Strategic Culture of Turkey before the AKP Rule and its Reflections to Turkish Foreign Policy
Keywords:strategic culture, Turkey, security mentality, Independence War, national security
Turkey has been in the center of global developments during the last century because of its geographical location. The sense of being surrounded by enemies is the most important characteristic of the Turkish strategic culture pre-AKP period which has been named Republican strategic culture. In this line, in the literature, it is believed that the Turkish security policy is decisive and inflexible. Looking at the history of Turkey, it can be seen that this determination and lack of trust in others is the product of its strategic culture. This means that Turkish politicians will pursue the goal in any possible way until they achieve the desired result. Thus, one of the characteristics of Turkey’s strategic culture in the last century was the lack of trust in rivals and neighbours. Factors such as the continuous wars with Russia and other neighbours, the betrayal by some citizens in the Middle East and Balkans, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, incitement of minorities by rivals and Turkey’s suspicions of neighbours and great powers in the form of strategic culture have influenced Turkish foreign policy since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 to 2002. This importance is to extent that Turkey refused to enter the Second World War and pursued a decisive policy to defend its interests in some historical stages, such as the Cyprus crisis in the 1970s. Thus, this article reviews the Turkish strategic culture in the last century and its evolution process.
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