GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Perspectives From Turkey On Future Security Issues In The Gulf
Paper Proposal Text :
The newly generated Turkish foreign policy confidence and assertiveness in the Middle East extended Turkey’s sphere of influence into the Gulf region. The Gulf region offers Turkey a new sense of depth in southern Asia as it connects the West Asia and East Asia to the Eurasian region. This paper will focus on the rationale behind the growing interest of Turkey in the Gulf region and the GCC states growing desire to develop relations with Turkey. The following political, economic and security issues with some convergences and divergences between Turkey and the GCC states will be discussed: moderating role of Turkey began to gain substance as a unique example of modernisation in the aftermath of the nascent political ‘Arab Spring’ events in the Gulf, increasing business and trade relations, the state-building process in Iraq, Turkey’s EU membership process, the threat of international terrorism and radical Islam, threats emanating from a nuclear Iran, the role of US and NATO in the Gulf, and the implications of Turkey-GCC relationship that may have for India’s concerns with and roles in the Gulf. Although there are some explicit political and security dimensions to Turkey-GCC ‘strategic dialogue’, the overall rationale is economic. Nonetheless, this paper will examine the complex dynamics in the Gulf where Turkey could offer possible alternative solutions for regional and international problems and the extent to which the economic objectives which are being pursued in the Gulf will inevitably generate a more substantial political and strategic role for Turkey. This will become particularly significant at the present time as the GCC states show signs of realigning their interests and associating themselves with various countries and blocks in search for alternative security mechanisms.
As a response to these wide-ranging issues, the fundamental premise of this paper will be that Turkey-GCC ties have to go beyond preferential trading partnerships and address a number of primary security challenges such as energy security, Iran’s nuclear programme, Iran-GCC relations and instabilities in Iraq. The GCC states cannot be able to resolve these possible security challenges through the collective security mechanism of the UN, nor the US security arrangements and NATO in which Turkey is a crucial member can be reliable at times due to domestic and organisational political considerations. Alternately, the other practical long-term policy approach for Turkey would be to pursue a broader ‘co-operative security approach’ in tandem with some Asian states including primarily India, Pakistan and China who committed to the Gulf security.