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Between Europeanization and Euro-Asianism: Foreign Policy Activism in Turkey during the AKP Era

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Focusing on Turkish foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, this paper argues that the period can be divided into three distinct phases: an initial wave of foreign policy activism in the immediate post-Cold War context; a new or second wave of foreign policy activism during the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) government era with a strong emphasis on Europeanization; and the more recent tension between Europeanization and Euro-Asianism. This paper argues that during the AKP era Turkey maintained considerable continuity in terms of foreign policy activism and a multilateral approach to policymaking. Yet at the same time, a certain discontinuity or rupture can be identified starting in the middle of the first AKP government's reign, signifying a shift from a commitment to deep Europeanization to loose Europeanization along with a parallel shift to a soft Euro-Asianism. Ultimately, the interaction between an intricate set of priorities on the domestic and international fronts will determine the future path of Turkish foreign policy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of International Relations, Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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