures in the memorandum in fact echoed existing laws that were no longer applied, such as the ban on wearing clothes with an Islamic connotation or the law on the unification of education of March 3, 1924. Regarding education, the military demanded the closure of religious schools or their transformation into public schools, and wanted the duration of compulsory schooling to be increased to eight years. Some of the “recommendations”, however, required the introduction of new legislative frameworks, in particular to combat financial organisations controlled by religious brotherhoods, the infiltration of Islamists in public institutions and the construction of new mosques.

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6. This initiative of the military was called a “coup d’état”, i.e. an electronic warning as the army’s threat took the form of an announcement on its website about its duty to ensure the secular character of the state. 7. See the party programme: https://www.akparti.org.tr/parti/parti-pro grami/%C4%B1%C4%B1-temel-haklar-ve-siyasi-ilkeler/21-temel-hak-veozgurlukler/.

References Akyol, Mustafa. 2020. How Islamists are Ruining Islam, Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, https://www.hudson.org/national-security-defense/how-isl amists-are-ruining-islam. Accessed March 2, 2023. ˙ A¸slamacı, Ibrahim, and Kaymakcan Recep. 2017. Model for Islamic Education from Turkey: The Imam-hatip Schools. British Journal of Religious Education 39 (3): 279–292. Azak, Umut. 2010, Islam and Secularism in Turkey, Kemalism, Religion and the Nation State, London: I.B Tauris, 234. Balci, Bayram. 2022. Islam and Politics in Turkey: Alliance and Disunion Between the Fethullah Gülen Movement and the Justice and Development Party of Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan, Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19448953.2022. 2143859?journalCode=cjsb20. Accessed March 2, 2023. ˙ Bildircin, Mustafa. 2022. Inkâr edilen deizm Diyanet dergisinde, Birgün, https:/ /www.birgun.net/haber/inkar-edilen-deizm-diyanet-dergisinde-372318. Accessed March 2, 2023. Bilgin, Pinar. 2008. The Securityness of Secularism? The Case of Turkey, Security Dialogue 39 (6): 593–614. Bilici, Mücahit. 2015. The Crisis of Religiosity in Turkish Islamism, Middle East Report, https://merip.org/2018/12/the-crisis-of-religiosity-in-turkishislamism/. Accessed March 2, 2023. See also Ertit Volkan. 2015. Endi¸seli Muhafazakârlar Ça˘gı: Dinden Uzakla¸san Türkiye, Ankara: Orient Yayınları. Boyraz, Cemil. 2019. The Alevi question and the limits of citizenship in Turkey. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 46: 767–780. Bozan, Aysegul. 2021. The Alevi issue and democratic rights in Turkey as seen by young AKP activists: Social Conflict, Identity Boundaries and Some Perspectives on Recognition. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 21 (2): 273–292. Cakir, Rusen. Ayet ve Slogan, Türkiyede Islami Olusumlar, Istanbul: Metis Yayinlari, 1990, p. 130 Cizre-Sakallioglu, Umit. 1996. Parameters and Strategies of Islam–state Interaction in Republican Turkey. International Journal of Middle East Studies 28 (2): 231–325.

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Cizre, Ümit. 2008. Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Making of the Justice and Development Party, 238. Abingdon: Routledge. Dagi, Ihsan. 2008. Islamist Parties and Democracy: Turkey’s AKP in Power. Journal of Democracy 19 (3): 25–30. Davison, Andrew. 1998. Secularism and Revivalism in Turkey: A Hermeneutic Reconsideration, 280. New Haven: Yale University Press. Eisenstadt, Samuel N. 1984. The Kemalist Regime and Modernization: Some Comparative and Analytical Remarks. In Jacob Landau, Ataturk and The Modernization of Turkey, 1–13. Abingdon: Routledge. Ersel, Aydinli. 2011. Ergenekon. New Pacts, and the Decline of the Turkish Inner State, Turkish Studies 12 (2): 227–239. Ertit, Volkan. 2018. God Is Dying in Turkey as Well: Application of Secularization Theory to a Non-Christian Society, Open Theology, N° 4, 192–211, https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/opth2018-0014/html?lang=en. Accessed March 2, 2023 Faroz, Ahmad. 1988. Islamic Reassertion in Turkey. Third World Quarterly 10 (2): 50–769. Faroz, Ahmad. 1993. The Making of Modern Turkey, 121–147. Abingdon: Routledge. Gözaydin, Istar. 2006. A Religious Administration to Secure Secularism: The Presidency of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Marburg Journal of Religion: Volume 11, No. 1, June. Hale, William and Ozbudun Ergun. 2009. Islamism, Democracy and Liberalism in Turkey, The Case of the AKP, Abingdon: Routledge, p. 157 Kaya, Emir. 2017. Secularism and State Religion in Modern Turkey, 153. Law, Policy-Making and the Diyanet, London: Bloomsbury Publishing. Kaya, Sümbül. 2013. Conscription et sentiment patriotique : Le cas de l’armée turque. Critique Internationale, No 58: 35–51. Kaya, Sümbül. 2022. Vers une hybridation idéologique au sein de l’armée turque ? Confluence Méditerranée, Numéro 122: 183–196. Kenez, Levent. 2022. Erdo˘gan Accelerates the Islamization of the Army Before Elections, Nordic Monitor, September 2022, https://nordicmonitor.com/ 2022/09/erdogan-accelerates-the-islamization-of-the-army-for-upcoming-ele ction-and-his-own-security/. Accessed March 2, 2023 ˙ sleri Ba¸skanlı˘gı ve Aleviler Arasındaki Meseleye Koca, Bayram. 2004. Diyanet I¸ Liberal Bir Bakı¸s, Liberal dü¸sünce, Yıl 19. Sayı 73–74: 39–61. Senol, Korkut. 2010. The Diyanet of Turkey and Its Activities in Eurasia after the Cold War. Acta Slavica Iaponica, Tomus 28: 117–139. Köse, Talha. 2010. The AKP and the “Alevi Opening”: Understanding the Dynamics of the Rapprochement. Insight Turkey 1 (2): 143–164. Kuru, Ahmet. 2008. Secularism in Turkey: Myths and Realities. Insight Turkey 10 (3): 101–110.

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Kuru, Ahmet. 2009. Secularism and State Policies toward Religion, The United States, France, and Turkey, 161–235. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lord, Ceren. 2017. Rethinking the Justice, and Development Party’s ‘Alevi openings.’ Turkish Studies 18 (2): 278–296. Lüküslü, Demet. 2016. Creating a Pious Generation: Youth and Education Policies of the AKP in Turkey. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (4): 637–649. Malçok, Théo. 2022. Enquêter sur la reconnaissance des sensibilités athées en Turquie contemporaine , European Journal of Turkish Studies, http://jou rnals.openedition.org/ejts/7313 DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/ejts.7313 Mine, Yildirim. 2020. Are Turkey’s Restrictions on Freedom of Religion or Belief Permissible?, Religion & Human Rights, 15 (2020): 1–2, 172–191 Omur, Aydin and Gurpinar Bulut. 2022. The Right to Have Places of Worship: The Cemevi Case in Turkey, Religions, N° 13: N° 758 Özkul, Derya. 2015. Alevi Openings and Politicization of the Alevi Issue During the AKP Rule. Turkish Studies 16 (1): 80–96. Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi. 2016. Turkey’s Diyanet under AKP rule: From protector to imposer of state ideology? Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (4): 619–635. Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi, 2020a. Transformation of the Turkish Diyanet both at Home and Abroad: Three Stages, European Journal of Turkish Studies [Online], 27 | Online since 17 January 2019, accessed February 16, 2020a. http://journals.openedition.org/ejts/5944 ; https://doi.org/10.4000/ejts. 5944 Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi. 2020b. Transformation of the Turkish Diyanet both at Home and Abroad: Three Stages, European Journal of Turkish Studies [Online], 27 | 2018, Online since 17 January 2019, accessed on February 16, 2020b. http://journals.openedition.org/ejts/5944; https://doi.org/10. 4000/ejts.5944 Shively, Kim. 2018. Taming Islam: Studying Religion in Secular Turkey. Anthropological Quarterly 81 (3): 683–711. Tepe, Sultan. 2005. Turkey’s AKP: A Model Muslim Democratic Party’?, Journal of Democracy, Vol. N° 3, 69–82 . Tombu¸s, Ertu˘g, and Aygenç Berfu. 2017. Post-Kemalist Secularism in Turkey. Journal of Balkan and near Eastern Studies 19 (1): 70–85. Yilmaz, Hakan. 2008. Conservatism in Turkey. Turkish Policy Quarterly 7 (1): 57–63. Yavuz, Hakan. 2000. Cleansing Islam from the Public Sphere. Journal of International Affairs 54 (1): 21–42. Yavuz, Hakan. 2012. Secularism and Muslim Democracy in Turkey, 144–170. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Yavuz, Hakan. 2019. Understanding Turkish Secularism in the 21st century: A Contextual Roadmap. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 19 (1): 55–78. Yavuz, Hakan. 2021. Erdo˘gan: The Making of an Autocrat, 368. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Yilmaz, Ihsan. 2022. Islamist Populist Nation-Building: Gradual, Ad Hoc Islamisation of the Secular Education System in Turkey, Religions, Vol. 13, N°9, URL : https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13090814 Accessed March 3, 2023 Yilmaz, Ihsan, 2021. Erdogan’s Political Journey: From Victimised Muslim Democrat to Authoritarian, Islamist Populist, European Center for Populism Studies, URL : https://www.populismstudies.org/wp-content/uploads/ 2021/03/ECPS-Leader-Profile-Series-7-2.pdf Accessed March 3, 2023 Yilmaz, Ihsan, Albayrak Ismail, and Erturk Omer. 2022. Use of Religion in Blame Avoidance in a Competitive Authoritarian Regime: Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs Diyanet). Religions 13: 876. https://doi.org/10.3390/ rel13100876. Zarcone, Thierry. 2018. La Confrontation Sunnites-Alevis en Turquie : l’impossible reconnaissance. Confluences Méditerranée 2 (105): 47–63. Zurcher, Erik. 2004. Turkey: A Modern History, 424. London: Tauris.

CHAPTER 5

Turkey’s Nation-Building and the Kurdish Question Evren Balta

The Kurdish question, which has remained one of the most important issues in Turkey since the Republic’s foundation a hundred years ago, should be analyzed beyond a narrow focus on state-minority antagonism. In this essay, I argue that the Kurdish question can be unpacked by addressing three sub-questions that have shaped modern Turkey in fundamental ways: who belongs there, who gets to be represented, and how to manage territorial differences and territorial borders. These three important aspects of nation-state building have been directly influenced by the very presence of Kurds, their shifting ways of agency, and how the political elites have responded to these ideational and structural constraints. In other words, rather than being merely a question of how to manage ethnic minorities, the Kurdish question has always been a constitutive question of how to envision modern Turkey’s national identity, institutions, and territory.

E. Balta (B) Department of International Relations, Özye˘gin University, Istanbul, Türkiye e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_5

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Like other twentieth-century nation-state projects, the tension between the political imagination of a mono-ethnic nation state and the presence of multiple ethnic identities has been at the center of Turkey’s nation-building project. Throughout the hundred years of the Turkish Republic, Turkish national identity has oscillated between ethnic and religious definitions of who belongs, which then had profound effects on the inclusion within the nation-state project of the large body of ethnic Kurds with their distinct identity (Somer 2007). When religious markers dominated Turkishness, Kurds were seen as more equal members of the emerging Turkish nation based on common religious identity. However, when ethnic or cultural markers (such as language) dominated Turkishness, Kurds were seen as only “prospective Turks” or potential members of the Turkish ethno-cultural community that needs to be assimilated to Turkishness (Ye˘gen 2009: 5989). The Kurdish question has also profoundly shaped Turkey’s regime dynamics. At critical junctures, Kurdish political activism has been used to justify enacting anti-democratic policies; it frequently became a means of building elite consolidation around authoritarianism. On the one hand, the country’s political elites and its growing middle classes demanded democracy; on the other hand, democratization brought the Kurds onto the political stage and made their demands visible. When this was the case, the representative right of the Kurds was restricted by introducing institutional arrangements such as high national electoral thresholds, trusteeships, and party closures. Indeed, the constitutional court has frequently closed pro-Kurdish parties (Ko˘gacıo˘glu 2004). These institutional arrangements aiming to curb the collective demand-making of the Kurds have not only affected Kurdish representation but also undoubtedly caused Turkey’s political regime to remain hybrid. The closure of routine politics to Kurds has also profoundly shaped the repertoires of Kurdish political activism. The third sub-question about the Kurdish question, regarding the territorial management of Kurdish-dominated regions, has two main aspects, the first one being national and the second transnational. Nationally, Kurdish regions have a distinctive economic structure compared to those of Turkey’s main economic centers and a poor integration into the national market. Furthermore, these regions have powerful social structures partially due to the legacy of the administrative practices of the Ottoman Empire (McDowall 1991; Olson 1989; Özo˘glu 2004; van Bruinessen 1992; Yavuz 2001; Ye˘gen 1996: 218). The presence

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of “strongmen” in these regions has created a classical strong society versus weak state dilemma whereby “states try to strengthen their support among the local communities by cutting deals with local strongmen.” However, by doing so, they “have persistently and consciously undermined their own state agencies—the very tools by which they could increase their capabilities and affect their policy agendas” (Migdal 1988: xv). The second aspect of the territorial question is transnational. The borders that emerged during the Ottoman Empire’s disintegration divided Kurdish communities among several states, and this meant the Kurdish question must be dealt with using not only ethnopolitical tools but also with geopolitical tools (Yegen 2022). The transborder dimension of the Kurdish question has created ethnic ties that transcend national boundaries, which have subsequently exacerbated the anxieties of the Turkish elites. During periods of conflict, transnational bonds intensified the strife by providing sanctuaries as well as human and material resources to the rebels (Gurses 2015a). Since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, however, and the collapse of states with Kurdish minorities, namely Iraq and Syria, the transnational dimension of the Kurdish question has become more salient. This in turn has pushed Turkey to enact more geopolitical instruments to deal with the Kurdish question. In what follows, I first discuss the Ottoman legacy which somewhat shaped the territorial dimension of the Kurdish question. I then focus on how Turkish national identity was imagined and constituted in the early days of the Turkish Republic before discussing emerging forms of Kurdish political activism and mechanisms of political representation after the implementation of multi-party politics in 1946. These three moments in history, I argue, have formed the structural and ideational limits of tackling the Kurdish question in modern Turkey. In the rest of the article, I discuss how questions of identity, representation, and territory have become entangled in different political junctures and made the Kurdish question a constitutive issue for both Turkish national identity and Turkish democracy.

5.1

The Ottoman Legacy

The Kurdish question became a salient political issue when the Ottoman Empire’s centralization efforts during the nineteenth century provoked a wave of resistance and numerous Kurdish revolts (Klein 2002; Sevgen

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1982). From these revolts, a new set of actors emerged who would eventually lead the second wave of Kurdish rebellions (Ye˘gen 1996; Özo˘glu 2001) and cooperation with the loyal Kurdish tribes became the institutional backbone of the Empire’s centralization efforts (Klein 2002). These faithful Kurdish tribes were responsible for collecting taxes, providing military training and other educational facilities, and ensuring the coordination of local administrative practices (Laciner and Bal 2004). They also kept the Russian armies out of Eastern Anatolia (Olson 1989: 10).1 These imperial policies, in turn, enabled Kurdish networks to retain autonomy and gain more socio-political and economic advantages. This informal pact between the Ottoman center and the Kurdish elites, which instituted a form of indirect rule, was challenged in 1908 when the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) revolted against Abdulhamid II. The CUP adopted a more nationalist ideology, announced the reinstatement of the Constitution of 1876, and accelerated the path toward centralization (Reynolds 2003). The reinstatement of the old constitution once again changed the Kurdish population’s status within the Empire and incorporated them into the broader Muslim community without any special status (Jwadieh 1960). Istanbul’s efforts to exert tighter control, implement secularized laws, and most importantly impose new taxes on cattle and construction created deep resentment among the Kurdish population (ibid: 126). This provoked another wave of revolts that led the CUP to strip the loyal Kurdish tribes of their privileges, incorporate them into the regular army, and grant the governors of Eastern Anatolia expanded powers to declare martial law and request military reinforcements (ibid: 104–134). Although the Ottoman center was experiencing a tidal wave of nationalism that eventually caused the Empire’s disintegration in many regions, the rising tide of Kurdish rebellions was mainly a response to state centralization rather than an expression of Kurdish nationalism and identity. Indeed, the religious bonds and strong Muslim component of Turkey’s emerging national identity, which considered the Muslim population as its core citizens, postponed the emergence of ethnic-based Kurdish nationalism, and played an important role in including Kurds within the national project. When the Ottoman Empire irreversibly collapsed after World War I, the new Turkey included only two major ethnically different groups—Turks and Kurds—which shared Muslimness as a common identity denominator (Suny 1997).2

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1920–1946: Negotiating National Identity

Kurdish nationalism mainly emerged in response to the collapsing Ottoman Empire during and after World War I (Özo˘glu 2001). Yet, as the Ottoman Empire collapsed, the new nationalizing elite’s continuing appeal to defend Muslim Anatolia still found support in the overwhelmingly Muslim Kurdish population,3 particularly from Kurdish landowners who supported the independence movement to guard their Ottoman land-ownership claims, defend their religion, and prevent the region’s incorporation into an independent Armenia (Olson 1989: 95).4 However, even then, Kurdish support for the Kemalist movement was not unified because some factions within Kurdish regions believed in the need to break away from the new Turkish state. Indeed, by 1920, many smallscale revolts favoring secession had occurred, which led to the declaration of martial law in all Kurdish areas in March 1920 (Natali 2000). Yet the National Assembly’s first provisional constitution, adopted on April 23, 1920, stated that the Turkish Republic consisted of two groups: Turks and Kurds and the early Republican debates over the Kurdish question presented Kurds as an ethnic group with special rights. However, as Somer (2007) argues, there was no evidence of administrative autonomy, and the possibility of a bi-national or multinational state was not on the table. The term ‘nation,’ in the sense of the actual or ideal body of people that the Parliament represented, was always used in the singular form while Kurds were talked about as a society or a ‘component’ of the ‘nation’. The portrayal of Kurds as an ethnic group with special group rights changed in 1924, however, when a new constitution replaced the 1921 Constitution. While the 1924 Constitution still recognized the existence of various ethnic groups in Turkey, it also stated that no special rights of any kind would be granted to these communities. In other words, by 1924, Turkey’s political elites had begun to perceive the Kurds as an ethnic community with no group rights. There were no more Kurds (or any other ethnic groups) as an ethnic political body but simply Turkish citizens. Thus, the Kurdish question became, in the eyes of the political elites, a question of reactionary politics, tribal resistance, and regional backwardness rather than an ethno-political issue (Ye˘gen 2009). Specifically, the Sheikh Said rebellion, which had strong religious undertones as a response to the state’s decision to remove the caliphate,

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played an important in the elite framing the Kurdish question as a question of backwardness in a society whose path was defined by catching up with modern Western societies (Ye˘gen 1996). By mid-1925, the Sheikh Said rebellion had exploded into widespread conflict. To suppress the rebellion, the Turkish military launched a full offensive and soon took rebellious regions under control (Özo˘glu, 2001).5 The rebellion further consolidated the consensus among the political elites that a multiplicity of ethnic groups was a potential threat (Natali 2004), which could be eliminated by assimilation around a common secular ethnic identity—a choice that excluded the Kurdish identity from the dominant national identity. Somer (2022) argues that the exclusion of the Kurdish identity could best be explained by intra-majority group politics and an emerging elite consensus rather than majority-minority differences. Accordingly, state policies began to target Kurdish culture for fear that a separate language and culture would provide a solid base for subsequent rebellions (van Bruinessen 1992). Yet, in an age of ethnic nationalism, the move further triggered Kurdish nationalism. In this period, the transborder dimension of these revolts were also alarming for the Republican elites. For example, in 1927, a group of Kurdish notables formed the Kurdish National League (Xoybun) in French-mandated Syria and the movement provided logistical support for the Ararat Revolt in 1930 which ˙ was led by Ihsan Nuri Pasha. The Turkish Army struggled to put down the Ararat rebellion and used extensive air force which led to the military suppression of the insurrection. The uprising also resulted with the consolidation and strengthening of the Persian- Turkish border (Olson 2000). The revolts of the Early Republican era had different motives ranging from nationalism to resistance to state centralization; and there was no unified Kurdish nationalism. One of the most influential insurgencies of this period was the Dersim rebellion which began in 1936 and lasted until the end of 1938. The insurrection was primarily a reaction to the construction of roads, bridges, police posts, and government mansions in every large village (van Bruinessen 1994) and it shaped the demographic and ethnopolitical instruments of the central state for decades to come. As the Dersim rebellion accelerated and widened throughout the area, the government sought to suppress it harshly and quickly.6 One of the government’s main strategies was to resettle Dersim’s population in randomly allocated western cities, using provisions in the Resettlement Law of 1934, which

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allowed the government to change the country’s demographic composition (Ça˘gaptay 2003).7 Such massive population resettlement became an important measure to strengthen the Republic’s territorial integrity and accelerate assimilation (Bruinessen 1994: 163). Kurds were deported to western Turkey and widely dispersed, while Turks were to be settled in their place. Although many Kurdish groups either supported the Republican government or were at least neutral in the rebellions, the Turkish authorities pursued a policy of eliminating anything that might suggest a separate Kurdish nation, such as the Kurdish language and Kurdish personal names. The government also maintained Ottoman patterns of indirect control by using selected Kurdish groups to repress oppositional ones. Thus, rather than asserting central authority directly, Ankara left the job to its loyal local elites. Furthermore, based on a suspicion that the Kurds would revolt again, the newly elected, resource-scarce Turkish Republic consciously refrained from investing in the region, so public spending remained lower than in other regions (Kirisci and Winrow 1997). Furthermore, during the 1930s, the so-called Sun Theory became popular among secular-nationalist elites. This postulated that all languages derived from one original primeval Turkic language in Central Asia while the Kurds, isolated in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia, simply had forgotten their mother tongue, but were, in fact, “Mountain Turks.” This phrase continued to be used in the 1980s and 1990s but disappeared from public discourse, as Kurdish identity became irrefutable, and even within official discourse due to the rise of Kurdish nationalism (Özo˘glu 2004). These policies strengthened group boundaries and identity, contributed to the region’s underdevelopment, and helped stroke regional grievances that paved the way for later revolts.

5.3

1946–1980: A Partial Opening?

In 1946, the single-party system ended when the Democrat Party (DP) came to power by mobilizing peripheral populations with promises of more localization, free enterprise, and relaxation of religious restrictions.8 In particular, it promised to correct past wrongs and lift all the restrictions on the exiled Kurdish population, which prompted the return of most of the resettled population, some 22,516 people, to their places of origin (Tekeli 1990). After allowing the resettled Kurds to return to their lands, the DP government also honored the land deeds from the

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Ottoman period and abolished the tax on agricultural production, which benefited Kurdish large-estate owners.9 The DP also greatly collaborated with Kurdish large-estate owners to gain their support, in return for which the party gave them a voice (Barkey and Fuller 1998). As a result, during the DP’s period in office, they won overwhelming Kurdish electoral support. Indeed, as research shows, ethnic groups provide a constituency base for emerging party leaders to seek support (Oncel 2015). Similarly, in Turkey, emerging parties with weak institutional ties to the state elites have sought the support of Kurdish voters to gain power. During these periods, the governing elites have adopted more liberal policies toward the Kurds. Oncel (2015) identifies four such periods when Kurdish representation has risen significantly: 1920, 1946– 1960, 1973–1980, and since the 2000s. In all four periods, political actors allied with the Kurds against one dominant actor. This accords with the claim that when elites are insecure about their power, they reach out to ethnic minorities, which often temporarily relieves a long-term problem. However, in the absence of elite consensus on new patterns of inclusion, consolidating parties shift more toward exclusive nationalist policies to secure their place among the governing elites. The DP not only appealed to the Kurds as voters on account of their conservative propensity, but more importantly the emphasis on Muslim identity provided more room for the Kurds to belong to the Turkish nation-state. Indeed, this dynamic has become one of the central dilemmas of the modern Turkish Republic. Political actors either promoted Turkishness based on cultural markers or else promoted religious markers as the basis of belonging. Neither has envisaged a consociational democracy that includes equal representation for multiple identities.

5.4

After the Coup: 1960s-1980s

The shift toward a religious national identity and the DP’s exclusionary practices prompted an intense inter-elite conflict, which ended with a military coup staged by young Kemalist officers on May 27, 1960. The period after the coup also substantially impacted developments regarding the Kurdish issue, particularly through two major reforms (van Bruinessen, 2005). The first was the new constitution, which guaranteed unprecedented civil liberties and allowed for the emergence of strong trade unions, a socialist political party, and later Kurdish opposition. The

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second was a return to economic planning, leading to the establishment of the State Planning Organization in 1960, responsible for preparing FiveYear Development Plans. This body grappled with the issue of regional inequalities, which in turn induced the state elites to search for developmental remedies for the Kurdish question. Indeed, during the 1960s, public officials and intellectuals began to widely acknowledge the Kurdish question as a problem of “underdevelopment”. Nevertheless, although underdevelopment became a key concern of the regime, successive Turkish governments failed to increase spending on education, health, or salaries for the Kurdish population (Yadirgi 2017). In terms of socioeconomic structure, Kurdish regions continued to lag behind the rest of Turkey in virtually every indicator—a trend that has lasted into the twenty-first century (see Table 5.1 for the share of different regions in gross domestic product). Per capita income in Kurdish regions has remained lower than the national average, with Kurds largely dependent on seasonal agricultural production, encouraging large-scale seasonal migration (van Bruinessen 1992) and contributing to low integration into the national market.10 Regional projects, such as the Southeastern Anatolia Development Project (GAP), which were initiated to boost the region’s economic development, have largely remained ineffective partly because they lack a comprehensive development program (Çarko˘glu and Eder 2001). More importantly however, as Yadirgi (2017) argues, the central government effectively reinforced “de-development” of the Kurdish regions. The main Table 5.1 Share of Regions in Turkey’s Gross Domestic Product (calculated at current prices) Regions

1987

1990

1995

2000

2005

2010

2015

2020

Mediterranean East Anatolia* Aegean Southeast Anatolia Central Anatolia Black Sea Marmara Total

12 4.1 16.5 5.3 16.9 9.9 35.3 100

12 4.2 16 5.4 16.6 9.7 36.3 100

12.4 3.8 15.6 4.9 15.4 8.9 37 100

12.1 4.2 15.2 4.9 16.9 9.5 36.9 100

10.3 4.10 13.2 4.7 16.8 7.6 43.8 100

10.7 4.6 13 4.8 17 7.4 42.9 100

10.3 4.2 12.4 5.1 16.8 7.1 44.6 100

9.7 4.4 12.4 5.2 17 6.7 44.5 100

˙ *Italics indicate regions with predominantly Kurdish populations. Source TÜIK–National Accounts– Regional Accounts–Databases–Regional GDP

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objective of de-development is that it aims to deprive the Kurds of the “capacity and potential for structural transformation” by inhibiting the Kurds from developing a homegrown economic base from which they can pose a challenge to the dominant power structure. In other words, the state-led development in the predominantly Kurdish regions of Turkey have contributed to the Kurdish question rather than solving it. Finally, the progressive political climate of the 1960s and 1970s also changed patterns of Kurdish political representation and contributed to the emergence of the Kurdish nationalist project. During the 1970s, secularization and the transformation of Kurdish identity largely unfolded within the leftist movement, when an increasingly significant portion of Turkey’s ethnic Kurds began demanding cultural, linguistic, and political rights, starting with Kurdish-language journals and newspapers (Yavuz 2001). As part of this larger trend of self-representation in a liberal political climate, the Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK), or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, was founded on November 27, 1978, and this would shape Turkish politics for many years to come. In the 1970s, Kurdish nationalism was leaning toward more secular and progressive values, making it more difficult for Turkey’s governing elites to coopt Kurdish nationalism through the common denominator of Muslimness.

5.5 1980s: Emerging Forms of Kurdish Nationalism On September 12, 1980, the Turkish Armed Forces once again took over the government through a coup d’état and dissolved the bicameral Grand National Assembly, transferring all governmental authority to the military-dominated National Security Council. The military government then declared martial law, banned all political activity, and disbanded all remaining political parties while confiscating their property and financial assets. The military regime also employed harsh policies against any expression of Kurdish identity, specifically the Kurdish language and outlawed Kurdish communal activities.11 These measures significantly exacerbated Kurdish grievances, among a population that now had a greater national consciousness and this helped feed pro-Kurdish organizations (Yavuz 2001). The military’s campaign to restore order by suppressing Kurdish culture was accompanied by widespread arrests and ill-treatment of Kurdish prisoners. Misconduct in Diyarbakir prison became a symbol

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of the military regime’s oppression of Kurds.12 In response, the PKK’s discourse successfully mobilized Kurdish youth who had been active in the 1970s’ leftist movement but had kept a distance from Kurdish nationalism. The PKK’s transborder connections, especially with Syria and northern Iraq, provided a safe haven where the leftist opposition could flee from imprisonment, torture, and the death sentences commonly imposed by the military regime. Repression in Turkey prompted PKK supporters first to train with Palestinian fighters in the Middle East and later to fight alongside them during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon (Imset 1995).13 Thus, the military regime pushed an emerging Kurdish elite into exile, turning the Kurdish political movement into a transnational movement, and made them return to their homeland with a radical alternative—secession and unification of Kurds currently divided across four different countries. In 1983, the military returned government to the civilians by reinstating multi-party elections with new political parties. However, this partial democratization did not help ease tensions in Kurdish regions. In 1984, soon after the shift to a multi-party regime, the PKK announced a full-scale war against the Turkish state and ordered its members to move from Iraq, Iran, and Syria into the rural Kurdish provinces in Turkey. The military responded by arresting thousands of Kurds, arming critical villages, evacuating border villages, conducting cross-border military operations in Iran and Iraq, strengthening military intelligence, and creating private police forces.14 However, just two months after implementing these measures, the government declared that it had successfully secured the region and abandoned them. Soon after, however, a series of attacks against military targets forced it to realize that the conflict was far from over. One of the longest-lasting legacies of this period was the establishment of the Village Guard System in 1985. This was first regulated by the Law of Temporary Village Guards of 1924, passed by the new Turkish Republican government under the rationale that villagers themselves could best protect villages against the gangs that had emerged during the Independence War and because of the state’s weakness, especially in rural areas. Amendment 3175 to the 74th article of the Village Law, passed on March 26, 1985, transformed village guards from a voluntary militia force into public servants paid by the state. The premise was the selfprotection of isolated villages in rural areas that had no routine control and surveillance by state security forces (Balta et al. 2022). The village

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guard system offered the benefits of local intelligence. Village guards increasingly took part in military campaigns against the PKK, becoming a most valuable resource, given their familiarity with PKK cross-border trails and ability to serve as scouts for soldiers, even in the Turkish army’s crossborder operations in northern Iraq (Balta 2019). More importantly, given that the region is dominated by clans, recruiting them as village guards also reflected the indirect rule that has persisted in the region since the Hamidiye Regiments of the Ottoman Era.

5.6

1990s: The Bifurcated State

Toward the end of the 1980s, Turkey went through a period of political liberalization once the repression of the military period ended. Although the military transferred power back to the civilians in 1983, a political opening only emerged in 1987 when martial law was finally lifted. However, a state of emergency (OHAL) was immediately declared in most Kurdish provinces, which continued for another fifteen years, thus putting the region under emergency rule for almost 25 years. In addition, the position of Regional Governor of the State of Emergency (1987) was created to increase state coordination within OHAL provinces. This governor had extraordinary powers to censor the media, exile individuals supposedly dangerous to law and order, remove judges and public prosecutors, limit the right of assembly, and suspend trade union rights (Gözler 2000). The Regional Governor thus became the emergency president during emergency rule, thereby institutionalizing a bifurcated regime in Turkey (Balta 2007). Despite these measures, by the early 1990s, the PKK had achieved a certain degree of military success. Indeed, by 1990, according to high-ranking military officers and civilian security bureaucrats, it had already become a second authority, a rival state-like organization within the region, claiming to fulfill judicial, extractive, and coercive functions (Kı¸slalı 1996; Cemal 2003). In the cities, the PKK presence was manifested in mass demonstrations, flag-waving, commercial strikes, and political meetings (HRW 1995). As one of the Turkish army’s leading generals in the region, Orhan Pamuko˘glu, noted in his war memoirs: “all the army commanders were asking themselves, ‘what has been left to us in this region,’ everybody knew that the answer was ‘a big nothing’” (Pamuko˘glu 2003).

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In 1990, reflecting the war’s growing intensity, military spending rose significantly alongside a massive reorganization around internal war-making functions. In 1992, Chief of Staff General Do˘gan Güre¸s announced the change of objectives and announced that the internal threat is the first priority for the Turkish Army. By 1994, approximately one third of Turkey’s armed forces were permanently deployed in the area, a noticeable shift away from their previous deployment in the Aegean region and along the Turkish-Greek border (Kı¸slalı 1996: 164, 184– 185, 237). In November 1993, Prime Minister Tansu Çiller announced the establishment of special mobile teams within the Jandarma (HRW 1995)15 called Jandarma Special Teams (Özel Tim). This was a wellpaid all-volunteer force drawn from the ranks of elite units, such as army commandos. Many Özel Tim personnel were also reportedly drawn from the ranks of Turkey’s ultra-nationalist right-wing groups, which harbor a deeply-held antipathy toward Kurdish politics (HRW 1995). They also relied on anti-counterinsurgency methods and bear significant responsibility for most human rights violations. Disappearances and extrajudicial executions became common methods of violence during the early 1990s, rising sharply in frequency after 1993.16 During the 1990s, the already powerful NSC further extended its power over governmental policy, at times replacing the cabinet as the ultimate center of power regarding national security issues. According to Gunter (1997: 9), during the 1990s, “the NSC began to exercise virtually total authority over security matters to deal with the Kurdish problem.” This was also the period when pro-Kurdish political parties were first established as legal representatives of Kurdish demands.17 However, each party was successively dissolved by the Constitutional Court over allegations of cultivating social differences, aiming to destroy the “inseparable unity” between the Turkish state and the Turkish people, or becoming a center for illegal activities (Ko˘gacıo˘glu 2004). Thus, the 1990s saw a double movement: increasing Kurdish political representation and presence in the legal political arena alongside increasing violent conflict. During the conflict, the government also tried social development projects and exemption laws to encourage private sector investment, but these were unsuccessful as in previous periods. In particular, the Southeastern Anatolia Project (Güneydo˘gu Anadolu Projesi, GAP) became a major institutional mechanism to reform and integrate Kurdish regions

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into the national economy. The project was transformed into a multisector integrated regional development project, including social policies, which coincided with an increase in the intensity of the Kurdish conflict and was related to the state elite’s belief that the conflict was partly driven by underdevelopment.18 As Mesut Ye˘gen (2003) argues, in this period the Kurdish question, predominantly thought of as a problem of regional underdevelopment, became more prominent.19 Yet, the de-development perspective remained intact. Furthermore, the conflict made the region once again inhospitable to both state development projects and private investment, thereby creating a vicious cycle. The suppression of Kurdish identity and culture led to the unrealistic implementation of social policy projects, which were usually aimed at Kurds who lacked formal education or knowledge of Turkish. The acute phase of the fighting stopped after the PKK’s leader Abdullah Öcalan was captured in 1999, followed by the PKK’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire. Thereupon Kurdish regions experienced improvements in the quality of political and social life. As Gurses (2020) argues, the ceasefire introduced a new phase of increased popular support, a more diversified structure, and a fresh political outlook for the Kurdish nationalist movement. In local elections in 1999, HADEP, a pro-Kurdish party, won thirty-seven municipalities in southeastern and eastern Turkey, including major cities like Diyarbakir, Batman, Siirt, and Bingol (Balta Paker 2005). During the 2000s, the PKK also publicly renounced its previous goal of establishing an independent, united, socialist Kurdish state and began to promote concepts like ‘democratic autonomy’ and ‘democratic unity’ within Turkey.

5.7

The 2000s: Muslim Identity or Progressive Politics?

The legacy of the 1990s would irreversibly transform the Kurdish issue both politically and socially. Various individuals and bodies representing Kurds all flourished during this period. The establishment of Kurdish media outlets and the Kurdish political activists’ use of the internet also profoundly affected the nature of the Kurdish question (van Bruinessen 2000). The conflict and forced migration policies of the state led to the urbanization of the Kurdish population to a large extent. State violence against the Kurds also created a huge refugee community in Europe. Given its origins in various countries, this diaspora began to establish links

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and form organizations favoring pan-Kurdish aspirations. The 1990s also witnessed the mass mobilization of Kurdish women and the emergence of independent feminist initiatives among Kurdish women (Acik 2013). The dynamics of conflict and the framework of Kurdish political mobilization thus led to a new political consciousness among Kurds who were now living more in urban environments, experiencing a radical transformation in gender relations, and the weakening of social networks such as tribes. In other words, the Kurdish question of the 2000s was significantly different than the previous periods. This was when a brand-new political actor with a new agenda for Kurds entered into the political scene—the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-AKP). The AKP won the 2002 elections with significant support from Kurdish voters and since then has been able to keep its governing majority as Turkey enters the hundredth year of the Turkish Republic. The party’s founders and leaders of the new government saw themselves as ‘victims’ of the 1990s’ military-security establishment, just like the Kurds did. In fact, the national security establishment had defined two major threats against the Turkish Republic: the Kurdish political movement and political Islam. AKP elites immediately realized that their consolidation of political power depended on the strength of the military elites while curbing the military’s political power was directly related to desecuritizing the political sphere, and most importantly the Kurdish issue (Balta Paker and Akça 2012). Desecuritizing this issue and giving voice to Kurdish demands was thus a win–win strategy for the AKP (Michaud-Emin 2007; Usul 2008; Do˘gan 2005). Furthermore, initially the AKP pursued pro-EU policies and took significant steps in the E.U. membership process. In other words, from 2002 until the end of the decade, the AKP’s Kurdish policies were strongly determined by the wish to please the E.U. The harmonization packages included some specific laws that were significant for the cultural rights and administrative autonomy of the Kurdish population in Turkey which consisted mainly in easing restrictions on the Kurdish language (Toktamis 2019). The AKP’s elites also emphasized that Turkishness has wrongfully emphasized ethnicity and aggravated differences between Kurds and Turks whereas an emphasis on the Kurds’ religious identity unifies people that have been alienated from each other by both ethnic and secular visions of the nation (Al 2019; Gurses 2015b, 2018). Through this discourse of religious unity and giving voice to the Kurdish constituency, the AKP elites believed that they would eventually convince the already

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conservative Kurdish people to turn against the secular and nationalist “corrupt PKK elites” and undermine the influence of the Kurdish political movement. The AKP’s appeal to the Kurds also had a strategic component: as an emerging party, the AKP needed Kurdish votes to consolidate its power base similar to the Democrat Party of the 1950s. By both emphasizing religion and recognizing the distinct Kurdish identity, the AKP has become as a major political force and actor in Kurdish regions. This was also enforced by the 10% national electoral threshold that has long blocked Kurdish political parties from running independently. Throughout the 2000s, the AKP gradually expanded its power base to claim around half the Kurdish vote and has increasingly viewed itself as the sole force capable of resolving the Kurdish question, despite being very unwilling to recognize the agency of Kurdish political forces (Balta 2015b). Around the same time, regional developments were further contributing to the transnationalization of the Kurdish issue, which forced Turkey’s political elites to shift toward a more geopolitical management of the conflict (Ye˘gen 2022). First, the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the subsequent establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq20 alarmed Syria, Turkey, and Iran. Their political elites believed that the power vacuum created in Iraq would allow an independent Kurdish state to emerge that might try to carve out territory from their countries. Starting from 2003, Turkey therefore tried to lead a coalition for a regional security regime, primarily directed against Kurdish opposition forces. Since 2003, Turkey and Iran have participated in joint military operations and shared intelligence against the PKK and Iran’s Partiya Jiyana Azad a Kurdistanê/Party of Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK).21 In 2004, Turkey and Iran signed a security cooperation agreement acknowledging their joint commitment to regional security. In 2008, they signed another memorandum on Security Cooperation pledging joint action in maintaining border security and coordinating efforts against the PKK and the PJAK, including extensive intelligence sharing. In July 2009, Turkey also signed the Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism agreement with Syria, to enhance collaboration against the Kurdish opposition (Bank and Karada˘g 2013). In short, during the 2000s, while Turkey implemented major domestic reforms regarding the Kurdish issue, it simultaneously established regional cooperation mechanisms that primarily targeted Kurdish transnationalism, thus

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shifting toward a more geopolitical management of the Kurdish question (Ye˘gen 2022).

5.8 The Kurdish Opening: Strategy of Incorporation? As the AKP shifted toward more geopolitical means and territorial management of the Kurdish issue, there began a series of domestic initiatives to solve the Kurdish question politically. In 2009, the AKP announced its first very short-lived Kurdish opening after Turkey’s ˙ initiated negotiations with the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) PKK, known as the Oslo Talks. Although the full details of the plan were never publicly disclosed, it is known that one key issue was repatriation of and amnesty for PKK militants who had not participated in military operations (Casier et al. 2013). The political negotiations, however, soon faced rampant nationalism, so the AKP immediately halted the opening, afraid of losing nationalist votes in upcoming elections. Furthermore, it was clear that the leaking of the negotiations was either a symptom or a cause of intra-elite tensions within the government. As a result of these domestic pressures, the Kurdish problem almost immediately became securitized again (Ça˘gaptay 2009). The major form of securitization in this period was the instrumentalization of the judiciary whereby the AKP government resorted to rule by law rather than rule of law. Almost 10,000 Kurdish political activists were detained, including elected Kurdish politicians, thereby creating a new regime of oppression via judicial means (Marcus 2010).22 In other words, before the elections of June 12, 2011, the AKP shifted to a hardline position on the Kurdish issue, which completely dissipated the previous decade’s optimism. The problem was once again rebranded as one of terror not democracy, and of violence not rights. During this new period, AKP elites declared that the Kurdish problem had already been resolved, that they would soon rout PKK forces, and that they were unwilling to enter further negotiations. Then Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo˘gan declared that they would only meet with legal and legitimate Kurdish representatives and suggested that the pro-Kurdish United Democracy Party (BDP) was not a proper interlocutor since it did not act “independently and autonomously”. Capitalizing on this tougher stance in the 2011 elections, the AKP significantly increased its vote share to 49.9%. I would like to note that the sudden discursive shifts vis-à-vis

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Kurds was not only a reflection of an electoral strategy, it was also a reflection of ongoing elite tensions with regard to the solution to the conflict that has been a constant feature of Turkish politics. After the AKP’s landslide election victory, however, this tough stance and discourse toward the Kurdish issue soon softened as the new regional dynamics were significantly different from the previous period. In particular, this was a period of demonstrations and protests, riots and civil wars throughout the countries of the Arab League and its neighbors. What was initially named the Arab Spring radically transformed both regional power struggles and the domestic concerns and alliances of all the Middle Eastern powers (Öni¸s 2012). Turkey’s government soon found itself competing with them in trying to influence the region’s future by directly and indirectly intervening in the domestic policies of Middle Eastern states, which were in a state of flux. This made it increasingly difficult for AKP to pursue its “zero problem” approach which was based on softening conflicts with neighboring states and expanding trade linkages. Turkey soon switched its foreign policy approach from trading to intervention and began to play an important part in the Middle East’s Sunni-Shia sectarian divide. Furthermore, the Sunni factor became more pivotal in the AKP’s foreign policy, with the Kurds once again becoming a major element in creating an Islamic brotherhood. The new search for pro-Islamic politics in the Middle East necessitated the elimination of long-lasting political questions, such as the Kurdish issue, which had consumed considerable economic and political resources (Çiçek 2011). Following the optimism of the previous decades and trusting in their share of support from Turkey’s Kurdish regions, the AKP government once again believed that, given the opportunity, Turkey’s conservative Muslim Kurdish population would soon follow the policies of the Turkish government and AKP would become the major force among Kurds, as in the rest of Turkey.23 Furthermore, the AKP realized that it could use intra-Kurdish conflict and Salafi groups in Syria to counter the PKK’s regional influence. Regarding the intra-Kurdish conflict, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq had a crucial role. Although Turkey’s government had initially resisted the KRG’s establishment, due to the massive influx of Turkish investment Northern Iraq soon became Turkey’s second-largest export market (Barkey 2014). Flourishing trade between the two states helped overcome decades of tension, making the KRG a major regional ally and client of the Turkish government. While the KRG balanced the

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PKK’s presence and influence in Iraq, the AKP government thought that the dynamics of Syria’s civil war would not allow the PKK to take root in Syria. At the beginning of 2013, even while the region became more conflictridden, the AKP government re-launched negotiations with the PKK, with the aim of disarming the region. On March 21, 2013, after months of negotiations with the Turkish government, Öcalan’s letter to the public was read in both Turkish and Kurdish during historical Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır. The letter called for a ceasefire that included the PKK’s disarmament and withdrawal from Turkey, and an end to its armed struggle. On April 25, 2013, the PKK announced that it would withdraw all its forces from Turkey. The government then invited KRG’s Barzani to Diyarbakır despite strong criticism from the Kurdish political movement (Dalo˘glu 2013). However, this scenario came under direct attack as the ISIS threat became increasingly directed against the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, where ISIS’s large-scale atrocities forced a compromise between rival Kurdish parties, pushing them to establish more cooperative links (Stansfield 2013). This became more evident when ISIS fighters surrounded the eastern part of the Kurdish town of Kobani while the Turkish government remained reluctant to give either direct or indirect support to the town’s residents. The Kobani Battle created a large-scale protest cycle among Kurds in Turkey, with tens of thousands of Kurdish people taking to the streets in Turkey’s southeast on October 6 and 7, 2014 to protest against the AKP’s Syrian policy. They shouted slogans such as “Kobani is Diyarbakır,” and demanded that the government open Turkey’s borders to Kobani refugees whom they saw as their fellow citizens and to allow Iraqi Peshmerga forces to cross into Syria to help the Syrian Kurds. Protests then spread across the country, including Ankara and Istanbul, leaving 42 people dead. The government issued a curfew in six Kurdish-populated cities to control the protests’ growing intensity (Bianet 2015). The protests made clear that the Kurdish political movement now had transnational links beyond Turkey’s borders, and that it had become the major political alternative to Salafi movements in the Middle East. Furthermore, major powers like the United States and Russia allied themselves with the Kurds against the growing Salafi influence in the region. Initially, the AKP had expected that negotiations would stop the growing influence of the movement and had hoped to unite Turkey’s Kurds

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around the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Kobani protests showed the AKP elites that neither policy was feasible and that it would be difficult to curb the PKK’s influence, either in the region or in Turkey (Balta 2015a). In other words, this time, the major blow to the solution of the Kurdish question was coming from outside of Turkey as the geopolitical management of the conflict became more difficult (Arslan 2019). The negotiations did not fail immediately, but continued, albeit with major problems. In February 2015, the government and Kurdish politicians met in Dolmabahçe Palace to read the ten-point peace plan drafted by Öcalan. President Erdo˘gan quickly explained his dissatisfaction with the meeting whereas Prime Minister Davuto˘glu described it as the beginning of a new phase in the peace process. Just months after this historic meeting, however, the process failed indefinitely because of the AKP’s first major electoral defeat. In the 2015 general elections, AKP once more took first place as expected, winning 40.9% of the vote. However, this percentage—which would normally be celebrated as triumph—became the party’s first ‘defeat’ because, by losing 9% of its votes from the previous election and thus parliamentary seats, it could not form a singleparty government. This first “defeat” was also largely perceived as a success for the People’s Democracy Party (HDP),24 which had overcome the ten percent electoral threshold that was put in place in 1983 with the aim of preventing Kurdish regional parties being represented in the national Parliament. For almost a decade, the AKP and pro-Kurdish parties had shared the Kurdish vote almost equally; however, in this instance the balance tipped radically toward HDP (Çiçek 2015). In 2015, the first time the Kurdish voters mainly supported a Kurdish political party which ranked first in almost all Kurdish-majority provinces. The HDP had based its election campaign in these regions on three pillars: autonomy for Kurdish culture; solidarity among Kurds (including regional solidarity); and regional peace. The HDP also successfully incorporated the region’s conservative, religious Muslim Kurds while attracting rightist and conservative clans. Right before the June 2015 elections, the party established social reconciliation and dialogue commissions—known also as “persuasion commissions,” thereby adopting the state’s previous frequently used strategy of negotiating with tribes to incorporate Kurds. By doing so, the HDP reached out to these conservative clans and gained the support of local mullahs and some influential conservative Kurds. Consequently, many formerly pro-AKP clans changed their allegiances right before the elections. This shift particularly alarmed the government

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because it challenged both the AKP as a regional party and the traditional basis of state rule in the region (Ta¸stekin 2015).

5.9

Renewed Fighting

Although one of the main aims of the solution processes had been to marginalize pro-Kurdish politics, it had the opposite result and empowered autonomous Kurdish political actors and normalized Kurdish political representation (Balta 2015b). After 2015, the Turkish state reinstituted its strategies for dealing with the Kurdish question through the simultaneous use of violence, oppression, and assimilation (Ye˘gen 2022) as the AKP government declared Turkey no longer faced a Kurdish question and that all possible rights had already been granted. However, abandoning the process meant that the entire country was swept up in renewed conflict, predominantly in Kurdish districts (Tekdemir and Göksel 2015) and the AKP government called for new elections. Capitalizing on a tougher stance toward the Kurdish issue, the AKP significantly increased its votes in under six months to 49.5% in the November 1, 2015 elections, thereby gaining enough seats to form a single-party government. The authoritarian momentum justified by the very presence of a Kurdish opposition accelerated after the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.25 A state of emergency was declared five days after the coup and remained in effect for almost two years, giving special powers to the government. According to Freedom House, Turkey’s level of democracy has sunk to levels not seen since the 1980s’ military regime. Following the failed coup, the government instrumentalized the judiciary against constantly shifting and enlarging groups of its declared enemies, making it difficult to form any crosscutting democratic alliance between ideologically divergent groups (Sozen 2019). Specifically, the Kurdish opposition was criminalized in order to broaden existing divisions within the opposition. Despite the government’s draconian measures against the Kurdish opposition, in the March 2019 local elections for 30 metropolitan and 1,351 district municipal mayors, the HDP secured 65 municipalities, including three metropolitan municipalities, namely van, Mardin, and Diyarbakır. However, the government immediately denied six HDP comayors their election certificates with the excuse that they had previously been dismissed from their jobs by emergency rule decrees. The government then appointed trustees to replace the HDP mayors whose removal

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was based on terrorism charges. Whereas in mid-March 2020, there were around 37 trustees replacing HDP mayors, by mid-May, this number rose to 51 out of 65, meaning that 78.5% of HDP municipalities were run by trustees (BirGün 2020). By August 2020, hundreds of local politicians and elected office holders and thousands of HDP members had been detained on terrorism-related charges while investigations are still going on against other mayors on active duty. In July 2020, the two HDP deputies and one CHP lawmaker were stripped of their parliamentary status and arrested on terrorism charges.

5.10

Conclusion

On the hundredth anniversary of the Turkish Republic, the Kurdish question continues to be one of the most central problems of Turkish politics, with no consensus among the public or the elites about how to resolve it. Throughout this article, I have approached the Kurdish question in three fundamental ways: who belongs in Turkey, who gets to be represented, and how to manage territorial differences and territorial borders. I showed that for the last hundred years, Turkey has failed to resolve the question of who belongs as it has failed to include Kurds with their distinct identity in the Turkish nation-state. Although the reforms made in the 2000s expanded the cultural rights of the Kurds relatively, Kurdish identity is still not recognized as a collective cultural and political identity. Moreover, there is no consensus on how the cultural elements of Kurdish identity would be compatible with Turkishness, either at the social level or at the level of the political elites. The AKP’s strategy of solving the Kurdish issue through Muslim identity and indirect political representation has also failed, leaving the political resolution of the Kurdish question more ambivalent than ever. Regarding Kurdish representation, there have been several critical changes. First, almost all political parties now must appeal to Kurdish voters to win presidential elections, which are intrinsically highly majoritarian. Second, pro-Kurdish political parties can now easily pass the 10% threshold, originally implemented to stop ethnic regional parties from winning parliamentary seats in national elections. Third, a significant portion of Turkey’s Kurdish population now votes only for pro-Kurdish political parties that represent their political demands. On the other hand, although Kurds have unprecedently become so visible politically, proKurdish parties still face great pressure, including threats of prosecution

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and arrest, and dismissal of their elected representatives. Moreover, all the major parties that constitute either the government or oppositional blocs remain very careful to distance themselves from Kurdish political representatives. The conflict, in part, should be understood as a conflict over the nature of democracy in Turkey (Kaya and Whiting 2019). Regarding the territorial management of the Kurdish question, I have argued that the Kurdish problem is more transnational/transborder than ever before, and therefore its resolution has become much more complex. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent establishment of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Northern Iraq and the ten-year-long Syrian civil war have strengthened the transnational solidarity between Kurdish groups divided between different countries. It was precisely this situation that has very strongly rekindled Turkey’s biggest existential security issue, the fear of partition. This situation, as I have stated in this article, has meant that geopolitical tools have gained in importance in dealing with the Kurdish issue. Finally, the dynamics of regional inequality are still there. Today, Kurdish provinces are still below Turkey’s average in terms of per capita income. However, in the last 30 years, the region has experienced extraordinary urbanization and integration with the market. While this dynamic caused the rise of the Kurdish middle classes, it also created serious impoverishment, especially in the peripheries of big cities. As Bülent Küçük stated, this class transformation led to the emergence of two different political subjectivities among the Kurds that overshadow the patterns of political representation. In short, one hundred years after the founding of the republic, Turkey still has not made any serious progress to finding the solution to the Kurdish question. A political solution to this would mean strengthening equality both politically and economically and would transform the way Turkey does politics not only for the Kurds but also for the whole of the country. Acknowledgements I would like to thank to Duygun Ruben for his assistance during the preparation of this piece. I also would like to thank Ali Sipahi and Mehmet Gurses for reading the first drafts and for their useful comments. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to Martin van Bruinessen whose detailed comments helped me immensely to improve the arguments of this chapter.

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Notes 1. During its conquest of the Caucasus and a series of wars with the Ottoman and Iranian Empires throughout the nineteenth century, Russia formed local, temporary alliances with various disparate Armenian groups, encouraging their political unification. It also formed temporary alliances with select Kurdish groups against the Ottoman Empire (Reynolds 2003). 2. Anatolia’s significant non-Muslim population was subject to population exchange, with about one and a half million Greeks leaving Turkey for Greece and about half a million Turks leaving Greece for Turkey. 3. This occurred even though in the Treaty of Sevres the occupying forces had promised Kurds their own territory. Section III, Articles 62–64 were clear on the Kurdish issue: If within one year from the coming into force of the present treaty the Kurdish people within the areas defined in Art. 62 shall address themselves to the Council of the League of Nations in such a manner as to show that the majority of the populations of these areas desires independence from Turkey... Turkey hereby agrees to execute such a recommendation, and to renounce all rights and title over these areas. (...) If and when such renunciation takes place, no objection will be raised by the Principal Allied Powers to the voluntary adhesion to such an independent Kurdish State. For the full text of the agreement, see http://net.lib.byu.edu/~rdh7/wwi/versa/sevres1.html. Accessed March 10, 2006. 4. The international community, moreover, weakened the Kurdish position by abandoning the idea of an independent Kurdistan. American policy favored an independent Armenia at the expense of the Kurds. Only the British seemed to be supportive of an independent Kurdistan, but they did not materially support the Kurds and ultimately abandoned the idea of an autonomous Kurdistan (Winrow and Kirisci 1997). 5. Referring to the rebellion, Mustafa Kemal stated in 1925: “I flatly refuse to believe that today, in the luminous presence of science, knowledge, and civilization in all its aspects, there exist, in the civilized community of Turkey, men so primitive as to seek their material and moral well-being from the guidance of one or another sheikh. Gentlemen, you and the whole nation must know, and know well, that the Republic of Turkey cannot be the land of sheikhs, dervishes, disciples, and lay brothers (…). The heads of the brotherhoods will (...) at once close their monasteries and accept the fact that their disciples have at last come of age (cited in Kinross 1965: 468)”. 6. For the government policies on the suppression of the Dersim rebellion see Be¸sikçi (1992). 7. According to Kirisci (2000), the 1934 law was issued because of a growing concern over the failure of naturalization, since most of Turkey’s

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non-Muslim minorities, large pockets of Kurds in Eastern Anatolia, and immigrants from the Caucasus were not fluent in Turkish. This law, he argued “would assist the state’s effort to find a nation for itself” (2000: 9). For an analysis of the rise of the DP, see Vanderlippe (2005). For a discussion on land ownership forms in southeastern Turkey, see van Bruinessen (1992) and Aydın (1986). According to Laitin (1998), assimilationist policies can only be successful when there is market integration of the ethnic groups in question. Markets work through changing the strategic calculations of the younger generation who thinks learning the titular language is more desirable in order to increase their life chances. The 1982 Constitution put a heavy emphasis on Turkish ethnicity (Zeydanlıo˘glu 2012). Some of the important articles of the 1982 Constitution with regard to the Kurdish culture and demands were: No language prohibited by law shall be used in the expression and dissemination of thought (Article 26). Publication shall not be made in any language prohibited by law (Article 28). No political party may concern itself with the defense, development, or diffusion of any non-Turkish language or culture; nor shall they seek to create minorities within our frontiers to destroy our national unity (Article 89). The 1983 Law (no:18199) also allowed public use of all languages that were the first official language of an existing state, thereby banning Kurdish without having to mention it. It remained in force until 1991. https://www5.tbmm.gov.tr/tutana klar/KANUNLAR_KARARLAR/kanuntbmmc066/kanundmc066/kan undmc06602932.pdf. Accessed March 1, 2023. During the coup era, 650,000 people were detained, and most were either beaten or tortured, with over 500 people dying (Imset 1995). While torture was widespread throughout Turkey during the 1980s and applied mainly to leftist prisoners, the brutality of treatment in Diyarbakır was reportedly much worse and closely connected to the inmates’ Kurdish origin. This contributed immensely to the rise of Kurdish nationalism. For more about Diyarbakir prison, see Cemal (2003) and Zana (1997). This cooperation then led to various regional movements opening their territories to the PKK. Milliyet, October 13, 1984. The Jandarma, formally under the control of the Turkish Minister of Interior, is a rural police force assigned to internal security and border control in Turkey’s countryside. It is not integrated into NATO planning and operational structures. As the war intensified, an undeclared secret command structure under the control of the military emerged. Those with the backing of the armed forces, including within the police force, began to enjoy extensive

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˙ authority. Ismet Berkan, the chief editor of the daily newspaper Radikal reported on a secret National Security Council (NSC) document from 1993 that established a secret organization of special police forces, military officers, ultra-nationalist mafia figures, and Kurdish clan leaders, to support state security forces in their struggle against the PKK and its alleged sympathizers. These connections were further revealed (but not adequately prosecuted) when a traffic accident in Susurluk in 1996 killed a high-ranking police officer and an internationally wanted member of the Mafia. 17. The parties are DEP (Demokrasi Partisi/Democracy Party), OZDEP (Ozgurluk ve Demokrasi Partisi/Freedom and Democracy Party) and HADEP (Halkin Demokrasi Partisi/People’s Democracy Party), which was subsequently renamed DEHAP (Demokratik Halk Partisi/ Democratic People’s Party). 18. Nilay Özok (2005) argues that the increasing importance of social policies was also related to the PKK’s increasing social activities, such as offering health services. She argues that, in the early 1990s, as the PKK strengthened locally, social policy became an area of competition between the PKK and the state. 19. The first Ozal government program (December 13, 1983–December 21, 1987) stated, “It is our government’s priority to develop the underdeveloped regions, especially East and Southeastern Anatolia.” This objective was restated in the Akbukut government’s (November 9, 1989–June 23, 1991) program. The seventh Demirel government (November 20, 1991– June 25, 1993) pointed out the need for a special regional development plan for the southeast and the importance of the GAP project. It was also the first to state that the GAP project was a tool for regional, integrated development rather than solely focused on energy and irrigation. The Coalition Protocol of the Demirel government stated a similar objective, adding the need for creating private sector investment incentives in the southeast. The Ciller government’s (June 25, 1993–March 12, 1996) programs were the first to openly acknowledge terror as a problem in the southeast despite simultaneously declaring victory over terrorism. After the Ciller government, Turkey experienced short-lived coalitions that highlighted the political system’s increasing instability. The second Yilmaz government (March 12, 1996–July 8, 1996), the Erbakan government (July 8, 1996–June 30, 1997), the third Yilmaz government (June 30, 1997–January 11, 1999), and the fourth Ecevit government (January 11, 1999–May 28, 1999) all pointed to the problem’s economic and social

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character and the need to address regional development. For further information on government programs, see the website of the Prime Minister’s Office of Turkey, www.basbakanlik.gov.tr. Although the Turkish government initially resisted the establishment of the KRG, through a massive influx of Turkish investment, Northern Iraq soon became Turkey’s second-largest export market. This flourishing trade helped overcome decades of tension, making the KRG a major ally of the Turkish government in the region. However, this was also related to the Turkish government’s realization that it could use the KRG’s influence in the region to counter the influence of the PKK. The PJAK is a Kurdish political/militant organization in Iran which has waged an armed struggle against the Iranian government since 2003 for Kurdish cultural and political rights. Like the PYD in Syrian, the PJAK has close connections with the PKK. In fact, as van Bruinessen (2000) has argued, all Kurdish twentieth-century political movements have concentrated their efforts on only one part of Kurdistan, with the partial exception of the PKK. Since the 1980s, the PKK has been the sole Kurdish political actor in Turkish politics. It was also the inspirer, organizer and protector the PYD and the PJAK. Although both the PYD and the PJAK are directly linked to the internal dynamics of Syrian and Iranian Kurdish society, respectively, they are often regarded as the PKK’s local branches. Indeed, rule by law would become the major governance mechanism of the successive AKP governments in which courts have become the instrument of repression toward the opposition. One recent example came from the spokesman of Turkish President, ˙ Ibrahim Kalın. He stated that the future of the peace process was directly related to the disarmament of the PKK without any concessions (NTV Haber 2015). I have a query regarding this source; see the bibliography. The HDP was established in 2012 as an umbrella party for various groups with feminist, green, and socialist agendas. Among them, the largest was certainly the pro-Kurdish party BDP. On July 15, 2016, a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces attempted a coup d’etat citing an erosion of secularism, the elimination of democratic rule, disregard for human rights, and Turkey’s loss of credibility in the international arena as reasons for the coup. During the coup attempt, over 300 people were killed and more than 2,100 were injured. Many government buildings, including the Turkish Parliament and the Presidential Palace were bombed from the air.

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CHAPTER 6

Turkey, the West and the Endless Search for Power Ilhan Uzgel

One hundred years is a long term to cover a country’s foreign policy since the world has been through many different phases. However, for the sake of argument, it is possible to define two main strands in Turkish foreign policy that persisted despite the great upheavals and turmoil that occurred in its surrounding regions and the world. The first one is that Turkey has a very long historical tradition of Westernism (Batıcılık) if not solely Western-oriented foreign policy, which dates back to the last century of Ottoman times, and the second is its never-ending perceptions of threat which have led to the use of force in various forms when Turkey has found it necessary, and when regional and international conditions have provided the grounds for it. After fighting a war of national liberation against the Western powers and their ally Greece in the 1920s, Turkey, led by Atatürk, tried to build a Western-inspired modern society and to become part of the Western

I. Uzgel (B) Formerly Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_6

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world although he was keen on maintaining the country’s sovereignty and pursuing a balanced foreign policy. The roots of Western orientation lie in the early efforts of the late Ottoman Empire to catch up with the West when both the Sultan’s Palace and the intellectuals realized the backwardness of the Empire and its impending demise. Westernism was embedded in the codes of the Republic and defined the future orientation of the country. Western orientation in foreign policy has been part and parcel of Turkey’s modernization efforts both in terms of economic development and in having a modernized society and its institutions. Over the years, Turkey’s Western vocation has taken different forms and different, and occasionally contradictory, meanings depending on the domestic, regional and international context. For a century, different political actors pursued Western-centered policies for different motives. In the late 1940s, both the ruling CHP (the People’s Republican Party) and the opposition political movement gathered around the Democrat Party followed pro-Western policies. It was Ismet Inönü, the commander of the War of National Liberation, and Atatürk’s brother in arms who first applied for membership of NATO in 1949, and then of the EU (then the EEC) in 1963, and it was his rival Adnan Menderes whose government made Turkey a member of NATO. Despite occasional disruptions, disagreements, and problems that any politics can endure, political actors across the center-right and center-left, military and civilian, secular and Islamist spectrum have never considered a total break with the West, though Turkey, under different governments, has tried to multiply its ties, balance its pro- Western alignment, occasionally sought alternatives, and searched for regional dominance. The second continuity in Turkish foreign policy is Turkey’s evolving perceptions of threat and their impact on the general formulation of foreign and security policies. Turkey’s difficult geographic location, its historical legacy, and real or imagined threats have led it to maintain a strong army, prioritize security over democracy and human rights, securitize its neighbors, and launch various land, sea, air, and/or combined military operations. The prevalent characteristics of Turkey’s one hundred years of foreign policy experience have been the dialectics of this defensive over-sensitivity to threats not only from neighbors but also from allies, and the need to cope with this sense of insecurity through an expansionist logic that required the use of force and military control of cross-border areas.

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In other words, Turkey’s aspirations to have secure borders and to be a regional power under different governments, be they Kemalist, nationalist, Eurasianist, or Islamist find their legitimacy in its perceptions of threat. These two seemingly incompatible and inconsistent psyches, i.e., the perception of constant and immediate threats and the need to expand politically and territorially are based on a perception of Turkey both as a victim and a usurper at the same time.

6.1

The Interwar Years and Balanced Westernism

In 1923, the Republic of Turkey emerged victorious after a successful War of National Liberation fought on many fronts but mainly against the advancing Greek armies. After exhausting diplomatic negotiations that took place in Lausanne for about eight months, the Western powers and the Ankara government signed the Treaty of Lausanne which is still considered the founding treaty of the Republic. The Republican elites led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk faced serious challenges both on the home front and in foreign policy. The country had lost its young population after a decade of wars stretching from Libya to the Caucasus, the country had been devastated economically, and had to pay a large portion of the Ottoman debts. The new Republic initiated ambitious modernization efforts, introducing a series of reforms including the Swiss Civil Code and the Italian Penal Code, the adoption of the Latin alphabet (1928), and women’s universal franchise (1934) to modernize and westernize the society (Ahmad 1993). They had to rebuild and reconstruct the country, take steps for education, develop infrastructure, and deal with serious domestic challenges such as the riots in the southeast, the most important of which were the Said-i Nursi (1925) and Dersim (1936) riots, both repressed violently (Ye˘gen 2007). In the two decades after the declaration of the Republic, Turkey had a strong leadership but a weak society. It had to design its foreign policy under the influence of the vivid political memory of the partition of the Ottoman lands, occupations, interference in domestic affairs, and financial dependency on the Western powers. Therefore, the main pillars of foreign policy in the interwar years were shaped under these considerations. The Atatürk leadership had been especially concerned about the independence, domestic stability, and territorial integrity of the country.

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There were primarily three foreign policy issues after the independence. The first was dealing with the aftermath of the Lausanne Treaty, namely the Mosul and Alexandria (Hatay) problems, and the de-militarized status of the Turkish Straits. The second was regional security, and the third was maintaining a balanced foreign policy toward the power centers of the time without aligning with any of them. The first foreign policy engagement for the new Republic was to enter a negotiating process with Britain over the fate of the Mosul and Kirkuk region whose status was left to bilateral talks at the Lausanne Conference. After painful and prolonged negotiations Turkey had to agree to the decision to take the matter to the League of Nations as agreed in the Treaty. Although a declining power, Britain was still an economic, diplomatic and military powerhouse compared to a newly established republic, and the outbreak of the Kurdish-Islamist Said-i Nursi rebellion during the negotiations weakened Turkey’s position. Eventually, Ankara had to accept the decision of the League of Nations which gave the region to Iraq which was under British Mandate (Bayur 1995). This was modern Turkey’s first major diplomatic setback but, over time, the new Republic developed new skills to deal with difficult diplomatic issues. Realizing there was a changing security environment with a growing fascist Italian threat in the Mediterranean, and the rise of Nazism in Germany, Turkey made a critical move in 1936 to make substantial changes regarding the demilitarized status of the Straits. The Montreux Conference in 1936 had been a diplomatic success for the young Republic which convinced the leading powers for the return of sovereignty over the Straits to Turkey, the dissolution of the International Commission that was responsible for the implementation of the passage from the Straits, and re-militarization of the area. With a critical and timely move on the eve of World War II, Turkey outmaneuvered Syria, then under French Mandate, and annexed the region of Alexandretta in 1939. Unlike the Mosul problem, the region did not possess any natural resources and the international conditions compelled the French to keep Turkey in the Western camp under strained international circumstances. Turkish leadership was shrewd in taking advantage of the international context but would draw the enmity of Syria which would not accept the loss of the region. The two regional ententes that were formed through Turkey’s diplomatic efforts, the Balkan Pact of 1934 and the Sadabad Pact of 1937 were a reflection of both the diplomatic activity of the country during

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the interwar years and the security concerns of the early Republic. While the former was a regional security measure against revisionist Bulgaria, the latter was a consequence of both domestic, i.e. Kurdish, and regional security measures. These two pacts provided the regional security architecture of the time. Turkey made its balanced approach a cornerstone of its foreign policy under the circumstances of growing polarization in the international system. Indeed, Nazi Germany spent some diplomatic energy trying to cajole Turkey on to its side, emphasizing their alliance forged during World War I, and developing a strategic trade policy toward Eastern Europe including Turkey that tied them to the rising German industry. While Germany and Italy became Turkey’s main trading partners, Turkey maintained its political distance from the Axis powers even though Berlin had sent its former prime minister to Ankara as an ambassador in an attempt to win Turkey over to the Axis powers (Deringil 2014). Atatürk himself attached great importance to relations with Britain and hosted King Edward VIII in Istanbul in 1936. Turkey also became a member of the League of Nations at Britain’s invitation, and its membership was approved unanimously. The Bolsheviks and the Soviets played a very critical role in the winning of the war between 1919 and 1922 through providing much needed military assistance, and diplomatic recognition with the 1921 treaty. Following the dynamics of the previous period, Atatürk’s Turkey signed a Treaty of Friendship with the Soviets in December 1925 and received technical assistance for developing a planned economy as well as economic aid. In a balanced fashion, Turkey received economic assistance and loans from Germany, Britain, and the Soviet Union with a carefully catered policy of maintaining the balance with each power bloc. Officially Turkey’s balanced foreign policy terminated with the signing of the pacts with Britain and France in 1939, and although the Inönü governments did a great job of keeping Turkey out of World War II, Turkey had already leaned toward Britain and France on the eve of this conflict.

6.2 Turkey as an Outpost of the Containment Strategy Ismet Inönü was a close friend and the “second man” after Atatürk, symbolizing the Kemalist continuity in government. However, under his government, Turkey was entrenched in the Western camp after the end of

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World War II. The Soviets’ refusal to renew the 1925 Friendship Agreement, and their pressure to control the Straits (Erkin 1968) along with the historical Westernism prevalent among the Turkish elite, compelled Turkey to align itself with the United States and seek membership of NATO. The newly developed ties with the United States led to two critical developments. The Inönü government opted for a transition to the multiparty system which was a milestone in Turkey’s political life, and the government had to show that it was part of the Western world (Lewis 1961). With Turkey’s participation in the Korean War and membership of NATO, Turkey agreed to become part of the U.S./NATO containment strategy and an outpost on the southern flank of the Alliance. Turkey was included in the Truman Doctrine, the Turkish military had the opportunity to receive U.S.-made surplus weapons, and even became a beneficiary of the Marshall Plan, although it had not entered the war. It was the Menderes government that came to power in 1950 that took Turkey’s Western orientation to a whole new level. The first and most pro-United States government in Turkish history, the Menderes government fully aligned Turkey’s foreign and security policy with that of the United States and NATO. Menderes sent Turkish troops to the Korean War without a parliamentary motion, to mitigate the resistance of some NATO members to Turkey’s membership. He became an enthusiastic part of the U.S. containment strategy, allowed the use of the Incirlik base for U.S. military operations in the Middle East, and allowed the deployment of Jupiter nuclear missiles and U-2 reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union (Criss 1997). With U.S. encouragement, the Turkish government sent its foreign minister to the Bandung Conference to convince the Third World countries not to initiate a non- alignment movement, arguing that in a bipolar world, non-alignment would mean supporting the communist bloc (Gönlübol 1996). The 1950s had been a period when the logic of the Cold War had a lasting impact on Turkey’s foreign policy and marked the beginning of at least half a century of “strategic bargaining” with the United States. The Americans would provide economic and military aid and in return Turkey would allow them to utilize Turkey’s strategic position and its military, if necessary. This was also the time that Turkish-U.S. intelligence cooperation commenced, and Turkey, with its security institutions gradually tied to the U.S. global security, agreed to being an outpost of U.S. global primacy not only against communism and the Warsaw Pact but also in other regions.

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Turkey signed the Balkan Pact in 1953 to which Turkey, Greece, and Yugoslavia became signatories and the Baghdad Pact in 1955 bringing together the pro-U.S. allies, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan. Turkey was a key player in a vast geographical region from Yugoslavia (Tito had issues with Stalin at that time) to Pakistan and played a critical role as a bulwark against Soviet influence. The Menderes government preferred to abstain from voting Algeria’s independence in the UN, supported U.S. policy in the Middle East, declared that it backed the Eisenhower Doctrine, and allowed the use of the Incirlik base for U.S. military intervention in Jordan in 1958 (Türkmen 2012). While the Menderes government was the most enthusiastic and staunch partner of U.S. foreign policy, during his time American culture and lifestyle also made headways into Turkish society. It is no surprise that the crackdown on the already very small leftist movements and a small number of left-wing intellectuals coincided with Turkey’s tilt toward the United States.

6.3

Detente and Balancing

The Menderes government was ousted from power with a military coup in May 1960 which ushered in a new era in Turkey not only in foreign policy but also in domestic politics, in the realm of democratization, economics, and society. The ensuing Constitution, promulgated in 1961, emboldened civil society, expanded freedoms, and in line with international trends, Turkey was declared a social (welfare) state. For the first time in Turkish history, the left-wing movements organized around the Turkey’s Workers Party (TIP), were represented in the Parliament, and the main pillars of Turkish foreign policy became subject to public debate (Ataöv 1969). Until the 1960s, foreign policy was an exclusive realm, formed by the state elites, and was not under public scrutiny. With the rise of legal leftist movements, and under the relatively relaxed atmosphere of free speech, Turkey’s staunch United States /NATO allegiance was publicly questioned by the newly published journals and newspapers. Two events played a critical role in the criticism of the United States’ disregard and treatment of Turkey. The first was the U.S. bargaining during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis in which the United States agreed to withdraw the Jupiter missiles from Turkey. The United States unilaterally pulled the missiles without even notifying the Turkish government. Although getting rid of any kind of nuclear weapons had been a

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positive development by all criteria, it was a great disappointment for the Inönü government which wholeheartedly supported the United States during the missile crisis (Schaffer 2020). But the second and more traumatic turning point in Turkey’s foreign policy was the “Johnson Letter” affair. This was a letter sent to Inönü in June 1964 by then U.S. President Johnson asking Turkey not to use force in Cyprus, and implicitly warning Turkey that in case of a Turkish move on the island, and if the Soviet Union should take advantage of any possible chaos, then the United States would have to reconsider fulfilling its responsibility to come to the defense of its ally (Johnson and Inönü 1966). When leaked to the press, the letter created an outcry among the public, and the reliability of the United States as a security provider was called into question, this time even by some of the right-wing intellectuals, and the government. As a consequence, realizing the risks of over-reliance on a superpower like the United States, the Turkish ruling elites decided to expand Turkey’s foreign policy, and a new concept, the “multifaceted foreign policy” approach, was adopted. As a result, beginning in the mid-1960s, Turkey had a three-pronged policy initiative. One was toward its regions, the second toward the Third World countries that had been neglected by the previous government, and the third, toward the Soviet Union. With this new policy, Turkey tried to develop its ties with neighboring countries, and even with some of the African states (Oran 2010). Especially critical was the diplomatic isolation of Turkey in the international system which was revealed during the voting process on the Cyprus issue in the UN General Assembly in 1965. Neither Turkey’s allies in the Western world, nor its neighbors and developing countries voted in favor of Turkey. It was imperative for Turkey to initiate a charm offensive, and to recover from its international isolation and tarnished image. But the most important breakthrough was its growing ties with the Soviet Union. Under the Süleyman Demirel government, Turkey signed agreements on economic cooperation with its powerful neighbor, and Demirel, known to be a pro-United States politician, visited Moscow in 1965, which was a bold move under Cold War conditions. More importantly, the Soviets provided economic assistance in the shape of industrial plants and by building a refinery and an aluminum plant, all of which were necessary for the country’s ambitious development plans. Turkey had the advantage of paying them back the credits for this through its exports. The Soviet-assisted industrial plants and factories, still functioning even today,

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contributed substantially to the development of the country in those years (Tellal 2006). The secular-minded Turkish elites preferred to refrain from becoming involved in the intricacies of Middle Eastern affairs. In later years, this position has been a subject of criticism, alleging that Turkey ignored the richness of the region for the sake of its misappropriated Westernization and modernization efforts. However, during the Detente years the governments had already paid enough attention to the Middle East. It should be remembered that until the mid-1960s the region did not have much to offer to Turkey in terms of economy, politics, diplomacy, culture, science, and education. However, to garner diplomatic support in its foreign policy issues and to develop closer economic ties, Turkey opened up to the Middle East as part of its multifaceted foreign policy. Turkey participated in the founding meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Rabat in 1969, and in follow-up summits, albeit with a caveat that Turkey would comply with decisions provided that they were in line with the secular character of the Turkish constitution (Alpkaya 1991). Turkish governments also decided to pay more attention to the Palestinian problem, though it was a daunting task to strike a balance between Turkey’s good relations with Israel and support for the Palestinians. Turkey was the first Muslim- majority country to recognize Israel in 1949, and it had to keep its ties at a low profile due to its concern about the Arab reaction. During the period of multifaceted foreign policy, Turkey did not allow the United States to use the strategically located Incirlik base in the southern part of the country to assist Israel and allowed the Soviets to use Turkey’s air space to transfer the necessary arms in both the 1967 Six Day war and the October 1973 conflict (Yavuz and Mujeeb 1992). While becoming a member of NATO was perceived as critical by the Turkish elites not only in terms of Turkey’s security but also about it being part of an exclusive Western club where Turkey holds a power of veto, other European institutions such as the Council of Europe, the EU (then the EEC), and the OSCE have all anchored Turkey in the Western world. But membership of the EU had a different meaning in terms of its economic benefits, European/Western values, and Turkey’s Western identity. Turkey applied for membership in 1959 and signed the Ankara Agreement in 1963 which determined the phases of Turkey’s integration process in the EU. Turkey’s membership of the EU led to a strong public

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debate during this period. Both the left and Islamist circles at the opposite end of the political spectrum were against membership though for very different reasons. For the left-wing intellectuals, it was a rich man’s club, where Turkey would be an inferior partner, and a cheap-labor production line for the capitalist European center. This position was embodied in the slogan “they are Common, we are Market.” For the Islamists, the EU represented the cultural and religious other, a “Christian Club” that a Muslim Turkey should not be part of. Despite occasional reactions and disappointments, all governments have declared their interest in EU membership, and an Added Protocol was signed in 1972 to organize the course of the integration process (Tekeli and Ilkin 2000). The late 1960s saw a rise in anti-United States sentiments as was the zeitgeist all over the world. Coupled with Turkey’s search for autonomy in foreign policy and especially its growing ties with the Soviet Union, the United States was curious about the intentions of its erstwhile loyal ally, and it was also the first time that the United States was concerned about losing a critical ally. Turkey resisted U.S. pressure to participate in the Multilateral Force and organized the various bilateral agreements under the Defense Cooperation Agreement to define the basic parameters of the ties in 1969 (Gerger 1998).

6.4

The Peak of Autonomy in Foreign Policy: The Cyprus Intervention

The most notable among Turkey’s autonomous actions was its military operation in Cyprus. The Cyprus issue had dominated the Turkish foreign policy agenda since the mid-1950s, and it was where Turkey started its first overseas covert operation, with Turkish intelligence forming armed groups and providing arms to the Turkish Cypriots for self-defense. Turkey was part of the negotiations that led to the formation of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, and Ankara became a party to the Treaty of Guarantee along with Britain and Greece. However, the Greek Cypriots, discontented with the rights given to the Turkish Cypriots, demanded amendments in the constitution, and small-scale clashes broke out on the island. Besides, Greece, ruled by the Colonels’ Junta at that time, had plans, under the name of Enosis, to annex the island and sent exmilitary officers to initiate a new wave of violent actions. The military coup was instigated by the Colonels’ government in Athens. It overthrew

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Makarios, the elected president of the country, and led to Turkey’s military intervention in July 1974, basing its right of action on the Treaty of Guarantee (Karpat 1975). With its two-phased military intervention, Turkey controlled 35% of the island which inevitably led to mutual mass population moves within the island. The military operation had serious implications both for Turkish foreign policy and regional dynamics. It was important for a country like Turkey to launch such a bold military operation from a technical point of view. Turkey proved that it had the capacity, strength and will to use force and launch a combined overseas military operation when it deemed necessary. Securing the southern sea border was critical in the minds of the Turkish security elites. From a strategic point of view, the Turkish security establishment considered the control of both Turkey’s western (the Aegean) and southern borders by the same power (i.e., Greeks) to be a serious security risk. Therefore, controlling the northern part of the island was a strategic gain for the Turkish state. Turkey’s unilateral move, however, had strong regional implications, paving the way to cooperation between Greece, Syria, and after independence, Armenia, since those neighboring countries realized that Turkey could resort to the use of force. Understandably, the military incursion in Cyprus dealt a serious blow to Turkish-Greek relations, stirred antiTurkish sentiments, and led the Greek state to prioritize Turkey as a threat from the east, which eventually made other issues difficult to deal with. Greece withdrew from NATO’s military wing in protest, accusing the United States and NATO of not taking any steps to prevent Turkey’s military intervention. Initially, the U.S. reaction to the military intervention was mild since Makarios was a popular figure among Third World countries, and the Cypriot Communist Party, AKEL had close ties to the Soviets (Dodd 2010). Therefore, the fall of Makarios was not a loss for the United States but under pressure from the Greek lobby, Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey, despite objections from the administration. The arms embargo imposed between 1975 and 1978 had strong repercussions on Turkey’s perception of the United States as a reliable ally. The immediate countermeasure of the Demirel government was to suspend the use of U.S. bases in Turkey until the termination of the arms embargo (Campany 1986). This was the most radical reaction by any Turkish government against the United States, and it became an isolated incident such that no

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Turkish government would dare to take such a dramatic measure in later years. In general, the Cyprus issue dominated Turkish foreign policy in the following years since it could not get any support either from the West, the East, or the Third World. What was considered a national cause, a just and legal undertaking, to save the small Turkish minority from annihilation, as viewed in Turkish public perception, thus constituted the basis for anti-Westernism until the rise of the Kurdish issue in the mid1980s. Fostered by the perception of betrayal by the Western allies and the whole world against the legitimate interests of the Turks, this has since been a prevalent sentiment that has enabled successive governments to manipulate opinion. The Ecevit government that initiated the Cyprus intervention came to power for the second time in 1978 and tried to introduce a “New National Defense Doctrine.” Ecevit penned an article in which he outlined the new course of Turkish foreign policy. He stated that Turkey should develop cordial and friendly relations with its neighbors and that it should launch a region-centered foreign policy. Secondly, realizing the vulnerabilities of relying on a single source for arms procurement, he suggested that Turkey should develop its defense industry. Indeed, he sent missions to Libya and even Moscow to search for alternative supply possibilities. And thirdly, Turkey should prioritize the Greek threat and should take necessary measures (Ecevit 1978). Turkey’s search for alternatives not only in its foreign policy but also in its security policies, its resistance to the return of Greece to the military wing of NATO, its intransigence in not ratifying the Turkey-US Defense Cooperation Agreement caused concern in U.S. decision-making circles, and what was called “Turkey’s Ostpolitik” (Boll 1979) would end with the staging of the military coup in September 1980.

6.5

Turkey Between Military Rule and Neoliberalism

After 15 years searching for autonomy in foreign policy, which manifested itself in closer economic ties and development assistance from the Soviet Union, an effort to multiply regional ties, and a military operation in Cyprus, with the military coup in September 1980, Turkey was once more closely aligned with the United States and NATO.

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Imposing martial law, the military government ruled the country with an iron fist for three years, repressing any kind of opposition, and cracking down on the leftist groups and the Kurds. While the left wing of the political spectrum could not recover from the trauma it suffered over decades, the Kurdish backlash however turned more violent, and would become the most pressing security issue of the country in the years ahead. Without public legitimacy and accountability, the military government under General Kenan Evren hastily lifted its veto blocking Greece’s return to NATO’s military command that Turkey had resisted for six years, ratified the U.S.-Turkish Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement which allowed the United States to fortify its existing military facilities, and Turkey participated in the Rapid Deployment Force, all of which were steps that ensured Turkey’s orientation toward the United States and NATO again (Uzgel 2010). The government of Turgut Özal which came to power in the first elections after the military regime in late 1983, attempted to impose a new state of mind onto foreign policy without drifting away from the United States. A conservative and pious person who believed in the liberal creed in economics, and an outspoken admirer of the U.S. system (Güldemir 1992), Özal was the mastermind of the neoliberal reforms declared on January 24, 1980, when serving as a finance minister in the elected government. He continued in this position in the military government that toppled the government of which he was a member. As part of his liberal leanings, Özal challenged the state-centric and security- oriented understanding of foreign policy that had dominated the mindset of the ruling elites since the early days of the Republic and had a pragmatic approach to foreign policy. He argued that problems with Greece in and over the Aegean Sea could be solved through economic cooperation; he was indifferent to the issue of the U.S. administration’s recognition of the Armenian genocide to which the Turkish state attached great importance and was in favor of a more conciliatory approach to the Kurdish issue which was already a taboo that no politician could publicly address. He thought that Turkey’s control of Northern Cyprus was an unnecessary burden rather than a strategic issue (Uzgel 2004). Özal also aimed for an active foreign policy with a special priority to close ties with the United States and the Middle East. Turkey’s economic ties grew with the Middle East, and it discovered a new lucrative market in its neighborhood where Turkey’s exports reached the level of its traditionally strong market, the EU.

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One of the continuities of the Özal government was the application for full membership of the EU. Indeed, back in the 1970s when he and his brother Korkut Özal were officials in the then institutionally influential State Planning Organization, they were known for their strong anti-EU positions stemming from their religious world outlook. However, under pressure from business circles, he conceded to make the application in April 1987 (Uzgel 2004). For a conservative politician, Özal’s ideas were radical for his time, and although he dared to challenge the traditional security-centered approach in critical issues like the Cyprus and the Kurdish problems, within the political, economic and social configuration of the country of his time he could not garner enough support to implement his ideas, and his politically rather bold moves plus his efforts to bring about a new understanding to foreign policy were all doomed to fail in the face of an intransigent civil-military state apparatus.

6.6

The Tumultuous 1990s

While the end of the Cold War brought new hopes and optimism for the world it brought a certain degree of concern for the Turkish security elite because as part of the containment strategy its main security rationale was based on a Cold War logic. It was an unexpected shock for Turkey, and the debates of the time were that Turkey had lost the geopolitical significance that it had once enjoyed due to the existence of the Warsaw Pact, and now it had to adapt itself to the new security and political environment. A new democratic wave engulfed most of the former socialist countries in the early 1990s but security concerns continued to dominate Turkey’s political agenda. Its security concerns moved from the north, i.e. the Soviet Union to the south, i.e., Iraq and Syria, from traditional stateto-state threats to terrorism which was ideologically based, from socialism to ethnic nationalism. Turkey’s security establishment, organized around the military and civilian bureaucracy, resisted the calls to democratize the political system and maintain the legacy of the national security state of the Cold War years at least until 1999 (Insel and Bayramo˘glu 2004). Several elements paved the way for the reproduction of a security- obsessed state: the intensification of the Kurdish conflict since the First Gulf War in 1991; the rise of identity politics globally which prepared the ground for the rise of Islamist politics; Kurdish demands for more rights; along with the

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debates on globalization which were perceived as tantamount to territorial dismemberment. It should be noted that until the capture of Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the outlawed PKK party hiding in Syria, the Kurdish issue dominated Turkish domestic, foreign and security policies to a large extent. Almost all of Turkey’s neighbors and allies, as well as actors with problems with Turkey engaged in the Kurdish issue in one way or another. While countries like Greece, the Republic of Cyprus, Armenia, Iran, and Russia were providing safe havens for PKK sympathizers, and some assistance in the form of training etc., Syria, Lebanon and Iraq had openly tolerated sizeable PKK elements, and Syria hosted the PKK leadership. Turkey’s allies such as Britain, Sweden, Germany, France and Denmark allowed the PKK sympathizers to organize, to raise financial contributions and donations, and to set up broadcast facilities (Ba¸sbu˘g 2011). Turkish media, ex-officers, and experts in terrorism and security had long claimed that United States were providing armaments to the PKK in the northeastern part of Iraq after the first Gulf War when Saddam lost control of the area. While Turkish bureaucratic and political elites suffered from the fear of a partition of the territory, i.e., the formation of an independent Kurdish state, there had emerged a new political trend that fostered the idea that Turkey needed to expand its sphere of influence. This latent irredentism had two elements in the context of the 1990s. One was the rising Neo-Ottoman tendency whose protagonists were primarily a coalition of former leftist-turned-liberal intellectuals and traditional conservatives gathered around Özal (1992; Güzel 1995; Çandar 1995). After being elected as president in 1991, Özal had partly entrenched his power base and, taking advantage of the regional and international developments, he had more opportunities to transform Turkish foreign policy. Those who espoused a Neo-Ottomanist illusion argued that the Republican project was defensive, status quo oriented and underestimated Turkey’s true potential. They implied that Turkey should both expand territorially and create a sphere of influence in its adjacent regions. Under the conditions of the 1991 Iraqi War, they especially brewed the irredentist idea that the oil-rich region around the cities of Mosul and Kirkuk in northern Iraq with their Turkoman population were indeed Turkish cities that should return to their true owner. They played with the idea that Turkey could not be confined to its borders, and should re-evaluate the frontiers under new regional circumstances.

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Concurrently, Turkey’s other assertive and influence-seeking agenda had been its outreach to the Turkic world. Its embodiment was a euphoric slogan “A Turkic world from the Adriatic Sea to the Wall of China”. This was appealing to nationalist circles both among the public and at the political level, in that Turks in Anatolia had the opportunity to embrace their brethren, and would cultivate brotherly ties with other Turkic peoples in the vast geography of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Turkey would fill in the vacuum left by the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union and this would be the century of the Turks. Both reviving an imaginary grandiose Ottoman past aimed at placing Turkey at the helm of the Balkans and the Middle East, and creating a union of Turkic-speaking nations led by Turkey failed as an intellectual and political project. The newly independent Turkic-speaking nations were either cautious or irritated to see a new domineering power after the collapse of the Soviet Union since Turkey presented itself as a model and superior older brother (Aydin 2004). In the meantime, Russia, along with its “Near Abroad” doctrine had re-established its influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia sidelining Turkey in a limited role. Irredentist aims to regain more territory inside Iraq had not been plausible since the Arab world was already against even Turkey’s military operations in an Arab country. After an international coalition led by the United States with a UN Security Council-sanctioned war against Saddam to end his occupation of Kuwait it would have been unrealistic for the international system to allow Turkey to occupy oil-rich parts of Iraq, and this would be an open breach of international law. Although these two ambitious initiatives failed, the idea that Turkey needed more influence in its region and defendable borders requiring cross-border military presence remained in the minds of the nationalist, state-centric elites only to resurface when conditions were conducive to it domestically and internationally. Apart from its unrealistic ambitions, Turkey had found new areas of cooperation with the United States. In the Middle East, it became part of the U.S. strategy of “double containment” of Iran and Iraq, allowing the United States to use the Incirlik base against Saddam’s Iraq to protect the Kurdish population in this country. At the end of the 1990s, the U.S. military and economic support had lost its meaning and being tied to various conditions such as the Cyprus issue, and human rights violations, Turkey refused to accept U.S. aid. With the globalization of the world economy, the place of U.S. aid in Turkey’s economy became rather minuscule, a mere 22 million dollars

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while 175 million dollars for military sales in 1997 were rejected by the Turkish government until the pre-conditions were lifted. A year later the United States terminated its aid program to Turkey. In the Balkans, Turkey and the United States were on the same page, supporting the Muslim Bosniaks in Bosnia and the Albanians in Kosovo, and again with the support of the United States, Turkey played a critical role in the maintenance of the territorial integrity of Northern Macedonia. Turkey’s high-profile engagement in the Balkan wars, and its unwavering diplomatic, military and economic support for the Balkan Muslims contributed to the self-perception that Turkey was a regional power that could influence developments in the vast area stretching from the Balkans to the Middle East and the Caucasus. However, it was revealed that its influence had been limited both in scope and duration. With the cessation of the armed conflicts, Turkey’s influence declined whereas Greece gained more influence in Southeast Europe with the support and urging of the EU (Uzgel 2002). The 1990s were a period when Turkey had been grappling with economic crises, political instability, serious human rights violations, and a low-intensity conflict with the PKK which Turkey designated as a terrorist organization. Two major developments led to a change in Turkey’s foreign policy toward the end of the decade. One was the formation of a coalition government in 1997, with Ismail Cem as its Foreign Minister, and the other was the capture of Öcalan, the leader of the PKK, after he left Damascus in October 1998 under Turkey’s threats of military intervention in Syria. Öcalan was captured in a Greek Embassy holding a Greek Cypriot passport obtained with the assistance of US intelligence (Özkan 2010). His capture represented the defeat of the PKK militarily, and the end of an era. Turkey and Syria signed the Adana Protocol in 1998 which arranged the codes of conduct in their fight against terrorism and provided the basis for future relations. Öcalan’s capture and the declaration of a ceasefire created an opportunity for Turkey to mend its broken relations not only with Syria but with also with many of its neighbors and allies which provided overt or covert support to the PKK. Having an intellectual background, Cem tried to introduce a new vision to Turkish foreign policy arguing that Turkey needed a more visionary, multilateral and multi-faced foreign policy (Cem 2004). He proposed new African, Latin American and Far Eastern openings, and a new conciliatory regional policy was initiated. Turkey’s strained relations

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with Greece ended with the “Earthquake Diplomacy” in 1999, the EU declared Turkey as a candidate at its December 1999 Helsinki Summit, and Turkey and Russia signed the Eurasian Action Plan in 2001 which promoted cooperation rather than competition. However, it was unfortunate that although Cem’s new vision was worthy of praise in itself, under severe economic and political hardships, its realization was not possible. The coalition government was inharmonious, the Turkish economy had undergone two successive deep crises in 1999 and 2001 with devastating impacts on politics and society, all of which paved the way for a new quest in politics.

6.7 The Rise of the Islamist Politics: The Many Faces of the AKP The Justice and Development Party (AKP) that came to power in November 2002, has been the longest-serving party in Turkey’s political history. The dynamics that enabled the Turkish Islamists’ ascent to power are rather complicated involving the demise of, and divisions in, center-right politics, weak leadership in the center-left coupled with an economic crisis, and the U.S. policy of “inclusion-moderation” which led to the support of non-violent Islamist forces and their moderation in legal politics (Schweller 2011). The AKP was formed as an offspring of the traditional “National Outlook” movement that dates back to the 1960s which had some ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and was represented by various political parties. A new generation of moderate Islamists declared that they had changed their worldviews and espoused a new identity defining it as “conservative democracy (Akdo˘gan 2004). Regarding the economy, they embraced neoliberal policies, and in foreign policy, unlike their predecessors, they took a pro-EU stance; in domestic politics they moved from highlighting Islamist politics to democratization and human rights efforts dubbed “post- Islamism (Da˘gı 2004). The Turkish (moderate) Islamists have become part and parcel of the United States/West’s forward strategy of democratization, and through their declared change of identity, they also represented themselves as a “model” for the other Islamist movements (mostly Muslim Brotherhood) and governments in the Middle East (Altunı¸sık 2005). In its first decade, the AKP was supported by a coalition of domestic, regional and international forces and actors. For the first time in Turkish history,

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the powerful Western-oriented business class (TUSIAD) and conservative/Islamist provincial business circles (MUSIAD), the rival Nak¸sibendi and Fetullah Gülen religious orders, liberals and Islamists provided their support to the same government. The United States, the EU and the conservative Gulf emirates also lent their support to the AKP government internationally. Following the economic recovery program designed with the help of the IMF by the previous government, and inheriting almost problemfree foreign relations, the AKP government had all the advantages to pursue an active foreign policy. Its foreign policy was based on the ideas developed by Ahmet Davuto˘glu, an advisor to the prime minister, then foreign minister (2009–2014) and prime minister (2014–2016). A former professor of International Relations and author of the book, The Strategic Depth which became popular after he obtained a government post, he outlined the Islamist approach to foreign policy that worked as a guide for the AKP government (Davuto˘glu 2001). The book is based on a criticism of the Kemalist understanding of foreign policy and the founding ideology of the Turkish state, defining its status quo of this foreign policy and Western-oriented attitudes as alien to the Turkish nation. It accused previous (Kemalist), traditional foreign policy of not taking advantage of its history (the Ottoman past), its geography (the Middle East), and its culture (Islam), and thus offered a more assertive foreign policy that aimed at regional domination (Davuto˘glu 2001). The book has an essentialist approach that argues that the Turks have been endowed with strategic thinking that few nations on earth can possess, and if and when it turns to its true, authentic (anti-Western, anti-modernist) characteristics, Turkey would almost automatically be a dominant power in its region. Harking back to the Ottoman period, the book promotes “Neo-Ottomanism” urging for more influence over the former Ottoman territories and misleadingly assumes that there is an aspiration among the peoples of the region for a return to the Ottoman past. The importance of Davuto˘glu’s book is that it laid the ground for the AKP government’s foreign policy, especially until 2015, which is dubbed “zero problems with neighbors.” In this liberal period, the AKP government took a moderate approach to foreign policy, building on the previous government’s breakthrough. The argument was that Turkey moved from a security state to a trading state, from hard power to soft power, and from a Hobbesian understanding to a Kantian type of state (Kiri¸sçi 2009). Branding Turkey’s

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transformation with those academic and benign terms was appealing domestically, regionally and internationally. While the EU conditionality with its Harmonization Packages provided legal and legitimate leverage to curb the military’s influential role in the political system, the vocal liberal intellectuals provided the necessary hegemonic discourse much needed by the government to prove its liberal credentials. However, it would soon be revealed that Islamist politics instrumentalized the liberal circles and the EU to consolidate its power, and used the liberal discourse as a cover to implement its implicit Neo-Ottomanist agenda. The first sign of change in the practice of the Islamist government was its Cyprus policy. Despite reactions from the traditional security and civilian sectors and circles, the AKP government accepted the Annan Plan for the Cyprus problem which envisaged the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island, and the abolishment of the Turkey-backed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This was a real breakthrough since Cyprus had been considered a “national cause” for decades, and as stated before, Turkey’s military presence in the northern part of the island was deemed crucial from a security perspective. Although the Plan was rejected in a referendum by the Greek Cypriots, and the status quo was maintained, with this move, the AKP government proved its liberal, problem-solving position to both Turkish liberal circles and the Western world (Kaliber 2005). The Turkish model represented by the ideologically self-transformed Islamists was hailed in the Western world (Abramowitz and Barkey 2009), a Turkish citizen became the Secretary General of the Islamic Cooperation Organization, Turkey engaged in active diplomacy across the Middle East even involving disputes in Lebanese domestic politics and acting as a mediator between Israel and Syria and between Palestinian factions. Under Davuto˘glu’s guidance, Turkey forged close ties, especially with Bashar Assad, and signed free trade agreements with Syria, Jordan and Lebanon aiming at a regional customs union.

6.8 The Arab Spring and the Illusion of Neo-Ottomanism However, with the outbreak of the Arab Spring (2010), the AKP moved to an explicit Neo-Ottomanism without hiding its pretensions to dominate the Middle East. Turkish leaders supported the uprisings wholeheartedly, and Erdo˘gan publicly called on Egypt’s President Mubarak to

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step down. Foreign minister Davuto˘glu on the other hand was euphoric in defining the Arab Spring as a historical opportunity, claiming that it was now time, after a century, that the region would be handed over from the secular autocrats to the real owners, the people. When the AKP won the elections in 2012, Erdo˘gan declared that it was Cairo, Beirut, Damascus as well as Istanbul that emerged victorious. The idea was that an axis of the Muslim Brotherhood movement would rule the countries stretching from Tunisia to Syria, from Libya to northern Iraq, with Turkey as the dominant country and Erdo˘gan would be the regional leader. The newly elected leaders of Tunisia (Gannushi), of Egypt (Morsi), as well as of the Kurdistan Regional Government (Barzani), of Hamas (Khaled Mashal) and of Lebanon (Hariri) participated in the AKP party congress held in Ankara in 2012. However, the AKP government’s bid for regional dominance collapsed when the Ennahda party stepped down from government in Tunisia in 2013 and the party declared that they were not political Islamists in 2016 (Meddeb 2019). The Morsi government was ousted from power by a military coup in July 2013, and Libya and Syria descended into civil war almost simultaneously. The Syrian case was especially noteworthy since Erdo˘gan was bent on overthrowing his once close friend Assad from power, allowing the radical jihadists to use Turkey as a passage and even as a safe haven. The consequences of the Syrian civil war were devastating for the country with hundreds of thousands of people dead, infrastructure destroyed and millions turned into domestically displaced persons and international migrants, nearly four million of whom came to Turkey. Over the years, Syria has turned into the main foreign and security policy issue for Turkey and has become the embodiment of the total failure of the AKP’s religious-nationalist ambitions in the Middle East. Once praised for its moderate and democratic transformations, and seen as a model for the Arab world, the AKP has been associated with radical Islam and as the protector of jihadists (Yayla and Clarke 2018). The third period in the AKP’s long incumbency began around 2013– 2015 when Erdo˘gan broke with both liberal intellectuals and the Fetullah Gülen group (called FETÖ) after it unsuccessfully engaged in a military putsch, and allied with former elements of the security bureaucracy, the Eurasianists (represented by the Homeland Party) and the nationalist MHP party. As the Erdo˘gan regime moved to an autocratic trajectory in domestic politics, it began to follow a more assertive and occasionally militaristic foreign policy.

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This new Islamist-nationalist alliance had a confrontational, belligerent foreign policy posture that had implications both for Turkey and the region. In no time in its history, has Turkey been engaged in so many conflicts and become part of regional issues, all at the same time. Turkey launched three successive military incursions into Syria fighting against both ISIS and the PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK. Besides this, Turkey conducted a military operation in the Idlib area against Syrian forces in February 2020. Turkey had already been fighting against the PKK in northern Iraq and it intensified its operations there by setting up around 20 military bases and facilities. Turkey also became part of the civil war in Libya and signed a memorandum of understanding for the delimitation of sea zones and a military agreement that made Ankara officially part of the conflict which led to its deeper engagement in the civil war. Turkey supplied its popular Bayraktar TB2 armed drones which were operated by Turkish officers, and engaged in the first drone war in world history over Libyan airspace. This was against the anti-government Hafter forces backed by France, the UAE, and Egypt whose drones were supplied by China and modified in the UAE (Gatopoulos 2020). Turkey’s other military involvement was in the Nagorno-Karabagh war of November 2020 where the Turkish military provided tactical support, and armed drones were utilized extensively causing serious setbacks for the Armenian military which resulted in a partial victory for Azerbaijan. Turkey has also been implicated in the strained relations between Qatar on the one hand and the UAE, and Saudi Arabia on the other. Turkish troops were stationed in Qatar in a show of force, and Turkey has built its biggest overseas military base in Somalia, a first-time event in Turkish history. One of the striking changes in Turkey’s foreign and security policies was its unprecedented assertive but short-term posture in the East Mediterranean. A consequence of the AKP government’s alliance with the nationalists, in late 2019 Turkey adopted a naval doctrine called the “Blue Homeland.” This doctrine, developed by a former navy admiral (Gürdeniz 2017) and enthusiastically supported by the nationalists and Eurasianists, is based on the premise that in general Turkey is under threat and is on the losing side in the East Mediterranean, and it is encircled in this region by Greece and the Republic of Cyprus which are backed by the EU and the US. To break this encirclement, it offers a more aggressive naval strategy based on the effective use of the Turkish navy, to defend Turkish maritime rights by force if necessary. The engagement in Libya

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was part of this doctrine, and Turkish navy vessels confronted the French warships in the region and forced Western drill ships to leave the areas where they were probing for natural gas under licenses provided by the Republic of Cyprus (Uzgel 2020a, b). The Islamist-nationalist-Eurasianist alliance brought a new militarization, a “militarized version of Neo-Ottomanism” to Turkish foreign policy which is based on a strategy of “forward defense”: Turkey should confront its imagined and/or real enemies in cross-border areas, and Turkey’s defense begins in those adjacent areas (Ilhan Uzgel, “The Blue Homeland and Turkey’s New Forward Defence Doctrine). Coupled with boosting its defense industry, Turkey has used its land, air (both fighter jets and drones) and naval assets and capabilities to pursue a more assertive foreign policy albeit with some consequences. After one hundred years of its Republic, Turkey militarily controls parts of northern Iraq, controls and administers ten percent of Syria’s territory and, together with the Syrian refugees living in Turkey, it has sway over nine million Syrians. It still controls the northern part of Cyprus, and has a military presence in 18 countries including UN peacekeeping missions (Aksoy 2021). Turkey also used proxies as an instrument in its military engagements, a first- time risky experience in Republican history. In a futile attempt to overthrow Assad from power, Turkey formed armed groups from radical Islamists, gave them the name “Syrian National Army,” provided arms and equipment, and protection, placed them on its payroll and used them in its military incursions and operations extensively in Syria, and partly in Libya. Known to be a secular state, Turkey’s military adventures forced it to utilize radical jihadists in controlling the Idlib area in northern Syria packed with radical Islamists of all sorts without any exit strategy in sight. Coming to power with a promise to make Turkey an “advanced democracy” and taking Turkey closer to the EU, the Erdo˘gan government stalled the EU membership campaign in the 2010s. The tide in the EU has also changed and France and Austria especially emerged as the most anti-Turkish membership countries. With accession negotiations at a standstill and under these negative circumstances, Erdo˘gan was shrewd enough to use the Syrian and other refugees to blackmail Germany and the EU and could dictate his terms to the EU, turning the values-based relationship into a transactional link. The result was the notorious refugee deal between Turkey and the EU in March 2016 with which Turkey agreed to keep the refugees in return for the easing of visa requirements,

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modernization of the Customs Union and payment of three billion euros for each three year period (Adar and Pütmann 2022). Turkey’s relations with Russia have gained new momentum since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Pro-government media and prominent figures openly accused the United States of attempting to overthrow the Erdo˘gan government through a military coup instigated by the Gulen movement whose leader resides in a compound in Pennsylvania. From that time on, despite differences in many regions and on issues such as Syria, Libya and Armenia, Erdo˘gan and Putin have developed close personal ties. It was the third time that Turkey used its powerful northern neighbor as a counterbalance against the West. However, Erdo˘gan’s attempt at balancing came with some costs since Turkey had to purchase a Russian-made S-400 missile system that caused Turkey’s expulsion from the fifth-generation F-35 fighter program and broke ties with the United States (Zanotti and Thomas 2022). Many factors have disrupted its relations with the United States and the EU: Erdo˘gan’s close personal ties and Turkey’s growing partnership with Russia in energy (Russia is building a nuclear power plant in Turkey), trade, tourism, regional cooperation (the Astana Process on Syria involves Russia, Iran, and Turkey), the purchase of S-400 missiles. Turkey’s military operation in the eastern part of Syria controlled by the U.S.-backed PYD, and Turkey’s problematic relations with many of the U.S. allies including France, Greece, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE.

6.9

Conclusion

Despite its existing problems, entering the hundredth year, the Turkish Republic is still politically, institutionally, and economically part of the Western world. The Customs Union with the EU is still in place, Turkey is a NATO member with enhancing cooperation in the Black Sea and the Baltic region, Turkey still accepts the right of individual application to the European Court of Justice, and is a member of the Council of Europe. The EU and European countries are still Turkey’s biggest export markets, and there is still a demand for EU membership, especially among the younger generation in Turkey while both Islamism and Eurasianism have lost their appeal as an alternative to the West. Erdo˘gan has spent much energy developing close ties with Biden as he did with Trump but to no avail, and he has not lost any photo opportunity with the U.S. president. Expelled from the F-35 production line, Turkey is nevertheless

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seeking to purchase new 40 F-16 Viper jets, and 80 modernization kits for its fleet. As of 2023, Turkey’s military engagement in Libya still continues, although officially reiterating its respect for Syria’s territorial integrity, the Turkish military controls the northern part of this country and President Erdo˘gan insists on a possible further military incursion in northern Syria. Turkey challenges Baghdad’s sovereignty in the northern part of Iraq, staging aerial and ground operations and setting up military bases and facilities in areas it considers imperative for its security. In its hundredth year, the country’s century-old perception of threats, containment and encirclement still persists, and there has been no sign since 2016, under an Islamist-nationalist coalition or any other possible government, that there would be retreat from the territorial gains already achieved.

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CHAPTER 7

Turkey and Europe, an Ambivalent Relationship Since the Establishment of the Turkish Republic Nicolas Monceau

7.1

Introduction

Relations between Turkey and the European Union (EU) have been a major issue in European integration for decades. Then and now, they raise questions about the nature of the European project, its identity, its geographical borders, and its political and cultural dimensions. These different questions have crystallised partisan divisions and provoked often passionate public debates in the Member States, questioning the distinctive character of the Turkish candidacy compared to other enlargements. Apart from its application for EU membership, Turkey has maintained relations with Europe for centuries. These ancient and close ties have been characterised by ambivalence, between alliances and closeness to the point of representing an inspiring model of universal relevance on the one

N. Monceau (B) University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_7

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hand, and oppositions and confrontations over the centuries on the other, until national independence at the beginning of the twentieth century (part 1). After World War II, Europe and Turkey came closer together in the context of the construction of a new Europe, and developed relations in a variety of political, economic and commercial, military and security, and sporting and cultural fields (part 2). After the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, Turkey applied for association with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1959, which led to the adoption of an association agreement in 1963 and the implementation of a customs union in 1996. Obtaining the status of candidate country in 1999, and then the opening of negotiations for accession to the EU in October 2005, were decisive stages in the relations between the two partners. but the enthusiasm of the first few years quickly gave way to a deadlock in the process, confronted as it was with numerous difficulties and obstacles (part 3).

7.2

Turkey and Europe: An Age-Old Relationship

Long before the creation of the EU, Turkey and Europe had close and long-standing historical ties. Ottomans and Europeans remained allies, and adversaries, for centuries. For the republican and Kemalist Turkey founded in 1923 Europe was a model of civilisation. After World War II, Turkey joined the Western camp during the Cold War and participated in many European organisations. 7.2.1

From the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey: Between Alliances and Conflicts

The Ottoman Empire, the ancestor of Republican Turkey was founded at the end of the thirteenth century, and with European powers it experienced many conflicts and at other times, alliances. The Ottoman Empire, a “European Power” For almost six centuries (1299–1918), military conquests and territorial possessions made the Ottoman Empire a European power. South-eastern Europe—the Balkans in particular and Greece—was for a long time the empire’s centre of gravity until the nationalist uprisings and assumptions of independence in the nineteenth century. The Ottoman bureaucratic and military elite was recruited from Europe, particularly from the

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Christian communities. The essentially theocratic Ottoman Empire—the Ottoman sultans were also caliphs from the sixteenth century onwards— was for centuries one of the greatest threats to the Christian nations of Europe, with which it often clashed. The Ottoman Empire’s territorial expansion across Europe took it to the gates of Vienna, whose sieges in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries long remained etched in the Austrian collective memory. Relations between the Ottoman Empire and the Christian powers of Europe were marked not only by military conflicts, but also by several alliances. One of the most important of these was between the French king Francis I and Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent who formed an alliance in 1536 against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Many diplomatic, cultural and military exchanges also developed between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy Roman Empire from the eighteenth century onwards. Apart from imperial rivalries, the Ottoman Empire had thus represented an important geopolitical interest for European powers since the Renaissance era (Howard 2017; Mantran 1989). “The Sick Man of Europe”: The Eastern Question From the nineteenth century onwards, the Ottoman Empire entered a phase of military decline until its fall in 1918. Faced with the rise of nationalism in Europe, it gradually lost its European provinces: Greece (War of Independence from 1821 to 1830), and then the Balkan provinces (at the end of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913). The Ottoman sultans tried to halt the decline of the Empire by adopting a series of Westernisation reforms—including the Tanzimat period between 1839 and 1876—in order to modernise the Ottoman state and ensure its survival. Despite these attempts, the weakening of its military and territorial power gave rise to the “Eastern Question” during the nineteenth century in reference to the growing role played by the Western powers (France, United Kingdom, Russia) in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans. The main issue of the Eastern Question was the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire, described as the “sick man of Europe”, and its division into zones of influence shared between the European powers. This objective was attained at the end of World War I, which led to the collapse of the Empire, then allied with Germany, with the Treaty of Sevres imposed on the Ottoman authorities in 1920 by the victorious Allied powers. In the wake of the Ottoman military surrender, the Greek

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army landing in Smyrna in May 1919 was the catalyst for a national liberation movement, launched by Mustafa Kemal against the Ottoman imperial regime and the occupying European powers (France, England, Italy, and Greece). The War of National Independence, fought between 1919 and 1922, ended with the victory of the Turkish nationalists and the departure of the foreign occupying forces. A new treaty signed in Lausanne in July 1923 recognised Turkey’s independence within its current borders, and paved the way for the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in October of the same year (Lewis 2001; Inalcik 2006). The Republic of Turkey: Europe, a “Model of Universal Civilisation” The Republic of Turkey, founded on October 29, 1923 by Mustafa Kemal (who took the name Atatürk in 1934), was deeply inspired by Europe as a model. Influenced by the ideas of the French Revolution and nineteenth century positivism, the new Kemalist elites wanted to build a modern Turkish nation-state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. Under the impetus of Atatürk, the first president (1923–1938) of the Turkish Republic, this ‘new Turkey’ was to rise to the level of European civilisation, considered universal, based on unprecedented modernisation led by the Kemalist elites. Numerous Westernising (which would be described as Europeanising today) and secularising reforms were implemented in an authoritarian manner by the Kemalist authorities during the 1920s and 1930s with the aim of founding a “modern Turkish civilisation” that would make a radical break with the imperial and Islamic Ottoman past. These “Kemalist revolutions” of the inter-war period led to the adoption of European constitutional and legal standards, values and ways of life. Politically, the abolition of the Sultanate in 1922 was followed by the foundation of a republican, secular and parliamentary regime. The emancipation of women became a central issue of Kemalism, with the adoption of a civil code (1926) which abolished polygamy and recognised the equality of women and men in matters of inheritance, followed by the right to vote granted to Turkish women citizens in 1934. Many secularisation reforms were implemented with respect to religion. In addition to the abolition of the caliphate (1924), religious schools and courts were closed and the brotherhoods were dissolved. A Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet ) was founded in 1924 to regulate the organisation of Sunni Muslim worship in the country. In 1928, the article of the 1924 Constitution, which defined Islam as the state religion, was annulled. In 1937, the principle of secularism was enshrined in the Constitution. In

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terms of law and justice, the establishment of a secular judicial system and the adoption of a series of codes—civil, criminal and commercial— followed European models. New rules on dress (abandoning the turban and adopting head-covering for men, encouraging women to abandon the veil) were inspired by European cultural practices. Among the other most important reforms, the reform of the language and alphabet in 1928 led to the abandonment of the Arabic alphabet in favour of the Latin alphabet, while the use of surnames became mandatory in 1934 (Ahmad 1993; Lewis 2001; Zurcher 2004; Gingeras 2016). Throughout the interwar period, the “new Turkey” thus asserted itself in an ambivalent relationship with Europe. The construction of the Turkish nation-state, under the impetus of the Kemalists, was carried out with reference to and inspiration from Europe, which was perceived as the ultimate civilisation. But Turkey had also been constructed against the European model, the cost of which had been the armed struggle to acquire its independence (Yerasimos 2005). 7.2.2

Opting for Europe and the West After World War II

After 1945, Turkey confirmed its integration into the European area by joining several major regional organisations and played a leading role in European security as a member of NATO. As relations between Turkey and Europe deepened, they took many forms, from diplomatic and political, security and military, to commercial and economic, social and migratory, cultural and sporting. Turkey as a Key Member of NATO Turkey’s relations with Western countries—Europe and the United States—were strengthened after the Second World War. After adopting a position of neutrality during the world conflict, Turkey joined the Western camp at the beginning of the Cold War in the face of the Soviet threat, a position reinforced by Stalin’s claims over the Turkish Straits. It then became one of the main military and political allies of the United States and of the European Community, then under construction. As the first beneficiary, along with Greece and Iran, of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in 1947, Turkey acquired considerable importance for the security of Western Europe by being part of the strategy of containment of the Soviet Union. By joining NATO in 1952, Turkey became a member of the Euro-Atlantic community and the Atlantic Alliance shield

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in southern Europe. Throughout the Cold War period, it guaranteed and strengthened NATO’s southern flank against the USSR. Although Turkey’s geostrategic role weakened with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States continued to accord it importance in terms of European security. Following the Cold War, Turkey contributed to several operations under the aegis of NATO, such as in Kuwait in 1991, in Bosnia (UNPROFOR, then IFOR and SFOR), in Kosovo (KFOR), in the Baltic States and in Afghanistan within the framework of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF), which it headed twice, in 2002–2003 and 2005. In terms of manpower, the Turkish army is the second largest in NATO, after the US army, and the eleventh largest in the world. Based on widespread conscription, it mobilises over 445,000 soldiers (about 350,000 in the army, 45,000 in the navy and 50,000 in the air force) as well as 150,000 gendarmes. In addition to the Turkish armed forces, NATO has also used the Incirlik air base near Adana (near the eastern Mediterranean in southern Turkey) since it was commissioned in 1955. This base played an important role throughout the Cold War, and in particular during the Gulf War (1991) with American fighters taking off from there to attack Iraq. While Turkey remains a traditional ally of Western countries, disagreements and even obstructions persist in relations with its partners within NATO, in particular over Cyprus and Iraq. Moreover, in recent years Turkey has shown a certain autonomy in decision-making within the transatlantic organisation, causing tensions with its partners. In March 2003, the Turkish Grand National Assembly refused to allow US troops to pass through its territory to intervene militarily in Iraq, causing a major cooling between the two allies. In spring 2009, Turkey temporarily blocked the candidacy of the former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen for the post of NATO Secretary General because of his support in 2005 for the Danish newspaper that published caricatures of Mohammed. During the Libyan crisis in 2011, Turkey initially opposed the military intervention of Western countries, before belatedly agreeing to participate. Finally, in 2022, in the context of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, Turkey vetoed Sweden and Finland joining NATO, causing a diplomatic crisis with European countries.

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Membership of Major European Organisations A review of relations and exchanges shows that Turkey has had a strong presence in Europe for decades. Turkey is a member of most European organisations—with the exception of European Union institutions—be they political, economic, cultural or sporting. The relationship between Turkey and Europe has strengthened particularly with Turkey’s membership of European and Western institutions, including the OECD in 1948 (from 1961 onwards, it has sat on its Council), the Council of Europe of which it was a founding member in 1949,1 and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), whose European Convention on Human Rights was ratified by Turkey in 1954.2 In the realm of security, in addition to NATO, Turkey joined another European security organisation on its foundation in 1973: the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which became the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1995. Turkey was one of the signatories of the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, which defined the scope and principles of action of the Conference. Finally, Turkey has cooperated with several European agencies, including the European Police agency (Europol) since the early 2000s.

7.3

Multidimensional Relations Between Turkey and Europe

Turkey and Europe share close and long-standing ties in many areas. In addition to political and diplomatic relations, which date back to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Europe enjoy economic exchanges which have intensified since the 1963 Association Agreement. Turkish migration into Europe, mainly economic from the 1960s onwards, has helped to strengthen social and cultural ties. In addition to NATO, Turkey is involved in European security policies. Finally, it participates in the cultural and sporting activities of the European continent. 7.3.1

A Privileged Economic Partnership

In the economic and trade fields, relations between Turkey and Europe were intensified with the Association Agreement signed on September 12, 1963 and further deepened with the Customs Union which came into force in 1996. In addition, Ankara signed free trade agreements with the

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member states of the European Free Trade Association—EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein) as well as with all the countries of the western Balkans and many other countries.3 In respect of the main economic and trade indicators, Turkey is the EU’s sixth biggest trade partner, representing 3.6 percent of the EU’s total trade in goods with the world in 2020. The EU is by far Turkey’s largest import and export partner, as well as its main source of investments. In 2020, 33.4 percent of Turkey’s imports came from the EU and 41.3 percent of the country’s exports went to the EU. Total trade in goods between the EU and Turkey in 2020 amounted to e132.4 billion. The EU’s imports from Turkey were worth e62.6 billion and were led by machinery and transport equipment (e24.1 billion, 38.5 percent), clothing (e8.3 billion, 13.3 percent), and agriculture and raw materials (e5.3 billion, 8.5 percent). The EU’s exports to Turkey totalled e69.9 billion. They were dominated by machinery and transport equipment (e30.6 billion, 43.8 percent), chemicals (e12.9 billion, 18.5 percent), and fuel and mining products (e6.4 billion, 9.2 percent). Two-way trade in services between the EU and Turkey in 2019 amounted to e26.5 billion, with EU imports of services representing e13.9 billion and exports e12.6 billion.4 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Turkey is another indicator of the close economic relationship with Europe. After reaching a record level of U.S.$ 22 billion in 2007, some fluctuation FDI flows to Turkey peaked again in 2020 (U.S.$ 19.2 billion), then experienced a steady decline reinforced by the COVID pandemic (U.S.$ 7.8 billion in 2022).5 Since the mid-2010s, several factors have contributed to the decline in FDI in Turkey, including political instability—reinforced by the attempted military coup in July 2016 and the subsequent imposition of a state of emergency—the devaluation of the national currency and rising inflation (which increased sharply since 2018), and the country’s geographical proximity to conflicts in the Middle East. EU member states (primarily the Netherlands and Austria), Gulf states and the United States are among the main investors in Turkey. Tourism also contributes to strengthening economic and trade exchanges with Europe. With 51.7 million visitors from abroad in 2019,6 and tourism revenues estimated at U.S.$34.5 billion in the same year (up from U.S.$12.4 billion in 2002), Turkey remains one of the most popular destinations for Europeans, led by the Germans, Britons and Russians. European tourists are the most important

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source of tourism for Turkey, accounting for over half of all foreign visitors. In 2019, Germans accounted for 9.6 percent of all foreign visitors (5 million visitors from Germany), followed by Bulgarians (2.7 million) and the British (2.5 million) along with 7 million Russians.7 Finally, Turkey has developed several high-level economic and energy dialogues with the EU since the mid-2010s. The two partners share common interests in terms of energy security, which led Brussels to consider Turkey as “vital for its energy security” due to its strategic geographical position, at the crossroads of the main world energy production centres (Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia, Russia), and its readiness to become a hub for the transit and redistribution of hydrocarbons to Europe (Barysch 2007; Danis 2022). Accordingly, over the past decades many gas and oil pipeline projects have been developed on Turkish territory or in the Black Sea waters under its control, some supported by the EU. Since February 2022, the conflict in Ukraine and its consequences have reinforced Turkey’s central position as a major player in the redistribution of hydrocarbons to European countries. 7.3.2

A Pro-Western Military and Security Commitment

As well as its involvement in NATO-initiated operations, Turkey has contributed to several European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP, renamed Common Security and Defence Policy, CSDP, by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009) operations in the Western Balkans region, in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EU Civilian Police Mission, EUFOR Althea), Macedonia (EUFOR Concordia, EUPOL Proxima FYROM) and Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo).8 As of February 2023, Turkey was contributing to 16 operations and missions around the world, involving over eight hundred civilian and military personnel, divided between two EU operations and missions (EUFOR Althea, EULEX Kosovo), one NATO operation (KFOR), three OSCE operations (OMIK, OSCEBIH, Community Security Initiative— Kyrgyzstan), as well as ten UN operations and missions. Finally, involved in strengthening European military capabilities, Turkey participates in various European armaments programmes such as the A400M transport aircraft programme.

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7.3.3

Turkish Immigration and Integration in Europe

Europe, and Germany in particular, was an emigration destination for Turks after World War II. Agreements to encourage Turkish emigration were signed with several European countries: Germany (1961), followed by Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands (1964) and France (1965). This movement of Turkish labour to Western Europe continued until the oil shock and economic crisis of 1973, and then slowed down before resuming in the 1980s thanks to family reunification. Today, the Turkish community in Western Europe is estimated at some 5.5 million people (Turkish citizens, those with dual nationality and EU citizens of Turkish origin).9 Most by far live in Germany, where the population of Turkish origin forms the largest emigrant community and the largest Muslim community (1 458 360 members).10 This community, which is made up of Turkish or naturalised citizens of Turkish origin, second or third generation, has numerous associations, several communications media (in particular the European editions of the Turkish press printed in Germany), its own schools and businesses, and is considered to be well integrated into the country’s political, economic and social, cultural and sporting life.11 The issue of the political integration of Turks, which has been the subject of intense debate, led to the reform of German citizenship, which came into force in 2000 under the impetus of the SPD-Green coalition government. In 2022, the percentage of Turkish emigrants residing in Germany for more than 10 years who are eligible for and have acquired German citizenship is 0.94 percent12 (a net decrease since 2013, when it was two percent). This compares with 12.4 percent for Afghans, 16.2 percent for Iranians and 107.6 percent for Syrians. The main host countries for Turks in Europe, apart from Germany, are Bulgaria, the Netherlands, France and the UK. There are no reliable estimates of the size of the Kurdish diaspora in Europe. In January 2023, according to the Kurdish Institute of Paris, some sources estimate the presence of about 2.25 to 2.75 million Kurds in Western Europe, including 1.2 to 1.5 million in Germany, 320,000 to 400,000 in France, and 120,000 to 140,000 in the Netherlands, these being the three countries hosting the largest Kurdish communities.13

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Participation in Sporting and Cultural Events

Turkey participates in major European sporting competitions, particularly in football (UEFA Euro, Champions League) and basketball (Euro). Turkey distinguished itself in 2001 when it was crowned European basketball runner-up and in 2008 when it reached the semi-finals of the UEFA European Football Championship. Galatasaray Football Club (Istanbul) won both the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Supercup in 2000. Turkish players and coaches have followed their careers with several major European clubs, while many European players have started or continued part of their careers with major Turkish clubs, particularly in Istanbul.14 In the cultural field, Turkey has participated in major European competitions, such as the Eurovision Song Contest since 1975 and which it won in 2003. In 2010, Istanbul was elected European Capital of Culture and since the 1970s has hosted major cultural festivals (including a Biennial of Contemporary Art and an International Film Festival) modelled on festivals in major European cities.

7.4 The Issue of Turkey’s Membership of the European Union For the Turkish authorities, the prospect of Turkey’s accession to the EU represents the culmination of Western-inspired modernisation since the foundation of the Republic of Turkey, and beyond that to Ottoman Westernisation reforms (known as the Tanzimat ) launched in the midnineteenth century. However, political, economic and social conditions in Turkey, as well as the evolution of major international power balances, have not made the process of European integration in Turkey any easier over recent decades. Relations between the European Union and Turkey date back to the early days of European integration. In 1959, two years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, Turkey applied for associate membership of the EEC. The prospect of Turkey’s accession to the EU featured in the 1963 Association Agreement, which provided for the creation of a customs union between the two parties, but it was only in 1999, when Turkey was granted candidate status, that the prospect firmed up. The accession negotiations, begun in 2005, herald a protracted process.

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The Ankara Association Agreement at the Start of Accession Negotiations

The 1963 Ankara Association Agreement was aimed chiefly at strengthening economic and trade relations between the two partners, with the eventual objective of establishing a customs union. In his speech in Ankara, Walter Hallstein, President of the Commission, underlined the historical significance of the event by affirming the European character of Turkey and he recalled the historic role of Atatürk in the Europeanisation of Turkey: “Turkey is part of Europe. This is the fundamental meaning of this operation: it confirms, in the most appropriate form we can conceive of for our time, a truth that is more than the abbreviated expression of a geographical reality or a historical observation valid for a few centuries. Turkey is part of Europe. This operation is above all a memorial to the powerful figure of Ataturk, whose action is remembered at every step in this country, and to the radically European renewal with which he imprinted all aspects of the Turkish state.”15 In the same speech, the President of the Commission underlined the common benefits of the association of the two partners, as well as the prospects for Turkey’s eventual European integration: “Thus the association is not only beneficial to Turkey, it also serves the interests of the Community. We are therefore at the beginning of an era of close cooperation between Turkey and the Community. And one day the final step will be taken: Turkey will be a full member of the Community. That both we and Turkey want this is the strongest expression of our common aim.”16 In the 1970s, however, various factors contributed to the stagnation of the integration process: the 1971 military memorandum in Turkey and the formation of government coalitions with nationalist and religious tendencies, redirecting Turkish foreign policy towards the Muslim world; international crises (1973, oil; 1974, Cyprus, a crisis amplified by the Turkish army‘s intervention); and the enlargement of the EEC in 1973 to include three new members (the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark), and then applications for membership from Spain, Portugal and Greece. The military coup in Turkey in 1980 and its accompanying abuses of human rights led to a long freeze in Turkish-EU relations. These improved with the return of civilians to power in 1983, and the dynamics of Turkish-European relations were re-launched on April 14, 1987; on the initiative of Prime Minister Turgut Özal Turkey officially submitted

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its EEC membership application. On December 20, 1989, the European Commission deferred examination of Turkey’s application, without questioning the principle of its eligibility. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 prompted the EU to redefine its enlargement priorities in favour of integrating the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, subject to compliance with the Copenhagen criteria adopted at the 1993 European Council (Çakır 2011). In the second half of the 1990s, EU-Turkey relations saw two significant advances. Firstly, the implementation of the Customs Union (on December 31, 1995), provided for in the 1963 Association Agreement. This agreement, which arranged a strengthening of economic relations between the two partners, did not however provide for the free movement of people, services or capital (Kramer 1996; Neuwahl 1999). Secondly, the granting of candidate country status to Turkey at the Helsinki European Council (December 1999). The country was now “destined to join the Union on the basis of the same criteria that apply to the other candidate countries”. This decision followed the Luxembourg European Council of December 1997 which had not included Turkey in the list of candidate countries (Müftüler-Baç 1997; Rumford 2000; Aydın-Düzgit and Tocci 2015). 7.4.2

Opening Negotiations: A Decisive Lever

From 1999 onwards, Turkey carried out an extensive programme of constitutional and legislative reforms in order to meet the Copenhagen criteria and to comply with the priorities set out in the Accession Partnership signed in 2001. The victory of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) in the parliamentary elections of November 3, 2002 gave new impetus to reforms under Prime Minister Erdo˘gan, whose political character was described by the European media as “moderate Islamist”. Two major constitutional revisions and eight “legislative packages” were adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly between October 2001 and July 2004.17 On October 6, 2004, the European Commission issued a recommendation in favour of opening accession negotiations with Turkey, which was deemed to “sufficiently” meet the Copenhagen political criteria. On December 17, 2004, the Brussels European Council set October 3, 2005 as the date for opening negotiations with Turkey. Despite the late opposition by some Member States, including Austria, which wanted to combine

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the case of Croatia with that of Turkey, accession negotiations were officially opened on October 3, 2005 with a timetable set for a period of ten to fifteen years. Despite the enthusiasm generated by their opening, the negotiations quickly ran out of steam. In 2023, eighteen years after the opening of the negotiations, only sixteen out of thirty-five chapters have been opened, while only one has been closed, provisionally.18 The negotiations faced a major stumbling block at the December 2006 European Council, which decided to freeze the opening of eight new chapters and not to provisionally close any others because of Turkey’s refusal to apply the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement to all the new EU Member States including the Republic of Cyprus. The provisions of the Additional Protocol imply opening Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot ships and aircraft. For the EU, resuming serious negotiations depends on Turkey recognising the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the EU since 2004: this is one of the major obstacles to rapprochement between Turkey and the EU. Since facing this obstacle in 2006, the negotiation process has become notably slower. Like the European Council, several Member States (Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Austria and France) have blocked the opening of new chapters because of the Cyprus issue or else their opposition to Turkey’s entry into the EU. Only ten chapters were opened between 2006 and 2013. Negotiations came to a halt for three years, with no new chapters opened between June 2010 and November 2013. In May 2012, the EU adopted a Positive Agenda, aiming at re-launching EU-Turkey relations.19 Pushed into the background, if not completely hidden, Turkey’s candidacy then returned to the centre-stage of the European agenda during the years 2013–2015 because of the unprecedented migratory crisis facing Europe, which made Turkey a key player in European policy on the matter. This dramatic rapprochement with the EU was reflected in the adoption of joint action plans and agreements on refugees (in particular the EU-Turkey agreement of March 2016), and led to a revival of accession negotiations with the opening of three new chapters between 2013 and 2016.20 This new Turkish-European partnership provoked an intense debate in Europe, unmatched in the period 1999–2005.

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What is at Issue Over Turkey’s Accession: Debates and Perceptions

The question of Turkey’s accession to the EU is unique because of the number and importance of the issues it raises. By occupying an increasingly central place in the European agenda since Turkey was granted candidate country status in 1999, it has become a recurrent subject of controversy that divides political parties and public opinion at both national and European levels. Objective and Subjective Criteria Turkey’s candidacy has given rise to intense and often polemical debates in Europe since 1999, and especially since the opening of official accession negotiations in 2005. These debates have brought to light different partisan positions in various countries, and have revealed deep divisions within public opinion, predominantly opposed to Turkey’s entry. Debates about Turkey’s accession have featured two types of argument: “objective” arguments to assess Turkey’s compliance with the Copenhagen criteria and its efforts to meet European standards; and “subjective” criteria that aim to examine Turkey’s “European identity” by focusing on its history and geography, culture and religion. The latter arguments have sometimes referred to Article 49 of the European Union Treaty, and in particular the first paragraph: “Any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union.“ Lacking a precise definition, the notion of “European state” has opened the way to various interpretations, favouring geographical and cultural criteria, which have been opposed to the Turkish application (Cautrès and Monceau 2011). Turkey, a “Mirror” of European Issues These questions can be explained in part by the characteristics of the candidate country: demography, geographical position, level of development and dominant religion. The candidacy of Turkey—a country of Muslim faith whose territory is located outside the European continent and which shares borders with several Middle Eastern countries—prompts Europeans for the first time to ask themselves questions about issues that had previously remained in the background, or even concealed: Europe’s identity and values; the geographical limits of the EU; the ability of the Member States (15 in 1999 and 27 in 2023) to absorb a country that

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is so large in terms of surface area and population, and with a level of development long considered to be lagging behind. These are all factors that could profoundly modify the demographic and budgetary balances of the Union. In many respects, the Turkish question functions like a mirror of Europe, of its internal questions and of the issues it has faced and continues to face. Observing the particular trajectory of Turkey as a candidate country for EU membership makes for a better understanding of the evolution of the European project and the different conceptions of it, of the nature of the relations between its member states and how it functions as a community, and of the orientation of internal European debates and what is at stake for the future of Europe. Turkey’s candidacy, in its many dimensions, is highly instructive about the EU and revelatory of the play of European issues. By questioning conceptions and representations of Europe, the issue of Turkey’s accession to the EU has provoked public debate around three issues central to its future development: the question of the EU’s “democratic deficit”, which is highlighted by the growing division between elites and citizens over the development of Europe and which would be made more salient by Turkey’s candidacy; Europe’s identity and values, reexamined in the light of the candidacy of a Muslim country, instigating debate on the compatibility of Islam with European culture and values; and Turkey’s accession would extend the EU’s borders into unstable areas of the Middle East, risking regional instability. Similarly, study of the accession negotiations reveals how European governance operates, between the strategies of the Member States, the role of European institutions and the weight of public opinion. The positioning of the Member States on the Turkish candidacy exposes opposing, if not antagonistic, conceptions of the European project between Europe as a power and Europe as a free trade zone (Monceau 2009). Different Partisan Positions in Different European Countries Turkey’s application for EU membership has given rise to often polarized positions in the political world and this is particularly the case in Germany, France and the UK. Germany is a key player in the debate on Turkish membership for historical, political and economic reasons. Traditionally, the issue was split between the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU), who were opposed to accession, and the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens (Die Grünen),

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who were more in favor. The former argued that there were cultural and religious differences between Turkey and Europe, while the latter stressed the importance of meeting the Copenhagen political and economic criteria. Between 1998–2005, Gerhard Schröder’s SPD-Green government supported Turkey’s application. From 2005 onwards, the Christian Democrats were in power, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, and expressed their opposition to Turkish membership by proposing a special partnership with Turkey. The migration crisis, which grew from 2015 onwards, led the German Chancellor to cautiously relaunch cooperation with Turkey by making five visits to the country between October 2015 and May 2016. However, relations between Germany and Turkey deteriorated sharply after the failed military coup in July 2016. In France, the Turkish candidacy has strongly divided the political class since the 2000s. The divide is between the parties of the right and the centre, which are hostile to Turkish membership for geographical and cultural reasons, and the more favourable parties of the left, which emphasise the Copenhagen criteria (and, for the Socialist Party, the official recognition of the Armenian genocide). There are also internal party divisions, especially on the left. In 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency marked a turning point in France’s official position by proposing an alternative to membership in the form of a Union for the Mediterranean with a central place for Turkey. He recalled his opposition to Turkish membership on several occasions, notably during his visit to Ankara in February 2011 as president of the G20. Under the presidency of François Hollande (2012–2017), FrancoTurkish relations relaxed in part thanks to his state visit to Turkey in January 2014, and the lifting of the French veto on the opening of new negotiation chapters. Since the presidency of Emmanuel Macron in May 2017, bilateral relations have deteriorated again. During President Erdo˘gan’s visit to Paris in January 2018, the French head of state proposed a “partnership” to Turkey “in the absence of membership”. Since 2019, bilateral tensions have increased following several incidents and France’s condemnation of Turkey’s regional interventionism in Syria (the October 2019 military operation), in Libya (causing a maritime incident with France in June 2020) and in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean (oil and gas exploration by Turkey leading to

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France’s support for Greece and Cyprus). In 2020, the draft law on separatism, which plans the curbing of Turkish imams seconded to France, provoked strong criticism in Turkey. Unlike Germany and France, the UK has long supported Turkey’s candidacy. EU enlargement has not met with strong opposition in the country, and the arguments—geographical and cultural—by opponents of Turkish membership have rarely featured prominently in the British debate. This is partly because British society approaches issues of identity, multiculturalism and the integration of foreign communities in different terms than in France and Germany. From 2010 to 2015, the Conservative-Liberal government led by David Cameron supported the Turkish bid. In 2016, Turkey’s candidacy featured prominently in the campaign for the Brexit referendum on June 23. The debate centred on the UK’s veto power in the event of Turkish membership. Brexit supporters—led by Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage—raised the threat of massive Turkish immigration in the event of accession. Faced with criticism, Cameron was forced to qualify his position, provoking incomprehension and anger from the Turkish authorities. Refusing to say whether he would use his veto to prevent Turkey’s accession, he said that it was only a distant prospect and would not happen “before the year 3000” (Monceau 2021a). 7.4.4

The Future of Turkey-EU Relations

The stalemate in the accession negotiation process has caused much debate within the EU about the future of relations with Turkey (MüftülerBaç 2016). Since the mid-2010s, relaunched negotiations in the framework of the EU-Turkey partnership (agreement on refugees of March 2016) have created a dilemma for Europeans, positioned between cooperation in the management of the migration crisis and denunciation of the authoritarian excesses of the Turkish regime. At the same time, voices have been raised within the European institutions seeking to envisage alternative scenarios to that of membership for Turkey. Europeans’ Dilemma About Turkey, Cooperation or Denunciation The new Turkish-European partnership relaunched in 2013–2015 with the resumption of accession negotiations, has raised many questions as Turkey has regularly excited EU criticism since its application for membership. The Syrian conflict that broke out in 2011 and its consequences,

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particularly the unprecedented migration crisis facing the European continent with the arrival of thousands of refugees, mainly from Syria, have forced the EU to rethink its relations with the regime in Ankara. From having been a marginalised or even virtually ignored candidate country, Turkey became an indispensable interlocutor for the EU. Now forced to interact with a partner whose human rights violations and authoritarian excesses they regularly denounced in the 1980s and 2000s and from the 2010s onwards, Europeans were faced with their own contradictions and a dilemma: should they relegate the Copenhagen criteria (respect for human rights, economic stability, integration of the community experience) to the background and sacrifice European values on the altar of the migration crisis? In other words, what are the EU’s priorities and how should the European project develop in the face of a migration and security crisis that could ultimately wreck the construction of Europe? These questions, which have come to the fore since the mid-2010s, have taken on a new significance in Europe following two major events in Turkey: the attempted military coup of July 15 and 16, 2016, which was followed by a two-year state of emergency; and the reform of the Constitution, validated by the referendum of April 16, 2017, to strengthen the powers of the Turkish president (Monceau 2021a). The need to rethink EU-Turkey relations in view of Turkish political developments has been raised more and more frequently in Europe. The results of the constitutional referendum in April 2017 prompted many reactions within the European institutions. Enlargement Commissioner J. Hahn called on Member State governments to change their relations with Turkey. During a debate in the European Parliament, many MEPs were in favour of revising relations with Turkey, but divided on whether to suspend negotiations temporarily or to stop them altogether. Several alternatives were put forward by MEPs to rebuild relations with Turkey on a new basis. For some, the EU should focus on enhanced cooperation in a range of areas (trade, security and immigration) which could lead to adopting a new EU-Turkey Association Agreement, to replace the 1963 Ankara Agreement as an alternative to full membership. Modernising of the Customs Union, in force since 1996, and developing bilateral trade relations—prospects proposed by the Commission in December 2016—could also strengthen cooperation between the two partners. Finally, increased student exchanges and enhanced cooperation on security and immigration issues were among the paths proposed.

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Alternatives to membership were also canvassed outside the European Parliament. In February 2017, J.-C. Juncker advocated a “multi-speed Europe” with a different “orbit” for European countries depending on their degree of integration: “I think we need to imagine the continent in concentric circles”, he declared, positing that “around the centre of Europe there could be an orbit where those who do not wish to share all the ambitions of others could take their place. He continued, “I see the UK there, for example, and Turkey and others who don’t know it yet”. In March 2017, German Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel argued for an enhanced partnership status comparable to that which would be negotiated for the UK following Brexit. In recent years, political developments in the EU and Turkey have not been conducive to improving Turkish-European relations. In June 2018, the Council of the EU considered that accession negotiations with Turkey had reached a “standstill”. On June 24, 2018, the presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey were won by the incumbent President Erdo˘gan and the AKP party. The entry into force of the presidentialization of the Turkish regime, following the constitutional reform, led to the adoption of sanctions by the European Parliament without a formal suspension of accession negotiations as initially announced. In November 2018, the Commissioner for Enlargement called for the end of accession negotiations while the Commission and its President supported the resumption of negotiations. These contradictory statements highlight the lack of consensus within the EU on Turkey. The divergences expressed between the European institutions (Commission and the European Parliament), within the European institutions themselves (Commission President and Commissioners) and between the European institutions (Commission) and the Member States contribute to the dilemma of Europeans divided between cooperation and denunciation. After adopting sanctions and threatening new ones, in 2020 the EU still recognised Turkey as a “key partner” and at the European Council on October 1, 2020 decided to launch a constructive political programme between the EU and Turkey. Scenarios and Hypotheses In view of the many uncertainties of recent years, what is the future of EU-Turkey relations? Three possible scenarios can be identified among

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the alternatives of continuing, breaking off or suspending negotiations (Tocci 2016). – Convergence: Turkey eventually joins the EU without belonging to the innermost circle of integration. It meets the Copenhagen criteria, aligns with the Common Security and Defence Policy and becomes an energy hub for Europe. This scenario now seems unfeasible. – Conflict and competition: Accession negotiations are interrupted upon the decision of either Turkey or the EU. Conflict and competition drive the two former partners apart, although occasional dialogue persists between Turkey and the EU and NATO. Continued visa requirements for Turkish citizens lead to a breakdown of the EU-Turkey refugee accord, and there is growing anti-Turkish sentiment in Europe and anti-European sentiment in Turkey. – Cooperation or engagement without accession: The EU and Turkey develop a new framework for cooperation based on what each can offer. The accession process is abandoned in favour of a privileged partnership and “functional relations” between the EU and several non-member states (post-Brexit UK, Turkey). The two partners pursue an institutionalised foreign policy dialogue and strengthen their economic and migration cooperation through the maintenance of the EU-Turkey refugee agreement and this leads to visa liberalisation for Turkish citizens. Among these different scenarios, what would happen if negotiations broke down? Supposing that “Europe loses Turkey” (J. Fischer), several effects could be foreseen. In terms of foreign policy or trade relations, Turkey could extend and deepen its multi-dimensional partnership with Russia at the expense of the EU (Monceau 2021b) while strengthening its economic and trade exchanges with neighbouring states in the ArabMuslim world. On the security and military front, Turkey could withdraw from NATO in favour of regional military alliances. More broadly, Turkey could eventually join regional organisations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, presented as an alternative to EU membership by President Erdo˘gan in November 2016. The consequences for the EU would be negative on several levels: competition for its trade with Turkey’s other regional partners; a potential threat to its energy security

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due to the loss of Turkey’s role as a hub; a risk of internal destabilisation in European countries and European demography because of mass immigration of refugees from Turkey; a weakening of Europe’s south-eastern borders.

7.5 Conclusion: Where Are Turkish-EU Relations Going? In 2023 Europeans are more than ever faced with a dilemma between the need to cooperate with Turkey in managing the migration crisis and fighting international terrorism while wanting to denounce its authoritarian excesses and regional interventionism. This ambivalence between cooperation and denunciation requires a clarification of the EU’s attitudes towards Turkey. What happens depends on many unknown and unpredictable factors, including the outcome of the conflict in Syria, which will have a decisive influence on the situation and the number of refugees in Turkey; Turkey’s domestic political evolution towards more authoritarianism or, on the contrary, liberalisation in the run-up to the 2023 elections; the outcome of the EU-Turkey refugee agreements and how well they work, as well as, among other uncertainties in Europe, the impact of the Brexit model and the exit from the Covid-19 crisis. The combination of these factors will determine Turkey’s relations with or without the EU.

Notes 1. In recent years, Turkey has played an active role in this EU institution. Between November 2010 and May 2011, it chaired its Committee of Ministers whose mission is to strengthen the political role, visibility and influence of the Council in Europe and the world. In January 2010, a representative of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavu¸so˘glu, was elected for the first time as President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, a position he held until 2012. 2. After the 1954 ratification of the Convention, Turkey ranks first in terms of convictions by the ECHR as the country for which the Court has issued the most judgments finding a violation of at least one article of the ECHR. In total, the Court condemned Turkey on 2,812 occasions between 1959 and 2015. In 2016, the Court dealt with 4,160 applications concerning Turkey. Of the 118 applications declared admissible or continued to be examined (not struck off the list), the Court delivered 88 judgments, 77

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of which found at least one violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Among them Morocco (from 2004), the United Kingdom (from 2020) and Ukraine (from 2022). These data are collected from the Website of the European Commission. Accessed on March 1, 2023. These data are collected from the site Macrotrends. Cf. https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/TUR/turkey/foreigndirect-investment. Accessed on March 1, 2023. These data include foreign tourists and Turkish citizens residing abroad who travel to Turkey. Due to the pandemic in 2020, the number of tourists to Turkey has dropped significantly to 15.9 million in 2020 and 30 million in 2021. See data compiled by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. See data compiled by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and by the Turkish Statistical Institute. It has also participated in operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (EUPOL Kinshasa, EUFOR RD Congo) and in the EUPOL COPPS operation in the Palestinian territories. https://www.jean-jaures.org/publication/la-diaspora-turque-en-europe/ Accessed on March 1, 2023. See the official German statistics website Statistisches Bundesamt: https:/ /www.destatis.de/EN/Themes/Society-Environment/Population/Mig ration-Integration/Tables/foreigner-citizenship-time-serie.html Accessed on March 1, 2023. Examples include Cem Özdemir MEP, a German of Turkish origin who was elected vice-president of the German Greens in November 2008, filmmaker Fatih Akin, whose film Head On won the Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004, and footballer Mesut Özil, who has been a player for Arsenal FC since 2013 and played for Germany, winners of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. See the official German statistics website Statistisches Bundesamt: https:// www.destatis.de/EN/Themes/Society-Environment/Population/Migrat ion-Integration/Tables/naturalisations-former-citizenship.html Accessed on March 1, 2023. See “Kurdish Diaspora” on the website of the Kurdish Institute. Link: https://www.institutkurde.org/info/diaspora-kurde-1232550920. Accessed on March 1, 2023. These include Hakan Sükür ¸ (who played for Inter Milan and FC Palermo in Italy and Blackburn Rovers FC in England), Arda Turan (Club Atlético de Madrid) and Hamit Altıntop (Schalke 04, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid).

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15. Speech by Professor Walter Hallstein, President of the Commission of the European Economic Community on the occasion of the signing of the Association Agreement with Turkey in Ankara on September 12, 1963, [s.l.]: European Commission, [18.02.2005]. Translated by Moya Jones. 16. Ibid. 17. These reforms related to: the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances; the strengthening of civilian control over the military through the reform of the National Security Council and the abolition of military courts; the strengthening of gender equality; the extension of freedom of expression, association and the press; the alignment of the judicial system with European standards; the establishment of the primacy of international agreements in the field of fundamental freedoms over domestic legislation; the reform of the civil and penal codes; the recognition of cultural rights allowing the use of non-Turkish languages in education and the media. 18. The “Science and research” chapter in June 2006. 19. This agenda includes increased consultation on major foreign policy issues, improved cooperation in the field of energy, as well as direct discussions between the Commission and Ankara to allow for a progressive reconciliation of Turkish legislation with European standards. 20. The new chapters opened are: 22 (regional policy) in November 2013; 17 (economic and monetary policy) in December 2015; 33 (financial and budgetary provisions) in June 2016.

References Ahmad, F. 1993. The Making of Modern Turkey. London: Routledge. Aydın-Düzgit, S., and N. Tocci. 2015. Turkey and the European Union. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Barysch, K. 2007. Turkey’s Role in European Energy Security, Center for European Reforms Essay, December 2007. Cautrès, B. and N. Monceau. 2011. La Turquie en Europe. L’opinion des Européens et des Turcs, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, coll. Académique. Çakır, A.E. ed. 2011. Fifty Years of EU-Turkey Relations: A Sisyphean Story. London: Routledge. Danis, E.E. 2022. Energy Crisis: How Turkey can play a major role in solutions for Europe, Middle East Eye, 1 November 2022. https://www.middle easteye.net/opinion/turkey-europe-russia-energy-crisis-play-role Accessed on 10 March, 2023. Gingeras, R. 2016. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: Heir to an Empire. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Howard, D.A. 2017. A History of the Ottoman Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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˙ Inalcik, H. 2006. Turkey and Europe in History, Istanbul: Eren. Kramer, H. 1996. The EU-Turkey Customs Union: Economic Integration Amidst Political Turmoil, Mediterranean Politics, 1 (1): Summer 1996, 60–75. Lewis, B. 2001. The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mantran, R, Dir. 1989. Histoire de l’Empire ottoman. Paris: Fayard. Monceau, N. ed. 2009. Special issue: L’Europe au miroir de la Turquie, Politique européenne, no. 29, Fall 2009. Monceau, N. 2021a. Turquie: Un dilemme européen? Paris: Éditions de l’Aube and Fondation Jean Jaurès. Monceau, N. 2021b. Relations Between Turkey and Russia: Between Strategic Partnerships and Regional Rivalries. In Turkey, Russia and Iran in the Middle East, ed. Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau, 167–195. Establishing a New Regional Order, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Müftüler-Baç, M. 1997. Turkey’s Relations with a Changing Europe. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Müftüler-Baç, M. 2016. Divergent Pathways: Turkey and the European Union: Re-Thinking the Dynamics of Turkish-European Union Relations. Berlin: Budrich Publishers. Neuwahl, N.A. 1999. The EU-Turkey Customs Union: A Balance, but no Equilibrium, European Foreign Affairs Review, 4 (1): Spring 1999, 37–62. Rumford, C. 2000. From Luxembourg to Helsinki: Turkey, the Politics of EU Enlargement and Prospects for Accession, Contemporary Politics, 6 (4): 2000– 12, 331–343. Tocci, N. 2016. Turkey and the European Union: Scenarios for 2023, FEUTURE Background Paper, September 2016. Yerasimos, S. 2005. L’Europe vue de la Turquie, Hérodote, 2005/3, no. 118: 68–68. Zurcher, E.J. 2004. Turkey. A Modern History, 3rd ed, Tauris, 2004. London & New York: I.B.

CHAPTER 8

Conclusion: Turkey at the Crossroads in 2023 Bayram Balci and Nicolas Monceau

In 1923, after a century of republican history, Turkey is at a crossroads. In addition to the centenary of the Republic, this year marks another political anniversary: twenty years in power for the AKP. To date, since the November 2002 parliamentary elections, the AKP has won every election in Turkey, establishing unprecedented political and institutional stability after decades of government instability. And 2023 is the year of two major events1 : crucial elections with high political stakes - the presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14 - and the worst natural disaster in the country’s modern history. The February 6 earthquakes have been among the five deadliest of the twenty-first century and have taken a horrific toll.

B. Balci (B) CERI-Sciences Po, Paris, France e-mail: [email protected] N. Monceau University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France e-mail: [email protected]

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3_8

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A major political event, the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections pit two sides against each other: on one side, the incumbent president, R. T. Erdo˘gan, who has been in power for twenty years (as prime minister from 2003 to 2014 and then as directly elected president since 2014), and the dominant AKP party, of which he was one of the cofounders in 2001 and of which he became president again in 2017. On the other side, the Opposition Alliance, composed of six heterogeneous parties (including the CHP and the Iyi Parti), which has announced the choice of its single candidate for the presidential election on March 6, 2023.2 The Turkish elections are taking place in a national context marked by several developments that could play an important, if not decisive, role during the ballot. Turkey is going through a deep economic and social crisis, which has worsened since 2018 (inflation at over 60 percent per year, devaluation of the national currency, rising unemployment). The government’s economic performance over the past few years will be an important element of appreciation, among others, in the choice of Turkish voters. On the political front, the regime’s authoritarian drift has been reinforced since the aborted military coup of July 2016 followed by the imposition of a state of emergency for two years. In the name of the fight against terrorism, and more particularly against the movement of F. Gülen, accused of being the instigator of the coup, thousands of citizens have lost their jobs, or have been arrested, convicted and imprisoned. Political repression has also affected representatives of the pro-Kurdish left-wing party HDP. At the same time, the presidentialization of the Turkish regime, following the reform of the Constitution submitted to a referendum in April 2017, has considerably strengthened the powers of the president by weakening counterpowers. In terms of foreign policy, Turkey has become increasingly isolated on the international scene in recent years, due to the regional interventionism by the Turkish authorities in several theaters of operation (military operations in northern Syria in 2016, 2017 and 2019, tensions in the eastern Mediterranean with Greece and France, intervention in Libya, support for Azerbaijan during the resumption of the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020) and certain foreign policy choices (political, commercial and military rapprochement with Russia). These foreign policy developments have led to a sharp deterioration in relations with Turkey’s traditional Western partners, the United States and the EU.

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Among other factors that could influence the outcome of the election, regional developments marked by the conflict in Ukraine could eventually work in favor of the incumbent president. Since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, Turkey’s role as mediator in the Ukrainian conflict has in fact helped the country return to the international stage, particularly during the negotiations of the grain agreement, and could help strengthen President Erdo˘gan’s position. In this national context, what are the main issues at stake? Two main issues, which are closely linked, can be highlighted. The first issue is whether the AKP Party and its leader will remain in power (for a third presidential term after the 2014 and 2018 elections) or whether there will be a political changeover after twenty years of AKP rule in the country. In the event of a political changeover, Turkey will close the AKP period, characterized by the domination of a hegemonic party over national politics, and inaugurate a new phase in its republican history. In connection with the question of political alternation, a second issue at stake in the Turkish elections of 2023 concerns the question of the political regime, and more specifically the presidential regime. The reform of the Turkish Constitution was adopted by referendum in April 2017 and led to a presidentialization of the regime, favoring an increased concentration of presidential powers and arousing strong protest reactions from the political opposition as well as concerns from Turkey’s Western partners (EU, United States). In the event of a victory for the opposition Alliance, it has announced that it will reverse the constitutional reform in order to restore the parliamentary system as it functioned after the end of World War II. However, the conditions for the election campaign have been entirely called into question by the February 6 earthquakes in the south and southeast of the country and in Syria. The toll - still provisional at the time of writing - is devastating for Turkey: eleven regions have been affected, with many cities badly damaged (including Antakya in the Hatay region). Nearly 214,000 buildings have been destroyed or condemned. The human toll in Turkey is estimated at more than 46,000 dead and 105,000 injured (as well as 6,000 dead in Syria) and there are over 3.3 million displaced persons (as of March 7, 2023).3 The devastation is estimated at over 100 billion US dollars in the country.4 What will be the political consequences of the earthquakes? In domestic politics, the already strong polarization has increased in the aftermath of the disaster. In effect, numerous contentions have erupted

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against the government and the president, who are accused of inaction or delay in organizing relief efforts, and more broadly of corruption around the conditions for awarding public contracts for thousands of buildings that did not withstand the earthquakes. Already sharply down in the polls, President Erdo˘gan’s image and popularity were further eroded after the earthquake. On the other hand, the disaster did not have any negative effects for the incumbent in terms of foreign policy. On the contrary, a certain “earthquake diplomacy” has been set up, encouraging international humanitarian assistance from more than ninety countries and allowing some tensions with neighboring countries, notably Greece and Armenia, to be partially reduced or relegated to the background. In the end, it seems appropriate to recall that the AKP came to power in 2002, a few years after an earthquake in the Marmara Sea region in August 1999, which took a devastating human toll. Some observers at the time reckoned that the coalition government in power at the time would not withstand the political consequences of the disaster and it lost the subsequent elections held in 2002. In 2023, will another earthquake mark the end of the AKP’s unprecedented experience of power in Turkey’s republican history? The elections on May 14 will provide the answer to this question.

Notes 1. At the time of writing this conclusion in March 2023. 2. This nomination caused an internal crisis within the “table of six” following the departure of Meral Aks, ener, the chairwoman of the Iyi Parti, who disagreed with the choice of the candidate, and then returned to the coalition. 3. AFP, March 7, 2023. 4. Reuters, March 7, 2023.

Republic of Turkey

In this book devoted to the celebration of the centenary of the Republic of Turkey, the most important issues have been treated in six chapters. However, although deserving the same interest, a couple of boxes are focusing on further issues: the Alevi issue, the new Turkish foreign policy in Africa, and the Cyprus issue. The Alevi issue has been very sensitive in Turkey since the establishment of the Republic. The members of this religious muslim minority share the strong feeling of having been neglected and marginalized by the Turkish state which has been under the control of Sunni majority. In the box related to this issue, Hazal Karabulut puts forward the increasing improvement of the Alevi minority’s conditions in the country. One of its members, Kemal Kılıçdaro˘glu, competes for the presidential elections in May 2023 and may become the first Alevi president of the Turkish Republic. The Cyprus issue is crucial in Turkey as it continues to undermine the relations between Turkey and Greece, and in a more determining way with the European Union. For decades, unsuccessful negotiations have been lasted in order to ensure the reunification of the island between the two communities. In this box, Nicolas Monceau handles the Cyprus issue up to the recent period, the stance of the EU and the current topics which are to be resolved. The end of the Turkish military occupation in the

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3

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northern part of the island, the return of the refugees and the distribution of political power between the two communities stand among the most prominent stakes on the political agenda. The last box deal with the new Turkish foreign policy towards Africa. With other new comers in Africa, like Brazil, Russia to a certain degree, India and China, Turkey stands among the powers which is eager to compete for influence with the former colonial powers in this continent. Among others, France perceives Turkish activism in Africa as a potential threat to its traditional influence. In this short contribution, Bayram Balci puts forward the strengths and limits of Turkish policy in Africa.

Box A---Back To: The Origins of the Cyprus Question Nicolas Monceau

The island of Cyprus has known different sovereignties: under Ottoman domination between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was controlled by the United Kingdom from 1878, and became one of its colonies from 1925. The British Crown set up military bases there, which are still active today, to reinforce its control in the Eastern Mediterranean and to support its interventions in the Middle East. After World War II, pan-Hellenic nationalist circles, which were active on this island with a large Greek majority, called for Cyprus to be attached to Greece. This desire came up against the Turkish Cypriot minority also living on the island as well as opposition from the United Kingdom, which initially tried to maintain its hold on the island before finally advocating its division between the two communities. At the same time, Ankara was opposed to the attachment to Greece and Turkey also argued for a partition of the island. 1955 was marked by the failure of a tripartite conference on the island and by the beginning of the armed struggle led by the EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston-National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) against the British presence. In the following years, intercommunal clashes increased on the island. In 1959, the Zurich and London treaties recognized the independence of the Republic of Cyprus, which was officially proclaimed in 1960. Its sovereignty was guaranteed by three “guarantor powers”: Greece, the United Kingdom and Turkey. The Cypriot Constitution established a bicommunal system headed by a Greek Cypriot president

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3

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(Archbishop Makarios III) and a Turkish Cypriot vice-president (Fazıl Küçük) with mechanisms for the distribution of power and positions in the administration according to a 70%–30% quota. In 1963, Makarios’s “13 [constitutional] amendments” inflamed political tensions, as they were seen as a challenge to communalism, and reignited violent intercommunal clashes. Institutions were paralyzed, following the withdrawal or expulsion of Turkish Cypriot representatives, while the paramilitary organisations EOKA and TMT (Türk Mukavemet Te¸skilatı-Turkish Resistance Organisation) became more radical. The following year, the United Nations Security Council decided to send a large contingent of blue helmets. In Greece, the Colonels’ dictatorship, in place since 1967 and hostile to Makarios III, supported a coup d’état against him in July 1974 by Greek Cypriot ultranationalists who wanted the attachment of Cyprus (enosis) to Greece. This provoked Turkey’s military intervention to protect the Turkish minority, the partition of the island and the fall of the military regime in Athens. Since then, the island has been divided by the “Green Line”, a buffer zone where some eight hundred UN peacekeepers are stationed to keep the peace in Cyprus.1 Major expulsions and population exchanges took place between the north and south of the island. The Turkish army occupies 38% of the territory in the north of the island. In 1983, Rauf Denkta¸s proclaimed the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and became its president. This entity is internationally recognized only by Turkey, and its creation was condemned by the UN Security Council Resolution 541. Thirty thousand Turkish troops are still present in the northern part of the island, which is financially supported by Ankara. Negotiations under the aegis of the UN were not successful until the early 2000s. The prospect of Cyprus’s accession to the EU gave a new dimension to the Cyprus question. The coming to power of the AKP in Turkey in 2002, and the end of R. Denkta¸s’s presidency in 2005, led to a certain thaw. A referendum held on April 24, 2004, under the mandate of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, proposed the reunification of the island in the form of a federal state, prior to its planned accession to the EU on May 1, 2004. Supported by the AKP and the Turkish Cypriot government, the reunification plan was rejected by the Greek President and the Greek Cypriot political parties. The failure of the referendum (65% of Turkish Cypriots in favor, 76% of Greek Cypriots against) opened a new period in the status quo. As a result, the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004 with the continued partition of the island, resulting in the non-application of

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EU law to its northern part. At the time, the European Council, meeting in June 2004, recognized the “positive contribution of the Government of Turkey to the efforts of the Secretary General of the United Nations to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem”. This situation therefore has had a negative impact on Turkey’s accession negotiations with the EU. The case appears to be unprecedented in the history of European construction: a candidate country is militarily occupying part of an EU member state. The Turkish authorities still refuse to recognize the independence of the Republic of Cyprus and prohibit Cypriot ships and aircraft from entering their ports and airports. Tensions with the EU resurfaced on July 29, 2005 when Turkey signed the Protocol extending the Customs Union Agreement to the ten new Member States that joined the EU on May 1, 2004, including Cyprus. This signature, which implied an implicit recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, was a precondition for the opening of negotiations. However, in an accompanying declaration, Ankara stipulated that this signature did not amount to recognition of the Republic of Cyprus. At the opening of accession negotiations on October 3, 2005, the EU called for “continued efforts by Turkey to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework” and “progress in the normalization of bilateral relations between Turkey and all EU Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus”. Turkey’s stance to sign the Customs Union Extension Protocol, but not to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, led the European Council to freeze the opening of eight chapters of the accession negotiations in December 2006. The accession of Cyprus to the EU without reunification of the island has made the prospect of a resolution of this dispute more remote. The EU regularly recalls its main expectations regarding Cyprus: – the resumption of negotiations between the leaders of the two Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island, under the auspices of the UN Secretary General, with a view to the reunification of Cyprus; – the withdrawal by Turkey of its troops and the transfer of the Famagusta area to the UN; – Turkey’s signing of the Protocol extending the Customs Union Agreement and recognition of the Republic of Cyprus; – the abstention from any further settlement of Turkish citizens in the occupied areas of Cyprus. In April 2015, the election of a federalist—Mustafa Akıncı—in the North Cypriot presidential election revived hopes for negotiations on

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reunification. During the campaign he had promised to “negotiate a final solution before 2017” with Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades, but the victory of the conservatives in the May 2016 parliamentary elections in the Republic of Cyprus, followed by the establishment of a centre-right government coalition, made any agreement on the reunification of the island difficult. The latest rounds of negotiations between the two sides—in February 2014, November 2016 and in Geneva in June 2017—ended in failure due to the antagonistic positions of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the demilitarization of the north of the island, property rights and the issue of refugee return. A resurgence of tensions could be observed once more from 2019 onwards when Mevlüt Çavu¸so˘glu (Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs) announced his willingness to reopen the closed area of Varosha (Mara¸s in Turkish), a Greek district of the city of Famagusta, whose perimeter had been condemned and access forbidden by the Turkish army. On October 6, 2020, Ankara announced a partial reopening of the site, a decision condemned by the UN Security Council calling on “Turkey to reverse its decision”. Indeed, the city is a symbol of the multiple questions that are at the heart of the Cyprus issue mentioned above. In the same month, Mustafa Akıncı was defeated in the presidential elections and replaced by Ersin Tatar, close to the AKP government. This change raises fears of a complete breakdown of the negotiation process between the two sides of the island. In July 2021, on the 43rd anniversary of the Turkish intervention, Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan stated his support for a two-state solution while day visits to enter Mara¸s have been authorized. The Security Council once again condemned this action.

Note 1. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/troop-and-police-contributors (UN official figures on December 31, 2022).

Box B---The Alevis in Turkey: The Maintaining of Discrimination Hazal Karabulut

The Republic of Turkey is a nation-state that was founded after the multinational Ottoman Empire, which had had a diverse population of different nationalities, beliefs, and cultures that experienced discrimination, invisibility and even both in some cases. The nationalist tendencies of the new Republic did not make their experience any easier. Sometimes seen as a threat and other times not seen at all, the situation of the Alevis differs from those of the other minorities living in Turkey. Alevilik is a heterodox religion that has its roots in Shiism, another denomination of Islam after Sunni Islam, which is the largest religious population in Turkey. Even though their religion is dissimilar to Sunni Islam, Alevis are occasionally seen as Muslims by Sunni society, and state officials reflected this phenomenon, especially around the rise of Neo-Ottomanism and Islamism that accompanied the election to power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Moreover, Alevilik has an ethnically heterogeneous nature that includes both Turkish and Kurdish identities (Yücel 2010). In a nation-state that has a predominantly Sunni population, the responses to such combinations of identities might vary. As Shankland (2001) observed, Turkish Alevis have their “Turkishness” and Kurdish Sunnis have their religious identity, yet Kurdish Alevis do not have any sort of belonging to an identity that would link them to the nation-state. This double identity connects Alevis to the ‘Kurdish problem’ as well, which has resulted in the politicization of the group along with leftist groups (Erman & Göker 2000). In a 2019 report, KONDA, a famous research and consultancy

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3

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company revealed that five percent of the population identify themselves as Alevis.1 However, it is important to note that there is no up-to-date data that can provide the exact size of the Alevi population in Turkey, because of the Alevis hiding their identity (Erman & Göker 2000; Güne¸s 2020; van Bruinessen 1996). Such behavior is common as an identity strategy among the minorities in Turkey. Nevertheless, this five percent figure reveals that Alevilik has the second largest religious population in Turkey after Sunni Islam. In the last fifty years, several attacks on Alevi communities have marked the contemporary history of the Turkish Republic. The attacks showed the Islamist and the nationalist population’s discriminatory behaviour toward the Alevis. Additionally, they revealed the (non-existent) stance taken by the state. Several incidents such as the Mara¸s, Madımak and Gazi massacres are still unresolved issues and shared traumas for the community.2 In the early 2000s, after fifty years that included massacres against them, Alevis were already hesitant about a party that represents Sunni Turkish values, and which societally did not accept them or their religion. Yet, even though the implementation process of the AKP policies was criticized by many, it was the first time a government had formulated plans that concerned the Alevis demands and claims. Moreover, the AKP was also the first government to acknowledge the Turkish state’s responsibility for past events concerning the Alevis that had occurred in the history of the Turkish Republic. First, in 2008, the Minister of Culture, Günay, apologized on behalf of the Turkish state for past incidents as did Prime Minister Erdo˘gan later in 2011 (Massicard 2016). Until the first stage of the Alevi Opening (Alevi Açılımı) which aimed to improve the relationship between the State and the Alevis through policy changes and political gestures, by 2007, the AKP had not delivered any policies or policy plans on the issue to the public. The situation of Alevis had not featured on the government’s agenda for five years (Massicard 2016). Instead of accepting Alevilik as a religion on its own, the approach by the government was rather to disregard the religion itself, which stands to reason considering the similarity between the government’s ideology and the aforementioned phenomenon of Sunnification (Güne¸s 2020; Weineck and Zimmermann 2018b). The AKP’s first initiatives on the Alevi issue were not only historical for the party but for the Republic as well: It was the first government to launch a policy relating to the issue (Massicard 2016: 79; Köse 2010: 5). Even though symbolic gestures like participating in Alevi fasting practices were made, their actual demands were rarely taken into

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consideration. These demands mostly included two topics: the mandatory, state-imposed religion courses in schools, and cemevis, which are the Alevi places of worship. Moreover, the contradictory statements from the AKP government and the Diyanet, the Directorate of Religious Affairs (DRA) regarding the Alevis showed that the initiatives were rather more symbolic than fruitful.3 Yet again, it was off the government’s agenda when the AKP struggled with their party being closed in 2008. The second phase of the Alevi Opening lasted six months after the AKP government decided to hold workshops in June 2009 (Massicard 2016). The reaction to the second phase was rather hesitant since the first phase had brought no improvement at all. The second phase ended after the 2011 elections, and the outcome of the Alevi Opening was that none of the demands made by the Alevis were met. One of the demands was the official recognition of cemevis as places of worship. It is stated several times in official documents and the speeches by President Erdo˘gan that cemevis would not get the status of place of worship, because Alevilik is a part of Islam, and they already have mosques; also, cemevis are cultural places rather than religious ones. Juridically, even though the Civil Court of Instance in Ankara declared that cemevis are indeed places of worship, the outcome of the judgement was neither seen in the politics nor in the lower courts (Massicard 2016). Recently, in October 2022, the cultural perspective was observed through the latest steps taken by the government. The Planning and Budget Committee of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) passed an omnibus bill (torba yasa) that also included changes regarding the Alevi question, especially regarding the status of cemevis.4 Instead of giving them official recognition as places of worship, the AKP government chose to launch the “Directorate of Alevi Bektashi Culture and Cemevis” under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In the same omnibus bill, there are other laws regarding the costs of the cemevis and obligations for municipalities to support them economically. However, it also gives permission to municipalities to control the construction of cemevis.5 Regarding the latest steps, ˙ Istanbul MP Ali Kenano˘glu from the Halkların Demokratik Partisi (HDP), a pro-Kurdish and pro Alevi party, stated that: “This law is a law that does not see Alevism as a belief but only as a cultural activity, and therefore rejects all values accepted by the Alevi society. For this reason, the Alevi community rejects this law”.6 The president of the Federation of Alevi Associations (ADFE) Celal Fırat also commented similarly on the omnibus law, and mentioned the President’s previous discriminatory comments on Kemal Kılıçdaro˘glu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP),

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who is also an Alevi. Kılıçdaro˘glu has been targeted many times by President Erdo˘gan, some of whose comments were mostly weighed against his ethnicity rather than his abilities as a politician. The other demand of the Alevis is regarding the inclusivity of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, especially due to compulsory religion courses. As Erman and Göker (2000) noted, course material on Alevilik was non-existent in compulsory religion courses, and in Imam-Hatip schools and theology faculties. As a result, many Alevis argue that the Diyanet only represents the Sunni interpretation of Islam, therefore favoring a specific religious group. Even after the reports published by the European Commission and the adjustments made to the compulsory religion courses and the non-existence of Alevilik in the curriculum, cemevis were not mentioned in the new curriculum either (Massicard 2016). Both in 20077 and 20148 the European Court of Human Rights declared that previous changes made in the curriculum were insufficient and the structure of the courses violated the right to education and constitutional obligation to secularism.9 As stated in article 90 of the Constitution, Turkey is obliged to follow the international agreements that are signed by the country, however these rulings did not influence either the government’s actions or their responses. The curriculum is not the only problem with the compulsory religion courses. Numerous incidents have been observed, and many others mentioned by the Alevis about the instructors’ behavior toward Alevi students. These courses and the instructors’ ‘behavior were witnessed by the students starting from the fourth grade, who are mostly ten-year-olds. Unlike the Republic of Turkey, there are several countries which have recognized Alevilik as a religion of its own, including Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom. In addition, after acceptance of cemevis as places of worship, the Greek Deputy Minister of Education, Angelos Syrigos, visited a cemevi.10 This lack of recognition and non-existent reaction to threats and discrimination has turned the Alevis into an obvious target without any protection. Many Alevis are afraid to see a red “X” painted on their door, which marks the fact that an Alevi lives there: this mark represents the same mindset that resulted in the Mara¸s and Sivas Massacres. Just last year in 2022, there were several incidents where Alevi citizens found red marks on their door, an axe in front of their cemevi, and faced attacks on cemevis on their religious holidays.11 In this threatening environment with the assimilationist policies and discriminatory stance of the state, the Alevis lack not only freedom of religion, but also freedom of speech and assembly as well. While making

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promises at first, the AKP government’s steps with the ‘Alevi Opening’ produced no fruitful results either. Even though the Alevis’ demands have been quite clear, none of the governments in Turkish history has managed to give them the recognition, representation or protection that should be constitutionally provided to all their citizens.

Notes 1. “Türkiye’de kaç Kürt, kaç Sünni, kaç Alevi ya¸sıyor?’’ Yetkin Report, November 18, 2019, https://yetkinreport.com/2019/11/18/ turkiyede-kac-kurt-kac-sunni-kac-alevi-yasiyor/, accessed March 2, 2023. 2. Several massacres targeting Alevis took place in the last fifty years. The reasons for this were not only based on their religion, but also on their relationship with the Left in Turkey. Numerous shops and homes were destroyed, and many people were assaulted, wounded and killed. The Mara¸s, Madımak and Gazi Massacres are the recent ones which never had the response and the protection the victims should have received from the state. 3. There were different comments during the Alevi Opening process that showed the confusion and disagreement within the government: While the President of the Directorate of Religious Affairs declined to comment on cemevis status as a places of worship, the Deputy Prime Minister stated that the agenda did nott include the Opening itself. 4. “Cemevlerinin imarını düzenleyen madde, komisyondan geçti’’ BirGün Gazetesi, October 24, 2022, https://www.birgun.net/ haber/cemevlerinin-imarini-duzenleyen-madde-komisyondan-gecti407486, accessed February 26, 2023. 5. “Aleviler, kanun teklifine kar¸sı e¸sit yurtta¸slık talebiyle Kurultay’da bulu¸stu’’ BirGün Gazetesi, December 25, 2022, https://www. birgun.net/haber/aleviler-kanun-teklifine-karsi-esit-yurttaslik-talebi yle-kurultay-da-bulustu-415021, accessed Februrary 27, 2023. 6. “Kurumlar tepkili: Alevilik torbaya sı˘gmaz!’’ Halk TV , October 25, 2022, https://halktv.com.tr/halktv-ozel/kurumlar-tepkili-ale vilik-torbaya-sigmaz-699534h, accessed March 1,2023. ˙ 7. “AIHM’den Zorunlu Din Dersi Kararı’’, VOA, October 9, 2007, https://www.voaturkce.com/a/a-17-2007-10-09-voa1288064812/856071.html, accessed February 23, 2023.

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˙ 8. “Din dersi için AIHM freni’’, Hürriyet, September 17, 2014, https://www.hurriyet.com.tr/egitim/din-dersi-icin-aihm-freni-272 19737, accessed February 21, 2023. 9. See Bayram Balci’s contribution to this book. 10. “Yunanistan, Alevili˘gi resmen tanıdı: Cemevine onay’’ BirGün Gazetesi, April 15, 2021, https://www.birgun.net/haber/yun anistan-aleviligi-resmen-tanidi-cemevine-onay-341389, accessed February 19, 2023. 11. “Muharrem orucunda gelen alevi nefreti’’ BirGün Gazetesi, July 31, 2022, https://www.birgun.net/haber/muharrem-orucunda-gelenalevi-nefreti-397272, accessed February 25, 2023.

References Bruinessen, M. van. 1996. Kurds, Turks and the Alevi Revival in Turkey, Middle East Report 200: 7–10. Erman, T. and E. Göker. 2000. Alevi Politics in Contemporary Turkey, Middle Eastern Studies 36 (4): 99–118. Güne¸s, C. 2020. Political Representation of Alevi Kurds in Turkey: Historical Trends and Main Transformations, Kurdish Studies, 8 (1): 71–90. Köse, T. 2010. The AKP and the “Alevi Opening”: Understanding the Dynamics of the Rapprochement, Insight Turkey 12 (2): 143–164. Massicard, E. 2016. Alevi Critique of AK Party, In The Turkish AK Party and Its Leader: Criticism, Opposition and Dissent, ed. U. Cizre, 75–102. London: Routledge. Shankland, D. 2007. The Alevis in Turkey: The Emergence of a Secular Islamic Tradition, London: Routledge. Yücel, H. 2010. Le mouvement alévi, Actes du colloque: Nantes-Galatasaray, www.revue-signes.info/document.php?id=1715, accessed February 27, 2023.

Box C---Turkey in Africa, A New Power Bayram Balci

If there is one continent whose strong integration in Turkey’s geopolitical discourse and action must be mentioned in this book devoted to the centenary of the Republic of Turkey, it is Africa. Indeed, while long absent from the African continent, especially the sub-Saharan part, during the last two decades in particular Turkey has achieved a remarkable breakthrough there. While its foreign policy has been at a standstill in the Middle East for the past ten years, due to the Syrian crisis which has turned Turkish foreign policy upside down, and while its ties with its traditional partners in the West are strained, in Africa its policy of opening out has met with great success.1 A new feature in Turkey‘s history, this commitment in Africa owes much to the AKP team in power for the past twenty years. Moreover, one of the strengths of this policy is its multifaceted dimension, since it has political, economic, cultural and humanitarian components, and recently, a military and security dimension as well. However, in Africa, Turkish engagement also has its weaknesses: the Turkish economy is going through a difficult period, worsened by the February 7 earthquake, inhibiting its activity in Africa and, just as worrying, some African political leaders who had strong personal links with Erdogan, have left power, either through election or revolution, and this has weakened Turkish policy in the countries concerned.

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023 B. Balci and N. Monceau (eds.), Turkey, a Century of Change in State and Society, The Sciences Po Series in International Relations and Political Economy, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-33444-3

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Historical Perspective In North Africa, Turkey has had a long-standing and substantial presence, since the region was once part of the Ottoman Empire except for Morocco. In contrast, the Ottoman presence in sub-Saharan Africa has always been weak; it has been scarcely visible in Sudan and just a minor presence along the coast of the Horn of Africa. As for the Republic of Turkey, it took a long time to establish a strong presence in Africa, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Even if Turkey’s policy on this continent was strongly linked to the AKP team then in power and to its ally at the time, the Gülen movement, which was the first nongovernmental organisation to gain a massive foothold in Africa, the truth is that since the end of the 1990s the government in power has sought to put an African policy in place. Ismail Cem, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time, had in fact devised a policy but it could not be implemented because of the economic crisis badly affecting Turkey. This crisis was curbed with the arrival in power of a new team, that of the AKP and its leader Erdogan and so a new strategy was set up to enable Turkey to develop its links with Africa.

Political Relationships Turkish political initiatives quickly bore fruit: in 2005 Turkey became an observer member of the African Union and in 2008 it signed a strategic partnership agreement with the organization. The same year, the first Turkey-Africa summit was held in Istanbul and in 2011 Turkey became conspicuous for its a very committed policy in Somalia, a country forgotten by the international community discouraged by this “failed state”. Further Turkey-Africa summits followed in 2014 and 2021. Erdogan’s personal commitment to Turkish policy in Africa has also been apparent. He is the non-African head of state who has visited the largest number of countries in Africa and his trips are even more frequent than to Turkish-speaking Central Asia, which is nevertheless an area of great importance to Turkey. One of the strengths of Turkish policy in Africa is its multi-sectoral aspect. While Turkish policy in some parts of the world is confined to niche concerns, in Africa it is comprehensive, with political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and, recently, military and security aspects. At the political level, in addition to the now regular summits between Turkey and Africa, state visits between Turkey and African countries are very frequent. Turkey’s diplomatic network in Africa is growing strongly.

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The continent now hosts 44 Turkish embassies, whereas in 2002, there were no more than ten Turkish embassies on the entire continent. Spearheading Turkey’s presence in Africa, Turkish Airlines has sixty destinations in forty countries in Africa, making it the largest airline in the continent.

Economic Relations Political conditions developing between Turkey and Africa have made for strong growth in economic exchanges between the two. While the volume of trade was less than two billion dollars in 2003, it is now close to fifteen billion,2 and continues to grow as the war in Ukraine boosts trade between Turkey and Africa. This economic activity is however stronger in certain regions, such as Ethiopia and North Africa, which occupy a crucial place in Turkey’s African policy. In the field of construction, roads, commercial complexes and sports infrastructures, Turkish companies find themselves entering into competition with China and even with France, which has a strong historic position in Africa. The Covid pandemic allowed Turkey to strengthen its trade with Africa when medical equipment was sent, including Turkish-made Turkovac vaccines. However, these economic links are a little precarious. High inflation has rocked the Turkish economy since 2021, and the February 2023 earthquake will also be detrimental to economic policy. And more generally, and worryingly, both economic and political ties rely on President Erdo˘gan’s good rapport with leaders in Africa, as well as on the strong relationship between him and the Turkish business community operating in Africa. However, Erdogan’s power is not eternal, and his departure could negatively affect Turkish policy on the continent.

Soft Power That Is Here to Stay One of the strengths of the Turkish presence in Africa is that it is largely based on actors in Turkish civil society, who were even its forerunners, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Indeed, even if Turkish policy was dreamed up by political elites before the AKP came to power and realized it, in reality it was the Turkish structures and missionaries of the Gülen movement that sowed the seeds of the Turkish presence in Africa. Thus, schools of the Gülen movement, and then cultural associations and charitable foundations, which had been active in the former Soviet zone, turned toward Africa. The Turkish state was encourage and assisted by this

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when it subsequently implemented its action policy in Africa. However, after having been allies in solidarity with each other, the Gülen movement and the AKP government entered into a violent conflict for a multitude of reasons, notably the involvement of Gülen’s followers in the failed coup of July 2016. This split between the two led to a violent campaign by the Turkish state against the movement in Turkey and abroad, including in Africa where most of the Gülenist establishments were closed or taken over by the Turkish state. A public foundation, Maarif, now manages most of the Gülen schools in Africa. The future will tell whether this state management of private structures jeopardizes cooperation between Turkey and Africa, but at first sight this seems unlikely, since the Gülenists, although pioneers, have not been the only private Turkish actors on this continent. In point of fact, other movements, notably religious orders such as the Suleymanci,3 and the Nakshibendis of Mahmut Hudayi Vakfi,4 are also active in charitable, educational and economic guises, or all three at the same time. Finally, the role of the Diyanet should also be mentioned. As the religious arm of the Turkish state for the management of Islam, the Diyanet has also been very dynamic for a number of years in the dissemination of Turkish Islam in the world, including Africa. Mosques have been built by Turkey and African religious leaders have trained in Turkey.5 Turkey’s soft power also has a student dimension since government scholarship programs enable thousands of African students to come to Turkey. Official Turkish authorities claim that there are nearly 60,000 African students in the country. Finally, the Yunus Emre Institutes, named after the famous thirteenthcentury Turkish poet, have been opened around the world for the dissemination of the Turkish language and culture. In recent years, the number of such institutes has increased significantly in Africa.

Military Links The military dimension is new but is developing strongly in Turkish policy in Africa. It is part of the increasingly militarized Turkish foreign policy, with a Turkish army that now acts beyond Turkey’s immediate neighborhood (e.g., in Syria and Iraq). The progress of the Turkish military industry allows Ankara this outreach. Thus, to mention only drones, whose effects have been seen in Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine, Syria and Libya, this collaboration is helping Ankara to attract African states anxious to diversify

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their arms suppliers.6 As a result, the military dimension of Turkish policy has two aspects: The first is about entering the African arms market where both public and private weapons companies are present. Countries such as Ethiopia, Chad and Niger have already acquired Turkish drones and other countries, such as Angola and Rwanda, are on the waiting list. Even recently designed Turkish aircraft, are finding takers in Africa. Niger has already acquired Turkish Hurkus planes. The second aspect concerns the military training that Turkey offers to states interested in Turkey’s experience in countering guerrilla warfare and insurgencies. The Turks represent the most massive military presence in Somalia, with a military base and a policy of training the Somali army on a large scale.7 But Turkey’s military success in Africa is not without its problems. In Ethiopia, for example, where Turkish drones are known to be used, there have been mistaken attacks on civilians who have died by the dozens or hundreds. In spite of this, Turkish arms are cheap, and purchasing from Ankara is not accompanied by political conditions or human rights requirements, so these facts offer good prospects for the Turkish military-industrial complex on this continent.

Conclusion Turkish policy in Africa still has many opportunities to come, but it also faces challenges. The opportunities include the fact that the Turks have become accustomed to Africa. The path is open and future governments will continue to take an interest in this continent, and this is now part of Turkey’s political vision. Moreover, in Africa, most states are in the process of getting rid of the tutelage and the monopolistic character of policies conducted by the traditional, formerly colonial powers, France and Great Britain. Thus, everywhere in Africa, there is a desire for other partners to arrive, especially the new emerging powers, Turkey, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Russia and others. But for Turkey in Africa the challenges are as numerous as the opportunities. Firstly, although the old powers are losing influence, there are many newcomers competing with Turkey. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, the Turkish economy is very unstable. Periods of great growth are followed by very precarious times, as has been the case since 2020, when inflation and the country’s indebtedness have had an impact on the foreign relations of both public and private Turkish actors. Finally, there is

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a major challenge for Turkish policy in Africa is based on the personality of Erdogan who has been the most pro-African Turkish president. After him, pursuit of Turkey‘s Africa policy may become trickier.

Notes 1. Studies of the Turkish presence in Africa are expanding. Two particular works should be mentioned Eyrice Tepeciklio˘glu, Ali Onur Tepeciklio˘glu, Turkey in Africa, A New Emerging Power?, Routledge, 2021, and Federico Donelli, Turkey in Africa, Turkey’s Strategic Involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021, 224 p. 2. Abdinur Dahir, “The Turkey-Africa Bromance: Key Drivers, Agency, and Prospect”, Insight Turkey, Vol. 23, N°4, 2021, pp. 27–38. 3. The Süleymanci are the followers of a Turkish Muslim thinker, Süleyman Hilmi Tunahan, who founded a mystical movement related to the Nakshbeniyya brotherhood and who occupies a crucial place in Turkish Islam. 4. The Mahmut Hüdayi Foundation is also related to the Nakshibendi brotherhood and is currently headed by the thinker Osman Nuri Topbas. 5. See Abdinur Dahir, op.cit. 6. Nebahat Tanrıverdi Ya¸sar, “Unpacking Turkey’s Security Footprint in Africa”, SWP Comment No. 42/2022, URL: https://www.swpberlin.org/publications/products/comments/2022C42_Turkey_ Security_Africa.pdf, accessed February 28, 2023. 7. Soner Cagaptay, Spencer Cook, Amal Soukkarieh, “Turkish Influence in Sub-Saharian Africa”, The Washington Institute For Near East Policy, June 2022, N° 120, URL: file:///C:/Users/80569/ Downloads/PolicyNote120CagaptayCookSoukkarieh%20(1).pdf, accessed February 28, 2023.