GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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International Political Economy of Turkey’s Relations with Gulf States: History Geopolitics and Political Economy
Paper Proposal Text :
At a time when the world in general and the Middle East in particular pass through an extremely critical period, Turkey attaches great importance to close dialogue and cooperation with the Gulf states. As one of the strategic components of the Middle East geography, Turkey has therefore taken important steps over the last few years to develop and diversify its relations with the Gulf States. Within this framework, Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs established bilateral consultation mechanisms with Gulf states and institutional dialogues with the members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In general, there are three main factors that has been shaping Turkish foreign policy towards the Gulf states during the AKP rule. The first factor, strategic depth doctrine, is the geopolitical and historical ingredient of Ankara’s rapprochement with the Gulf states. The rise of trading state phenomenon appears as the geo-economic ingredient of Turkey - Gulf relations. Thirdly, energy security is given greater emphasis in Turkey - Gulf relations.
As a reflection of Ankara’s rapprochement with the region, a Turkey-GCC High Level Strategic Dialogue was initiated. Accordingly, a Joint Action Plan was adopted in the 3rd GCC-Turkey Ministerial Meeting, held in Kuwait in October 2010 as a blueprint for strategic relations between Turkey and the GCC. As it is defined in the Joint Plan, Turkey - GCC relations would develop around the issues such as maritime and land transportation, trade and private business, investments in the areas of energy, water and electricity and cultural exchanges. However, the activity and dynamism of bilateral and multilateral relations between Turkey and the Gulf states has not been reflected in scholarly research. Though there exist a number of think tank and conference reports but no existential academic work has been done on the topic. The Gulf –Turkey regional, global and local dynamics has not been able to attract particular attention, either in international relations or in the field of Middle Eastern Studies. In this regard, the objective of this paper is to go beyond the energy-oriented analyses and discuss other dimensions of international political economy of Turkey - Gulf relations. The paper explores the historical background of Turkish involvement in the Gulf region and compare Ottoman expansion towards the Indian ocean through Gulf with the most recent engagement within the context of strategic depth doctrine of Turkish foreign policy. It is believed that to put contemporary Turkish-GCC relations in a historical context will be extremely useful in understanding the geopolitical, political and economical aspects of relations between Turkey and the GCC states.