Turkısh Foreıgn Polıcy 1 Dersi 4. Ünite Özet

09.08.2022
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Turkish Foreign Policy During The Cold War, 1945-1990

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Turkish Foreign Policy During The Cold War, 1945-1990

Introduction

Turkey’s geopolitics have always been a determining factor in foreign politics the Ottoman times. Geographically, it is a Balkan, Black Sea, and Mediterranean country. The Balkan and Black Sea regions are vital for strategic relations with Central Asia and the Caucasus, especially through its ethnic, religious, and cultural ties. The Mediterranean region is imperative for relations with the Arab world, Israel as well as Europe. While Turkey is a Middle Eastern country, considering its historical ties to the region, it is also a bridge between the Middle East and Europe as well as between the Middle East and Central Asia.

In the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire followed a foreign policy based on ‘the exploitation of balance of power’ between big European countries. The Ottoman foreign policy was also based exclusively on external factors (for security and development) and in time it was reshaped into a policy that accounted for domestic factors along with external factors. Then Turkey put the external factors in the first place in its foreign policy making over domestic concerns during the Cold War years. In this period, membership to NATO, alliance with the US, and possible European Union membership were at the center of Turkish foreign policy.

The Early Cold War Years and Relations With The West: 1945-1962

After the Second World War, a bipolar balance of power got the control in the international system. With the Soviet Union’s becoming an increasing threat to Turkey’s integrity and security, Turkey turned to the West to establish a permanent alliance.

During the Cold War period, Turkey had close military, political, and economic cooperation with the West and this Western oriented attitude of Turkey, it was considered not as a trustworthy partner by Arab states.

Turkish Republic had a one-party system from its independence in 1923 until 1946. However, because of the change in the balance of power after WWII, Turkey joined the Western alliance and appreciated the importance of multi-party political system for its Western allies’ continued support. As for the relations with the United States (US), Turkey was included in the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and received the American financial support that continued with the Marshall Plan in 1948.

In 1948, Turkey joined the OECC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation; which later became the OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) as one of the founding participants. At this point, the US considered Turkey’s membership (along with Greece) as a strain on NATO’s resources and more responsibility than they could carry.

With its new role in the Cold War, Turkey (along with Greece) was granted NATO membership in 1952. Turkey guaranteed its alliance with the West and the accompanying military and economic benefits. In 1954, the American military aid to Turkey reached its highest level ever.

Relations with the Middle East and the Balkans Between 1945 and 1962

In Turkey’s relations with the Middle East, its geopolitical and cultural duality has always played an important role. On the other hand, four hundred years of Ottoman reign impressed Arab minds negatively as ‘the suppressor of Arab nationalism” and had long term impact on TurkishArab relations. As for the relations with Balkans, the new Turkish Republic’s foreign policy toward its Balkan neighbors was based on the idea of ‘unchanging borders.’ after many destructive wars such as the Turkish-Russian War of 1877- 1878 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.

Turkey and the Middle East

There were still tense relations between the Middle East and Turkey and the territorial problems over Mosul and Hatay (Alexandretta) contributed to it a lot. The TurkishIsraeli relations further complicated Turkey’s relations with the Middle Eastern countries.

Turkey did not get involved in the domestic problems of Muslim countries. The new Turkish state aimed to create a modernized and Westernized society based on a secular worldview.

In the Cold War period, Turkey’s relationship with Middle Eastern countries was shaped by its alliance with the West and its fear of communist expansion in the region.

In 1954, a military assistance agreement was signed between Iraq and the US that consequently produced the Baghdad Pact between Turkey and Iraq on February 24, 1955 for mutual defense and security.

By the occupation of Suez Canal zone by the British, French, and Israeli forces, the Suez Crisis erupted in 1956.

Turkey and the Balkans

The Cold War period divided the Balkans along ideological lines. This prevented Turkey from searching for closer relations with the countries in the region. Ethnic and religious issues, with a high potential for conflict, were not discussed at that time. In this sense, “the bipolar world system brought peace to the Balkans”. A second Balkan Pact (after the one established in 1934) was created in 1954 between Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

The Cyprus Problem

Cyprus has always been an important item on the Turkish foreign policy agenda with its strategic importance and close proximity to Turkey. Cyprus is considered as a national cause for both Turkey and Greece. Greece demands Enosis, the idea of uniting the island of Cyprus with the motherland Greece. EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston – National Organization of Cypriot Fighters): armed Greek-Cypriot forces whose aim is to achieve Enosis.

Turkey changed its policy of preserving the status quo and started supporting the policy of partitioning of the island along the lines of population. The tension continued to mount between the Greeks and the Turks until 1959, when the British government announced that Britain did not need Cyprus as a military base in the Mediterranean.

The Treaty of Guarantee, signed by BritainTurkey, and Greece in 1960, was added to the Cypriot constitution. As a result, Britain, Turkey, 95 4 Turkish Foreign Policy I and Greece became the guarantor states for the security and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Cypriot Greeks and the Greek government continued to press for the reunification of Cyprus with Greece. An armed struggle broke out between the Turkish and Greek population on the island. Turkish efforts to obtain any support, even from its immediate Muslim neighbors, failed. Turkey refused to give up its rights over Cyprus and eventually intervened militarily in 1974.

The 1974 crisis made it clear for Turkey that its Western alliance came at a substantial cost. Turkey failed to sustain any support for its cause from any non-aligned or Muslim country at the U.N. The Cyprus War also signified a shift in Turkish foreign policy, from external factors toward a consideration of domestic factors.

From the Heyday of the Cold War to Détente: Turkish Foreign Policy Between 1962 and 1980

In détente pediod, which is ‘widely viewed as the end of the Cold War’, as the Cold War tensions relaxed between the superpowers; however, Turkey gradually lost its relative strategic importance for the United States. The détente process allowed new powers to emerge as global powers. The rise of France and China signaled the emergence of a multi-polar system.

The 1960 Coup in Turkey

The Turkish military ejected the civilian government as a result of a coup d’état on 27 May, 1960. However, the 1960 coup d’état had more substantial effects on foreign policy through its effects on domestic politics. The new constitution of 1961 guaranteed freedoms of speech, conscience, and association. Prior to the 1960 coup d’état, nationalistic and religious parties were not allowed in Turkish politics. The new electoral system further encouraged these movements to organize as political parties since they were allowed to be represented at the Parliament.

Deteriorating Relations with the United States: The Jupiter Missile Crisis

The Menderes-led Democrat Party government signed an agreement in 1959 that allowed the US administration to install Jupiter missiles in Turkey with medium range nuclear warheads. Under the mounting Soviet protests, however, the US administration cancelled the installation, and met with the Turkish refusal to withdraw from the agreement. It is claimed that Khrushchev’s decision to install the Soviet missiles in Cuba was the retribution for the US-Turkish missile cooperation.

Turkish Foreign Policy Between 1980 and 1990

The 1980 Military Coup

The ongoing economic and social problems, along with the political instability resulted in a coup d’état on September 12, 1980, in which Turkey remained under a military regime until 1983. It banned all political activities and prevented any development toward a civil society.

Turkish-American and Turkish-Greek Relations After 1980

With the agreement between Turkey and the US, Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement, Turkey guaranteed the continued American support of its economy. The American administration assisted with efforts to modernize Turkish armed forces. In return, Turkey allowed the US to use its airfields and intelligence facilities. Turkey also purchased fighter jets (F-16s) from the US and co-produced F-16s with the US.

Turkish-Bulgarian Relations

The Bulgarian Turks were forced to abandon their religious practices and change their names. The Bulgarian government imposed a ban on Turkish language, Turkish music, and any cultural activities.

Turkey and the Middle East After 1980

In 1962, Turkey was the co-founder of the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), partnering with Pakistan and Iran. Turkey also viewed the 1967 ArabIsraeli War as an opportunity to further develop its relations with the Arab states.

In 1975, Turkey became a de facto member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Full membership in the OIC was in contradiction to the secular principles of the Turkish constitution that prohibited membership in any religion-based organization. Faced with a dilemma, the Turkish governments chose to emphasize the economic dimension of the OIC rather than its religious structure.

In 1976, Turkey recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the representative of the Palestinian people.

Turkish-Iranian Relations

The economic and political competition has been a critical factor in Turkish-Iranian relations since the Ottoman times. After the Second World War, Turkey and Iran regarded communism a common danger to their security and so connected themselves with the Western bloc.

After Iran had profited greatly from the oil crisis in 1973, it expanded its military spending as a result.

Because of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the foundation of Turkish-Iranian relations was shaken. Turkey remained neutral during the Iraq-Iran War and refused to participate in US-led sanctions on Iran.

Turkish-Syrian Relations

The conflict on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers stemmed from the conflicting views of Syria and Iraq on one side and Turkey on the other. Turkey has considered itself the sole authority over the use of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, since both rivers originate in Anatolia. In the 1980s, Iraq and Syria made objections to the launch of the South Anatolia Project (Güneydoğu Anadolu ProjesiGAP) by Turkey.

Turkey and Europe After 1980

Turkish and European identities have been shaped by mutual antagonism resulting from a centuries-old struggle between the European states and the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottomans used Westernization to build strategic alliances with Western powers in order to pit them against each other. On the other hand, Atatürk and his colleagues employed the policy of Westernization as part of the Turkish modernization movement.

In 1957, the European Economic Community (EEC) was established. Turkey applied to the EEC in 1959 for full membership. The Ankara Agreement was signed with the EEC in 1963. From the Turkish perspective, the Ankara Agreement was the “recognition of Turkey as a part of Europe at last.” On the European side, however, Turkey’s European identity was quite questionable, but security concerns of the Cold War overcame Europe’s reluctance.

In 1970, an Additional Protocol, which regulated the transition stage of Turkey to full membership, was signed between the EEC and Turkey.

The Council of Europe suspended Turkey’s membership after the 1980 coup d’état.

In 1981, the fourth financial protocol between Turkey and the EEC was signed. The Economic aid was frozen after the 1980 coup d’état, and the EEC conditioned the release of funds upon Turkey’s return to democracy.

Introduction

Turkey’s geopolitics have always been a determining factor in foreign politics the Ottoman times. Geographically, it is a Balkan, Black Sea, and Mediterranean country. The Balkan and Black Sea regions are vital for strategic relations with Central Asia and the Caucasus, especially through its ethnic, religious, and cultural ties. The Mediterranean region is imperative for relations with the Arab world, Israel as well as Europe. While Turkey is a Middle Eastern country, considering its historical ties to the region, it is also a bridge between the Middle East and Europe as well as between the Middle East and Central Asia.

In the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire followed a foreign policy based on ‘the exploitation of balance of power’ between big European countries. The Ottoman foreign policy was also based exclusively on external factors (for security and development) and in time it was reshaped into a policy that accounted for domestic factors along with external factors. Then Turkey put the external factors in the first place in its foreign policy making over domestic concerns during the Cold War years. In this period, membership to NATO, alliance with the US, and possible European Union membership were at the center of Turkish foreign policy.

The Early Cold War Years and Relations With The West: 1945-1962

After the Second World War, a bipolar balance of power got the control in the international system. With the Soviet Union’s becoming an increasing threat to Turkey’s integrity and security, Turkey turned to the West to establish a permanent alliance.

During the Cold War period, Turkey had close military, political, and economic cooperation with the West and this Western oriented attitude of Turkey, it was considered not as a trustworthy partner by Arab states.

Turkish Republic had a one-party system from its independence in 1923 until 1946. However, because of the change in the balance of power after WWII, Turkey joined the Western alliance and appreciated the importance of multi-party political system for its Western allies’ continued support. As for the relations with the United States (US), Turkey was included in the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and received the American financial support that continued with the Marshall Plan in 1948.

In 1948, Turkey joined the OECC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation; which later became the OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) as one of the founding participants. At this point, the US considered Turkey’s membership (along with Greece) as a strain on NATO’s resources and more responsibility than they could carry.

With its new role in the Cold War, Turkey (along with Greece) was granted NATO membership in 1952. Turkey guaranteed its alliance with the West and the accompanying military and economic benefits. In 1954, the American military aid to Turkey reached its highest level ever.

Relations with the Middle East and the Balkans Between 1945 and 1962

In Turkey’s relations with the Middle East, its geopolitical and cultural duality has always played an important role. On the other hand, four hundred years of Ottoman reign impressed Arab minds negatively as ‘the suppressor of Arab nationalism” and had long term impact on TurkishArab relations. As for the relations with Balkans, the new Turkish Republic’s foreign policy toward its Balkan neighbors was based on the idea of ‘unchanging borders.’ after many destructive wars such as the Turkish-Russian War of 1877- 1878 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.

Turkey and the Middle East

There were still tense relations between the Middle East and Turkey and the territorial problems over Mosul and Hatay (Alexandretta) contributed to it a lot. The TurkishIsraeli relations further complicated Turkey’s relations with the Middle Eastern countries.

Turkey did not get involved in the domestic problems of Muslim countries. The new Turkish state aimed to create a modernized and Westernized society based on a secular worldview.

In the Cold War period, Turkey’s relationship with Middle Eastern countries was shaped by its alliance with the West and its fear of communist expansion in the region.

In 1954, a military assistance agreement was signed between Iraq and the US that consequently produced the Baghdad Pact between Turkey and Iraq on February 24, 1955 for mutual defense and security.

By the occupation of Suez Canal zone by the British, French, and Israeli forces, the Suez Crisis erupted in 1956.

Turkey and the Balkans

The Cold War period divided the Balkans along ideological lines. This prevented Turkey from searching for closer relations with the countries in the region. Ethnic and religious issues, with a high potential for conflict, were not discussed at that time. In this sense, “the bipolar world system brought peace to the Balkans”. A second Balkan Pact (after the one established in 1934) was created in 1954 between Turkey, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

The Cyprus Problem

Cyprus has always been an important item on the Turkish foreign policy agenda with its strategic importance and close proximity to Turkey. Cyprus is considered as a national cause for both Turkey and Greece. Greece demands Enosis, the idea of uniting the island of Cyprus with the motherland Greece. EOKA (Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston – National Organization of Cypriot Fighters): armed Greek-Cypriot forces whose aim is to achieve Enosis.

Turkey changed its policy of preserving the status quo and started supporting the policy of partitioning of the island along the lines of population. The tension continued to mount between the Greeks and the Turks until 1959, when the British government announced that Britain did not need Cyprus as a military base in the Mediterranean.

The Treaty of Guarantee, signed by BritainTurkey, and Greece in 1960, was added to the Cypriot constitution. As a result, Britain, Turkey, 95 4 Turkish Foreign Policy I and Greece became the guarantor states for the security and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.

The Cypriot Greeks and the Greek government continued to press for the reunification of Cyprus with Greece. An armed struggle broke out between the Turkish and Greek population on the island. Turkish efforts to obtain any support, even from its immediate Muslim neighbors, failed. Turkey refused to give up its rights over Cyprus and eventually intervened militarily in 1974.

The 1974 crisis made it clear for Turkey that its Western alliance came at a substantial cost. Turkey failed to sustain any support for its cause from any non-aligned or Muslim country at the U.N. The Cyprus War also signified a shift in Turkish foreign policy, from external factors toward a consideration of domestic factors.

From the Heyday of the Cold War to Détente: Turkish Foreign Policy Between 1962 and 1980

In détente pediod, which is ‘widely viewed as the end of the Cold War’, as the Cold War tensions relaxed between the superpowers; however, Turkey gradually lost its relative strategic importance for the United States. The détente process allowed new powers to emerge as global powers. The rise of France and China signaled the emergence of a multi-polar system.

The 1960 Coup in Turkey

The Turkish military ejected the civilian government as a result of a coup d’état on 27 May, 1960. However, the 1960 coup d’état had more substantial effects on foreign policy through its effects on domestic politics. The new constitution of 1961 guaranteed freedoms of speech, conscience, and association. Prior to the 1960 coup d’état, nationalistic and religious parties were not allowed in Turkish politics. The new electoral system further encouraged these movements to organize as political parties since they were allowed to be represented at the Parliament.

Deteriorating Relations with the United States: The Jupiter Missile Crisis

The Menderes-led Democrat Party government signed an agreement in 1959 that allowed the US administration to install Jupiter missiles in Turkey with medium range nuclear warheads. Under the mounting Soviet protests, however, the US administration cancelled the installation, and met with the Turkish refusal to withdraw from the agreement. It is claimed that Khrushchev’s decision to install the Soviet missiles in Cuba was the retribution for the US-Turkish missile cooperation.

Turkish Foreign Policy Between 1980 and 1990

The 1980 Military Coup

The ongoing economic and social problems, along with the political instability resulted in a coup d’état on September 12, 1980, in which Turkey remained under a military regime until 1983. It banned all political activities and prevented any development toward a civil society.

Turkish-American and Turkish-Greek Relations After 1980

With the agreement between Turkey and the US, Defense and Economic Cooperation Agreement, Turkey guaranteed the continued American support of its economy. The American administration assisted with efforts to modernize Turkish armed forces. In return, Turkey allowed the US to use its airfields and intelligence facilities. Turkey also purchased fighter jets (F-16s) from the US and co-produced F-16s with the US.

Turkish-Bulgarian Relations

The Bulgarian Turks were forced to abandon their religious practices and change their names. The Bulgarian government imposed a ban on Turkish language, Turkish music, and any cultural activities.

Turkey and the Middle East After 1980

In 1962, Turkey was the co-founder of the Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD), partnering with Pakistan and Iran. Turkey also viewed the 1967 ArabIsraeli War as an opportunity to further develop its relations with the Arab states.

In 1975, Turkey became a de facto member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Full membership in the OIC was in contradiction to the secular principles of the Turkish constitution that prohibited membership in any religion-based organization. Faced with a dilemma, the Turkish governments chose to emphasize the economic dimension of the OIC rather than its religious structure.

In 1976, Turkey recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the representative of the Palestinian people.

Turkish-Iranian Relations

The economic and political competition has been a critical factor in Turkish-Iranian relations since the Ottoman times. After the Second World War, Turkey and Iran regarded communism a common danger to their security and so connected themselves with the Western bloc.

After Iran had profited greatly from the oil crisis in 1973, it expanded its military spending as a result.

Because of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the foundation of Turkish-Iranian relations was shaken. Turkey remained neutral during the Iraq-Iran War and refused to participate in US-led sanctions on Iran.

Turkish-Syrian Relations

The conflict on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers stemmed from the conflicting views of Syria and Iraq on one side and Turkey on the other. Turkey has considered itself the sole authority over the use of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, since both rivers originate in Anatolia. In the 1980s, Iraq and Syria made objections to the launch of the South Anatolia Project (Güneydoğu Anadolu ProjesiGAP) by Turkey.

Turkey and Europe After 1980

Turkish and European identities have been shaped by mutual antagonism resulting from a centuries-old struggle between the European states and the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottomans used Westernization to build strategic alliances with Western powers in order to pit them against each other. On the other hand, Atatürk and his colleagues employed the policy of Westernization as part of the Turkish modernization movement.

In 1957, the European Economic Community (EEC) was established. Turkey applied to the EEC in 1959 for full membership. The Ankara Agreement was signed with the EEC in 1963. From the Turkish perspective, the Ankara Agreement was the “recognition of Turkey as a part of Europe at last.” On the European side, however, Turkey’s European identity was quite questionable, but security concerns of the Cold War overcame Europe’s reluctance.

In 1970, an Additional Protocol, which regulated the transition stage of Turkey to full membership, was signed between the EEC and Turkey.

The Council of Europe suspended Turkey’s membership after the 1980 coup d’état.

In 1981, the fourth financial protocol between Turkey and the EEC was signed. The Economic aid was frozen after the 1980 coup d’état, and the EEC conditioned the release of funds upon Turkey’s return to democracy.

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