f_0019738_16814 - Turkey s New Activism in Asia Blent...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2009 24 Turkey s New Activism in Asia Bülent Aras*, Kenan Da **, M. Efe Çaman*** Abstract This article aims to analyse Turkey s foreign policy towards Asia, which is part of Turkey s emerging universal foreign policy vision. The notion of geographic imagination is provided to theorize Turkey s emerging policy attitudes and behaviors. Turkey s involvement in Asia will focus on the development of economic relations, security cooperation, supporting Asian political schemes for a multilateral world order and playing a facilitator role in Asia s encounter with the West. This new foreign policy orientation links the reform and change in the domestic landscape and Turkey s new activism in Asia, which has opened new horizons in its relations with Asian states and has encouraged policy-makers in their search for a central role in a number of regions ranging from Africa to Asia. Keywords: Turkey, Asia, regional politics, critical geopolitics, geographic imagination, Introduction Recent years have witnessed considerable change and reform in Turkey s political, economic and foreign policy. Turkish politicians are proud of this transformation, and they promise to contribute to security, stability and prosperity in a wide range of territories, which go beyond Turkey s immediate neighbourhood, namely to distant geographies in Asia and Africa. Turkey s newly formed interest in these territories is the result of putting its house in order, gaining self-confidence in international relations, developing a universal vision of foreign policy, and searching for a way to play a central role in world politics. We argue that a comprehensive understanding of Turkey s activism in Asia requires discussing the changing domestic dynamics and the rhetorical and practical connotations of the formative relations between power and geography in the mindset of policy makers in
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol. 8, No. 2, Summer 2009 25 Turkey. The idea of geographic imagination aids in the understanding of the changing meaning and mindscapes of distant geographies and the dynamic process of affiliation to formerly far away territories. Namely, although the distance remains same, the perception of these geographies changes under the premises of a new geographic imagination. The physical distance and former difficulties of being involved in these geographies has started to not make strong sense in policy circles and at the public level. There emerges a process of discovery of the closeness of these geographies and availability for Turkey s involvement through the instruments of remembering past relations, unfolding cultural and civilizational affinities, and exploring possible opportunities. In this article, we aim to analyse Turkey
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course BIOL 107 taught by Professor Gabbard during the Fall '08 term at Boise State.

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f_0019738_16814 - Turkey s New Activism in Asia Blent...

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