Uluslararası Antlaşmaların Analizi Üzerinden Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi Döneminde Türkiye’nin Değişen Ortadoğu Politikası

Translated title of the contribution: Turkey’s Middle Eastern Foreign Policy during the Justice and Development Party Period

Aylin Aydin Cakir, Gül Arıkan Akdağ

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Turkish foreign policy under AKP incumbency has been studied by a great number of scholars. These studies have mostly argued that there has been an increase in the relations of Turkey with the Middle Eastern countries and a shift towards soft power policies in these relations. Although the main arguments of these studies and their evidence are persuasive, they seem far from providing a systematic and uniform account of this change. The aim of this study is to fulfill this gap by testing the existing arguments on Turkey’s Middle Eastern foreign policy under the rule of the AKP. In this regard, we test four key hypotheses by using the international agreements approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) between the years 1984 and 2015. First, by looking at the signatory parties to these agreements we show whether there has been an increase in Turkey’s relations with the Middle Eastern countries under the rule of the AKP. Second, by looking at the content of these agreements we investigate whether there has been a shift from using hard power to soft power mechanisms. By comparing all these factors across all governments that were in power since the 1980s we do not only empirically show to what extent Turkey’s Middle Eastern foreign policy under the AKP government differs from the previous governments but also present the change in the level of activism and the use of foreign policy mechanisms across different AKP governments. The results of the study partly confirm the hypothesis present in the literature. First, although the data signals a quantitative increase in the relations with Middle Eastern countries when proportioned with the relations with other regions, it signals that the first and second AKP governments fall behind the first ANAP government. Second, in contrast to the arguments of actual studies, the data does not indicate a decrease in the use of hard power or increase in soft power policies. Contrary, a considerable increase can be observed in security issues during the second and third AKP governments. Third, the analysis of agreements signed with Middle Eastern countries indicates no increase in the economy but an increase in energy, environment, education, and culture related agreements. Lastly, although the analysis of the data shows an increasing trend in the relations with the international organizations during the AKP era, its magnitude is not
higher than the previous governments.
Translated title of the contributionTurkey’s Middle Eastern Foreign Policy during the Justice and Development Party Period
Original languageTurkish
Pages (from-to)148-167
Number of pages20
JournalMarmara Üniversitesi Siyasal Bilimler Dergisi = International Journal of Political Science and Urban Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

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