Neither Friends nor Foes: Turkey and the US relations
Serhat Güvenç, Kadir Has University
Mehmet Ali Tuğtan, İstanbul Bilgi University
Turkey-US relations has been on a roller-coaster since the end of the Cold War. Despite the rhetoric of strategic partnership or model partnership, the two sides have failed to develop a strategic framework to add a new lease on life to their alliance. In the absence of a shared strategic vision, transactionalism became a frequently preferred method in dealing with each other on issues of mutual interest. The unravelling of the Liberal International Order eroded, on the other hand, the norms and values that were supposed to complement this interest-based alliance. While President Trump’s term in office hasted the erosion of these norms and values, his way of conducting the US foreign policy facilitated de-institutionalization and eventual personalization of the US’ relations with Turkey in the last four years. His un-conventional style provided Ankara with greater degree of autonomy in pursuing a foreign policy agenda that defied substantially Washington’s regional and global priorities. His succession by Joe Biden may mark a return to pre-Trump era foreign policy choices, practices around values, norms and institutions. Ankara has already signalled its readiness to moderate its policy choices and practices, the prospects for salvaging the US-Turkey alliance in the near future are slim for three reasons. First and foremost, the alliance with the US represented the ultimate choice in the early Cold War era for the late Ottoman/early republican elite in their pursuit of Westernization for survival. The very idea of Westernization does not sit as well with new Turkish political elite. Their approach to the “West” is pragmatic and transactionalist rather than institutionalist. Second, Washington and Ankara have pursued competing and conflicting interests in the immediate vicinity of Turkey, namely the Black Sea and the Middle East. While their interests in the former might be more amenable to reconciliation due to Russian revisionism, their differences in the Middle East are more fundamental and involve the JDP’s bid for regional primacy. Finally, the institutional aspect of their relationship collapsed after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Turkish Parliament’s refusal to allow the US troops to be deployed in and through Turkey broke (probably irreparably) the special relationship between the Pentagon and the Turkish General Staff. This special link has yet to be replaced to put the alliance back on its feet.
Dr. Serhat Güvenç is a Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, Istanbul where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Strategy, Turkish Foreign and Security Policy and Turkey-EU Relations. Recently his research focus has shifted onto Maritime Security in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. He, therefore, currently supervises masters’ thesis and doctoral dissertations mostly on maritime security and related topics. His areas of expertise are Turkish Foreign Policy, Turkish Defense, EU-Turkey Relations, Turkey-Greece Relations Naval and Maritime Security in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Previously, he served as the Associate Dean of College of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences and the Chair of International Relations Department.
Assistant Prof. Mehmet Ali Tuğtan has been a member of İstanbul Bilgi University Department of International Relations since 2008. Mehmet Ali Tuğtan has been the Chair of Bilgi Distance Education Center (UZEM) since August 2017.
Majored in international relations and political science in Marmara University, Mehmet Ali Tuğtan has completed his MA in 2000 with the dissertation titled Emergence of A Post Cold War European Security Architecture and his PhD in 2007 with the dissertation titled Turkish-US Security Relations 1945-2003: A Game-Theoretical Analysis of the Institutional Effect in Boğaziçi University Political Science program.
Dr. Tugtan’s areas of study include Turkish-American Relations, Contemporary World Politics and Security Studies. In addition to several book chapters and articles on these subjects, Dr. Tugtan has edited a book on the Turkish involvement in the Korean War (Kore Savaşı: Uzak Savaşın Askerleri) published in 2013.
For Massive online open course projects of Dr Tugtan on his areas of study, see:
EdX Contemporary Issues in World Politics (With Prof. Ilter Turan)
FlipEU: A Flipped Course on EU (With Ast. Prof. Özge Onursal Beşgül)
Interventions en anglais
|Date de l'événement||13/01/2021 6:00 pm|
Etienne Charrière, Université Bilkent (Ankara)
Séance modérée par Denis Hermann (IFEA)
Transcription, translittération, traduction: les littératures de l’espace ottoman et turcophone au miroir des « univers scripturaux »
Bien que sa puissance symbolique et son retentissement ne puissent en aucun cas être remis en question, la « Révolution des Lettres » - à savoir la loi de 1928 qui entérine l’adoption officielle d’une version adaptée de l’alphabet latin pour l’écriture du turc - n’est pourtant que l’aspect le plus visible de ce qui constitue en fait une longue série de « crises scripturales » agitant l’Empire ottoman et la République turque et dont la portée ne se limite d’ailleurs pas à la seule langue turque.
La présente communication s’intéresse aux répercutions littéraires des multiples débats et réformes alphabétiques qui ponctuent l’histoire de l’espace ottoman et turc de la seconde moitié du dix-neuvième siècle jusqu’à nos jours. En s’inscrivant dans la lignée de travaux récents en littérature comparée qui soulignent l’importance des « univers scripturaux » (scriptworlds) comme catégorie d’analyse, cette communication examine la complexité des rapports entre les pratiques de la transcription, de la translittération et de la traduction dans le contexte littéraire plurilingue de l’Empire ottoman finissant. Dans un deuxième temps, l’analyse se porte sur l’impact des tensions scripturales ottomanes sur des pratiques contemporaines d’« hétérographie » littéraire, notamment dans la littérature turco-chypriote.
Biographie: Etienne Charrière est titulaire d’un doctorat en littérature comparée de l’université du Michigan (USA). Il est actuellement professeur assistant dans le département de littérature turque de l’université Bilkent à Ankara. Ses recherches portent principalement sur l’émergence de l’écriture romanesque dans plusieurs des communautés linguistiques de l’Empire ottoman (Grecs, Arméniens et Juifs séfarades). Il a récemment co-édité le volume Ottoman Culture and the Project of Modernity: Reform and Translation in the Tanzimat Novel (Bloomsbury, 2020).
Intervention en français
|Date de l'événement||11/01/2021 6:00 pm|
Mitat Çelikpala (Kadir Has University) and Bayram Balcı (IFEA)
After forty-four days of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh, parties have signed a ceasefire agreement which has ended the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War and Russian troops have been deployed in the conflict zone. The fighting was the worst it has been since 1992 and encompassed the entire scope of interaction, with artillery, missile, and drone strikes deep past the Armenian lines. This war featured modern weaponry, representing a large-scale conventional conflict between these two states which has changed the long-standing delicate status quo. Due to its recent regional protocol driven by assertive policies, Turkey has been recognised as an influence looking to realise its interests through involvement in this conflict. Turkey is backing Azerbaijan and has reiterated its support to Azerbaijan against Armenia. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory, and called on Armenia to stop its aggression and withdraw from the land it is occupying in Azerbaijan. There is a feeling that Turkey, together with Russia have benefited from the conflict and the resolution effort. This seminar aims to analyse the new security dynamics in the Caucasus, centering on Turkey’s role and interest, as well as the potential of Turkey as a regional power, to ensure security and stability in the region.
|Date de l'événement||09/12/2020 6:00 pm|
Aux sources de l’alévisme : l'évolution des doctrines abdāl et bektachi
Zeynep Oktay Uslu (Université du Bosphore)
Dans la Turquie moderne, l’alévisme, auquel adhère dix à trente pour cent de la population, est à la fois une dénomination religieuse et une identité sociale. L’histoire des croyances alévies s’incarne dans le corpus d’œuvres connu sous le titre de « littérature alévie-bektachie », avec sa propre multitude de genres, de terminologie et de symbolisme, ainsi que ses propres conventions esthétiques. Ce corpus négligé est en fait crucial pour la compréhension du développement des traditions religieuses vernaculaires en Anatolie et dans les Balkans. Cet exposé va donner un aperçu de l'évolution historique des aspects de la doctrine alévie entre les 14e et 17 e siècles, à travers une analyse d’œuvres littéraires écrites par des auteurs appartenant à deux groupes des derviches relevant de courants majeurs de la doctrine alévie: les bektachis et les abdāls de Rūm. Cette étude contient une analyse doctrinale des œuvres de cinq abdāls (dont quatre bektachis) datant de la fin du 14e au début du 17e siècle. Ce sera lors de ce siècle-là que les les abdāls intégreront l’ordre officiel bektachi. Ma communication va se concentrer sur des ouvrages de Ḳayġusuz Abdāl (au nombre de onze) et de ses successeurs, à savoir Ṣādıḳ Abdāl (le Dīvān), Yemīnī (le Fażīlet-nāme), Şemsī (le Deh Murġ), et Vīrānī (le Risāle et le Dīvān). L’exposé montrera que les croyances shi’ites « extrémistes » et imamites existaient dans le milieu turkmène anatolien bien avant la propagande safavide. La doctrine de Muḥammad-ʿAlī, ainsi que la vénération des douze imams et des ahl al-bayt étaient déjà présentes dans ces cercles au 14e siècle. En outre, les tendances antinomiennes, exprimées par une critique ouverte des notions exotériques de l'islam, ont été un marqueur majeur du tempérament abdāl et bektāşī dès les premiers jours de ces groupes et ont continué à l'être au 17e siècle.
Intervention en français
|Date de l'événement||07/12/2020 6:00 pm|
Séminaire « enjeux actuels des migrations »
Organisé par l’Axe AMiMo de l'IFEA en collaboration avec l’Association pour les recherches sur les migrations (GAR).
Uğur Yıldız (université d'Aksaray)
Ce séminaire présentera certains résultats de la recherche publiée par Routledge Publishing House en septembre 2019 sous le nom de Tracing Asylum Journeys. Cette étude analysera les « voyages d’asile » transnationaux des personnes de provenance de pays hors européens ayant réussi à s’installer au Canada après leur demande d’asile depuis la Turquie. L'étude, basée sur des recherches ethnographiques menées auprès de citoyens syriens, afghans, érythréens, éthiopiens, irakiens, iraniens, somaliens, soudanais et congolais, examine les interactions entre le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) et le programme canadien de placement des réfugiés, chargé du processus de détermination du statut de réfugié à l'époque.
L'analyse montre que le voyage d'asile implique à la fois la mobilité et l’immobilité en se basant sur les expériences et les pratiques des demandeurs d'asile. Cela permet de constituer une image micropolitique de la fluidité et de la relativité de l'identité et des étiquettes attribuées aux demandeurs d'asile dans les systèmes de migration des États. L'ethnographie multi-site adoptée comme méthode conforme à l'approche du voyage souligne que le phénomène du voyage d'asile consiste en des voyages multicouches, non linéaires et hétérogènes. Cette approche et ce travail de terrain ethnographique créent des réseaux sociaux transnationaux entre les voyageurs d'asile d'hier, d'aujourd'hui et de demain. Elle permet également la production et la reproduction d'informations parmi les réfugiés d'hier, d'aujourd'hui et de demain, tout en créant des “habitus d’asile” pour ces derniers.
Biographie: Dr. Uğur Yıldız a obtenu sa maîtrise au Département des relations internationales de l'Université Koç en 2012 et son doctorat au Département de science politique de l'Université Carleton au Canada en 2017. Ses intérêts incluent les frontières et l'immigration, les réfugiés, la gouvernance et la citoyenneté. Il a également été impliqué dans divers projets liés aux réfugiés. Yıldız est membre du corps professoral du Département des relations internationales de l'Université d'Aksaray.
Intervention en turc
|Date de l'événement||26/11/2020 6:30 pm|
On the Other Shore: The Things of a Sufi Saint in Istanbul
Esther Voswinckel Filiz (Orient-Institut Istanbul)
Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi (1541-1628), the “second Pir” (pir-i sani) of the Celvetiyye Sufi-order, is a famous Sufi saint in Istanbul. His mausoleum (türbe) on the slope of a hill in Üsküdar has not ceased to be a vital focus of pilgrimage up to the present. Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi is known as one of the four protectors of the Bosporus, and according to local lore, seafarers between the opposite shores of Sultanahmet and Üsküdar cling to the “Hüdayi-way” (Hüdayi yolu), on which the saint is remembered to have crossed the waters on a stormy day.
Until the 1980’s, a large collection of personal belongings (emanetler) of the saint and his followers such as several mantles (hırka), ritual headgear (tac-ı şerif), shoes, a stick (asa), ritual paraphernalia and many contact relics such as pieces of the cover (kısve) of the Kaaba or small pieces of musselin called destimal used to be kept in the türbe. In the past decades however, this extraordinarily rich collection of the mausoleum was gradually transferred to the archive of the State Directorate of Mausoleums and Museums (Türbeler Müze Müdürlügü) in Sultanahmet. While many historical inventories of Istanbul’s Sufi mausoleums dispersed and fell prey to looting after the closure of the Sufi shrines in 1925, among the locals of Üsküdar it is considered as one of the miracles of the saint that “not even a handkerchief” of the collection of his türbe got lost. Yet, presently, this rare collection is inaccessible to the public.
Drawing on my fieldwork at the türbe of Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi in Üsküdar and on my archival research, I wish to offer a close look at this inventory of a famous Istanbul Sufi türbe and to shed light on the ways and stories of some of its items after 1925. An enquiry into the “biographies” of the belongings of the shrine of Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi invites us to pay attention to the vitality of portable and textile things in the aesthetics and materiality of Sufi shrines and to some local practices of Sufism in Istanbul past and present.
Esther Voswinckel Filiz M.A. is a fellow at the German Orient-Institut Istanbul in the research field “History of Religions of Anatolia”. She studied Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies. Her Ph.D. thesis with the title Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi in Istanbul - Biography of a Place (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) was completed in June 2020. She conducted a long-time ethnographic fieldwork at the mausoleum of Aziz Mahmud Hüdayi in Üsküdar.
Intervention en anglais
|Date de l'événement||16/11/2020 6:00 pm|
Mustafa Aydın (Kadir Has University) and Dimitrios Triantaphyllou (Kadir Has University)
The relations between Greece and Turkey find themselves in a state of increased tensions for most of 2020 with no end in sight regarding their alleviation. The two nations sharing a common geography, a flank state mentality, and complex historical relations, have been facing the challenge of addressing their outstanding differences at a time when the regional and global order is undergoing systemic change. The delicate status quo that has shaped the relations between the two countries since 1999, with the beginning of a rapprochement process predicated on the jumpstarting of Turkey’s accession process to the European Union, been challenged in recent years due to a number of reasons. Some of these include the stalling of Turkey’s EU bid, the ownership of possible fossil fuels located in disputed waters, the continued inability to resolve the Cyprus governance context, and the ongoing structural administrative changes in Turkey accompanied by a more coercive foreign policy approach. The objective is a peaceful resolution of their differences where the option of a status quo ante situation is not sustainable anymore while a further militarization of the crisis both between Turkey and Greece and in Cyprus could potentially lead to an armed conflict. The path chosen by both countries to resolve their differences could have fundamental implications for Turkey’s foreign policy in terms of how closely it remains aligned with or how it irrevocably disengages from that of its European and western partners.
Interventions en anglais
|Date de l'événement||11/11/2020 6:30 pm|
Nikos Sigalas (CETOBAC)
This conference aims at outlining the history of the word millet (Arabic millah) in Turkish-Ottoman texts from the 15th century up to the beginning of the 20th.
During the early ottoman centuries, two distinct uses of “millet” correspond to two independent linguistic registers. These registers are: the learned (‘ulamā) tradition; and the Turkish vernacular chronicles. In the learned tradition, the meaning of “millet” draws on medieval Arabic lexicography and qur’anic interpretation and is therefore systematically associated with the notions of dīn and šarīʿah. On the contrary, in Turkish vernacular chronicles and treaties – which mostly rely on Persian and Turco-Mongolian literate models – “millet” constitutes a synonym for “Λαός” and “populous” in Medieval Greek and Latin, i.e. a people. Besides, in Turkish vernacular sources, “millet” is often synonym for “ṭā’ife”. However “millet” belongs to a power legitimacy vocabulary, whereas “ṭā’ife” does not.
A third linguistic register, particularly significant for the uses of “millet”, and more generally for the power legitimacy vocabulary, were the titles of the sultanate’s officials (elḳāb). Alongside with the standardization of power rituals in the palace – including foreign ambassadors’ receptions – the extensive titles of ottoman officials became very important for the imperial rhetoric and were increasingly used by the ottoman chronicles and books of counsels. Τhe uses of “millet” in the elḳāb rely on the learned tradition. But, due to their formulaic character, the original meaning of these elḳāb becomes all the more obscure and is open to reinterpretation.
“Millet” undergoes a major semantic shift in the turn of the 18th century, when the ottoman sultanate practically integrates the westphalian diplomatic system. From then on “millet” becomes occasionally a synonym for the modern English word nation and its translations in western European languages. This new meaning evolves together with an emerging semantic register: modern diplomacy, which embodies the integration of the Ottoman Empire into an “inter-national” (beyn-el-milel) world. The uses of “millet” as a synonym of “nation” become more frequent during the last quarter of 18th and the beginning of 19th centuries.
During the 19th century, some Ottoman literati, who aimed to create a uniform Ottoman-Turkish national language, brought together the different premodern linguistic registers. Owing to this attempt, and despite some lexicographers’ resistance, the transformation of “millet” into “nation” became a fait accompli.
In the light of such findings we finally deal with the question of the so-called “millet system”. Starting from a close reading of the ottoman reform edict of 1856 (ıṣlāḥāt fermānı) and of a number of related diplomatic and administrative documents, I argue that the “millet system theory” leads to a complete misunderstanding of both the ottoman power concepts and the political practices. In fact, the 1856 reform edit introduces a form of governance based on the recognition of the “non-Muslim cemā‘ats” (and not “millets”). Rather than a medieval remnant, this was a calculated reaction to foreign intervention and nationalism. Nonetheless, these “cemā‘ats” were regularly called millets, i.e. nations, in most of the non-administrative sources. Therefore, the governance introduced by the ıṣlāḥāt fermānı reinforced the preexisting tendency to ascribe national attributes to confessional communities, with far-reaching consequences for the Balkan and Middle-eastern nationalisms.
Intervention en anglais
|Date de l'événement||09/11/2020 6:00 pm|
Mitat Celikpala (Kadir Has University) and Soli Özel (Kadir Has University)
Turkish foreign policy appears to have been in a state of change. It was trying to rely more on soft power elements in the 2000s, radically shifted to a more aggressive position including sending troops to Syria and muscle flexing in high seas of the Mediterranean. In line with its new perception of its role in the world, Turkey has increasingly asserted itself as a rising actor that is determined to make a contribution to regional and global issues. In the process, Turkish foreign policy has been transformed, not only in its content, but also in the instruments and mechanisms for formulating and conducting foreign-policy agenda. Furthermore, Turkey developed a special dialogue with Russia and Iran while distancing itself from its Western allies.
Dr. Mitat Çelikpala is Professor of International Relations and Vice-rector at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Eurasian security, energy and critical infrastructure security/protection, Turkish foreign and domestic policy and the Caucasus. Prof. Çelikpala is the board member of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM), the International Relations Council of Turkey and the Managing Editor of the Journal of International Relations: Academic Journal. He previously served as an academic advisor to NATO’s Center of Excellence Defense against Terrorism in Ankara (2009-2012), especially on the regional security and the critical infrastructure protection; and was the board member to the Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM), Turkish General Staff (2005-2011); Academic Adviser to the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), Turkish Foreign Ministry (2002-2010) and Caspian Strategy Institute, Istanbul Turkey (2012–2013). He was a Senior Associate Member at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, UK (2005-2006). He has written for a number of academic publications including Middle Eastern Studies, International Journal of Turkish Studies, Insight Turkey and Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies. He also contributed many conference papers on Turkish foreign policy, Turkish-Russian relations, Eurasianism and Turkish geopolitics.
Soli Özel holds a BA in Economics from Benningon College (1981) and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS-1983).
He is currently a senior lecturer at Istanbul Kadir Has University. He was a Bernstein Fellow at the Schell Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School and a visiting lecturer in the Political Science Department of Yale. He has been a columnist at Nokta magazine and GazetePazar, Yeni Binyıl, Habertürk and Sabah newspapers. Currently he writes for T24, DuvarEnglish and Yetkin Report as well as the blog of Institut Montaigne. He held fellowships at Oxford, the EU Institute of Strategic Studies and was a Fisher Family Fellow of the “Future of Diplomacy Program” at the Belfer Center of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He taught at SAIS, University of Washington, Northwestern University and Hebrew University. He was a Richard von Weizsacker fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin between 2015-2017 and a visiting fellow at Institut Montaigne in Paris in 2018.
Most recently he published “US-Turkey Relations since WWII: From Alliance to Transactionalism”, The Oxford Handbook of Turkish Politics co-authored with Serhat Güvenç and “The Economics of Turkey-Russia relations” co-authored with Gökçe Uçar for EDAM, “How the Syrian Civil War shifted the balance of power in Turkish-Israeli relations”, co-authored with Selin Nasi, “The Transatlantic Drift and the Waning of Turkey’s 'Strategic Westernness’ for Heinrich Böll Stiftung, co-authored POLITICS OF POPULISM: POWER AND PROTEST IN THE GLOBAL AGE” with Evren Balta The Crisis in Turkish-Russian Relations, “The Kurds in the Middle East” with Arzu Yılmaz, in SIPRI Yearbook 2017. An article co-authored with Serhat Güvenç, “US-Turkey relations 1945-2020: From alliance to transactionalism” will be published in an edited book on Turkey by Oxford University Press. He is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
|Date de l'événement||14/10/2020 6:00 pm|
Vural Genç (Associate Professor of History of Early Modern Era)
A bureaucrat and historian of Iranian provenance, Idris-i Bidlīsī is undoubtedly one of the most original and important intellectual figures in the 16th-century Ottoman-Iranian world. He lived in a very turbulent period of the Ottoman-Aqquyunlu, Ottoman-Mamluk and Ottoman-Safavid rivalry [rivalries] and established different relationships with these dynasties at the end of the 15th century and at the begining of the 16th century. He and his work have been the focus of long-standing historical debates that have continued till the present day. His active role in the Battle of Chaldiran (1514), sectarian belongings and Machiavellian patronage relations established with different dynasties are among these. Until now, the focus of most modern scholarly works on Bidlīsī has usually been romantic and heroic without providing a proper, in-depth textual, historiographic, or historical analysis. As a result, such modern works have come to present a skewed, romanticized image of Bidlīsī, which has been largely detached from the nature and dynamics of the historical context in which Bidlīsī evolved as an intellectual and writer.
In this conference I am going to portray Bidlīsī’s realistic image by eliminating shortcomings in the modern historiography on him. By looking at Bidlīsī and his corpus, and more specifically at the ways in which the latter was shaped by Bidlīsī’s patronage relationships, this lecture aims to open up a window into Bidlīsī’s evolving mindset and worldview. On another plane, through an in-depth analysis of his corpus and new archival sources I am going to unveil intellectual life and career of an Iranian provenance bureaucrat and historian positioned between Ottoman-Iranian world and provide a glimpse into the nature of patronage and in the 16th century. In this context, I will touch upon his early education in Iran, the Sufi and bureaucratic circles he was in, bureaucratic years in the Aqquyunlu Tabriz, years of patronage in the Ottoman palace and the cultural and political projects he was involved in, patronage relations fostered with Shah Ismail during his sojurn in Istanbul, active roles in the Iran and Egypt expedition, and last years in Istanbul.
Ferenc Csirkes sera discutant.
Intervention en turc
|Date de l'événement||12/10/2020 6:00 pm|