Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans amidst 'soft power' and 'de-Europeanisation'

Alpan, Başak Zeynep
Ozturk, Ahmet Erdi
Since the beginning of the 2000s, extensive academic research has echoed one popular opinion, 'Turkey is back to the Balkans'. These studies have been scrutinizing the complicated role of Turkey in the Balkans, usually drawing upon the use of soft power by the former. This impact in the region remained intact during the 2010s, although the overall Turkish foreign policy in the 2010s has been highly securitized and de-Europeanized, losing its soft power character that had been its trademark starting from the early 2000s. In this regard, this paper aims to decipher different dimensions of Turkey's foreign policy in the Balkans through a more general exploration of the de-Europeanization of Turkish foreign policy in the 2010s. Through more than 80 semi-structured interviews, which were conducted between 2016-2020, with political actors, diplomats, religious leaders, scholars and journalists in Turkey and the Balkans, we address the question of whether the divergence of Turkish foreign policy from a soft power perspective and its concomitant de-Europeanization tendency had been crystallized in its policy towards the Balkans within the context of the 2010s.


Turkey and the Balkans: bringing the Europeanisation/ De-Europeanisation nexus into question
Alpan, Başak Zeynep; Ozturk, Ahmet Erdi (2022-01-01)
This article is about the main framework and the rationale of the special issue, which deals with Turkey's increasing ethno-religious, pragmatic and complicated involvement and activism in the Balkans since 2002, under the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi - AKP). The main focus of the Issue is how the intersectionality between domestic and foreign policy has played an important role in Turkey's recent relations with the Balkan countries and how the Europeanization process influences...
Turkey’s Soft Power in a Comparative Context
Altunışık, Meliha (null, Oxford University Press, 2017-01-01)
This chapter focuses on the soft power of Turkey, comparing its engagements with the states of the South Caucasus (and Central Asia) to the countries of the Middle East. The chapter argues that for Turkey, the use of soft power was a tool to re-establish relations with, and acquire acceptance in, its neighborhood. In the case of the South Caucasus, Turkey attempted to reconnect with a region that it was cut off from for a long time due to the Soviet era and the Cold War. In the Middle East, there was an eff...
Turkish foreign policy between 1983 and 1999: comparison of Turgut Özal and Mesut Yılmaz in the period of transition and transformation of Turkey /
Demirdöven, Duygu; Bağcı, Hüseyin; Department of International Relations (2014)
This thesis has been written to evaluate the Turkish Foreign Policy between 1983 and 1999. First, Turkish Foreign Policy is going to be explained until 1980. Second, the Motherland Party period which is the ruling party by Turgut Özal during the 1980s; third, as party leader Mesut Yılmaz term in the Motherland Party and the political conjuncture in the country at that time are going to be analyzed especially in terms of foreign policy-making considering realist understanding with neo-liberal instruments. Fo...
Akcalı Yılmaz, Öznur; Kahraman, Sevilay; Yalvaç, Faruk; Department of International Relations (2022-10-26)
This thesis discusses the Turkish national identity building process in the early Republican period and just before, through the others of Turkish national identity. While doing this, three basic others of Turkish national identity were selected, namely the Western other, the Ottoman other, and the “non-Turkified others”, which is the concept developed in this thesis. The narratives about the selected others were analyzed on the novels written by Halide Edip Adıvar, Yakup Kadri Karaosmanoğlu, Reşat Nuri Gün...
Turkey's 'Return' to the Middle East
Altunışık, Meliha (UK: Palgrave, 2014-01-01)
Turkey’s potential as a regional power in the Middle East has been discussed since the 1990s. This was in contrast with Turkey’s historical reluctance to get deeply involved with this region. This refluctance stemmed from not only Turkey’s own concerns about “being dragged into this conflict-ridden” region, but also the low level of acceptance of Turkey in the Middle East as a regional actor. The situation has changed significantly especially since the 2000s due to both actor-specific and structural factors...
Citation Formats
B. Z. Alpan and A. E. Ozturk, “Turkish foreign policy in the Balkans amidst ‘soft power’ and ‘de-Europeanisation’,” SOUTHEAST EUROPEAN AND BLACK SEA STUDIES, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 45–63, 2022, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: https://hdl.handle.net/11511/102313.