MIR 504, Spring 2017, Turkey and Its Neighborhood

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MIR 504
Turkey and Its Neighborhood
Spring 2017
Nadir Özbek
nadir.ozbek@boun.edu.tr

Course Description: The course introduces students to the range of problems related to Turkey and its neighbors. Turkey’s neighborhood includes diverse set of states, economies and societies. Among these neighbors one should mention former imperial territories and adversaries in the Balkans and the Middle East, new European Union Members along the Black Sea region, and post-Soviet states on the Caspian Sea. During the semester we are going to take each region separately and examine the history of Turkey’s relationship with each of the states in these regions. We are going to start our discussion with an overview of the transformation of Turkish foreign policy since the very foundation of the Republic. We’ll pay due attention to the imperial backgrounds, particularly Ottoman/Russian/Habsburg/German empires, as they conditioned the very history of Turkey and its neighbors throughout the 20th century.

Weekly Readings: This seminar is organized around common readings as the basis for weekly discussions. Attendance and class participation are mandatory and counts 50% of the final grade. Each student is going to make a short class presentation during the semester, which counts 20%. This presentation will be on the topic that each student pick as his/her term paper topic (30%).

Review Essay: Each student will write one review essay of at least 2000 words. In this essay students will provide critical assessment of a group of articles or reports on a certain theme related to one of the discussion sessions in the course. In addition to assigned readings the review essay should be based on outside readings. (30%)

Textbook:
The following is going to be our basic textbook. Every week we are going to read a chapter from this book. Additional readings for each week will be announced in class.

Linden, Ronald H., Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay, and Joshua W. Walker, eds. Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.

Pappe, Ilan. The Modern Middle East. London: Routledge, 2005.

Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. 2nd ed. Colorado: Westview Press, 2009.

Week I: Introduction.
Week II: Understanding Turkey’s Relations with Its Neighbors, An Overview:
– Tolay, Juliette, and Ronald H. Linden. “Understanding Turkey’s Relations with its Neighbors.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 1-12. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.
– Walker, Joshua W. “Turkey and Its Neighborhood: Past, Present, and Future.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 219-26. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.
– Öniş, Ziya. “Multiple Faces of the New Turkish Foreign Policy: Underlying Dynamics and a Critique.” Insight Turkey 13.1 (2011): 47-65.

Week III: Reclaiming Turkey’s Imperial Past: Memory, History, Politics:
– Walker, Joshua W. “Reclaiming Turkey’s Imperial Past.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 13-34. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.

Week IV: The Legacy of the Ottoman Past:
– Mazower, Mark. “Empires, Nations, Minorities.” In Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century, 40-76. London: Penguin Books, 1999.
– Deringil, Selim. “The Ottoman Twilight Zone of the Middle East.” In Reluctant Neighbor, Turkey’s Role in the Middle East, edited by Henri J. Barkey, 13-23. Washington D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 1996.

Week V: Turkey as a “Model” for Other Nations?:
– Kirişçi, Kemal. “Democracy Diffusion: The Turkish Experience.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 145-71. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.
– al-Labbad, Mustafa. “After Arab Spring, Will Turkey Be a “Mode” For Other Nations?” Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East (2012): http://almon.co/9gu.
– Kirişçi, Kemal. “The Rise and Fall of Turkey as a Model for the Arab World.” Brookings (2013): http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2013/08/15-rise-and-fall-turkey-model-middle-east.

Week VI: Arab Spring Reconsidered:
– Slavoj Zizek, “Trouble in Paradise”, London Review of Books, v.35, n.14, 18 July 2013.
– Hugh Roberts, “The Revolution That Wasn’t”, London Review of Books, v.35, n.17, 12 September 2013.
– Aditya Nigam, “A Novel Reading of the Arab Spring”, Community Development Journal, v.49, no.1, pp.173-175.

Week VII: Post-Gulf War Middle East and Turkey: Syria, Iraq and Kurdish Question:
– Özcan, Mesut. “From Distance to Engagement: Turkish Policy Towards the Middle East, Iraq and Iraqi Kurds.” Insight Turkey 13.2 (2011): 71-92.
– Altuğ, Seda. “The Syrian Uprising and Turkey’s Ordeal with the Kurds.” Dialect Anhropol, no. 37 (2013): 123-30.
– al-Haj Salih, Yasin. “The Syrian Shabiha and Their State-Statehood & Participation.” Kalamon Magazine (Heinrich Böll Stiftung Middle East), no. 5 (2014).

Week VIII: Turkey’s Relations with Iran:
– Ehteshami, Anoushiravan and Elik, Süleyman. “Turkey’s Growing Relations with Iran and Arab Middle East.” Turkish Studies 12:4 (2011): 643-662.
– Larrabee, F. Stephen, and Alireza Nader. “Turkish-Iranian Relations in a Changing Middle East.” RAND: National Defense Research Institute, 2013.

Week IX: Post-Soviet Transformations: Turkey, Caucasus and the Black Sea Region:
– Linden, Ronald H. “Battles, Barrels, and Belonging: Turkey and its Black Sea Neighbors.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 61-88. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.
– Aras, Bülent and Pınar Akpınar. “The Relations between Turkey and the Caucasus.” Perceptions 16.3 (Autumn 2011): 53-68

Week X: Turkey and The Balkans:
– Todorova, Maria. “The Balkans: From Discovery to Invention.” Slavic Review 53, no. 2 (1994): 453-82.
– Bechev, Dimitar. “Turkey in the Balkans: Taking a Broader View.” Insight Turkey 14.1 (2012): 131-146.
– Petrovic, Zarko and Dusan Reljic. “Turkish Interests and Involvement in the Western Balkans: A Score-Card.” Insight Turkey 13.3 (2011): 159-172.
– McDonald, Deniz Bingöl. “Imperial Legacies and Neo-Ottomanism: Eastern Europe and Turkey.” Insight Turkey 14.4 (2012): 101-120. 

Week XI: Turkey as a Transatlantic Neighbor:
– Tocci, Nathalie. “Turkey as a Transatlantic Neighbor.” In Turkey and Its neighbors: Foreign Relations in Transition, edited by Ronald H. Linden, Ahmet O. Evin, Kemal Kirişçi, Thomas Straubhaar, Nathalie Tocci, Juliette Tolay and Joshua W. Walker, 195-218. London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2012.

Week XII-XIII: Student Presentations.