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The Effects of the Kurdish Question on Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy with Reference to the Western World

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posted on 14.06.2013, 09:01 by Yasin Bor
The main topic of this thesis is the influence of the Kurdish Question on Turkey’s relations with Europe and the USA. Aiming to develop a triplex framework of (1) the Kurdish Question in Turkey, (2) Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy, and (3) Turkey’s Relations with Western Society, this thesis specifically studies the international dimension of the Kurdish Question. It has two basic arguments: first, the Kurdish issue is the major cause of the deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and the West, in spite of alliances that go back over half a century. Second, Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy is the main catalyst of that long-lasting troublesome relationship. The Kurdish Question is evaluated using empirical data that examines its impact on the relationship between Turkey and the West in the period 1989-2007. Within this the problem is examined by applying a normative approach and analyses that are carried out within a theoretical framework provided by a constructivist approach. In order to present research questions by empirical evidence, discourse analysis is used that goes in hand with the theoretical approach. Three Foreign and Security Policy norms are examined, namely “Sèvres Syndrome”- the suspicion of influence of external powers and interests on Turkey, the principle of “Status Quo” applicable in FSP and internal security arrangements, and finally, the “Westernism” that foresees being pro-Western in foreign policies and internal socio-political field. Findings suggest that those three norms played significant roles in shaping Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy for decades, while important changes occurred within the recent years.


Prime Ministry of Turkey



Phythian, Mark; McCormack, Tara

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University of Leicester

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