Effects of the End of the Cold War on Turkey’s International Position – Hüseyin Bağcı

Effects of the End of the Cold War

on Turkey’s International Position


Hüseyin Bağcı


The system established in Yalta has ended and Europe has entered into a search for a “new system.” The end of Cold War and the Gulf War bring about  debates of a new order. Turkey also has entered into new searches in this new order and as a result has experienced some deviations from its traditional policies.


Europe has experienced the longest period of peace after the Congress of Vienna in 1815 between 1945 and 1989.[i] The “New World Order” emerged after Second World War has been a bipolar world and, as powers produced by the war, United States (US) and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) marked every development in the world. This New World Order, which has been perceived ideologically in essence, has ended with the political transformations evolved in Central and East Europe in 1989 and Europe became a continent fluctuating between new hopes and old fears.[ii] In other words, the system established in Yalta has ended and Europe entered into a search for a “new system.”

Actually, for the last thirty years Europe has experienced a stable state system. There is a system study in Europe after the collapse of this system. The essence of this system is the concept of “United States of Europe.”[iii] This concept, which targets for Europe to be a factor of political and economic balance in a multi-polar world, has continuously been set on the agenda and emphasized by European scholars. Europe begins to think about getting rid of the effects of two superpowers produced by the post-Second World War order and to isolate these two superpowers as a “whole Europe.”[iv] However, its realization is not as easy as it is thought. The recent debates demonstrate its difficulty. Especially, during and after the Gulf War, the difficulty that Europe has encountered in developing a common foreign policy added a new dimension to these debates and brings about the fact that it should not be expected from Europe to play a significant role in the near future.[v]

The effort for the isolation of the US and the USSR from Europe seems to be less likely for various reasons. The most significant reason is that Europe still needs the US as a power of balance against the USSR. The stable states system had to survive many storms, such as the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia. However, this basic structure has not changed because of the comfort and trust provided by the nuclear umbrella of the United States. As the former Foreign Minister of the USSR, Eduard Shevardnadze said, “Europe, divided by blocs and military alliances, is a region having realized the strongest political integration of the world.”[vi]

This political integration was realized with the European Community. However, this process of integration has not been completed yet. Indeed the targets for the unification of Europe in political, military, economic and cultural terms were determined in the Governmental Program declared on 30 January 1991 as such:

  1. Until 31 December 1992, a European Common Internal Market, from which 340 millions of people could benefit, should be established.
  2. A Europe having no borders from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains should be created.
  3. Instead of a centralized Europe a pluralistic Europe should be created.
  4. A European Parliament whose competences have been enlarged should be established.
  5. European Common Foreign and Security Policy should be developed and this policy should include common defense of Europe.
  6. European Economic and Monetary Union should be established.
  7. Social security should be provided in Europe.
  8. A United States of Europe should be established.[vii]

As it can be seen the security problem of Europe preserves its significance. The leadership of the US in this respect has been accepted by Europe. The maintenance of NATO is the most important phenomenon for the maintenance of the US in Europe. In the eighteenth century America emerged as an independent state from Europe. On the eve of the twenty-first century, the question of the emergence of Europe as an independent political entity from the US is on the agenda. In other words, the child of Europe turned out to be the father of Europe and although sometimes the authority of the father has been challenged, the maintenance of its presence has been perceived as inevitable.[viii]

The US is necessary for the security of Europe as a power of balance against the Soviet Union. What is more, the US is also necessary for preserving a United Germany within the NATO alliance. Indeed, the collapse of bipolar system is not beneficial for Europeans, because the disintegration of the USSR will produce a world with many uncertainties. In this case, the USSR continues to be the nightmare of the European states. At one point, the political and military position of Europe has been experiencing a process of transformation. During the Cold War, Europe played a central role in the East-West contention. However, today, Europe has become a space used by the US soldiers for extra-territorial crises. This transformation brings Europe “from a crossroad of security to a garage of security.” The current reality is that Europe has to engage in a rivalry with the hierarchy of interests of the US in the Middle East and Asia in order not to lose its “central position.” While attempting to develop its own security identity, Europe has been trapped into a dilemma. If the realization of the idea of “More Europe” is necessary, then following less American policy in Europe is inevitable. This dilemma can be resolved with the re-determination of the “Europe policies” of the US and the USSR.[ix]


The Position of Europe in the New World Order and New Fears

We are in the beginning of a new era in the European history. As mentioned above briefly, this new period includes the differences between the official reorganization of the world and the realities of power and does not involve the similarities in any international system experienced in the past. This new period brings some contradictions and difficulties. “The New World Order” can be defined as Pax Americana and can be used to define the US’s desire to rule the world.[x]

The world order has multiple meanings. For example, there is an order of posts including a certain hierarchy. There is also an order (both material and moral) for self-discipline. An order emerged for completion of a process (like seasons) can be mentioned. There is an order in the chain of command. The money and the numbers had an order. In the simplest sense, order is the antonym of disorder.[xi]

The end of Cold War and the Gulf War brings about these debates of new order. Turkey has had to enter into new searches in this order and has experienced some deviations from its traditional policies.[xii]

This New World Order shows no similarity with any of the past world orders. In terms of distribution of capabilities, the most significant aspect of the New World Order is its multi-polarity. However, these poles include different aspects of power. It can be argued that in military terms the USSR, in financial and economic terms, Japan and the united Germany, in demographic terms China and India, and in military and economic terms, the US will form these poles. The “destiny” of this New World will be dependent on these poles’ capability of making enough cooperation to prevent and balance the contentions with each other. Besides, the relations of these poles will be shaped within the framework of domestic political developments, which are difficult to predict right now.[xiii]

Within this context, the mentioning about a “new world ethics” by the Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, is quite appropriate. Because, the “ism”s produced during the nineteenth century, their ethical values and patterns of behavior have been transformed considerably. In the last century, the intentions might have changed from situation to situation, from region to region, from year to year. The famous statesman, Otto von Bismark’s concept of “Realpolitik” demonstrates this understanding and variability.[xiv] Besides, the British statesman, Lord Palmerston defined his perspective in 1848, which influenced Bismarck and became a principle of international relations, as such: “We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”[xv]

The US President, George Bush understands from the New World Order the new rules of international behavior and the mutual recognition of security as everyone’s concern and responsibility. In his speech delivered to the US Congress on 5 March 1991, President Bush emphasized that the Gulf War is the first test of the emerging “New World Order” and the post-War order would be a new world order. President Bush, who argued that unlike the last century, the US would not refrain from playing the sacred role of preservation of freedom, justice and peace in the coming century, repeated in a way, John F. Kennedy’s view in the 1960s about “the necessity of making any sacrifices and carrying the responsibility for freedom.” President Bush said in the speech that he delivered on the day of declaration of his candidacy: “We saved Europe, we cured poliomyelitis, we conquered the moon, and we enlightened the entire world. Now, we are at the beginning of a new century and which country’s name will this century carry? I say that this century will be marked by the US.”[xvi]

When the European statesmen are dealing with the concept of United States of Europe they are making declarations about the New World Order full of ambiguities. For example, when the Foreign Minister of the UK, Douglas Hurd, says that “We and the US have no future plans,”[xvii] the eminent German statesman Willy Brandt mentions that the West will be accuse by the Islamic world of determination of the Gulf Region as a region where the Western world aims to realize their intentions to establish their sovereignty and the US seems to be perceived as the “police of the world”, and emphasizes that the European community should pursue an active policy as soon as possible.[xviii]

The US and the Soviet Union had new position and interest in the post-war new order. Especially, new debates began concerning what would be national interests of the Soviet Union.[xix] Although the objectives of the President of the Soviet Union Mihael Gorbachev broke up with those of the US and realization of them necessitated a competition with the US, in essence they were not against the interests of the US. This situation should be the characteristic of Soviet-American interests in the post-Cold War era. In other words, Lenin, Stalin, Khruschev and Brezhnev identified Soviet interest as the interest aiming at forfeiture of the Western, particularly the US interests. Whereas, since coming to power in March 1985, Gorbachev was seeking for ways for achieving compromise with the US. This can be defined as new Soviet “Palmerstonism”. Thereby the tensions of the Cold War decreases and the possibility of wider cooperation emerges.[xx]

The “New Thinking” in the Soviet foreign policy is a policy which supports obviously this cooperation. Because of this, in order to understand the meaning of “New Thinking”, it is better to make an abstract definition of the concept.

“New Thinking can be defined as set of measures which aim to prevent the Soviet Union to make the same mistakes once again in the economical, social, political and foreign and defence policy areas”.[xxi]

Today, it is impossible to isolate the crisis Soviet Union faced from ineffectiveness of Soviet policies in its international relations, its strategic mistakes and delay of the necessary domestic economic, social and political reforms. Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” does not indicate the abandonment of the Soviet Union’s status of being one of the super powers in the world, on the contrary it aims to redefine the Soviet Union’s status of super power. According to this, the role of the Soviet Union in the international area is as such: it displays a foreign policy which does not only rely on military force, but attaches less importance to the item of conflict and attaches high importance to cooperation and normalcy in foreign relations.[xxii]

The concept of New Thinking is not enough to wipe out traditional European “Russian phobia”. When we add the reunification of two Germanies, the fear of Europeans concentrated on these two countries. Europeans consider the Soviet Union or Russia as a potential threat to their security in the case of its break up, because of uncertainties in the Soviet Union. Reforms implemented within the framework of Glasnost and Perestroika, rise of Russian nationalism, the will of some republics to secede from the federation, power vacuum emerged following the abolishment of the Warsaw Pact, and the possibility of Soviet military operation towards this region constitutes factors which creates insecurity.

Concerning the United Germany, various opinions are put forward.[xxiii] Some put forward that pre-1914 and pre-1939 conditions come back. They claim that this results in fears because of superior Germany’s security fear due to its lack of nuclear weapons, Germany’s possible ambition to fill the power vacuum in  Central and Eastern Europe or to regain regions it lost after the Second World War. In addition to that, some fear that possible relations between new and powerful Germany and economically weak Soviet Union would result in the weakening of the military side of NATO and shifting of Germany’s foreign policy to the East. It is known that the main aim of the Soviet Union’s concept of “Common European House” is to create neutral Europe and to make US to withdraw from Europe in the future.[xxiv] Moreover, the survival of NATO is regarded as a buffer against German threat.

The logic of most European’s fear of the Soviet Union and Germany necessitates a cooperation among Central and Eastern European nations against German revanchism and re-emergence of Soviet aggression under Western (US) guarantee. In fact, there is a necessity to protect these countries from another Hitler-Stalin Pact. However, there is no suggestion for enlarging borders of NATO to the East. Because such an enlargement would be both not welcomed by the Soviet Union and prevented by France because of known reasons.

In addition to that, there are two important issues widely debated and feared of in Europe. First one is the fear of re-emergence of anarchic order in Eastern Europe. By the fear, we mean the re-emergence of the conditions of interwar period in this region and balkanization of the countries in the region. That is to say, unrest emerged in relations between states of the region which is created by nationalist movements, secessionist movements (Romania-Hungary, Yugoslavia-Czechoslovakia) prevents the emergence of democratic political systems and stabilization of economic structures in the region.[xxv]

As famous British specialist on Eastern Europe, Timothy Garton Ash argues “Transition from communist social value system to pluralist democratic system would not be easy”. The reason behind this is that most of basic elements of capitalist society lacked in these societies, which had been kept under pressure by totalitarian communist regime. Because of this, there is a danger of coming to power of authoritarian and anti-democratic regimes like the ones  observed once in Poland and Hungary. If democratic policies generally cannot meet the expectations of society and solve the discontent and the necessity of implementing tight economic policies emerges, this threat will further increase. However, nowadays it is obvious that Western Europe are taking intensive measures for political and economic integration with Central and Eastern European countries and trying not to repeat the past mistakes.[xxvi]

Secondly, there is a different fear. The fear of invasion by the foreigners, which is penetrating the whole European countries,  which is related with migration. Besides France and Germany, the situation of people migrating from Albania to Italy and measures taken to prevent such a migration constitutes first sign of a new social explosion. A new dimension of security emerges as a result of Islamic radicalists, terrorists, hungery Africans, the plight of less developed countries, people escaping from political conflicts and instability, the mass migration of Eastern Europeans to Western Europe in search for a job and social security.

Wealthy Europe is considered by most of West Europeans as a “Treasure Island” which is tried to be conquered and looted by pirates. Indeed, the demographic situation of Europe reinforces such a fear. Recently, in the expectation of mass migration from Eastern Europe, West Europe prefers to provide material assistance to these countries and try to postpone the membership of pro-Western countries such as Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia to the EC.

Besides the US and the Soviet Union, the United Germany is also one of the powers which will determine the developments in Europe.

Especially, after the reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990, Germany is a candidate to play a prominent role in a multi-polar world. Therefore, it is necessary to look at German foreign and security policies.

West Germany’s foreign and security policy will  originates from policies implemented by Federal Germany. However, these new policies will differentiate from previous ones. The reason for that is the change of East European geopolitical situation. As a result of this change, Poland became neighbour of Germany. Soviet Union enters into a close economical, political and technological cooperation with the United Germany. The United Germany’s responsibility in the process of modernization of Eastern Europe would increase due to its economic superiority and its position in the EC. In the same way, the problems caused by the economic integration of former Democratic Germany would bring various pressures on the United Germany.[xxvii]

The unchanging principle of  United Germany’s foreign policy is West European integration. This policy is based on the realization of interregional harmonization through various policies, amelioration of mechanisms of interregional coordination and orientation – this includes loyalty to World politics and economics – and protection against threat to external security provided by NATO’s joint position. These constitute a stable basis for the United Germany’s policy of Europe. This is valid for both political and economic integration process in Europe and cooperation going beyond borders of Europe.

There will be a need for rearrangement in German security policy. This arrangement is for finding solutions for the near future. However, necessary process for this kind of short-term solutions, such as the integration of the United Germany to NATO and special situation of old Democratic Germany’s land and withdrawal of Soviet troops, should not be perceived as a very simple event, because these are such events which will be happened within next 4 or 10 years. [xxviii]

Foreign policies which will be pursued are in essence the same as those of Federal Germany, the emergence of new problem areas will be expected. By saying that, we acknowledge that the United Germany has not yet developed new foreign and security policy definitions. In other words, new problem areas may lead to new conflicts and tensions in international arena for the United Germany. Problems which may gain priority are listed as:

  1. The persistence of dependence on the US security policy
  2. The status discrepancy created by the United Germany’s inability to use its military force despite its economic impact.
  3. The fear of the “4th Reich” resulted from the United Germany’s achievement of domination in foreign policy.

The dependence of West European countries on the US in the area of security differs from those of the United Germany. France and the UK have their own nuclear arsenal. Despite France and the UK’s such advantage, Federal Germany and Italy remained dependent on the US’ policies of deterrence and disarmament. Especially Federal Germany as a “front state” has experienced different dimensions of ideological confrontation between East and West for 45 years.

The United Germany seems not to discard this security policy dependence in the near future. The most important reason for this is the Soviet Union’s failure to pursue a policy of getting rid of its nuclear weapons. Under this condition, the only power in Europe which is able to counterbalance this nuclear power is the US, the only country leading NATO, and its nuclear potential. Under this condition, new post-Cold War disputes began to emerge, because it becomes necessary to maintain US’ such “deterrence service” for Western Europe in the post-Cold War era. This condition necessitates the pursuance of competitive policies by the US and Western Europe against the Soviet Union despite CSCE process.


The Balkans and the Role of Turkey

In Turkey’s relations with Europe, the Balkans is one of the focal points. As one of the regions in which impacts of the Cold War has been most felt, Balkan Peninsula is defined as Europe’s “powder barrel”, because it is filled with unrest. Balkan Peninsula, which harbors various minority problems, ethnic and religious disputes and adventurist policies of some countries, remains as a politically and economically unstable region.

Power loss of the Soviet Union and other communist regimes in the region lays the ground for the creation of a dangerous environment in which both independence struggles of countries in the region are reinforced and the parochial nationalism and authoritarian trends emerge and prevail.

To cooperate with Balkan countries and thereby securing the borders in the region has been one of the aims of Turkish foreign policy since the foundation of the Turkish Republic. Beginning from the 1920s Turkey tried to establish “Chain of Security” and participate in all of the conferences related to solution of regional problems. Under the leadership of Turkey, Balkan Entente was established in 1934 with the participation of the Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia. Bulgaria participated in this Entente just before the Second World War in 1938.

Within the framework of the new order and state system emerging after end of the Second World War, Turkey took initiatives to revive the Balkan Entente especially during the Adnan Menderes era (1950-1960). However, Turkey’s initiatives failed due to the polarization of the Cold War era and the involvement of Balkan counties into these polarization during the 1945-1954 period. In 1954, the Balkan Alliance was signed between Turkey, Greece and Yugoslavia in Bled, but this alliance did not progress due to the failure to solve disputes among the participating countries. The Cold War was another factor that contributed to the failure of this alliance.[xxix]

After the end of the Cold War, Balkan countries gave up their ideological obsessions and entered into the democratization process and were closely interested in European integration, because Europe, with all its institutions, became attractive for the Balkan countries. Especially, it seems difficult to establish sustainable security framework without taking into account of the Balkan countries. For this reason, cooperation among Balkan countries should be analyzed within the framework of the new European order. This cooperation’s aim of providing security for Europe is obvious in these countries’ state leaders’ statements and steps towards this end. Just like in the previous eras, Turkey has the opportunity of playing a constructive role for the realization of the cooperation among Balkan countries. The major factors that create this opportunity can be stated as follows:

  1. Turkey’s Ottoman heritage in this region
  2. Multi-ethnic structure of the region
  3. The presence of transit roads that links Turkey to Europe
  4. Common economical and security problems shared by Turkey with other countries of the region.[xxx]

The Balkan Conference which was held with the proposal of Yugoslavia in 1988 was very important in the sense that it brought all Balkan countries together for the first time after the end of the Cold War. This conference emphasized inevitability of the political and economical cooperation despite problems among the Balkan countries. Beside Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Turkey, Albania also participated in this conference unexpectedly. In negotiations, the ethnic problems among Balkan countries were left outside meticulously and cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry, commerce, energy, tourism, the protection of environment and health was discussed and important forward looking decisions were taken.[xxxi]

The leading role Turkey played by proposing the Black Sea Cooperation scheme can be seen as the implementation of the decisions taken at the Belgrade Conference. In recent times, increasing diplomatic visits prove firm political will of Balkan States for realizing this cooperation. Turkey’s political aim was to improve economic cooperation among Balkan countries and to provide stability to this part of Europe that was conventionally characterized by unstable political and economic structures.[xxxii] This region not only in physical terms but also in cultural terms constitutes the bridge and the transit road from Turkey to Central and Western Europe.[xxxiii]

In coming years, Turkey as a prominent country in terms of politics, economics and military has the opportunity to shape developments in the region with the use of both bilateral and multilateral cooperation methods. Thus, it can be considered that the statements of the Balkan delegations visiting Turkey that their aim is to make use of Turkey’s experience prove that this opportunity is feasible.



  • The nature of political change in Turkey and the world
  • The political party in power
  • The position of the international economic relations which will be shaped by the desire and interest of the Turkish economy
  • Kurdish separatism[xxxiv]

Despite from the fact that Turkey will play an effective role in European security in the future, it can be stated that Turkey may play an important role in the European integration. Furthermore, the integrated Europe will have to develop strategies for Turkey and take into account of Turkey more than ever. In other words, Europe cannot disregard Turkey within the framework of the new world order. The important issue is not Turkey’s attempt to explain this just like it has done until now, but Europe’s imperative to understand this. Former Secretary of Defence Ercan Vuralhan emphasized this as such:

“Always we should give this message to the West. Yes, important changes took place in East-West line. In line with these changes, arms reductions took place in the West. However, most of the countries in the West have a threat perception of one bloc. Turkey is under multi-dimensional threat. For this reason, the relegation of Turkey’s demands in the field of defence in parallel with reductions in the West means leaving Turkey by itself in the region where the West has vital interests. Turkey always declares that it was not a guardian of Western interest in this region. Turkey proved this. Turkey’s policy towards the Gulf War was the most concrete example of this. However, the West should not forget that Turkey is the representative of stability and democracy in this region. Turkey has been an effective country with a leadership position in the region. The West should bear in mind that a threat towards Turkey should be taken into account by the West.”[xxxv]

Thus, after the end of the Gulf War, Turkey’s increasing importance was started to be emphasized and the ideas suggesting that Turkey would become one of the countries that would provide stability in integrated Europe gained prominence. Europe is no more the only alternative for Turkey. There have been always problems in Turkey’s relations with Europe and smooth relationship cannot be expected. However, Turkey is an important alternative for Europe. Europe is aware of this fact and thus shapes its policies on the basis of this awareness.[xxxvi]


End Notes

(1)   1815 sonrası Avrupa’da çıkan “Yeni Düzen” ve
güçlerin konumu ile ilgili olarak bkz;Henry Kissinger,
Das Gleichgewich der Machte, Metternich, Castlereagh
und die Neuordnung Europas 1821-1822

(2)  İki kutuplu dünya ve değişimler için bkz; Paul Kennedy,
Büyük Güçlerin Yükseliş ve Çöküşleri, İş bankası Yayınları,
Ankara 1980 Aynı şekilde ideolojik çöküş için bkz; ZibignievBrzezinski, Büyük çöküş, İş Bankası Yayınları, Ankara 1990 ve Francis Fukuyama; The End of History;in  National Interest Summer 1990 ve Uwe Nechrlich; Europa zwischen alten Angsten und neunen Hoffnungen, in: Europa Archiv Nummer 16,25.5.1990,3.481-493

  • İstikrarlı devletler sistemi için bkz. Kari Dietrich Bracher, Europa in der Krise, Frankfurt Yeni kon-sept arayışlar için bkz. Dieter Senghaas, Europa 2000-Ein Friedensplan-Frankfurt am Main 1990 ve Stanley Hoffmann; Abschied von der Vergangenheit, Politik und Sicherheit im Künftigen Europa, Europa Archiv, Nummer 20 25.10.1990, S.595-607
  • Peter Glotz, Gesamteuropa, Skizze für einen schwierigen Weg, Europa Archiv, 1.1990 ve Hüseyin Bağcı, Avrupa Tarihinde Yeni bir Dönem, Dış Politika Bülteni, Mart-Nisan-Mayıs 1990, Ankara
  • William Pfaff; Don’t expect a Big European Role Anytime Soon, International Herald Tribune, January, 21, 1991.R6
  • Uwe Nehrlich a.g.e.S.481
  • Programın tamalanması için bkz. Europa Archiv, Num­mer 5,30 January 1991, S.126-140
  • NATO Genei sekreteri Manfred Wörner ile yapılan röportaj; “We Need Each Other Badly”, 77me,25.2,11991 ve Dominique Moisi;”The US’s Role is Central”, Time, 4.1991
  • Dominique Moisi, A.G.E. Avrupa Güvenlik kişiliği ile ilgili olarak bkz. Interview with Jacques Delors; Towards a working Model, Time, 22.4.1991. Ayrıca ABD’nin Avrupa politikası için Manfred Stinnes; Die Amerikannische Europe-politik und die Ost-West Beziehungen, in: Aus politik und Zeitgeschichte, 8 45\89, 3 November 1989. S.14-24


  • Bu tanımlardan bir kaçı için bkz. Flora Lewis; “A more orderly World, Not a New World Order”, IHT, 18 February 1991.P.6, Noam Chumsky, The weak shall inherit nothing, in : Guardian Weekly, April 7.1991, R8 ve Stanley Hoffman;A New World and Its Troubles, in; Foreign Affairs, Fall 1990, Richard Brookhiser; Two Centuries of New World Orders, Time May 6, 1991
  • Flora Lewis, A more Orderly World,
  • Geleneksel politikalardan sapma ile ilgili olarak bkz. Hüseyin Bağcı; Demokrat Parti Dönemi Türk Dış Politikası, Ankara 1990 ve Ali Karaosmanoğlu; Die Türkei, die europaische Sicherheit und Wandel der internationalen Beziehungen, in; Europa Archiv, Nummer 5, 10.3.1991. 143-153 ve Towards a New World Order? in; Briefing April 29.1991, Issue 835 S.6-8 Ankara
  • Stanley Hoffmann The new World and Its troubles ve Paul Kennedy, Büyük Güçlerin Yükseliş ve Çöküşleri
  • Otto von Bismark ve onun politikası için bkz. Lothar Gali, Bismarck, der weisse Revolutionar, Frankfurt 1983
  • Strobe Talbott, “No its not a New Cold War”, Time, March 4, 1991
  • James Walsh, Global Beat, Time, April 1, 1991

17)  James Walsh Global Beat, Time, April 1, 1991

  • Willy Brant, Eine neue Friedensordnung für den Nanen Osten, Europa Archiv, 3.1991, Nummer 5.
  • Suzanne Crow; The Gulf Conflict and debate over Soviet “National Interests”, in; Report on the USSR, 3, Number 6, February 1991

20) Strobe Talbott, No its not a New Cold War

21)  Ailen Lynch; Gorbachev Synthesis Elements of the
“New Thinking” East-West Security Studies, Occasional
Paper Series,
New York, 1989, P.29

  • David Holloway; Gorbachev’s New Thinking , in: Foreign Affairs America and the World (1988-89), 71 ve Time “Gorbachev Interview” June 1990, P.13-20 ve Hüseyin Bağcı; Sovyet Dış Politikasında Yeni Düşünce, Dış Politika Bülteni, Haziran-Temmuz-Ağustos, Dış Politika Enstitüsü yayınları, Ankara , 1990,S.34-39
  • Bu görüşler için bkz. Stanley Hoffmann, dip not 3, Uwe Nehrlich dipnot 2 ve Kari Kaiser; Deutschlands Vereinigung, Die internationalen aspekte, Bergisch Gladbach, Mai 1991
  • Ortak Avrupa Evi (Common European House) kon-septine üç değişik yaklaşım için bkz. Wladimir B. Lomej-ko; “Das Haus Europa” aus sowjetischer Sicht, Wichard Woyke; “Das Haus Europa” aus westeuropatischer Sicht ve Paul E.Zinner; “Das gemeinsame Haus Europa” aus amerikanischer Sicht. in: Prespektiven für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa, Herausgegeben von Hans-D. Jacobsen, Heinrich Machoski, Dirk Sager, Bundes-zentrale für politische Bildung, Band 268, Bonn 1988
  • Bu görüşü oluştururken TIME dergisi tarafından or­ganize edilen ve Avrupa’nın siyasi ve ekonomik gelişmeleri konusunda uzman 5 bilim adamının Brüksel’de bir araya geldikleri ve Doğu Avrupa’da istikrarsızlıkların beklenmesi gerektiği ve Almanya’ların birleşmesinin kaçınılmaz olduğunu vurguladıkları “What the Future Holds” konulu konferans notları baz olarak alınmıştır. Geniş bilgi için bkz. Frederick Painton, What the future Holds, Time, 18 December 1988
  • Stanley Hoffmann, dipnot 3 ve Timoty Garton Ash; Mitteleuropa; in: Daedalus, Winter 1990
  • Frederick Swyle, Die erhöhte Verantwortung der Deutschen, in: Europa Archiv, Nummer 24, 25,12.1990, Günter Van Well, Zur Europa Politik eines vereinigten Deutschland, in: Europa Archiv, Nummer 9, 10.5.1990, Bernd von Staden, Das vereinigte Deutschland in Europa, Europa Archiv, Nummer 23, 10.12.1990.
  • Detaylı bir araştırma için bkz Kari Kaiser; Germany’s unification, in: Foreign Affairs Winter 1990-91, No: 1 P.197


  • Bu konuda bkz. Hüseyin Bağcı, Demokrat Parti Dönemi Dış Politikası.
  • Seyfi Taşhan; Some Factors Influencing Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy. in: Beyond East-West Confrontation, searching for a New Security Structure in Europe, Edt. by Armand Clesse and Lothar Rühl P.351-356. Bonn 1991.

31)Ali L. Karaosmanoğlu , dipnot 12 ve Ali Arsın; Das neue Ost-west-Verhalthis, Ein Blink aus Ankara in: NATO Brief, Nr. 6\1990-November\December S.16-20.

32)Bkz. Seyfi Taşhan, Dipnot 30 ve Türkkaya Ataöv, Balkan Initiatives, Turkish Daily News, 13-14 April 1991, P.7.

33)Konferans hakkında geniş bilgi için bkz. The Military Balance 1987-1988 Londra, 1988.

34)   Duygu Sezer, Turkish Foreign Policy in the year
2000, in: Association Ankara 1989, R61,113

35)  “Savunmada Modernleşme “, Güneş, 25.12.1989.

36)     Edward Mortimer, “Problem awaiting a solution”
Financial Times, 8.5.1991, Chistopher Ogden “How
Does Turkey Fit?,Tıme, October 22,1990, Robert T.Zintl;
“Missing Dividend” Time, May 13,1991 ve Yunanistan
Başbakanı Miçotakis’in demeci “Türkiye İslamın Et­
kisinde Kalmamalı” Zaman, 27 Mayıs 1991. Türkiye Av-­
rupa ilişkilerini eleştirel açıdan değerlendiren üç görüş
için bkz. İsmail Cem “Bizi Kim Savunacak” Sabah 13
Mayıs 1991, Ahmet Cemal “Avrupa Düşüncesi ve
Türkiye” Cumhuriyet 26 Nisan 1991 ve Hüseyin Bağcı,
The Spread of Democracy has reached epidemic
proportions in Europe, Turkish Daily News, 3.4.1990.


(*) Translation of the article which appeared in the fpi publication in Turkish “Dış Politika Bülteni”,  July-August-September 1991  issue


[i] For the “New Order” in post-1815 Europe and the positioning of Great Powers see Henry Kissinger, Das Gleichgewich der Machte, Metternich, Castlereagh und die Neuordnung Europas 1821-1822, Zürich, 1986.

[ii] For the bipolar world and transformations see Paul Kennedy, Büyük Güçlerin Yükseliş ve Çöküşleri, İş Bankası Yayınları, Ankara, 1980. For the ideological collapse see Zbigniev Brzezinski, Büyük Çöküş, İş Bankası Yayınları, Ankara, 1990 and Francis Fukuyama, “The End of History”, National Interest, Summer 1990, and Uwe Nechrlich, “Europa zwichsen alten Angsten und neuen Hoffnungen,” Europa Archiv, No. 16, 25 May 1990, pp. 481-493.

[iii] For stable state system see Karl Dietrich Bracher, Europa in der Krise, Frankfurt, 1979. For the search of new concepts see Dieter Senghaas, Europa 2000 – Ein Friedendsplan, Frankfurt am Main, 1990, and Stanley Hoffman, “Abschied von der Vergangenheit, Politik und Sicherheit im Künftigen Europa,” Europa Archiv, No. 20, 25 October 1990, pp. 595-607.

[iv] Peter Glotz, “Gesamteuropa, Skizze für einen schwierigen Weg,” Europa Archiv, 25 January 1990, and Hüseyin Bağcı, “Avrupa Tarihinde Yeni Bir Dönem, Dış Politika Bülteni, March-April-May 1990, Ankara.

[v] William Pfaff, “Don’t Expect a Big European Role Anytime Soon,” International Herald Tribune, 21 January 1991, p. 6.

[vi] Uwe Nehlich, p. 481.

[vii] For the full text of the program, see Europa Archiv, No. 5, 30 January 1991, pp. 126-140.

[viii] The interview made by NATO Secretary General Manfred Wörner, “We Need Each Other Badly,” Time, 25 February 1991, and Dominique Moisi, “The US’s Role is Central,” Time, 22 April 1991.

[ix] See, Dominique Moisi, a.g.e. Fort he European security personality see the interview with Jacques Delors, “Towards a Working Model,” Time, 22 April 1991. For the US’ Europe policy see Manfred Stinnes, “Die Amerikannische Europe-politik und die Ost-West Beziehungen,” in Aus politik und Zeitgeschichte, Vol. 8, No. 45/89, 3 November 1989, pp. 14-24.

[x] For some of these definitions see Flora Lewis, “A More Orderly World, Not A New World Order,” International Herald Tribune, 18 February 1991, p. 6; Noam Chomsky, “The Weak Shall Inherit Nothing,” Guardian Weekly, 7 April 1991, p. 8 and Stanley Hoffman, “A New World and Its Troubles,” Foreign Affairs Fall 1990, Richard Brookhiser, “Two Centuries of New World Orders,” Time, 6 May 1991.

[xi] Flora Lewis, “A More Orderly World, Not A New World Order.”

[xii] Fort he deviations from traditional policies, see Hüseyin Bağcı, Demokrat Parti Dönemi Türk Dış Politikası, Ankara, 1990 ve Ali Karaosmanoğlu, “Die Türkei, die europaische Sciherheit und Wandel der internationalen Beziehungen,” Europa Archiv, No. 5, 10 March 1991, pp. 143-153 and “Towards a New World Order?,” Briefing, 29 April 1991, No. 835, pp. 6-8.

[xiii] Stanley Hoffman, A New World and Its Troubles ve Paul Kennedy, Büyük Güçlerin Yükseliş ve Çöküşleri.

[xiv] For Otto von Bismark and his policies, see Lothar Gall, Bismarck, der weisse Revolutionar, Frankfurt, 1983.

[xv] Strobe Talbott, “Not It is Not A New Cold War,” Time, 4 March 1991.

[xvi] James Walsh, “Global Beat,” Time, 1 April 1991.

[xvii] James Walsh, “Global Beat,” Time, 1 April 1991.

[xviii] Willy Brandt, “Eine neue Friedensordnung für den Nahen Osten,”, Europe Archiv, 10 March 1991, No. 5

[xix] Suzanne Crow, “The Gulf Conflict and Debate over Soviet ‘National Interests’,” in Report on  the USSR, Vol. 3, No. 6, February 1991.

[xx] Strobe Talbott, “Not It is Not A New Cold War,” Time, 4 March 1991.

[xxi] Allen Lynch, “Gorbachev Synthesis Elements of the ‘New Thinking’,” East-West Security Studies, Occasional Paper Series, New York, 1989, p. 29.

[xxii] David Holloway, “Gorbachev’s New Thinking,” in Foreign Affairs America and the World (1988-1989), p. 71 and Time, Gorbachev Interview,” June 1990, pp. 13-20 and Hüseyin Bağcı, “Sovyet Dış Politikasında Yeni Düşünce,” Dış Politika Bülteni, Haziran Temmuz Ağustos 1991, pp. 34-39.

[xxiii] Fort his opinions see Stanley Hoffman, footnote 3, Uwe Nehrlich, footnote 2, and Karl Kaiser, Deutschlands Vereinigung, Die Internationalen Aspekte, Bergisch Gladbach, May 1991.

[xxiv] For three different approaches to the concept of Common European House see, Vladimir B. Lomejko, “Das Haus Europa” aus sowjetischer Sicht, Wichard Woyke, “Das Haus Europa” aus amerikanischer Sicht in Perspektiven für Sicherheir und Zusammenarbeit in Europa, Herausgegeben von Hans D. Jacobson, Heinrich Machoski, Dirk Sager, Bundeszentraie für politische Bildung, Band 268, Bonn, 1988.

[xxv] In constructing this opinion, the notes of the conference organized by Time Magazine and  entitled “What the Future Holds” in which 5 scholars, being experts on the issues of European political and economic developments emphasized that in Eastern Europe there would be insatibilities and the unification of Germany is inevitable. For a detailed information, see Frederick Painton, “What the Future Holds,” Time, 18 December 1988.

[xxvi] Stanley Hoffman, footnote 3, and Timothy Garton Ash, “Mitteleuropa,” Daedalus, Winter 1990.

[xxvii] Frederick S. Wyle, “Die erhmhte Verantwortung der Deutschen,” Europa Archiv, No. 24, 25 December 1990; Günter Van Well, “Zur Europa Politik eines vereinigten Deutschland,” Europa Archiv, No. 9, 10 May 1990; Bernd von Staden, “Das vereinigte Deutschland in Europa,” Europa Archiv, No. 23, 10 December 1990;

[xxviii] For a detailed survey, see Karl Kaiser, “Germany’s Unification,” in Foreign Affairs, Winter 1990-91, No. 1, p. 197.

[xxix] See Hüseyin Bağcı, Demokrat Parti Dönemi Dış Politikası

[xxx] See Seyfi Taşhan, “Some Factors Influencing Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy, in Armand Classie and Lothar Rühl (eds.), Beyond East-West Confrontation: Searching for a New Security Structure in Europe, Bonn, 1991, pp. 351-356.

[xxxi] For a detailed review of this conference see, The Military Balance 1987-1988, London, 1988.

[xxxii] Ali L. Karaosmanoğlu, footnote 12 ve Ali Arsın, “Das Neue Ost-West Verhathis, Ein Blink aus Ankara,” in NATO Brief No. 6/1990, November/December, pp. 16-20.

[xxxiii] See Seyfi Taşhan, footnote 30, and Türkkaya Ataöv, “Balkan Initiatives,” Turkish Daily News, 13-14 April 1991, p. 7.

[xxxiv] Duygu Sezer, “Turkish Foreign Policy in the Year 2000,” Association Ankara, 1989, p. 61, 113.

[xxxv] “Savunmada Modernleşme,” Güneş, 25 December 1990.

[xxxvi] Edward Mortimer, “Problem Awaiting a Solution,” Financial Times 8 May 1991; Christopher Ogden, “How Does Turkey Fit,” Time, 22 October 1990; Robert T. Zinti, “Missing Dividend”, Time, 13 May 1991. For the speech of Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, see “Türkiye İslamın Etkisinde Kalmamalı, Zaman, 27 May 1991. For three opinions critically evaluating Turkish-European Relations, see İsmail Cem, “Bizi Kim Savunacak,” Sabah, 13 May 1991; Ahmet Cemal, “Avrupa Düşüncesi ve Türkiye”, Cumhuriyet, 26 April 1991 and Hüseyin Bağcı, “The Spread of Democracy Has Reached Epidemic Proportions in Europe,” Turkish Daily News, 3 April 1990.

Visits: 231


                    THE CYPRUS PROBLEM (*)

                                             RAUF DENKTAŞ

      The search for a settlement of the Cyprus problem through inter-communal talks has been in progress since June, 1968. The success of the intercommunal talks must necessarily depend on identity of views on the diagnosis of the Cyprus problem.


The search for a settlement of the Cyprus problem through inter-communal talks has been in progress since June, 1968. United Nations Secretary-General, U Thant’s view of the talks in his last report (Do­cument S/10005 of December 2, 1970) is not very encouraging; the Greek Cypriot press has virtually established its position against the talks, calling for recourse to the U.N. General Assembly; the Turkish Cypriot press is equally despondent, and suggests from time to time that the guarantor powers (Turkey, Greece and Great Britain) and the two communities should tackle the problem; the countries which pay for the U.N. peace-keeping operation in Cyprus, or contribute men to the Peace Force, are showing increased impatience at the slow progress of the intercommunal talks. Yet the quest for peace continues; the two sides have not thrown in their hands, and in all Cypriot hearts, Tur­kish and Greek alike, the hope for “a just and permanent solution” beams on and off, like a search-light in the middle of a turbulent sea.

The success of the intercommunal talks must necessarily depend on identity of views on the diagnosis of the Cyprus problem. At pre­sent it is difficult to maintain that such identity has been reached.

The Independent Republic of Cyprus was not the desired aim of the Greek Cypriot leadership’s 1955-58 EOKA struggle. Because of Turkish Cypriot resistance to the desired Greek Cypriot aim of ENOSIS (union of Cyprus with Greece), and the consequent intercommunal strife which brought Turkey and Greece to the verge of war, the set­ting up of an independent republic became, for the Greek Cypriot leadership, the only way of attaining a feasible solution without abandoning the desired aim of ENOSIS. The Turkish Cypriot leadership was thus handicapped from the very beginning. All acts and declarations by the Greek Cypriot leaders during the 1960-63 period were tested in the light of the knowledge that the Greek Cypriot leadership would destroy the feasible solution of independence which was reached for the sake of their desired solution – ENOSIS. This was the background to the 1963 events. It was difficult for a political partnership to function where one of the partners continued to aim for a political end (ENO­SIS) completely alien to the spirit of the partnership.

The events which were to erupt in December, 1963, thus had a philosophy behind them, and they were neither accidental nor inevit­able. They were carefully planned, and formed the last link in a chain of calculated events designed to remove all those aspects of the agree­ments which forbade any move in the direction of ENOSIS. A Greek Cypriot document, now known as “The Akritas Plan” has since been published in the Greek press giving full details of the Greek Cypriot motivation as regards the 1963 events  (1).


It can thus be seen that the independence of Cyprus which was found to be the “just and permanent solution” to her problem was to be used for the same end (ENOSIS) which it purported to have prohi­bited as a sine qua non of peaceful cooperation between the two communities. The Turkish Cypriot fear that this intention still underlies all Greek Cypriot actions and proposals in the intercommunal talks conti­nues to be the greatest stumbling block. Unfortunately neither the Greek Cypriot press nor the statements made by the Greek Cypriot lead­ers help to alleviate these fears  (2).


  • Greek Cypriot daily Patris, April 21, 1966. See also Conspiracy to Destroy the Republic of Cyprus — Cyprus Turkish Information Office, 1969
  • Makarios: «I shall prove that I have never deviated from the national path, i.e. Enosis» Eleftheria, January 22, 1970.

But fears have to be cast off and suspicions curbed if a peaceful solution is to be found. Much depends on the attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. Passing off the Greek National Anthem as «the National Anthem of Cyprus» each time a foreign diplomat presents his credenti­als to Archbishop Makarios, playing this anthem as the closing-down tune on Cyprus television each night, having the word «ENOSIS» boldly printed in blue and white on all camps of the Greek Cypriot Army, the removal of the Turkish language from all road signs, and refusal to solve the problems of 20,000 Turkish Cypriot displaced per­sons are but a few of the overt Greek Cypriot acts which daily exas­perate the Turkish Cypriots. It is with this background that the search for peace continues.

What does the Turkish Cypriot side hope or wish to achieve in the intercommunal talks?

The answer to this question is simple. Turkish Cypriots want to retain the community’s political and juridical status as laid down in the 1960 agreements – a status of partnership with vested and undeniable rights in the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus. “The independence and sovereignty of Cyprus was won by our exertions and because of our resistance to Greek demands to colonize the island by uniting it with Greece. But for our resistance to ENOSIS during the 1955-58 period there would have been no Independent Republic of Cyprus”, say the Turkish Cypriots. It is because of this deeply embedded belief that the Turkish Cypriot side is averse to any move to treat the Turkish Community as a minority on the island- a move which forms the axis of all Greek Cypriot offers, and is hammered in daily by the Greek Cypriot press.

From the Greek Cypriot point of view, the problem can be resolv­ed “once the majority rule principle” is accepted. To them majority rule also includes “the right of the Greek Cypriots to decide the fate of Cyprus”, in other words, to decide on the union of Cyprus with Greece.! According to them, the fault of the 1960 agreements lies in the fact that ENOSIS is ruled out., and the independence and sovereignty of Cyprus are fully guaranteed.

The Turkish Cypriots’ partnership status and the community’s  recognized rights and    interests  in  the  independence,    sovereignty and territorial  integrity of the island give juridical   backing to these guarantees. That is why the Greek Cypriot side feels inclined to continue the present situation rather than endorse the rights of the Turkish community which, they know, will continue to bar the way to ENOSIS.

The intercommunal talks began in June, 1968, in the wake – and probably as a result – of the 1967 November crisis. Two Turkish villa­ges, Boğazköy and Geçitkale, had been attacked by combined Greek and Greek Cypriot forces as part of the pattern of overall Greek tactics to eliminate all Turkish Cypriot points of resistance one by one, Turkey’s
reaction  was quick;  a Greco-Turkish war became imminent.    At this stage Greece agreed to withdraw from Cyprus its occupation   forces – numbering some 12,000 men  – together with General Grivas,    their commanding officer    who was then at loggerheads    with Archbishop Makarios. The Greek Cypriot administration, on the other hand, promised full compensation to the Turkish villagers – a promise which  has only partly been fulfilled to this day!

In other words, the armed struggle of December, 1963 – Novem­ber, 1967 yielded no results. The 1960 Agreements, which the Greek Cypriot side thought would be thrown into the wastepaper basket, were still recognized as valid agreements throughout the world. Turkish Cypriot resistance was still continuing; no military victory had been achieved, and the de facto Greek Army presence in Cyprus had now been withdrawn. It was obvious, therefore, that to solve the Cyprus problem by armed force was an impossibility as long as the Turkish Cypriots resisted ENOSIS and Turkey backed them up in this resistance.

At the initial stages of the talks, it was necessary to eliminate subjects whose discussion would lead the negotiations nowhere. ENO­SIS, partition, and any solution based on geographical separation were included in this category. What remained to be discussed was inde­pendence and the means of cooperation between the two ethnic com­munities in running a joint enterprise. As there was neither victor nor vanquished, mutual concessions appeared to be the key to success.

Now, almost three years after the beginning of the talks, both sides claim to have come to the limit of the concessions which they can reasonably make. These talks were said to be of an unofficial and exploratory nature, and secrecy was considered essential for their suc­cess. Consequently, in discussing the difficulties encountered in the intercommunal talks one has to be careful not to cross the boundaries of discretion, or to divulge anything which has not so far been disclosed by both sides.

From 1960 onwards, the Greek Cypriot propaganda machine told the world that “amendment of the Constitution was essential for the better functioning of the state machinery”. Their ostensible reason for the 1963 troubles was projected as “crisis due to constitutional abnormalities”. In fact, of course, their main objective was to remove all those parts of the Constitution prohibiting any move towards ENOSIS by giving specific rights to the Turkish Cypriots. At the intercommunal talks, the Turkish Cypriot side showed willingness to accommo­date the Greek Cypriot demands for certain amendments, provided a) that they did not erode the Communal Status of the Turkish Cypriots, and b) that ENOSIS continued to be effectively barred. Another impor­tant question for the Turkish Cypriots was that of security of life and property. The Turks wanted a guaranteed regime which would prevent the tragedy of December 1963 from being restaged by the numerically greater Greek Cypriot side. The checks and balances introduced into the 1960 Constitution in the form of vetoes, etc. proved inade­quate, and the December 1963 events were planned and staged in spite of them. Now the Turkish Cypriot side, in considering a future arrange­ment, wanted “more real” guarantees in the from of full autonomy in local affairs.

It has been agreed that:

a)The two communities shall share the responsibility of running the government in proportion to the population ratio (80 % Greek Cypriot and 20 % Turkish Cypriot);

  1. Local autonomy shall be given to the two communites.

General agreement has been reached on the functions of autono­mous local bodies, although a few questions remain in abeyance on these. The difficulty seems to be in the interpretation given to the term “local autonomy” by the two sides. To the Turkish Cypriots it implies what it says: Autonomy in its proper sense. The Greek Cypriot treatment of the subject falls far short of this understanding. Hence the difficulty in resolving the conflict.

Other difficulties stem from the Greek Cypriot side’s refusal to reendorse the “functional federation” image of the 1960 agreements, under which the Government was shared between the two communites in agreed proportions, while each community had its separate Communal Administration for “communal matters”. It is this functional federation arrangement that has enabled the Turkish Cypriots to de­fend the independence of Cyprus from December 1960 to this day. The only concession that the Greek Cypriot side is willing to make is to “allow” the Turkish Cypriot side to retain its Communal Administrative set up – the Turkish Communal Chamber – without re-establishing its Greek Cypriot counterpart. Turkish Cypriot proposals for some solu­tion to this question of retaining the “functional federation” image have been turned down, thus increasing Turkish fears that what the Greek Cypriots are hoping for is the creation of a Greek Cypriot state – which the Turkish Cypriots will be treated at best as a “privileged minority”. The Turkish Cypriots feel that acceptance of such a status would gradually move the avalanche of ENOSIS, under which they would sooner or later be crushed. For the Turkish Cypriot side, there­fore, the preservation of the 1960 image of functional federalism is a sine qua non of any future agreement. “If the Greek Cypriot aim is not to use any future agreement as a ‘springboard for ENOSIS’, they should have no difficulty in accepting our proposals on this issue”, argue the Turkish Cypriot leaders. And this, really, is the crux of the whole mat­ter. The Greek Cypriot approach to the problem is alien to the establish­ment of an independent Cypriot State. In the absence of a Cypriot nation, any attempt to base the State on one of the two communities while treating the other as a minority would, in fact, be an attempt to create a new transitional Greek State in the Mediterranean as a prelude to union with Greece, it is this Greek Cypriot tendency “to make Cyprus Greece” which caused the 1963 troubles, and continues to hamper the progress of the intercommunal talks. If Cyprus is to con­tinue as an independent country, its government and administrative set-up have to be based on the recognized and agreed rights of the two ethnic communities.

The persistent attempt in Cyprus to gloss over this reality and to confuse the issue by importing into it questions of minority-majority rights do not infuse the Turkish side with confidence. Akritas’ Plan is still on record, and actions taken in accordance with its terms are not yet past history. The Turkish Cypriot side’s attempt to underline the community’s rights and status and to provide for adequate mea­sures for protection of life and property must be viewed in the light of an existing Greek Cypriot plan to Hellenize Cyprus by hook or by crook, and to bring about ENOSIS by using any agreement which falls short of it as simply a transitional one, called “the feasible solution” which is to be used toward the desired objective of ENOSIS.

In short, the difficulties which lie ahead cannot be minimized; questions of principle on cardinal issues are still far apart, and the chances of bridging them in the near future seem rather dim. But the fact that a “search for peace” still continues, and that guns have been silent in the Island while the intercommunal talks have been in prog­ress, nourish the hope that a solution to this thorny problem will be found through peaceful means – as, indeed, it must.


                 (*) Published in the fpi Quarterly “Foreign Policy”, Vol 1, No. 1

Visits: 192




A prominent Turkish Statesman, Prof. Nihat Erim, who later becamethe Prime Minister of Turkey, has been involved with various phases of the founding of the Cyprus Republic and subsequent crises. Some of his personal recollections as given to the editor of “Foreign Policy” quarterly  in a special interview will no doubt become a significant contribution to the writing of Cyprus history.


My first involvement with Cyprus dates back to 1956. The then Prime Minister Mr. Adnan Menderes asked me, as a professor of law, to study and elaborate an internationally acceptable legal basis for our position on Cyprus, which had  then become a national issue. I went to the Foreign Ministry and studied the file. Up to then our official claim was based on the Treaty of Lausanne : We argued that we had trensferred Cyprus to Great Britain by the Treaty of Lausanne. If Britain wanted to leave the island it should be returned to its original owner, i.e. to Turkey. I considered this legally inadequate even though it could be sustained politically on the ground that the Lausanne Treaty had established a Turkish-Greek equilibrium in the Mediterranean where Cyprus played a pivotal role. From the legal point of view, however, if the sovereignty of territory was uncon­ditionally transferred to another country, the original owner could have no control over the new sovereign regarding the fate of that land.

In studying the subject, I recalled a certain provision of the United Nations Charter, in the formulation of which I had taken part at the San Francisco Conference in 1945. This clause was discussed and prepared at the committee which I had attended : Paragraph (b)| of Article 73 stated: «… to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspiration of the peoples”. Much discussions had taken place at the committee whether to use the word “people” in the singular or in the plural. In the end a consensus was reached that in many countries which had not yet attained self-government not only one but more than one people lived, whose aspirations had to be taken into account separately. Therefore, the plural form “peoples” was preferred.

In my report to the Government I stated : «lt is quite obvious that today in Cyprus two seperate peoples live. Admittedly Greek people on the island constitute the majority, but there is also a Turkish people with separate religion, separate language, separate past, separate future, separate hopes and aspirations that cannot coincide with those of the Greek people. While self-government demands of the Greek people were to be satisfied, the aspirations of the Turks had also to be taken into account and satisfied.”

The Government adopted this thesis and I was assigned with the task of presenting it to our delegation to the United Nations. As a result, this point was included in the Turkish presentation to the United Nations General Assembly of 1957 as an addition to our arguments based on the Lausanne Treaty, and the Assembly resolution of that year referred to a solution acceptable to “all parties concerned”, which without mentioning the term specifically, included both Turkey and the Turkish Community in the island.

Even before the United Nations discussions, upon the demand of the British government a draft constitution was prepared by Lord Radcliffe in 1956. His proposals were based on the existence of two separate communities in Cyprus which were to be co-partners within a dual government with two heads. At that time I visited Cyprus, discussed the situation with the then British Governor – General Sir John Harding and with the leaders of the Turkish Community and presented our counter­proposals to the Radcliffe draft. But due to the Greek hopes that they could obtain better terms from the United Nations, progress could not then be achieved on the Radcliffe draft. Later on in 1958, Mr. Harold Mac Millan put forward another plan which was  rejected by the Greek Government and by Archbishop Makarios. However, the Radcliffe constitutional proposals inspired the subsequent London and Zurich Agreements and the constitution we prepared in 1960 for Cyprus.

I was not involved in the preparation of the London and Zurich Agreements, but I was in the preparation of the Cyprus constitution. Prime Minister Menderes asked me to head the Turkish delegation at the mixed committee to prepare the constitution. We began our work in Cyprus and we worked for a while in Lausanne because the neutral advisor of the committee, Prof. Bridel, could not leave his chair at the University of Lausanne. The constitutional preparations lasted from the beginning of 1959 to March 1960 and during one year we spent 183 days in Cyprus. The crucial point on which it was difficult to agree was the rights of the executive organ. Achbishop Makorios was unable to reconcile himself to the notion that he had to share his Presidential powers with a Turkish Vice-President. The chief Greek Cypriot negotiator was Mr. Clerides and Makarios pushed him aside and wanted to negotiate with me directly. After a certain time he led the discussions to a rupture and I left Cyprus. Eventually Athens and Ankara agreed on the necessity that the clause in the Zurich Agreement relating to the powers of the executive be included in the constitution without change. This settlement was included in toto in the constitution which was at last accepted by Makarios. The aim of the Archbishop was to dilute the Zurich Agreement by including provisions favorable to himself, and we did not allow this to happen. I believe this point is extremely important since it explains all further actions by the Archbishop. After Cyprus became an independent state, all the faits accomplis he tried and the disputes he created have been based on his initial opposition to allowing the Turkish Vice-President to become his partner in running the state and sharing his authority. In 1963 he visited Ankara and during his discussions with Prime Minister İnönü he objected to the existence of seperate municipalities, the right of the Turks to veto the budget, etc., etc… While the constitution was being negotiated he had wanted to eliminate all these provisions. The Turkish Government responded to him that these were points on which agreement had been reached in the course of the London and Zurich negotiations and had become part of the Cyprus constitution; therefore, they could neither be diluted nor reinforced and he had to live with these provisions and share the Cypriot state with the Turks.

Nevertheless, ever since the Cyprus Republic became an independent and sovereign state he has attempted to upset the dual balance in his own favor by unilateral action. I must point out that the principal aspi­ration of Archbishop Makarios and most of the Cypriot Greeks is Enosis, that is to unite the island some day with Greece. Makarios hoped in 1963 that he could achieve this through a fait accompli by benefitting from the domestic problems of Turkey. But the attitude of Turkey and the heroic resistence of the Turks on the island prevented him. He repeated his action once again in 1967 when Mr. S. Demirel was Prime Minister of Turkey. He also stood firm and Makarios failed again. After 1967 the United Nations increased its interest in Cyprus and provided for intercommunal talks which continued on and off until 1974.

However, between the preparation of the Cyprus constitution in 1959 and Prime Minister İnönü’s visit to Washington in 1964, I was not invol­ved with developments or decision making on Cyprus. On this trip Prime Minister İnönü asked me to travel with him as a parliamentary advisor and I accepted. As is known, in the beginning of 1964 President Johnson had prevented a Turkish landing in Cyprus through a rather strange, harsh and threatening letter which had caused much resentment in Tur­key. In order to erase the effects of this letter President Johnson made an effort and invited the Turkish and Greek Prime Ministers to Washington, and stated that he wanted to settle this problem in a manner that would satisfy the Turks. He said that for this purpose, he would appoint Mr. Dean Acheson, one of his much trusted aides, and asked Prime Minister İnönü to appoint a similar Turkish personality to talk with him. Prime Minister İnönü said he wanted to designate me as his representative. Prime Minister Papandreou of Greece would arrive two days after us in Washington and would also be asked to appoint a negotiator for the Greek side. The original proposal of President Johnson was that the rep­resentatives of the three countries should be closeted at Camp David and kept there until they reached an agreement, say within two or three weeks, if necessary. İnönü accepted this proposal. Mr. Acheson was intro­duced to Mr. İnönü. The meeting took place on a yacht on the Potomac River and a declaration was prepared. As written by Mr. Acheson, the declaration reaffirmed the validity of existing agreements as a starting point for a new solution mentioning «…the binding effects of treaties”. Makarios wanted to change the constitution and we did not object to changing it, provided the binding effects and results of the treaties in force were taken as a basis. We accepted this and left Washington for New York. Mr. Papandreou arrived in Washington while we were in New York. We were told that Mr. Papandreou accepted the principle of tripar­tite discussions to take place among Turkish, Greek and American rep­resentatives; however, he wanted the discussions to take place under the United Nations umbrella. The United Nations Secretary General should appoint the mediator, who would be Mr. Tuomioja of Finland, and the discussions were not be held at Camp David but at Geneva so that they would not carry an American label. President Johnson accepted the proposal of the Greek Prime Minister.

While we were in New York we received the news that General Grivas had landed on the island and we were shocked to hear this news. We were told, however, by our American colleagues that this should not be considered a bad development since General Grivas had gone there to fight Communists and we should not worry about   his activities.

Soon afterwards we arrived in Geneva to start discussions; there we were to meet again another Greek demand. The Greek Government stated that their delegate could not attend a tripartite conference. They would negotiate individually with Mr. Dean Acheson and we should also talk with him alone. Mr. Acheson should try to reach a conclusion through these separate talks. The Turkish Government was agreeable also on this point, because what was important for us was Mr. Acheson’s propo­sals, and we accepted the Greek suggestion. Acting with remarkable good will and appreciating the political and legal justifications for the Turkish case, and Turkey’s desire not to resort to the use of force and security requirements, Mr. Acheson put forward a proposal which has bean known as the First Acheson Plan. This Plan provided a line from Akantou Pass, East of Kyrenia to the east of Famagusta — this portion of the island — and East and North of this line was to be left to Turkey. Turkey would have the right to maintain in this zone a military force of  divisional strength, thus assuring its security. Furthermore as the Turkish settle­ments were spread all over the island in such places as Paphos, Lymasol, Larnaca, Kyrenia, Omorpho, Famagusta, and Nicosia as well as many other localities, the creation of approximately eight Turkish cantons was also envisaged in the plan. I took this plan with me to Ankara. A Coun­cil of Ministers meeting was held in which I also participated. Our Go­vernment accepted it and authorized me to discuss it. The discussions lasted for some time. We had accepted the principle of a geographical separation, but we had certain qualms about placing a military force of a division within such a small area, where there would be little elbow room and no space for an air base. Yet all these points could be dis­cussed  further once this   principle was accepted by the  Greek  side.

In Geneva Mr. Acheson informed us that Mr. Papandreou had also accepted this plan, but since it was going to be carried out by Arch­bishop Makarios his view and concurrence had also to be obtained. Prime Minister Papandreou invited Archbishop Makarios to Athens. As soon as I heard of this invitation I lost all my hopes for a settlement because I could easily guess, on the basis of my experience with him during the constitutional talks, what his reactions would be. Indeed after a few hours of discussions with the Greek government in Athens the Arch­bishop left the meeting and told journalists that this plan was ac­tually a partitioning of the island even though its real name was not mentioned. He categorically refused to accept it. He denigrated Mr. Acheson as “a self-invited mediator” and claimed that a solution could only be found by the United Nations. Mr. Acheson was very upset, but there was another fait accompli.

After a few months, on August 8, 1964, the forces of Archbishop Makarios again attacked Turkish settlements in the area of Erenkoy-Mansoura, and we attacked these forces with our aircraft. The Greek forces were scared and they halted their operation. The United Nations Security Council met and asked Turkey to stop its operations. Yet Ma­karios could advance no  further.

We returned once again to neutral Geneva, and Mr. Acheson one day invited me and presented a proposal which he said was not his own but that of the State Department and of President Johnson, and he began to read from a telex message. The proposal rescinded comp­letely the original Acheson plan. There was no longer to be a separate geographical area belonging to the Turks, but merely a very small mili­tary base to be leased to Turkey just north of the British base at Dikelia. There was to be no turnover of sovereignty, and the base was to be leased by the Cypriot government. I had with me our military advisor, General T. Sunalp. As soon as we heard this we said that there was no point in elaborating further on a proposal which we would be unable to discuss, because our authority was confined to the original proposal. Mr. Acheson requested us not to reject the proposal then and there. The plan was being at that moment presented to the governments in Athens and Ankara, and they could reject it. Our discussions terminat­ed on this point and the proposal was rejected the same day by Prime Minister İnönü when it was presented to him by the United States Ambas­sador to Ankara.

During these discussions and the subsequent ones I reached the impression that there were two schools of thought which clashed in the State Deportment. One was represented by Mr. Dean Acheson, who had told me during a visit to Washington that Turkey was the only strong and stable country which the United States could depend on in this part of the world. All other considerations must remain secondary. He believed that Turkey’s legitimate demands should be satisfied, and she must be strengthened. It was with these considerations in mind that he had actively worked for Turkey’s admission to NATO yesterday and that he had prepared today his original plan for the future of Cyprus. On one occasion he had jokingly confided to me that the State Department considered   him  as   an  old-fashioned   Nineteenth  Century   diplomat.

The other view, which I believe was that of Mr. Dean Rusk, conside­red that the United States policy should be to keep both Turkey and Greece on the same footing, without hurting the feelings of either. I also believe that Mr. Kissinger’s policy has been similar to and even stronger than that of Mr. Acheson.

Much later, in 1971 when I became Prime Minister, I was once again interest – this time as political decision taker – in the Cyprus problem and I received a favorable response from Mr. Papadopoulos. My thesis was the following one: We are nearing the end of the Twentieth Century. Relations between states cannot be run in accordance with the menta­lity of Archbishop Makarios, who is basically a Nineteenth Century priest wishing to run a chauvenistic state. We have an excellent opportunity. On Cyprus two communities live side by side in a de facto federation. How nice it would be if they could make it operate. Turkey and Greece have so many points of common interest and have so much reason to be friends and allies that it would be a great pity to ignore these simply to please Makarios. Twenty years later the statesmen of both countries would laugh at us and scorn our policies. Let us not create such a situation. Through our Ambassador in Athens and through the Greek Ambassador in Ankara, Mr. Papadopoulos informed me of his agreement and expressed his similar thoughts: but his response stipulated that we improve upon Turkish-Greek relations without awaiting a solution to the Cyprus question (‘). I informed him that this was not possible. So long as there remained a Cyprus issue Turkish-Greek relations could not possibly be improved. In Cyprus the Greeks had shed much Turkish blood, Greece has to clean this blood away. Neither I, nor any other Turkish Prime Minister could succeed in developing Turkish-Greek re­lations before the restoration of the legitimate Turkish rights in Cyprus, I knew that our interests demanded the improvement of Turkish-Greek relations, but I did not have power to do anything about it before some­thing was done in Cyprus. Messages kept being exchanged between myself and Mr. Papadopoulos through our Ambassadors with solemn expressions of good will. You will recall that during this period significant quarrels took place between Makarios and Papadopoulos. I do not know what was the real cause but I have a feeling that these exchanges had some effect on those quarrels.

Again at about the same time, that is in the fall of 1971, a Swiss pub­lisher by the name of Mr. Nagel asked to see me to present a message from Archbishop Makarios. He said that he was a close friend of the Archbishop and had seen him in Nicosia in September. The Archbishop had told him that he appreciated my qualities as a statesman since he knew me during previous negotiations and that he believed a solution could be found to the Cyprus problem if he and I could meet, and he was ready to come to Turkey to see me. I gave him the following reply: “This is all very interesting. I know his qualities as well, since I negotiated the Cyprus constitution with him for three months. The Archbishop I know pretends that Turks on the island are a minority and he does not accept the principle that the Cyprus state is based on Turkish-Greek partnership. He claims that he signed the constitution under duress and he wants to get  rid of it”. I, therefore, asked the bearer of the message: ”Has Makarios changed his views? Does he admit that the Cyprus state is ba­sed on Turkish-Greek partnership ? If he does, we can meet at any time and indeed we can find a solution. But, first of all, I would like to receive an answer to my questions”. Mr. Nagel said that I was quite right, and I heard nothing further from him or from the Archbishop.


I took up this matter further during an offical visit to Paris in the beginning of 1972. During that trip at a reception in the Turkish Embassy I met Makarios’ envoy to Paris, Ambassador Modinos, whom I knew very well. I told him about Mr. Nagel’s visit and my reply to Makarios. He said that he did not know anything about it. But I insisted that he should con­tact the Archbishop and raise the matter with him; he promised to do so and to inform the Turkish Ambassador in Paris. As far as I recall, there was no response from him and this initiative failed to bring any reaction from Archbishop Makarios.


(1)  Editor’s note :   For a comprehensive Greek view see :    “Turkish-Greek  Rela­tions”, loannis Tzounis.  Foreign Policy, Vol. I. No. 2.


       (*) Published in the fpi Quarterly Foreign Policy, Vol. 4, Nos. 2-3

Visits: 318

Turkey’s Policy towards Iraq in the post-Saddam era – Tarık Oğuzlu

Turkey’s Policy towards Iraq in the post-Saddam era


Tarık Oğuzlu[1]


US Policy in Iraq during 2003-2006

US Policy during 2003-2006 period can be described a pro-Kurdish, as Kurdish groups received strong US support. This period provided 3 important gains for Kurdish groups. The first one is the article 140 of the new Iraqi constitution which states that Kirkuk’s final status is to be decided through a referendum. Secondly, Kurdish Region became a federal area and the Iraqi Constitution defines Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) region as a federal unit in Iraq. And lastly, Kurds gained influential positions in state administration such as the presidency of Mr. Talabani.


Another aspect of US policy in this period was about the containment of both Shiite and Sunni forces. After US take over, Sunnis were excluded from the Iraqi body politics. The goal was to consolidate de-Baathification. At the same time US aimed at eradicating the roots of the Al Qaeda in Iraq through the cooperation of Shiite militias as there was no possibility of an alliance with Sunni groups against Al-Qaeda or resistance groups. In 2003-2006, US tried to exclude Iran from the game as a legitimate player. After the end of military campaign against Saddam Hussein, Iraqi army was disbanded and new Iraqi forces were to be established. The US military plan was just to do the clearing the ground from any unwanted group and activity. Holding the ground and rebuilding it, would be undertaken by Iraqi forces. This strategy, however, proved to be wrong.

US policy in Iraq since early 2007

When we came to 2007, US understood that Peace with the Sunni Arabs was necessary to fight the Al-Qaeda and Baathist resistance. Therefore US increased its support to Sunni groups such as the Sunni Awakening group and the Sons of Iraq. Understandably the US support increased the strength of the Sunnis and The Awakening has now at least 100000 men under arm, for instance. Through its support to Sunnis, US goal was to see that the Sunni forces are reintegrated into the Iraqi army and the new political elections, local and general, ease the way for Sunni representation in state administration. Since the early 2007, the beginning of the surge strategy, more troops are needed to provide stability and security in Iraq. Now Sunni Arabs are in the payrolls of US administration, too. De-Baathification strategy which was aimed at during 2003-2006 period needed to be reversed. In addition to that previous US strategy to clear and leave to Iraqi forces was redefined as clear-hold-build. This time the US soldiers do the fighting and stay in the war zone to consolidate the gains. They do not turn over the field over to the local Iraqi forces after the war came to an end. The US goal was redefined as to win hearths and minds of the Sunni Iraqis.

Another change was seen in the attitude towards Iran as well as Syria. It is now the case that the Washington administration has now been in the process of altering its exclusionary approach towards Iran and Syria, as the voices of traditional realists are now being heard more often than the neo-con demagogues. The need to talk to Tehran and Damascus in order to contribute to the emergence of long-term stability in Iraq and the region has now become more pronounced in Washington than ever. Reconciliation with Iran was seen necessary to have lasting stability in Iraq. Therefore Iran’s support is needed to have control over Iraq’s anti-American Shia groups. This resulted in such a deal like; the US would not support the Iranian regime’s opponents in Iraq. In return Iran would help the US secure Sadr’s agreement to a ceasefire. Sadr group declared ceasefire in the summer of 2007 and cease fire was extended in April 2008. This fact constitutes a main factor for the positive results yielded by the surge strategy. As the surge strategy proved functioning and level of violence decreased in Iraq, the issue of pulling back American soldiers from Iraq has been debated more vociferously then ever. The best way to succeed in Iraq before withdrawing is to tie the decision of withdrawal to clear benchmarks, success of the Iraqis to settle their problems at home. It is important to keep in mind that the satisfaction of Arabs, both Shia and Sunni, is more important than the satisfaction of Kurds for long-term stability in Iraq. A strategy that primarily relies on Kurdish support, at the expense of Arabs, particularly Sunnis, would never work. The Kurds do now have to fight at two fronts, Baghdad front and Ankara front. Kurds are in fight with Arabs over Kirkuk, the share of the oil resource, the limits of regional government, the budget, and Turkey over Kirkuk and PKK. The Americans would likely side with the Arabs over Kirkuk, for they have increasingly become dependent on their cooperation.

Indications of new strategy to tilt towards Arabs

For the United States to leave Iraq as soon as possible as claimed by the majority of Iraqis and foreseen by the presidential candidates, Iraq should turn to a stable and secure place. For this to happen, the satisfaction of Arab demands, particularly the Sunnis, is important. The change in the US policy from relying on Kurdish support to provision of Shia and Sunni satisfaction for long-term stability in Iraq inevitably have had positive implications for Arabian side of Iraqi. First of all, the referendum on Kirkuk is postponed for six months till June 2008. Sunnis and Shias form a common block in Iraqi parliament to resist the Kurdish claims on Kirkuk. They have even made it clear that they could resort to force to overcome any Kurdish fait-accompli on the status of the city. Even though the local elections in Iraq will be held in 2009, the Kurdish region will be excluded from this process. Elections in Kirkuk will not be held unless the parties to the conflict came to an agreement as to how to share power in Kirkuk. The Kurds agreed to this term. This is a sign of victory on the part of Arabs and Turks. In addition to that the Americans are now supporting the Arabs’ policy on the sharing of Iraq’s oil resources. The final decision on the production, use and distribution of oil rests with the Central authority in Baghdad, not regional governments. Last but not least the Kurds could get only 17% of Iraqi budget. They asked more than this but Sunni and Shia Arabs resisted. The proportion of Kurdish share will be discussed every consecutive year. On the Turkish side, The US administration does now offer Turkey military help against PKK. PKK is declared as the common enemy of Turkey and the US. Collective action of the US and Turkey against PKK increases the pressure on the Kurds to cooperative with Ankara. Improvement of bilateral relations is a must for stability in the Middle East and Iraq. The US does now need Turkey to contain Iran. Such developments led the Kurds to feel that the United States might once again leave them out in the cold, as it did during first Gulf War in 1991.

Prospects for Future

On the on hand, Shiites are not happy to see that the Sunnis are reintegrated to the Iraqi body politics and army. They are still afraid of the possibility of Sunni domination of Iraqi politics. They are reluctant to incorporate the Sunni soldiers into the Iraqi army. At the same time Iran is against the possibility of Iraq transforming into a centralized state with Sunnis playing the role of power brokering. In this regard, Turkish and Iranian policies are in conflict. The more centralized Iraq become, the happier Turkey becomes. For Iran, a more decentralized Iraq is much welcome. On the other hand, US lenience on Sunni Arabs is also motivated by the US concern to counterbalance the rising Iranian influence inside Iraq and the whole Middle East. The Sunni regimes of the region support this American policy within the framework of their goal to limit Iran’s influence. On the Kurdish side, there is a dissatisfaction to see that the Arab influence in Iraqi politics is increasing and supported by the United States.

The most important concern for the future is what might happen after the US leaves without the roots of any everlasting peace were built in Iraq. The strengthening of Sunni tribes might be perceived by the Shiites and Kurds as the most important challenge against their communal gains in the post war era. The US strategy resting on Sunni tribes might in the end result in the deepening of communal conflicts. The United States is now advised to ask the Iraqi groups to settle their differences before the withdrawal of American troops. Withdrawal should be tied to meeting of certain preconditions on the part of the Iraqi groups. Each actor appears to have been trying to gain time and consolidate their own gains before the US leaves. None of the conflicting parties in Iraq seems to be working hard for the unification of the country and establishment of a truly democratic state. In one way or the other the forecasting of Joseph Biden and Peter Galbraith are coming true, the soft portioning of Iraq along sectarian lines. For US to be able to start a healthy withdrawal and leave a stable Iraq behind in which no one power is dominating the main body politics or threatening the security of the country, the Status for Forces Agreement needs to be signed as soon as possible.

Why Iraq is Important for Turkey?

Turkey has historical responsibility for the maintenance of Iraq’s borders and any change of this structure will undoubtedly influence Turkey’s interests. However, the significance of Iraq does not only stem from the historical aspects, its relevance to Turkey does also emanate from Iraq’s geopolitical location. Whether Iraq is going to remain as a unitary state or morph into three new states, whether Iraq is going to operate as a strong centralized state or transform into a weak federal structure, whether Iraq is going to become a pro-Western secular country or turns into a theocratic state in the image of Iran are of significant questions with respect to Turkey’s regional interests in the Middle East.

In addition to historical and geopolitical factors, demographic issues make Iraq a crucial region for Turkey. Iraq’s population includes substantial number of Kurds and Turkmen, who have kinship relationship with Turkey’s own people. Such kinship relationship between the two populations denies Turkey the luxury of keeping itself immune from Iraq’s internal developments. Iraq is also a factor in Turkish bid for EU membership. Iraq’s future and Turkey’s responses to that will undoubtedly impact Turkey’s relations with the European Union and the US. And finally, the future of northern Iraq and the power vacuum there impacts Turkey’s fight against PKK.

Turkey’s Iraq policy during the 1990s

Iraq’s territorial integrity was considered as vitally important for the preservation of Turkey’s own security. Despite the repressive and authoritarian character of Saddam’s regime, the writ of Baghdad’s rule over the whole country was seen as the most important break on the separatist and secessionist claims of Kurds and Shiite groups. In the post-Saddam era Turkey became tremendously concerned with the political status of the Iraqi Kurdish groups. Turkey was also concerned with the possibility of the PKK benefiting from the lack of authority in northern Iraq in its efforts to organize terrorist attacks inside Turkey. While Kurdish groups increased their power and influence thanks to US support, Turkey gradually saw Iraq’s Turkmen community as a possible source that might potentially counterbalance the rising Kurdish influence. The existence of the Turkmen community in Iraq was also a concern in Turkey’s relations with Iraq. However, Turkey’s approach towards this particular issue was that Iraqi Turkmen were Iraq’s citizens and the improvement of their well-being depended on the nature of the relationship between Baghdad and this community.

Turkey’s Iraq Policy after the regime change

First of all, Iraq increasingly transformed into a weak/failed state during the 1990s. Iraq has now transformed into a place where different kinds of wars are waged simultaneously. On the one hand, Sunni insurgents fight the American occupiers; on the other Al-Qaeda terrorists fight both the US-led international coalition and Iraq’s mainly Shiite groups. Another struggle has been between the Shiite and Sunni groups. Another one is between the Kurds and Shiite on the one hand and Sunni groups on the other. Another war is currently waged between the US and pro-American Sunni regimes on the one hand and Iran on the other. While the main concern during the 1990s was Iraq’s explosion, it is now Iraq’s further implosion.

Secondly, the political future of Iraqi Kurds has increasingly become one of the key factors in Turkey’s own Kurdish problem than ever. The fear on the part of Ankara has been that if Iraq’s future were to reflect ethnic differences, the ethnicization of Kurdish question in Turkey might gain ground. Whether Turkey’s Kurds would be growingly attracted to the emerging political authority in northern Iraq has become a question that Turkey’s security policy makers do now take into account while defining Turkey’s national security interests. Political developments in northern Iraq have led the international community to pay more attention to the situation of Kurds of Turkey more than ever. At the same time the success of Turkey’s efforts to eliminate the PKK terrorism at home has been negatively impacted by the PKK’s increasing ability to use northern Iraq as a logistic area.

Thirdly, given that Turkey’s transformation in line with the premises of liberal-democracy is now considered to be the number one factor affecting Turkey’s chance of being admitted to the European Union, the more negatively Turkey’s security were impacted by the developments in northern Iraq, the less able Turkey has become to complete its democratization/Europeanization process. The continuation of the PKK terrorism appears to have slowed down Turkey’s democratization process, for in a securitized domestic environment the steps that need to be taken in the name of liberal democracy have increasingly been seen as threatening. Besides, Turkey’s exposition to growing security threats emanating from northern Iraq seems to have contributed to the EU’s reluctance to admit Turkey as a member. The EU public opinion does not want to see that the EU borders Iran, Syria and Iraq.

On the US- Turkish front, inevitably, the US occupation of Iraq has negatively affected Turkey’s relations with the United States. Despite all American attempts otherwise, Ankara has gradually come to the point that the current US government, under the influence of the neo-conservative ideology, has been punishing Turkey for its non-cooperation on the eve of the war in March 2003. The United States has been seen by increasing number of Turkey as a potential threat to Turkey’s security. Furthermore, the occupation of Iraq has also impacted the dynamics of balance of power politics in the Middle East mainly by contributing to the rise of Iran’s relative influence at the expense of Turkey. Even though Turkey would not like to see that she needs to increase her defense expenditure in order to counterbalance the rising Iranian power, Iran’s growing nuclear aspirations on the one hand and the declining of NATO’s security commitment on the other might lead eventually Turkey to reconsider its decades-long non-nuclearization policies.

As for the final status of the City of Kirkuk, Ankara has long argued that the referendum in Kirkuk needs to be postponed sometime in future. From Ankara’s perspective Kirkuk is a miniature of Iraq where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds have been living for centuries and its final status should be decided by all Iraqis. Otherwise, the incorporation of Kirkuk, an oil-rich city, into the Iraqi Kurdistan region would likely increase the prospects of a civil war, for the majority of Iraqis strongly oppose any Kurdish control of the city. As for the shape of Iraq’s administrative structure, Ankara supports the idea of a federal Iraq that is based on geographical criteria, rather than ethnic and religious differences.

Alternative Turkish discourses towards he Kurds of northern Iraq

When we look at the attitudes towards Kurds of Northern Iraq we witness two alternative competing discourses; realist-exclusionist vs liberal integrationist

To the adherents of the first position, realist-exclusionist and Kemalists, which mainly consists of the members of establishment in politics and bureaucracy, Turkey’s number one priority, should be to prevent the emergence of an independent Kurdistan. In this regard, Turkey should never accord legitimacy to Iraqi Kurds by talking directly to them. Gradual integration with northern Iraq is dangerous, for this might accelerate the process of reawakening of Kurdish nationalism in Turkey, particularly in Kurdish populated areas. To this view the United States and Israel actively support the emergence of an independent Kurdish state in the hope that such a state would not only provide Israel and the US with the capability to install anti-ballistic missiles against Iran, but also act a US protégée in the region.

To the other position, liberal-integrationists and neo-Ottomanists, whose adherents consist of liberal intellectuals and pro-European circles, there is now a new status quo in Iraq and the only thing Turkey can do is to adjust its position to these new realities and to adopt a liberal integrationist approach towards the Iraqi Kurds. The Kurds of Iraq are Turkey’s true allies, particularly right after the influence of Shia Iran has increased in the region. The Kurds and Turks do share many common points, of which their western orientation and secular characteristics come first. While the Iraqi Constitution itself recognizes the political legitimacy of the Kurds, they ask what Turkey would gain from turning a blind eye to the Kurds of Iraq? The more Turkey eradicates the structural causes of the Kurdish problem at home through liberal-democratic reforms, the healthier relations with Iraqi Kurds would turn out to be. Turkey should not overstate the potential danger of rising Kurdish influence in Iraq, for the Kurds need Turkey more than Turkey needs the Kurds. Turkey is the only outlet for the transmission of Kirkuk oil to western markets. Turkey does now own 80 percent of the construction sector in the region. Without trade with Turkey, the life in northern Iraq would be extremely costly. Trying to make northern Iraq economically dependent on Turkey would not only benefit Turkey’s economy but also provide her with better capabilities to affect Kurdish political decisions. Just as the EU influenced the nature of economics and politics in Central and Eastern European countries through the enlargement strategy, Turkey might play a similar role vis-à-vis northern Iraq. The region provides Turkey with the chance to prove its growing European identity in the realm of foreign and security policy. It remains to be seen which position holds sway over Turkey’s approach towards Iraq and Iraqi Kurds.

The liberal integrationists are gaining the upper hand in this debate. The ongoing Turkish military involvement attests to this: Goal is limited to the eradication of PKK, great effort has been spent to convince the international community to the legitimacy of a military action against the PKK, the EU and US do now lend legitimacy to Turkey’s actions, political relations with Iraqi Kurdish leadership is improving, Talabani visit to Turkey, the volume of bilateral trade is increasing.

Latest Developments on the ground in Turkey-US-Kurds-Iraq Relations

Several positive and promising developments have been noted in Turkish-US relations as well as the relations between Turkey and Iraq. The American and Turkish governments mended their relations and began to cooperate. The US does now provide Turkey with intelligence with respect to PKK presence in northern Iraq. The new Turkish Chief of Staff underlined that Turkish-American intelligence cooperation is now perfect. On the Turkey- Iraq front, we have seen the official visits of the statesmen on both sides such as visit of The Iraqi President Talabani in Turkey in spring 2008 and visit of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in Iraq in July 2008. Also, Turkish President will soon visit Baghdad in official capacity. This diplomatic traffic yielded positive results. The parties signed a document whereby they agreed to establish the Higher Strategic Council. Both parties underlined the need for close cooperation against PKK. On the other hand, the local election in Turkey in 2009 and the increasing PKK-led terror violence in this context might negatively impact the improving security environment between Ankara and Baghdad-Erbil.

[1] Assoc. Prof. Bilkent University

Visits: 207

Turkish-Russian energy cooperation: are there many prospects? Natalia Ulchenco

Turkish-Russian energy cooperation: are there many prospects?


Natalia Ulchenco[1]

2007 became the year when both Russia and Turkey had defined  their positions on prospects of cooperation in such important sphere as energy sources trade. In May 2007 presidents of the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have agreed to create a consortium for Caspian pipeline project.

The consortium is going to ensure the expansion of capacity of the existing gas pipeline Central Asia-Center-4 from 1-2 billion cubic meters per year up to 10 billion. For this purpose an additional pipeline along the Caspian coastline will be constructed. Besides the capacity of another existing pipeline Central Asia- Center-3, connecting Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia, is going to be increased up to  20 billion cubic meters per a year. So Russia is expecting to get about 90 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Central Asia by the year 2014 instead of 60 billion she is getting today.

As Russian side believes, the two above mentioned projects being the components of the Near-Caspian gas pipeline leaves practically no space for the alternative Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. But this alternative project is a key part of large-scaled international project NABUCCO which is expected to deliver Central Asian gas to the world market bypassing Russian territory but via Caucasus and further through territory of Turkey – to Western and Southern Europe. Russia’s strong conviction is that stocks of gas in the Caspian and Central Asian region are not enough to fill any other gas pipeline but the this one along the coast of Caspian Sea, even though the presidents of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan do not deny the opportunity that Trans-Caspian project can be realized as well.

Russia has tried to confirm her exclusive rights for importing gas from Turkmenistan when the new president G.Berdymuhammedov had just come to power. It seemed the new leadership in Turkmenistan looked at Russia’s plans favorable as the meeting of three presidents in Turkmenbashi city resulted in their mutual intention to realize the gas pipeline along the Caspian seacoast. The Russian side believes that this intention means that the Trans-Caspian project has been given up without any hopes. Simultaneously due to the increase in the supply of Central Asian gas, including gas from Turkmenistan, Russia may expect that gas purchases from Turkmenistan will increase in 2028 up to 70-80 billion cube meters per a year as now Russia is getting no more then 42-44 billion cube meters per a year.

The great importance Russia gives to the realization of the prospective gas agreements with Central Asian Republics is confirmed by the fact that just after Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit held this year in September in Tashkent special talks between Russian Federation prime minister Putin, head of Russian “Gazprom” company Miller from one side and the leaders of the Central Asian Republics from the other side took place. As a result new important details were agreed by the sides. For example, the construction of the new pipeline in Uzbekistan that is going to duplicate the existing one will be realized by joint Russian-Uzbek joint company created by Russian Gazprom and Uzbek “Uzbekneftegas”.

Just at the beginning of October 2008 a Summit of Caspian states was held in Astrakhan (Russia) where the intention to create a new regional organization- Organization for Caspian Economic Development was proclaimed. It seems Russia is going to use it as another instrument to fulfill the Near-Caspian gas project as the information on the new Organization was breaking together with the news that the construction works on the gas pipeline will start at the second half of 2009.

It seems Russian- Turkish gas cooperation could had become even closer as the increase of gas purchases from Central Asia creates new opportunities for Russia’s gas export to Europe, including new opportunities for gas export via Turkey’s territory. So the situation seems to be much like as it had already been more then ten years ago when at the end of 1997 an agreement was signed between Russian Federation and Turkey on the construction of «the Blue stream» gas pipeline. From the year 2003 the pipeline crossing Black sea delivers Russian gas to Turkish port Samsun. But in 1999 rather soon after the signing of the Russian-Turkish gas agreement the agreement between Turkey and Turkmenistan was signed. According to the agreement the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline was going to be constructed with the capacity equal to «the Blue stream»’s one – 16 billion cubic meters per a year. The Turkish side did not hide the aspiration to diversify geographically the sources of gas supplying. So Russia bearing in mind some doubts about the capacity of the Turkish gas market and geostrategic importance of Turkey’s territory realized that drastic measures had to be taken: it was necessary to reserve a prevailing share in the Turkish gas market, to leave no space for the competing gas from Turkmenistan and to get advantage in using Turkish territory for energy sources transit in the future. So in 2003 the Blue Stream was opened. The same year another important tactical step which had provided Russia with father success was taken: a 25-year agreement was signed with Turkmenistan. Under the agreement Russia got the right to  purchase all Turkmenistan gas which was not the subject of any other export contracts. So the Turkish side had to reject any other new gas suppliers except Iran who is providing gas through a pipeline of 10 billion cubic meters capacity per a year. Forecast on purchases of Turkmen gas by Turkish state company BOTASH remains extremely uncertain, their beginning may occur not earlier then 2020 and even 2020 is a big question[2].

A beat less then ten years later  in 2006 new project “Blue stream-2’ had just stared to be discussed between Turkey and Russia. This gas pipeline was going to duplicate “the Blue Stream 1” up to the Turkish port Samsun, but after that it was going to be continued to the South and to the West of Turkey and from there both to  Israel to Southern Europe. The construction of this gas pipeline was discussed in particular during in summer 2006 when President of Turkey Necdet Sezer had visited Russia. He stressed out that Turkish side expected Russian participation in construction of a gas pipeline from Samsun to Turkish Mediterranean port Ceyhan.

The favorable prospects for new project had been prepared earlier when in December 2004 Russian gas company Gazprom and her Turkish partner Botas signed the Memorandum for the development of gas cooperation. According to it  Russian side got the right to deliver gas to Turkish end users  directly from Russia or from companies affiliated with “Gazprom”. In response to this new opportunities at the Turkish market Russian side had agreed to provide  “the Blue stream” with international project status, and Turkey – with the transit country status delivering gas to the Southern Europe and Israel. The prolongation of the gas pipeline to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey was going to become the first step to the realization of the project. In the end of 2005 Turkey had changed  the national legislation to create space for  strengthening “Gazprom”’s position at Turkish gas market – the Russian gas company got the right to control the list of companies delivering gas to end users. So Turkey was expecting the Russian side to start using Turkish territory for gas transit. As Putin stressed out during Sezer’s visit “large investment projects are  on the agenda”. The words were considered to be a positive answer to the expectations of the Turkish side.

In the Summer 2006 Russian Minister of Finance A.Kudrin had informed, that “Gazprom” and Italian firm Eni, Russia’s partner in “the Blue stream” construction, were going to sign an agreement on joint construction of a gas pipeline Samsun-Ceyhan.

But the international status of Turkey has changed significantly during last period. One of the most remarkable changes is the new much deeper level of cooperation with EU: now Turkey is the official candidate for membership in the European Union who much cares about his energy security. Meanwhile the realization of « the Blue stream-2 » project could result in a contradiction between Turkey’s interests and interests of her European partners as the Blue Stream 2 realization would had meant no possibility to diversify the geography of gas suppliers  for EU countries. Therefore official representative of Turkey had recognized, that being adhered to the realization of « the Blue stream-2 » gas pipeline, they could not avoid serious problems in relations with the European Union as Turkey would have got the status of the unreliable partner in the European integration. Actually the system of foreign policy priorities of Turkey is precisely designated in the program of the government: « Developing relations with such large world actors in Eurasia as Russia, China, and Japan are not alternative to the traditionally stable relations with EU and the USA »[3]. It is also emphasized in the program that the «efforts of the government will be enclosed to realization of NABUCCO project assuming transportation of Caspian gas and gas from Central Asia via Turkey to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria»[4].

As the project is of strategic importance for Turkey, it is possible to suggest that one of the reasons Turkey’s activity in Northern Iraq at the end of 2007 was that in November the Hungarian side has expressed her doubts about Turkish ability to provide functioning of NABUCCO as Turkey was hardly able to protect the her territory against Kurdish terrorist attacks.

In turn Russia had defined her position on transnational gas projects. In June 2007 at the meeting of the heads  of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization member states  in Istanbul the president of the Russian Federation V. Putin had announced, that…« Gazprom » is concluding new agreements and, the company is interested to realize new contracts via new transport corridors»[5]. That was the way the Russian leader had commented the signing of an agreements between “Gazprom” and Italian company “ENI” just before the meeting in Istanbul. The new agreement meant by Putin was an agreement on “Southern stream gas pipeline”. It is going  to connect Russia, Bulgaria and Greece via Black sea and then to deliver gas up to the Italian cost.

So prospects on bilateral Russian-Turkish energy cooperation much more limited than one could imagine before had been determined. Some prospects in this area still exist, but they are less promising than could be. In particular they can be realized  through full usage of the capacity of « the Blue stream » gas pipeline. In 2007 t it had been pumped a little more than 7 billion cubic meters while the projected volume is about 16 billion cubic meters[6].

The last events in Russian- Georgian relations made Russia’s dialogue with Europe more difficult and actualized once again the security aspect  in energy sources import to Europe. As usual security means diversification of foreign gas sources. So it seems the international situation became even less favorable for development of energy cooperation between Turkey and Russia, including energy sources transit to the world market via Turkey’s territory. But may be not quite accidentally on September 2 2008 the parliament of Greece had ratified the agreement with the Russian Federation on the construction and operation of  the Southern stream gas pipeline within the territory of the Greek Republic. So not being sure of the prospects of NABUCCO  Greece has declared openly her intention to continue the energy cooperation with Russia. Besides, Italy, Austria, Serbia, Hungary and Bulgaria in spite of being potential participants of the NABUCCO had declared even before Greece their wish to join the Southern stream. But, all the above mentioned countries are already EU members that allow them to be more independent in their energy policy while Turkey is constantly and tightly controlled as a candidate country. Speaking on the phenomenon of that kind of independency the head of the international energy agency Nobuo Tanaka had stressed that nowadays each country of the European Union tries to sign bilateral agreements with the energy sources suppliers ignoring an opportunity of the policy coordination in EU. Of course it is not possible to forget about the special attention paid to Turkey’s activities in internal and foreign policy by her European partners. Nevertheless the rejection of the « the Blue stream 2 » project in favor of the alternative Southern stream bypassing Turkey but supported by EU leadership is another Turkey’s victim for yet not evident prospects for full EU membership.


[1] Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS

[2]2 См. www.botas.gov.tr

[3]См. Hükümet Programı. – www.basbakanlik.gov.tr

[4] Ibid.

[5] Российская газета, 26.06.2007

[6] См. www.botas.gov.tr

Visits: 261



İlter Türkmen

The political cohesion of the Alliance is a concept which goes beyond harmonization or concertation of foreign policy attitudes and initiatives. It is basically dependent on  the credibility of the deterrence, commitment to the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law which can only be materialized if all Allied countries have democra­tic system of government, the harmonization of the interests of mem­bers, the avoidance of prolonged conflict among partners and a dynamic pursuit of Alliance objectives.

(*)This paper was presented to the Turkish Atlantic Treaty Association Symposium on “NATO After Three Decades” in İstanbul on July 7, 1979

          Published in the fpi Quarterly “Foreign Policy” Vol.8, Nos. 1-2


Broadly speaking, the political cohesion of the Alliance is a concept which goes beyond harmonization or concertation of foreign policy attitudes and initiatives. It is basically dependent on the follo­wing elements: the credibility of the deterrence (nuclear strategic forces, theater nuclear forces, conventional forces), the commitment to the principles of democracy, individual liberty and the rules of law which can only be materialized if all Allied countries have democra­tic system of government, the harmonization of the interests of mem­bers, the avoidance of prolonged conflict among partners and a dynamic pursuit of Alliance objectives.

  1. Under prevailing international conditions, the security of the members of NATO rests mainly on the balance between the Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact. Although this balance reflects primarily the equivalance between the strategic nuclear forces of the United States and the Soviet Union, it includes such other factors as the ratio between the conventional forces of the two sides, the degree of political solidarity among the members of the opposing Alliance systems and the implications of the gains or losses of either side in the ongoing political competition in various regions of the world. The process of detente, despite its tortuous course, can foster the objectives of the Alliance only if the members of the Alliance can preserve their cohesion and are able to act in a way which would not permit the exploitation of detente with the aim of undermining their security.

On the other hand, political strength of the Alliance is based on the fact that at present all its members have democratic regimes, sustained in many of them by strong social structures, efficient and pro­ductive economic systems and superior technological performance, that they can display flexibility and adaptability in the face of the profound transformation affecting the world as a whole, instead of being entrapped in misleading slogans and stale ideological app­roaches, It is only by making full use of these advantages that the Alliance can, not withstanding the difficulties it encounters, achive progress in its quest of ensuring peace and stability, promote app­ropriate measures of arms control and disarmament and conduct East-West relationship on a mutually beneficial basis.

  1. The view that the defensive shield of the Atlantic Alliance can be effective only to the degree that it is based on the political solidarity between member countries has dominated the evolution of NATO since the very beginning. With the fading away of the nuclear superiority for the West, the advent of the era of the equivalence between NATO and the Warsaw Pact strategic nuclear forces, and the consequent increase in the risks inherent in a decision to re­sort to nuclear arms, the need to maintain a high degree of political cohesion among Alliance members has acquired an even greater Importance. This has led to a strengthening of the mechanism of po­litical consultations and to the enlargement of the scope of con­sultations to cover world-wide developments, especially those which have or might have a bearing on the global military and political power balance. The management of the relations with the East, the need to gear the process of detente in a way which would not be detrimental to the collective and individual interests of member countries has been still another factor inciting Alliance members to ensure a certain degree of parallelism in their policies towards Eas­tern Europe.

4.With the beginning of the policy of “peaceful coexistence” which the Soviets have adopted after the death of Stalin with the purpose of pursuing competition with the West with all means short of war, a greater harmony of views between the members of the AtIantice had become essential. It is to cope with this challenge that the NATO Council had set up in 1956 a Committee of Three Foreign Ministers to recommend ways and means of strengthening inter allied non-military cooperation. This report exercised a deep influ­ence on political consultations, underlining that there cannot be unity in defence and disunity in political viewpoints, the Report stressed the importance of making political consultations a habit. The Report pointed out that “the essential thing is that on all occasions and in all circumstances, member governments, before acting or pronouncing, should “keep the interests and the requirements of the Alliance in mind.” It was further said that a member government should not, without adequate advance consultation, adopt firm po­licies or make major political pronouncements on matters which significantly affect the Alliance or any of its members, unless circums­tances make such prior consultations obviously and demonstrably impossible.

With the development of East-West relations and the advent of the era of detente, the need of intensive political consultations among allies was even better understood. Under conditions of de­tente, the assessment of Soviet policies and the study of possible changes in those policies, the evaluation of the reaction to action by the NATO Alliance are essentia! for the fulfillment of the tasks incumbent upon the Alliance both in the military and political fields. In 1967, the Harmel Report had emphasized the need to deepen and improve the practice of frank and timely consultations.

  1. Although the system of political consultations has gradually evolved, it has not of course reached the level of coordination of action. The instances of coordination continue to be rare and this is understandable. NATO is not a supranational organisation and was not intended to be one. The decisions are taken on common consent and in matters not directly related to the treaty area the
    Alliance cannot and should not go beyond the harmonization of positions as a maximum objective and to a full and timely discussion among equal partners when the subject matter concerns the policies of an individual member with implications for the Alliance.

In discussing the political cohesion of the Alliance, the main question is, therefore, to determine to what extent the present con­cepts, procedures and practices can contribute to the objective of harmonizing policies and of preventing Allies from taking lines of action working at cross-purposes or from embarking individually on policies not compatible with the justifiable interests of other partners.

  1. Looking back, we can point to many failures of the system consultation as well as to many instances in which the system functioned efficiently. The first important failure occured in 1956, when Great Britain and France decided to intervene against Egypt, following the nationalization of the Suez Canal without informing in advance their other allies, including the United States.

Other instances incompatible with the concept of consultations can be mentioned, in particular the contacts which proceeded the normalization of relations between China and the United States, the Nixon-Brezhnev Pact on the avoidance of nuclear war of 1973 and the nuclear alert called by Washington during the 1973 Middle East War.

Against those failures of consultation within the Alliance, one could ofcourse  enumerate examples of encouraging results, in particular within the field of direct alliance responsibility, such as NATO defence and relations between Western Europe, the United States and the Soviet Union, on which extensive and in most cases trustful consultations took place. These are the Strategic Arms Li­mitations talks, the preparation and follow-up of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Mutual Force Reduc­tion negotiations.

  1. How much the process of consultation is indispensable was revealed once again in connection with the SALT Agreement. Although consultations on this question have been numerous and quite detailed, some implications of the Treaty concerning, in particular, the verification aspect have not emerged until the last moment. Some decisions related to nuclear defense in Europe and which has a bearing at least for future SALT talks have been adopted without consultations.

SALT 2 has involved only the United States and the Soviet Union. But, SALT 3 will have direct implications for Europe, as it will deal with weapons of the gray area. Disarmament and arms control are subjects which will therefore be discussed in depth and more intensively by the Alliance. It is in those discussions that the close relationship between defense planning and arms control and disarmament will have to be weighed from the point of view of the security of the Alliance. The Council will have to assess whether it would be more advantageous for the Atlantic Alliance to devise defense programs based on the introduction of new technology or to seek arms control agreements imposing restrictions to both NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the field of new weapons systems.

  1. One subject which is perennially discussed in NATO Council meetings without producing even a modest degree of harmonization is certainly the Middle East. From the geographical point of view, it has always been erroneous to view the politics and defense of the Mediterranean as entering into the field of direct responsibility of the Alliance, but to consider problems relating to policies towards North Africa or the Middle East as extraneous issues. Political developments and defense issues in the basin of the Mediterranean cannot of course be studied without taking into account the situation in contiguous areas, North Africa and the Middle East. To what extent, the security of the Alliance and East-West relations are affected by the developments in the Middle East have been recon­firmed by the reaction to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel and the events in Iran. It might be presumptuous to say that more intensive consultations on the Middle East would have enabled the Allies to foresee with more perspicacity the crisis in Iran, but it could have perhaps injected more caution in the policies which pro­ceeded from the comfortable assumption that there was nothing to be feared with regard to the long-term stability of that country under the Shah’s regime .Similarly, not enough attention has been paid to Afghanistan and policies towards Pakistan have been, to say the least, erratic.

We have now in the Middle East a situation which offers a combination of hopeful and dreadful perspectives. The NATO countries need more than ever a correct assessment of the developments in this area and should be able to prevent individual policies incom­patible with each other or directed to achieve opposite objectives.

  1. Economic policies are inevitably an element of defense and diplomacy. But the structure of NATO as an organisation does not allow it to tackle economic problems. On the other hand, it is becoming more and more obvious that in the discussions taking place in international economic and financial organisations, political and defense factors are far from being taken into consideration. In the light of the oil crisis of 1973, and particularly of the new shortages appearing after the events of Iran, the NATO Council should be able to develop a practice which would enable it to include in its evaluation work economic factors and to urge governments to be, in their approaches to problems in international economic organisations more alert to the security and political implications of eco­nomic decisions.

The shortcomings of the Alliance in the economic and financial field have received a new attention recently because of the economic difficulties experienced by some NATO countries, in particular Turkey and Portugal. In such cases, the Alliance should be able to assess the need of likewise countries for economic assistance in the light of the burden they carry in the field of defense, to bear in mind the consequences which would ensue for the Alliance if economic constraints provoke dangerous political and social explosions and encourage and urge its members to give weight to all those considerations in their bilateral and multilateral economic and financial in their bilateral and multilateral economic and financial policies and actions.

  • In proceeding to consultations, larger and smaller members have different perspectives. The large countries would like, to a maximum extent, preserve their freedom of action, but at the same time secure compliance by smaller countries to their policies and initiatives. The smaller countries on the other hand would like to have a feeling of participation, an opportunity to express their views on matters which can have repercussions upon them. They seek to commit larger members to consultations in emergency situations. Of course, the roles might easily be reversed and there might be instances when smaller countries, for varying reasons, would like to evade a commitment to support certain policies and approaches.
  1. The cohesion of an alliance is not only influenced by the degree of political consultations and harmonization of policies it achieves, The visible signs of interdependence and mutual aid are equally important. Member countries experience from time to time political difficulties or economic hardships. Even if the Alliance cannot cope with these problems institutionally, the members of the Alliance should act towards this country in a spirit of partnership and so­lidarity.

In principle, countries which have united their efforts for collective defense and committed themselves to political cooperation should have no enduring conflict between them. Disputes which might erupt between Allies should be settled rapidly in a way which would not affect the political solidarity and the military effectiveness of the Alliance. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. If, therefore, a dispute occurs between member countries, those which are not involved in it have the great responsibility of maintaining a strict neutrality, while endevouring in a discreet way to encourage the parties to negotiations. Nothing can be more damaging for the alliance if countries depart from this rule and try to bring pressure upon one of the parties by resorting to methods detrimental to the purpose of the alliance,

  1. In assessing the contribution of political consultations to the cohesion of the alliance, we have to examine the impact of the fragmentation of the process of consultation. Indeed, the process of consultation suffers at present from a double fragmentation. The separate consultations going on among the member countries of the European Economic Community and the new trend of holding exclusive consultations among some prominent members of the alliance in summit meetings, the most recent examples of such meetings, being the Guadelupe summit.

As far as consultations between members of the EEC are concerned, two considerations should be underlined. Firstly, although there can be no objection to intimate consultations within the framework of EEC to fulfill the purposes of the Rome Treaty, it is significant that these consultations are much more wide ranging and in depth than the consultations taking place in NATO. It can be argued that this is understandable, since the EEC aims eventually at a political union. But even if this is so, one should remember that the political objectives of NATO in a board sense, ecompassing also collective defense and equilibrium, detente and stability in Europe, imply by their very nature the same degree of political interdependence and cohesion as the EEC. The second consideration is that the EEC consultations are distracting from the need to consult between NATO members. What happens very often is that, once the members of the Common Market have discussed an issue among themselves, the United States is consulting with one or some members of the EEC and the NATO process is forgotten. In most international organisations and forums, as well as in various capitals, consultations among representatives of NATO countries have ceased to be practiced. In some forums, consultations among NATO members take place after consultations within the EEC and tend, therefore, to duplicate them in a perfunctory manner.

The strengthening and further development of EEC is certainly in the interest of the North Atlantic Alliance as a whole. No NATO country, non-member of the EEC can therefore oppose the close links between members of the EEC and their desire to harmonize their positions prior to consultations among all NATO countries. But no useful purpose is served if this process is used in a way which erodes the substance of the process of consultations in NATO. In matters which come also under the purview of NATO con­sultations, it should be equally in the interest of EEC members to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the views of non-EEC NATO countries before reaching joint EEC positions. In such instances, EEC  countries  can  perhaps  have  some  preliminary  consultations, but postpone the formulation of  joint or coordinated positions until after an exchange of views has taken place in NATO. On the other hand, on questions which are more related to NATO than EEC, the process of consultations can be conducted directly within the NATO Alliance,

  1. The Guadelupe typ of exclusive summit meetings affect consultations both in NATO and the EEC. That the United States, France, the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom, by virtues of their political, military and economic power, have greater responsibility in the international arena cannot be disputed. Close bilateral contacts between Heads of Government of these countries and harmony between their policies can only enhance the influence and effectiveness of NATO. But an institutional pro­cess of consultations “a quatre” or “a cinq” is another matter. This is found to create misgivings among smaller members which are understandably opposed to the idea of a kind of directoire of big powers. Even if they are subsequently briefed extensively, those countries will feel that some aspects of restricted consultations have been withheld from them or that they have been denied the opportunity of presenting their views before important decisions af­fecting them individually and the Alliance as a whole have been taken. There is a strong case, therefore, for abandoning Guadelupe type summit meetings unless there is a compelling reason for holding them.
  2. In its fourth decade, the Alliance will continue to be indis­pensable for the security of its members, and as an instrument which enable them to achieve their common political purposes.

In a rapidly changing world, in order to fulfill its mission, the Alliance will need to display more dynamism, more adaptability and a greater political cohesion. The Alliance has so far successfully met several challenges. But under existing conditions and in view of prospective political changes, political cooperation is  bound to become increasingly important.

Visits: 392





The “Atlantic Community” is an expression of  the unity of destiny and the identity of interest between the United States, Canada and Europe brought forth by the Second World War. The frictions, which have been intensified from time to time, between some European powers and the United States may lead to conclusions contrary to this reality.

Muharrem Nuri Birgi

(*) Published in the fpi Quarterly “Foreign Policy” Vol.3, No. 4


One of the most important realities brought forth by the Second World War and its aftermath is that unity of destiny and the identity of interest between the United States, Canada and Europe constitute a lasting geo­political fact and precept. The term “Atlantic Community”  is, therefore, an expression of this reality.

A near-sighted look at the frictions, which have been intensified from time to time during recent years, between some European powers and the United States may lead to conclusions contrary to this reality. However, ninety per cent of these frictions result from endeavours made not to des­troy the Atlantic Community but to adapt it to various developing condi­tions. Yet, if errors accumulate, long-term aims shall have been sacrificed in favour of short-term appearances, and if the dangers are ignored, this process of adaptation may be replaced by explosions and divisions. Des­pite the strength of the logic ordained by geo-political realities, history contains many examples of deviations from the path of reality simply be­cause of lack of wisdom.

The concept of the Atlantic Community has in the North Atlantic Trea­ty Organization found its most comprehensive and effective legal and political expression and military organization.

Within its overall political balance, Turkey has secured the support and cooperation required both for its development and security by basing its place in the Atlantic Community on legal foundations, through its membership in the Council of Europe and associate membership in the Common Market on one hand and through its entry into NATO on the other. Yet, a number of developments are taking place both within Europe and in the relations between Europe and the United States. In the face of these developments what is the present position of Turkey and the state of the foundations on which it has based its policy?

The principal points of  these developments may be sketched as follows :


1 – The arrival, following the Second World War, at a point of maxi­mum solidarity and togetherness in the Atlantic Community within the fra­mework of NATO, from the military standpoint, and through the Marshall Plan, as well as a number of bilateral treaties, from the economic view­point.

2 -Then came a gradual attempt to show the cooperation with theUnited States and its military protection as an American domination over Europe, with the increasing frictions between the two shores of the At­lantic and the transformation of these frictions into a viscious circle through increasing economic and technological rivalries.

3The continuation of two divergent currents among the advanced European powers, one aiming at the realization of the United Europe and the other creating obstacles for this unity – due to economic rivalries and attempts at establishing political superiority – runnning parallel to, and in­teracting with the frictions and rivalries which I mentioned above.

For the Western powers, which had come out of the Second World War in a state of utter exhaustion, two vital necessities existed in all their gravity : to achieve an early economic recovery, and to reach the capa­bility of resisting an invasion by Soviet Russia, the danger of which had be­come imminent. While all these needs were secured by the United States through NATO, the Marshall Plan and several bilateral treaties, the pri­celess value of this tremendous protection and assistance of the United States could not but have psychologically crushing, and even in certain respects irritating, aspects. However, so long as a fear for life, and eco­nomic exhaustion dominated the picture, this aspect of the matter was hardly felt.

The unprecedented economic and technological development of Wes­tern Europe and the success of Soviet Russia in transforming the Cold War, which carried with it the danger of a real hot war at any moment, into a form of detente, pushed the fear for life into the background (in many circles it altogether disappeared), and economic and technological rivalry began between the United States and the advanced European pow­ers, which not only no longer needed American assistance, but had reached its level in many fields.

At the same time, a situation began to develop, of direct interest to Turkey. The attitude of highly advanced powers in Western Europe to­wards their developing European allies began to change. Time has shown that the principal factor leading the highly developed powers in Western Europe to firmly embrace their less developed allies within NATO, as far as possible under conditions of equality, was the fear for life created by the probability of an armed invasion by Soviet Russia. In actual fact, this danger of Soviet invasion has not at the present day been eliminated. But as I pointed out above, Soviet propaganda has, with an excellent knowledge of the weaknesses of the West, succeeded in wrapping the Cold War, which presented the danger of turning into hot war, with the cloak of detente. Today, no one can claim that any one of the NATO countries is facing the danger of becoming a victim of an armed Soviet invasion in a matter of days or months-and possibly years. Yet, the frightening scale of increase in Soviet arms, their establishment of naval superiority in all seas and their failure to end activities for creating division among the allies and particularly for separating Europe from America and for destroying every one of them from within, their failure to refuse to go beyond a certain point in both discussions for mutual arms reductions and for the estab­lishment of security and their anxiousness to maintain at such points mi­litary and political superiority to the other side-in other words to weaken the other party – should be considered as evidences to dissuade everyone from claiming that the danger of Soviet invasion is over. Particularly those countries geographically in critical locations are compelled not to over­look the possibility that this danger may, all of a sudden, turn again into an armed invasion.

However, at this moment, particularly in highly developed western countries, the existing detente is considered by the majority as an irre­vocable step towards peace. A large portion of those who are not so opti­mistic wish to believe that through untiring political pressure and leader­ship in setting a good example, and by establishing a political and psych­ological atmosphere of security, the arms may indeed be reduced some day; in other words, putting the cart before the horse, they wish to believe that instead of establishing security through a genuine disarmament, it would be easier to get the parties to drop their arms by creating an at­mosphere of security through a number of promises regarding the observ­ance of human rights, non-agression and friendship. In this miscalcula­tion of the existing dangers and over-optimism, much influence is due to the younger generations which have not gone through the chilling exper­iences of the Second World War and its immediate aftermath, and who listen to the story of those days as if they are listening to a dull lecture of a pedantic professor.

All these have contributed, in the developed western countries, to pushing matters of defense into the background, and bringing economic and technological problems to the foreground. The situation being as it is, the highly developed western powers have started to play the part of a sort  of  first-class  United  Europe among themselves,  throwing   aside or drawing in their wake those who happen to be less fortunate in economic development.

The countries which have made great progress in commerce, industry, economy and technology certainly have problems to discuss and resolve among themselves. In fact, within the Common Market there are countries like «the Nine» on one side, and other associate members like Turkey which are candidates for full membership – countries which through their own volition have agreed to become full members after a certain period of time. However, the Nine have expanded the nature of their communion. There is today an institutionalized Nine. Their ministers or prime ministers meet officially not only to discuss economic matters but also to resolve political and military problems and to determine a joint basis for discus­sions with the United States on political and military matters.

To express it nakedly, those members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (including Turkey) which are outside the Nine are now faced with the fait acompli that a number of questions are either presented to the NATO Council in an already well-defined manner as predetermined by the Nine, or these could be put into execution even without consulting NATO. We hear that the Nine inform their NATO allies which are not among the Nine of matters they have discussed if and when they consider it appropriate. There is no need to stress that this can never be accepted as satisfactory.

If in the course of relations between Europe and the United States – which I will deal with a little later – there is a necessity for a number of prior consultations and preparations among the Europeans – not to es­tablish a front against the United States but to enhance the existing cooperation – there is a Eurogroup within NATO formed for this purpose. This should provide a medium, and not a treaty within the treaty, for those European Allies who might wish to come together regularly to discuss the sharing of defense expenditures, manufacture of arms, etc., and naturally Americans and Canadians should be regularly kept informed. Why then have not the Nine considered this procedure adequate and why have they turned themselves into a separate institution? Here it becomes necessary to make an analysis of the French attitude.

France, even before de Gaulle, had considered itself as the leader of Europe. This claim has lead France to conflicts from time to time with Britain and Germany. Ever since de Gaulle’s advent to power, the French political scene has been dominated by the conviction that the prerequisite for establishing French supremacy in Europe was getting American hands off Europe. Even after de Gaulle’s death, in other words today, this con­tinues to be so. This policy, which exceeds the potential of France, has made its most evident effect felt within NATO. The well-known de Gaulle statements, could be summed up as follows : “The North Atlantic Treaty and its organization, NATO, are separate things. I am staying in the Treaty, but I am withdrawing from NATO, that is, from the military organization and integration of the Treaty.” France has advanced a unilateral theory which is extremely hard to defend logically and legally. Without with­drawing its hands completely from the NATO military organization, i.e. by mainting contact through a number of observers and through other for­mulas, France has established a “national strike force” including nuclear arms but having a limited practical value. In defense of its action France argued openly or by implication that the United States could not be trusted; therefore one had to rely on national forces and that Europe should have a nuclear force independent of the United States. In reality, however, the membership of France within the military organization of NATO was not at all an obstacle to France’s developing a nuclear strike force of its own. In fact, Great Britain has a nuclear force which is at least as big as that of France, but Great Britain has not left the NATO inte­gration. Moreover, while de Gaulle stated that Europe should have its own force he did not conceal that France would not agree to share its own nuclear force with other European countries.

My purpose is not to criticize the French policy but merely to state the reason why the «Nine» behave as if they have thrown NATO aside. Since, in order to reach a common position in a community, it is customary to reach an agreement on the basis of the maximum acceptable to the dissenting partner, the dominant view among the «Nine» has generally been that of France, which does not participate in the Eurogroup within NATO and which claims that since, where the United States is present its views weigh heavily, European issues should be discussed only in those parleys where the United States is not present. Recently a French paper, referring to the tightening of the rope by the French Foreign Minister al­most to the breaking point on every occasion, stated that this might lead France’s allies to get used to acting eventually without France. Considering the position of France within the West European community, this guess may not be one hundred per cent true, but in certain matters, one may think, it is not absolutely wrong either.

Looking at the present state of the «Nine», quarrelling on almost every economic issue, anxieties of superiority and egotism making themselves apparent in political matters, one might think that such a community should not be highly effective and could in any case hardly replace the NATO Council. This would be a shortsighted conclusion and should not  be an excuse for Turkey  to remain outside  the door of the  «Nine»  as far as political and military matters are concerned. Since Turkey is not yet a full member of the Common Market, it may not be possible for it to demand full participation in all meetings of the Nine. However, a sui generis practical solution can be found for its participation in discussions on such vital issues as defence, security, East-West relations, and the future of European unity. We are living in an age of empiricism and pragmatism; in politics a way out can always be found to every problem when there is a will. This problem, which is a simple one, should be no exception in this general atmosphere of pragmatism. Casting aside the doubts on the efficacy of the «Nine», there is a problem of principle : if we are a part of Europe and if we are a member of the Atlantic Community, all that this necessitates should be carried out. The problem is beyond being an issue of pride or prestige. It is a matter of serving the needs of our foreign policy and of our basic interests.

In saying this I fully realize that alongside what the «Nine» should do for us, we sould not forget that there are many things we also have to do. To become part of the community formed by the developed members of the Atlantic Community, which is the brain and main source of the present civilization where technology, industry, commerce and culture play an ex­tremely important role, requires an early approach to their level of devel­opment. Otherwise, there are bound to be differences between us, and the effects of these differences will be felt at the most unexpected moments. It is hard to say that the present development and progress of Turkey rep­resents the maximum of its potential. We have to mobilize, in a scientific and systematic manner, all our energy and means because the time is over for consoling ourselves by boasting of some results obtained here and there.

In this connection I wish to add my belief that considerations such as “does Turkey belong to the West or to the East? Turkey should choose one” refer not to the conditions of today but to those of the past centuries, because, with the elimination of sense of distance, comrnunication be­coming a matter of moments, and civilizations interacting with each other, the division of the world into parts such as Europe, Asia, etc. has almost become meaningless in many respects. Today even the most fanatical states accept modern technology and the way of living composed by it. The only way for us is the one followed by almost all the countries of the world: i.e. to attain a level of industry, trade and culture which allows everyone in the country to benefit from prosperity. We believe that the most abundant possibilities and methods for attaining this are to be found in the Atlantic Community, of which we are a part thanks to the opportun­ity created by our geo – political position. We have to make up for the time lost without delay.

I would like to pass over now to the relations between Europe and the United States.

There is still not a unified European position, attitude or voice. As I pointed out above there is a French position which is unique and which can even be described as anti-European unity in some respects. Even within Benelux (Belgium, Holland, and Luxemburg) sometimes different voices are heard. Although Germany and Great Britain have common points, they also differ in details.

Despite all these differences, in European countries – even including France in certain respects – and in the United States, there is a conviction that both sides depend on each other. !n the beginning of my article I stat­ed that the Atlantic Community was a constant geo-political reality re­vealed by the Second World War. This reality creates the hope that cer­tain frictions that now exist between the developed European powers and the United States have after all a ceiling; in other words, the rope may be tightened but it will not break. The fact that even France does not object to the stationing of American Military Forces in Europe and feels it ne­cessary to state its attachment to the North Atlantic Treaty might be considered as a sign of hope in that respect.

Immediately after the Second World War, a sort of balance was es­tablished between the worn-out Europe and the United States, a super­power which played the role of a protective parent – a relationship between the protector and the protected. Now what is involved between the enriched group of European powers claiming a personality and the United States is a balance of partnership. The difference between the two situations can be reduced if realism prevails over mutual sensitivity. Then a trouble – free transition from one to the other would become possible. Furthermore, its status of super power gives United States a position of su­periority vis-a-vis European powers, which are unable to unite and coor­dinate their energies, and the assessment of the measure of this superi­ority brings forth a number of highly delicate issues.

A review of the current points of friction would reveal that most of these are between the developed countries and the United States. In other words, these are not problems of direct concern to Turkey, but, without any doubt, in the long run these will a!so concern Turkey, or at least their effects will be felt by us.

It is remarkable that even the proposal made last year by Mr. Kissen-ger for a new Atlantic Declaration and for sharing the burden of NATO de­fenses, which interests Turkey highly, smells of the current frictions between the United States and developed countries, in fact, the idea of a new Atlantic Declaration aims at eliminating the poisonous effects of the current frictions by sharing the NATO defense burden with developed countries and treating NATO defense matters as a whole together with economic and monetary issues.

My purpose in pointing out some peculiarities of the situation is only to emphasize that due to our position, which is not in direct conflict with the United States, there would be very rare occasions on which we would find ourselves in a situation compelling us to take sides in the disputes between the two coasts of the Atlantic. By saying this I do not mean that we should stand aside. On the contrary, in many cases, particularly as regards the Kissinger proposal I mentioned above, we have always to be very active. There may even be a possibility for us to act as a mediator.

The frictions between some developed European powers or groups of powers should not lead us to a search of conscience by attempting to answer such questions as “whether we should prefer the United States to Europe or Europe to the United States”. The policy that suits Turkey’s in­terests best is the Atlantic policy, as a Europe without the United States or a United States without Europe will always represent for us a lame and crippled policy. Such a policy has two fields of application : one is NATO and the other our bilateral relations.

The policy which we have been following for many years now cannot be described otherwise. However, implementation of this policy has not been adequately fruitful due to a number of rather psychological comp­lexes on our part.

I wish to conclude my article by enumerating these complexes :

  • — We turn our backs to issues which are not or do not seem to be convenient to us; whereas we should be interested or should take part in a number of situations or issues which are inconvenient to us; their feared harmful effects can only be eliminated or alleviated in this manner, not by leaving the field free for others.
  • — From time to time we restrict or blunt our initiatives by asking such outdated and senseless questions as “East? or West?” as I men­tioned above.
  • — Both within NATO and within the field of our overall policy we are interested in a problem only if and when it has an aspect that would affect us in an immediate future, in many instances, with the resulting passivity we have practically made ourselves forgotten.
  • — In a number of cases we have turned our attention to an issue only after it has matured and become hard to change, and thus we have become constant complainers.

5 — Generally our policy remains at the «defensive» level; i.e., we have generally found it convenient to prevent ripening developments or state our objections and work on the initiatives of others without making counter proposals of our own for the solution of the problems at hand.

It is possible for us to keep in step with the tempo of Western dip­lomacy, which is in continuous development, through a number of confer­ences, proposals, counter proposals, and official as well as unofficial contacts and communications, because we have enough men to succeed in this type of work if used properly.

Visits: 313

35. Anniversary Issue – Cold War Years -Seyfi Taşhan

Cold War Years


Seyfi Taşhan

Foreign policy formation in the United States is not always determined solely by military exigencies and Turkish-U.S. relations are affected generally from other overriding variable factors. There are four dates which signify turning points in the Turkish-U.S. relations. A review of what has happened on those dates would indicate the ups and downs of the Turkish-U.S. relations.


 I believe there are four dates which signify turning points in the Turkish-U.S. relations. A review of what has happened on those dates would indicate the ups and downs of the Turkish-U.S. rela­tions and how statesmen of both countries have addressed them­selves to the issues.

The first significant date is January 18, 1927 when the United States Senate, by six votes short, rejected the Treaty of Lausanne under the pressure of strong Armenian and church opposition which prevailed under an atmosphere of partisan political struggle. The Treaty, which ran almost parallel to the other Lausanne Treaty signed between Turkey and her former enemies, sought to regula­rize Turkey’s diplomatic relations with the United States, ended ca­pitulations and brought most favored nation treatment principles. At that time the Turkish reaction was expressed by Kemal Atatürk. As quoted by Ambassador Joseph Grew Atatürk said there was no foundamental reason why the United States and Turkey should not exist in complete harmony. He could not understand, however. «how it was possible in a country where culture and civilization form the keynote of the social fabric of the nation, that a fanatical minority could impose its will on an enlightened majority.»

This Congressional attitude, however, did not prevent the estab­lishment of diplomatic relations, nor did it assume a permanent character of hostility on the part of the U.S. Congress, although anti-Turkish propaganda has continued on and off to blacken the Turkish image in the United States.

In the subsequent years it was possible to maintain mutually satisfactory relations because the basic objective of the United Sta­tes was confined to the protection of its traditional missionary, phi­lanthropic, cultural and economic interests in Turkey. Since U.S. was politically disinterested until the Second World War in the Middle East, there was no conflict of interest. During the same period United States was a good trade partner for Turkey’s traditional agri­cultural products. In the 1923-1941 the balance of trade between the two countries every year favored Turkey. From 1920s to 1939, the political non-involvement of the United States was a factor of great weight in determining the American role in the Turkish eco­nomic development. One interesting constant picture has been the nature of Turkish exports to the United States. Tobacco accounted for 73 % of Turkish exports to the United States in 1938 and in 1976 it accounted for almost  90 % of Turkey’s exports to the same country.

The United States was in the second place as the purchaser of Turkish goods, and seventh as an exporter to Turkey. Capital goods constituted fifty per cent of American exports. Outside one or two still-born attempts, U.S. capital Investments in Turkey, were negligible. The reasons given for this, lies more in the Turkish atti­tude towards foreign capital. The new republic, which was still under the shadows of the Ottoman capitulations, “tended to judge con­siderations of a national character from a political, rather than from an economical standpoint.” I believe this observation still maintains its validity.

In the international political scene there was not any major problem or conflict between the United States interests and those of Turkey. It might be worthwhile to mention, though, the United States attitude concerning the Turkish Straits. This attitude was initially formulated by President Wilson in his program for Peace of January 8 ,1918. In Point Twelve dealing with the Ottoman Empire he said in part: “… and the Dardanelles should be permanently ope­ned as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.” In early 1930s when Turkey be­came rather concerned with the security of the Straits due to the rise of the power of the Axis and informed the signatories of the Lausanne Treaty of its intention to revise the status, it also infor­med the United States. The United States then thought that it had no treaty right, direct or indirect with respect to the Straits Conven­tion or any concern with  the military and political aspects of the

problem. U.S. maintained this position until the end of the Second World War.

The United States attitude towards the Middle East and Turkey began to change somewhat during the Second World War. By the beginning of the War, Turkey had a clear idea of the intentions and ambitions of Stalin concerning both the Turkish Straits and the revival of Tsarist ambitions to reach “warm waters”. Turkey was also threatened by Mussolini and the expansionist danger of Nazi Germany. In order not to be dragged into the war from which Turkey had no chance of coming out intact and independent, Turkish leaders were forced to play the delicate policy of balance. On December 3, 1941 President Roosevelt extended “lend-lease” assistance to Turkey. In 1944 he declared that the United States had vital interests in the Middle East, although the British Government was held responsible for Allied actions in the area. The “lend-lease” was not made subject of an agreement between the two countries but during the War Turkey continued to receive American defense material and services. An agreement was signed only on February 23,1945 which stipulated that the aid would terminate at the end of the War, which was soon to come, and Turkey would be left only to whatever military aid she could get from Great Britain.

During the War, against Turkish worries about Russia, the U.S. interest was focused on the war with the Axis and Japan and a somewhat wishful-thinking prevailed about the Soviet Union. It is for this reason that the U.S. had a benevolent attitude at Yalta and Postdam towards Soviet requests concerning the Turkish Straits. Furthermore, the United States did not favor the entry of Turkey into active war against Germany. In 1944, the United States Chief of Staff indicated their approval in principle but warned that the United States should not be committed to military, naval or air support of any campaign in the Balkans. This was due to U.S. concentration on the Western Front.


The second date which marks another milestone in Turkish-U.S. relations is March 12, 1947 when President Truman announced his famous Doctrine in a joint sitting of the U.S. Congress. The proclamation of this Doctrine not only marked a change In U.S.- Turkish relations but in the global policies of the U.S. as well. I need not outline here at length the details of the developments that led to this change, but refer briefly to several points which culminated in the reassessment of the U.S. policies.

It was as far back as in 1940. Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov had proposed Germany as the Soviet price for collaboration with the Axis, a new regime for the Turkish Straits, with bases and provision of joint defense and had declared that the center of gravity of Soviet policy and interest lay in the area south of Baku and Batum. The Soviet policy did not change after the War.

During the Potsdam Conference, Soviet Union wanted to have the question of Straits and Soviet territorial demands on Turkey to be taken up directly between Turkey and the Soviet Union. While President Truman disagreed with the first, he agreed that the latter could be resolved between the two countries.

The change in the U.S. credulence in peaceful intentions of the Soviet Union did not come abruptly. First, change came in 1945 when the United States came close to Turkish view regarding the Russian demands on the Turkish Straits and in 1946, U.S. began to be interested in the territorial integrity of Turkey. On April 6, 1946 on the occasion of the Army Day, President Truman expressed U.S. interest in the Middle East area where he stressed no country had interests which could not be reconciled with those of other nations through the United Nations. The same day U.S. battleship Missouri was paying a visit to İstanbul. As early as in January 1946 President Truman was convinced that the Soviets intended to attack Turkey. Unless they were “faced with an iron fist and strong language, another war was in making.”

Soviet pressures on Turkey, which were conducted in keeping with Lenin’s famous teaching: “In a bayonet attack when you hit mush continue; when you hit rock withdraw,” did not disappear but res­cinded in the face of the resolute attitude of the Turkish Government and people, and the reaction of the United States and Great Britain. The change of attitude of the United States did not originate from Soviet menace on Turkey alone. The Soviets had probably overplay­ed their hands in the entire area. Greece was immersed in a civil war, where the Communists seemed determined to take over, and in Iran they were attempting to set up pro-Soviet regional governments. It was the regional character of the Soviet challenge that actually led to American action to defend Greece, Turkey and Iran.

For a white there was a division of opinion in the United States concerning military support to Turkey. Britain had expressed its de­cision to abondon their military aid to Turkey. George Kennan, one of President Truman’s major foreign policy advisors was of the op­inion that emphasis should have been placed on “firmness of dip­lomatic stance, not on military preparations.” His fear was that U.S. military aid might provoke Soviet aggression. However, the United States did in the end decide to come to provide military aid to Tur­key. Kennan suspected that “what had really happened was that the Pentagon had exploited a favorable set of circumstances in or­der to infiltrate a military aid program for Turkey in what was sup­posed to be primarily a political and economic program for Greece.”

Nevertheless, in his message to the U.S. Congress on March 12, 1947 President Truman was announcing his Doctrine by declaring that the United States was prepared to assist both Greece and Tur­key in defending their independence. If Greece fell under the cont­rol of an armed minority its effect on Turkey would be immediate and serious and confusion and disorder might well spread throughout the Middle East. For this purpose he asked an allocation of four hundred million dollars of aid to be spent for supporting the shat­tered economy of Greece and provide military aid both to Turkey and Greece. Deterrence against Soviet armed aggression had become one of the general goals of the United States foreign policy. Mars­hall Plan, Korean War, formation of NATO, CENTO and SEATO in the following years might be considered as concrete steps towards this foreign policy goal on which there seemed to be a general public consensus in the United States. As far as Turkey was concerned, Truman Doctrine did not have the effect of an alliance which the Turks felt was necessary for two basic reasons: First, the deterrence quality of the Turkish-U.S. military cooperation would be enhanced, and secondly, the volatility of the U.S. public opinion on matters con­cerning Turkey might once again play a trick and Turkey might have been abondoned. Therefore, Turkey looked on to NATO as an ins­trument that would secure alliance with the United Satetes. Di­sappointment was great when Turkey was left outside NATO when it was formed. The United States undertook only to “accord friendly and careful consideration to the security problem of the Turkish Republic.” European partners of NATO were also against the exten­sion of the Pact to include Turkey. The objections that are being ad­vanced today in some European countries against the inclusion of Turkey in the European Community were put forward between 1949 and 1951 against Turkey’s admission to NATO. These objections ranged from strategy to religion. However, Turkish participation In the Korean War and the skillful diplomacy that was followed culminated in the membership of both Turkey and Greece within NATO. Turkey looked towards NATO membership as establishing a defini­tely Western identity long cherished by Atatürk, considered U.S. al­liance as the greatest and best support for Turkey’s economic and security problems and in fact gave predominance to Allied interests which were considered as Turkish interests as well.

The Americans were given almost a free hand, with bi-lateral executive agreements, in making whatever defense and security arrengements they deemed necessary, including permission to build military bases and allow U-2 flights and station nuclear warheads. The Turkish mlitary forces were standardized on American patterns and the entirety of it were placed at the disposal of NATO. During that period Turkey and the United States cooperated for the conc­lusion of the Baghdad Pact, which became after Iraqi revolution, CENTO. Turkey tried, with the Balkan Pact to provide some security to Marshall Tito. It is admitted that while Turkey provided full sup­port to and laid emphasis on its relations with the United States, it ignored the sentiments and feelings of its neighbours, especially Arabs, and its action to organise a regional defense system under the Baghdad Pact became counter-productive with the extension of Soviet influence to the Arab World by-passing Turkey.

In the economic field, as from 1950, Turkey adopted the principles of liberal economy in the hope that integration with Western economies and the assistance to be provided by Turkey’s allies would enable her to achieve rapid economic development and inc­rease the welfare of the Turkish people who had long suffered eco­nomic deprivation.

While Turkey had obtained the military support and cooperation from the United States both in the form of Treaty guarantees and in actual fact, there was a difference of understanding and concept regarding the sense of alliance between Turks and Americans. As Ambassador Parker T. Hart points out “arkadaş”, the Turkish word for friend and ally, literally means “the one who walks behind you” i.e. to protect your back. «For twenty five years the attachment of the Turkist people to the United States was that of the “arkadaş”, affectionate, grateful and ready for sacrifices. Yet, the United States looked on the alliance with Turkey not in this sense but in the sense of cooperation with a basically alien country for limited purposes. This conceptual difference as well as inability of the Turks to meas­ure politics in terms of economy, created a number of difficulties. The United States was not prepared to underwrite the financial cost of a rapid development of Turkish economy. It was ready to provide whatever economic assistance it had to in order to keep Turkey away from economic collapse. In 1950’s Turkey’s attempts to bring American private capital in substantial quantities failed, and Turkey was led from one foreign exchange bottleneck to another. For vari­ous factors, the United States, instead of providing more assistance on a regular basis, pressured Turkey to reduce the rate of its eco­nomic development and change its priorities from more consumption to more exports and tourism. This basic attitude still continues to be a source of friction in the present decade.



The third date which is from the Turkish viewpoint a milestone and signify a change in the character of the Turkish-U.S. relations is June 4, 1964 when President Lyndon Johnson wrote to Pri­me Minister İnönü “…Furthermore, a military intervention in Cyprus by Turkey could lead to a direct involvement by the Soviet Union. I hope you will understand that your NATO Allies have not had the chance to consider whether they have an obligation to protect Turkey against the Soviet Union if Turkey takes a step which results in Soviet inter­vention without the full consent and understanding of its NATO allies.”

Only seven years ago when Soviet Union was extensively arming Syria, Turkey had taken certain defensive military measures along her frontiers. These measures had infuriated the Russians and in an interview on October 9, 1957 Mr. Kruschev had said that if a war broke out, Turkish resistance would not last even for one day. U.S. State Department has issued a statement the next day in which the U.S. Government had pledged itself that “if aggression took place against Turkey, U.S. would fulfill its obligations within NATO and aid Turkey with all its power.” Much had changed in the U.S. attitude.

Until the end of 1963 Turkey’s leaders had not only maintained their fullfledged and almost blind support of Western Alliance but at the same time had rendered service to U.S. interests in the region even though some of these interests had clashed with Turkey’s regional interests. Johnson’s letter, obviously written in haste, reflected a shift in the U.S. priorities and in assessment of threat resulting from Khruschev’s policy of “peaceful co-existence”, brought certain perplexities to Turkish minds on the very nature of its ties with the West and even on its own identitiy card. Questions began to be asked loudly in the Turkish public opinion whether Turkey had been placing too much reliance on Western and U.S. alliance, There is no doubt that President Johnson’s letter had initiated a chain of course corrections in the conduct of Turkish foreign policy, as well as certain new currents in Turkish domestic policies.

There are arguments that Johnson’s letter might have been given more emphasis than it really deserves. For some people, it is quite clear that on the question of Cyprus, the United States was bent to­wards supporting the Greek case, and Presidnet Johnson had cho­sen to blackmail Turkey to accept a de facto situation. On the other hand, the supporters of his action would claim that a Turkish-Greek conflict would in effect destroy the validity of the Atlantic Alliance in the region. Both arguments have certain justification. There is no doubt that there is a basic difference in the United States attitude towards Greece and Turkey. The existence and influence of the Greek community in the United States and intermingled economic interests, not to mention historical attitudes towards Greece, establish a special bond of relationship between Americans and the Greeks. This added dimension had been neglected by the Turkish public opinion since many years. Turkey and Greece were included together in the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, NATO and even were made associate members of the European Economic Community and they were treated equally. As regards Cyprus, Turks had expected equal treatment, too. Until 1964 U.S. attitudes had been equitable. Turks were realizing that Western attachment to Greece was so dear that they might even put the position of Turkey into jeopardy.

Later on, I will take this subject once again within the frame­work of principles guiding the relations of Turkey and the United States.

The realization that both the United States and West European powers would not take concrete steps in resolving the Cyprus ques­tion in an equitable way, brought a shift in the conduct of Turkish foreign policy. By perceptible degrees Turkey abondoned its mono­lithic pro-U.S. and Western stance and entered into a phase of a multi-faceted policy. Turkey decided to respond favorably to Soviet overtures which had been continuing since Stalin’s death in 1953 for a rapprochment between the two countries. Turkey tried to improve its ties with the Third World countries, the Arab World and the Socia­list bloc. I would call the period after 1964 a phase of disengage­ment in Turkish-U.S. relations. While NATO adopted the flexible res­ponse strategy, the United States began its low profile policies. In the process of detente that actually began to encompass relations in Europe, the American debacle in Vietnam, the advent of EEC, China and Japan, the changes in weapons technology, the rise of Soviet naval power were factors that changed the international cli­mate and led to reassessment of international relations and strategic doctrines. In 1967 the renewed Cyprus crisis and the Vance mission partially satisfied Turkish objectives but these did not bring a solu­tion to the question which flared up once again in 1974. I distinctly remember talking to an American diplomat on the day President Nixon signed Moscow declarations which initiated detente process in 1972. He asked me, “Now, that U.S. and Soviet Union ended the Cold-War what will Turkey do?”

The last turning point I will mention is 1974. Not July and August 1974 when Turks landed and carried out two military operations in Cyprus, but December 18, 1974 when the United States Congress im­posed an arms embargo on Turkey effective from February 5, 1975. Once again clock had been turned back to 1927, The United States Congress under the influence of the Greek lobby had dealt a heavy blow on Turkish-U.S. relations. Atatürk’s incredulity in 1927 once again dominated Turkish minds. This time though, more effectively, because in 1927 there were no security relationships between Turkey and United States, and the two countries were not allies. In any event, the two situations had certain similarities. The Turkish reac­tion to the Congress’ action this time was more profound also for another reason. That is the pluralist nature of the Turkish society. This character had reduced the freedom of action of statesmen In Turkey in overcoming the harmful political implications of the em­bargo. Nevertheless, it was up to the statesmen of both countries to overcome the effects of the embargo motivated crisis in our re­lations. I would say they have succeeded by their sober and far-sighted actions and cooperation to eliminate substantially the crisis stage of our relationship, although it must be admitted that it will never be possible to return to the days of euphoria that prevailed during the fifties and early sixties.

By referring to four dates which marked substantial changes in the Turkish-U.S. relations I tried also to give a rough idea of the history of these relations during the past fifty years. To put it briefly, these relations turned from friendly relations between two distant countries, into a partnership and alliance which in turn became as George Harris termed it a “troubled alliance”. There is no dispute in both countries on the vital necessity of this alliance, but outside that, there seems to be many differences. It would be necessary therefore, to dwell  briefly on the nature of national aims and coin­cidence of interests, point out divergencies and try to explain inhe­rent and artificial influences that cause distortions in our relations.

In a Congressional document in mid-seventies the fundamental national security aims of the United States in the Mediterranean and the Middle East were explained on the basis of the following constants: General Goals: – Deter Soviet armed aggression against the United States, NATO, Europe and the Middle East-Project sufficient power to defend effectively if deterrence fails. Specific Goals: – Secure NATO’s south flank – Encourage stability in the Middle East – Support Israel – Maintain free world supply lines in the Mediterranean – Ensure continued access to Middle East oil.

From the United States point of view what is the roie of Turkey for the pursuit of U.S. national security objectives? Out of the de­bates complicated by lobby influences and public ignorance on de­tails what should be clear ideas are somewhat blurred from time to time. I would like to quote a few excerpts from a speech delivered by Vice President Mondale when he was a senator in 1974. Senator Mondale was speaking in the heat of the opium debate. Proposing a total economic and military embargo on Turkey, Senator Mondale invited the U.S. Administration to give reconsideration to the strategic situation : “Our relations with the Arab countries have markedly improved” he said. “We are no longer clinging to the Northern edge of the Eastern Mediterranean. We are homeporting naval vessels in Greece which enables us to offset the expansion in the Soviet Navy’s Mediterranean deployment. Our alliance in NATO has done nothing to curb the Soviet naval build up in the Mediterranean even though their life-line runs right through the Bosporus…. It is impor­tant to recognize that we cannot use our bases in Turkey except when Turkey is at war with the Soviet Union. Otherwise they are worthless. During the Arab-Israeli war of October 1973, the Turks permitted the Soviet Union to overfly Turkey to resupply the Arabs, but would not let us use our bases to refuel our reconnaissance aircraft. This example of favoritism to the Soviet Union provides a measure of how much our so called strategic position in Turkey Is worth. In the remote case of a conflict with the Soviet Union, our bases would be used to support the Turks. We apparently do not consider this threat imminent since a good portion of the U.S. air­craft in Turkey are based half of the time in Spain. We do not plan to mount strategic attacks on the Soviet Union from Turkey. In terms of overall strategic nuclear deterrence our bases there are obsolete. Their real utility is to deter local aggression against Turkey. The Turks are not doing us a favor by letting us have the bases. It is other way round. The alleged strategic value of Turkey should no longer control our decisions in this age of strategic missiles, intelligence satellites, detente with the Soviet Union and rapprochement with the Arabs. It is not worth the kind of bargain in which we give Turkey almost a quarter of a billion dollars in economic and military assis­tance.” On the question of opium, Senator Mondale and his collea­gues did not succeed but at the end of the same year they succee­ded to impose a military embargo on the occasion of Turkey’s in­tervention in Cyprus using more or less similar reasoning.

In the military terms, the value o! Turkey for the U.S. is evalua­ted in a different way by military circles. Prof. Albert Wohlstetter considers Turkey’s presence in NATO useful at least for the follo­wing reasons: Turkey’s participation in NATO sharply increases Soviet force requirements for Bulgarian or combined Bulgarian-So­viet attacks on Greece. Even if Turkish forces were less actively involved, they would tie down considerable strength in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus fronts. This could be true so long as the Soviets could not be sure of Turkish neutrality. As regards NATO’s southern flank, he says, if flanks are neutralized by political or mili-tary action, an adversary can concentrate more massively against the center. The defense of the center cannot be separated from the flank. Referring to potential role of Turkey in the case of a U.S.-Soviet conflict in the Middle East, Professor Wohlstetter points out that if the Soviets can overfly Turkey at will, they can cut out in half the time needed to deploy forces by air to an objective near the Gulf. Roughly the same time is true for deployments to Lebanon and Israel. Regarding the military and intelligence bases in Turkey, Professor Wohlstetter says: “lt should be stressed that we should not regard it as a choice so to speak, between technology and Tur­key. Many advanced and continually improved technologies can be used to great advantage from facilities in Turkey.” Military circles also point out that Turkey’s presence in the Alliance, makes Russian supply lines to Middle East insecure.

From these two arguments which I tried to quote emerge some conclusions:

While there is some controversy regarding the continued value of Turkey to strategic interests of the United States, the primary cause of U.S. involvement is nevertheless a military one closely related to  U.S. security  objectives in the region, as well as those  of NATO.

The motives that lead the United States to support Turkey within the context of the global and regional U.S. objectives may thus be summarized as follows :

  • From the military point of view Turkey’s cooperation with the United States is essential for the defense of the South flank of NATO.
  • From the point of view of S. interests in the Middle East i.e. defense of Israel and access to oil routes, unlimited Soviet passage rights over Turkey must be prevented.
  • Since intelligence equipment and possibilities in Turkey are as yet needed for observing Soviet compiance with SALT ag­reements and for other military intelligence, Turkey represents another asset which the S. military establishment wishes to preserve.
  • Finally, Turkey’s place within the Alliance makes Soviet supply routes to client states in Africa and the Middle East

These are the principal U.S. military and security interests in Tur­key and others may be added by the experts. However, foreign policy formation in the United States is not always determined solely by military exigencies and Turkish-U.S. relations are affected generally from other overriding variable factors. These could be summarized as follows:

  1. a) Perception of Threat:

The euphoria of detente of late sixties and early seventies passed away with the post-Helsinki Russian attitudes and increasing Soviet mi­litary potential. But it is obvious that the Soviets are still upprepared to risk a major military confrontation with the West, even though they ore nearing supremacy in strategic and conventional weapons Short of direct and overt menace it is not possible to secure a con­sensus in the United States on political aspects of military require­ments especially under post-Vietnam conditions. In the case of Tur­key, political opinion differs widely; so much so that the anti-Turkish lobby even challenges the military value of Turkey for the Western alliance.


  1. b) Changes of Strategy :

In the global confrontation between the Soviet power and the West, new weapons, technological developments, political conside­rations, international climate have caused continuous changes in strategies of both the United States and the Soviet Union. As a consequence, Turkey’s role in the United States strategies also keep changing. I will not get into details of these changes because of the scope of this paper; but, let me suffice by mentioning the fact that the U.S. military thinking consider some Turkish military postures which were assets in the past no longer so, to the disappointment of Turks.

  1. c) Perception of Turkey and the Turks:

Again there is no common perception of Turkey and the Turks in the United States. For the people of the United States, Turks and their aspirations, character and culture are little known. Their image is continuously blackened by traditionally anti-Turkish forces which have ways of influencing U.S. public. In the absence of an effective Turkish lobby and propaganda in the United States and since the U.S. people do not consider Turkey as a «parent» country like the rest of Western Europe, the task of defending Turkey and Turkey’s image is generally left to the executive branch of the U.S. Govern­ment in the hope that they will be able to defend Turkey because U.S. needs Turkish alliance. However, as we have seen in the past U.S. executive branch may often be over-ridden under tense domes­tic political climate or when anti-Turkish lobbies may become effec­tive also in the executive branch.

  1. Another negative factor has been the absence of a thorough appreciation of Turkey’s non-military role and capabilities in the region. The fact that Turkey has maintained a democratic form of go­vernment, respecting human rights, with an active free enterprise system, devoted to its economic and social development and full of peaceful intentions for her neighbours have received little atten­tion in the United States, despite the fact that U.S. support of un­popular regimes in the world has led from one debacle to another.
  2. S. has shown a definitive interest in the economic deve­lopment of Turkey and has provided substantial assistance which I will refer later; but neither in the economic sense nor in the military sense policies recommended, the amount and quality of aid were adequate to meet actual requirements for rapid development. I am ready to admit that on this subject a great part of the blame falls on the Turks for not having followed rational economic policies.
  3. f) There has never been, in the U.S. public and for a certain period in the U.S. Administration, too, an appreciation of the cons­traints imposed on Turkish foreign and security policy by the history and geography of the region, and Turkey’s objectives which became time to time counter-productive in Turkey’s relations with her neigh­bours or caused resentment in the Turkish public opinion. Some of these constraints are still not appreciated by the S. public and when these are translated into political action, there is an uproar in the U.S.

Having referred to the advantages and the negative aspects of Turkish-U.S. relations from U.S. standpoints, I would tike to tackle these relations from a Turkish stand point. I must caution, however, that the assessment I will present may be considered controversial by other Turkish participants.

At the end of the World War II, Turkey was faced with the follo­wing situation : Soviets were threatening Turkey with their territo­rial and political claims; the country had come out of the war im­poverished, even hungry, although it had not actually fought; the Western type institutions which Atatürk had introduced into the country had begun to take roots; Turkey’s Western allies and the United States were the victors and they were destined to lead in reshaping the post-war world.The U.S. had committed itself under the Truman Doctrine  to support Turkey against the Soviet menace.

All these factors led the Turkish leaders to search for military and economic cooperation with the United States, which was very eager and with Western Europe, even though they were not so eager. Turkey was ready to make every sacrifice in order to achieve full admission into the Western camp and pay for this purpose wha­tever political price imposed on it, in the hope that thanks to assis­tance to be received such sacrifices would be more than compen­sated with rise of standard of living of the Turkish people and se­curity obtained. Turkey was also eager to turn its economy and political regime into Western patterns despite the reticense of the Turkish bureaucracy and historically rooted public opinion objec­tions. U.S. advisors were brought in and U.S. military and eco­nomic aid  was  made  available.  Turkish  Army  was  well  equipped and trained on American standards and it was integrated in the NATO military structure. Turkey was admitted to the Council of Europe and NATO as a strong partner. Turkey was looked on as a bastion of the West.

In the field of economy, however, Turkey was constrained by several priorities she felt politically necessary to follow : with the exception of a brief period in 1930’s and in 1950’s Turkish «etatism» was the dominant economic concept which worked against and li­mited the growth of the private sector. This conceptual difference between Turkey and the United States may be considered as the primary obstacle for further development of economic inter-depen­dence between Turkey and the United States. I do not intend to try to explain the causes of Turkish «etatlsm» which has remained so strong and even grown until now. But, its use or misuse has substantially reduced the participation of foreign capital in the development of Turkish economy. In any event, the Turks have al­ways maintained their suspicion and dislike for foreign capital.

Until mid-sixties there was a complacency in Turkey regarding Turkey’s alliance with the West and military and economic coope­ration with the United States. It was taken for granted that  Western aid would continue and the standard of living would keep rising in Turkey. This complacency and euphoria was so prevalent that Tur­key ignored Russian overtures, cast a benevolent eye to what little advantages Greeks were trying to secure in the Aegean and took a distant view of the Middle East crisis to the chagrin of the Arabs.

In 1963 Turkey had signed the Ankara Treaty which, if faithfully carried by everyone, would give Turkey the right to become a member of the European Economic Community in 1995.

U.S. economic aid to Turkey began to phase out as from 1965. The Johnson letter which I mentioned earlier cast serious doubt in the Turkish minds regarding the automatlcity of U.S. support and help in case of an aggression by the Soviet Union. The honeymoon period was over but our alliance had to go on basically for two reasons: The alliance still had an appreciable deterrance value; and Turkey was so much integrated with the West and relied so much on economic support of the West that a major shift of its fo­reign policy orientation was not feasible without traumatic domestic results nor such a change was desired by the Turkish public. The «multi-faceted» foreign policy pursued after 1965, by its nature, began to bring several new constraints into Turkish-US. relations in areas where objectives of Turkey and the U.S. did not coincide. Turkey began to respond to Soviet attempts to improve relations by signing a cultural agreement and by accepting Soviet credits in order to maintain its industrial development as a supplement to phasing-out Western credits. Turkey began to give political support to the Arab cause and prevented U.S. military bases In Turkey to be used for the support of Israel in an effort to improve its relations with the Arab world. While the developments during the decade that followed 1965 did not cause a major change of course in Turkey’s objectives, the trauma of the military embargo which was imposed in 1975 and the ensuing alienation from the West in terms of political perception, led to an «identity» crisis in Turkey which is still continuing. The political spectrum in Turkey is sharply di­vided in the assessment of Turkey’s place in the Western camp. While extremist parties are vehement on taking Turkey out of the West, the center parties, at least for public image purposes do not wish to appear as ardently pro-Western. Consequently, the follo­wing differences have become vocal in specific Turktsh-U.S. security and political objectives in the region.

Security – NATO’s Southern Flank : There seems to be an identity of view in both countries as to the validity of the purpose. However, there are various conceptual and practical differences between the two countries. Several of these differences can be summarized as follows :

  1. a) The defense of Turkey : In the Turkish view point forward defense in Turkey is the most efficient way of achieving the purpose of securing NATO’s southeast flank. This can be obtained by maintaining an all round modernized and highly capable Turkish armed forces which could act as a deterrent. The allies therefore are expected to provide the necessary weapons Turkey need and assist Turkey in developing its arms industry. Otherwise, Turkey’s contribution in this regards can be only in the measure its economy permits.

The Western support for Turkey in this regard has suffered a shock with the embargo and has been sparing ever since. This may have been caused by the U.S. political constraint to keep Turkish armed strength in par with if not inferior to those of Greece; to force Turks to a settlement with Greece on their dispute in Cyprus and the Aegean, and to their belief that an attack on Turkey is not the first item on the Soviet agenda.

  1. b) Ever since automatism of NATO’s support for Turkey has become problematical as a result of Johnson letter of 1964 and the military embargo which is an action not in conformity with alliance rules but hostile in character, Turkey looks on to NATO as a factor of balance to the evergrowing Soviet power. Only such a balance can preserve conditions needed for the development of detente. Consequently, this concept constrains Turkey in supporting actions (a) that may not be fully attributable directly to NATO interests, and (b) may be considered harmful and provocative for the Turkish policy of detente and cooperation with her neighbours.
  2. S. Policy in the Middle East: The declared U.S. policy objectives in the Middle East, i.e. support Israel, encourage stability and maintain access to Middle East oil are not entirely identical with those of Turkish objectives and unqualified Turkish support for these policies cause a number of problems for Turkey. Turkish policy in the Middle East since 1965 is based on political support to the Arab cause by insisting on the evacuation of all Israeli occupied Arab lands, recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians to set up their own state. Turkey does not want to become involved in problems among the Arab states, in their domestic issues. In order to ensure her oil supplies Turkey heavily relies on cooperation with Iraq and Libya. It is known that these two countries are the oppo­nents of US. policies in the Middle East. Today, the existence of Turkey’s diplomatic relations, even at a low-key level, with Israel is subject of criticism in the Arab world. As a result, if U.S. oil interests and support of Israel in the Middle East involve confrontation with the Arab states .such a development is bound to adversely affect Turkish-U.S. harmony.
  3. S. policy to supply free world supply lines in the Mediter­ranean is in confirmity with the Turkish interests also. However, there are several differences between Turks and Americans as to the role each must play. Turks feel that they must not rely solely on the 6th Fleet but they must also have a fairly strong open sea navy to carry out their missions while politically oriented U.S. stra­tegists tend to confine the Turkish Navy to coastal defense capa­bility. Furthermore, political thinking in U.S. differ on the role Cyprus has for keeping Turkish sealanes open. U.S. also seems indifferent to Turkish interests in the Aegean with specific reference for kee­ping Turkish supply lines open.


Before taking up the future perspectives of the U.S.-Turkish relations, I must briefly refer to Turkish-U.S. economic relations.

I believe economic relations between Turkey and the U.S. must be studied under three categories : “trade”, “economic aid” and “investments”.

Earlier in my paper I gave some figures concerning Turkey’s commercial relations with the United States during the period pre­ceding the Second World War. I now wish to refer to current trade pat­terns. The seventy percent of Turkey’s imports are formed by crude-oil and refined products (30 %), machinery (17 %) chemicals (16 %) and iron and steel products (9 %). On the other hand about 70 % of its exports are formed by cotton (17 %) hazel nuts (15 %), textiles (14 %), wheat and other cereals (11 %), tobacco (7 %), raisins (5 %). This traditional pattern of Turkey’s imports and exports finds ref­lection in Turkey’s trade with the United States. The United States received $191,410,000 dollars worth of Turkish products in 1976 which represents 9.8 % of Turkey’s total exports. This share drop­ped to 6.9% in 1977. 1978 estimate is 5 %. U.S. share in Turkey’s imports was 8.5 % in 1976, 8.7 % in 1977 and about 5.5 % In 1978. Turkey’s place in overall U.S. foreign trade is well under 1 %. The U.S. has the third place in Turkey’s imports and second place in exports.

There are significant difficulties in developing trade between U.S. and Turkey. Turkey is not in a position to provide industrial products in the quality and quantity required by the U.S. markets. Since U.S. is an agricultural producer, there are very few basic Turkish agricultural products in which U.S. is interested, chief among which is tobacco. The export of most of these products is also becoming object of competition with other suppliers. As regards U.S. industrial pro­ducts, the American prices are generally 20 to 30 % higher than European and Japanese competition. Therefore, the import of ca­pital equipment from the U.S. is more subject to provision of tied loans unless superior technology is involved. During the period when AID loans were available and Ex-Im Bank loans more readily available Turkish capital equipment imports from U.S. were higher.

In the period from 1946 to 1977 the United States provided Turkey with 2.7 billion dollars of economic assistance of which 1.2 billions were grants and 1.4 billion in credits. So far Turkey has repaid 648 million dollars of the credits. Furthermore, from counterpart funds U.S. enabled Turkey to utilize 1.5 billion Turkish liras for economic development until 1963, when grant aid was stopped. On the other hand, the United States provided Turkey with about 336 mil­lion dollars worth of Ex-Im Bank loans between 1946 and 1977.

In foreign capital investment in Turkey, the United States fo­reign capital invested in Turkey from 1954 to 1976 formed only 17.08 % of the total foreign capital amounting to only about 20 mil­lion dollars under the Encouragement of Foreign Investments Law. Therefore, the amount of U.S. capital in Turkey is rather insigni­ficant and falls far behind European investments in Turkey. In the smallness of U.S. investments in Turkey one may notice several points : first is that Turkey has never been an attractive place for foreign investments despite periodic attempts of Turkish govern­ments to improve the existing conditions and regulations. Secondly, Turklsh-U.S. relations have not been stable for a long period. Thir­dly, the vulnerability of Turkey in the international area have limited private U.S. capital  interest.

One last point, I would like to mention in this context, is the possibility of cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. for military production. There are several areas where existing Turkish facilities may provide excellent opportunity for replacing some Turkish mili­tary imports from the U.S. by local production with U.S. technolo­gical assistance. The economic implications of this cooperation will be  significant.



  • Currently the image of Turkey and the Turks is no so bright in the S. public opinion. This unfavorable image is created by a host of factors among which Greek lobby currently plays the biggest part and takes full advantage of the U.S. media.
  • Similarly, the image of the S. in the Turkish public opinion has also been damaged in the past decade and a half. The principal cause for this damage is the perception of U.S. support of Greece against Turkey. The leftist and pro-Isla­mic political forces in Turkey have been markedly critical of U.S. behaviour all over the world, and embargo and other U.S. acts have also influenced the attitude of center forces in Turkey towards the U.S.
  • S. interests in Turkey is basicaly security oriented and U.S. politicians, expect her in return for minimal economic and military aid to support changing U.S. policies and doctrines

uncoditionally, disregarding Turkey’s own constraints and policy    preferences. On the other hand, Turks expect the United States to provide full economic, military and political support for Turkey because of Turkey’s geopolitical position. In other words, there seems to be over-expectotions from Turkish-U.S. cooperation on both sides of the Atlantic.

  • It is obvious that in the formation of S. policies security considerations do not prove to be the primary factor once public opinion and the U.S. Congress becomes involved. In any event, security considerations and concepts are not static and subject to the degree of threat perceived. This perception, in turn, is basically a combination of military and political assessment. Under the influence of domestic political factors, potential threat is sometimes ignored or given low priority. This argument is valid both for Turkey and the U.S. In Turkey, security considerations still predominate, but they are now debated more than ever in Turkey’s history.
  • In view of the existence in the public opinions of both countries, of hostile influences which affect public policies when issues are presented to them, and since delicate se­curity relations must be maintained a heavy burden falls on the statesmen, and diplomats of both countries to keep the relations on their track. It is necessary to recall the spirit that guided the Turkish and S. statesmen in 1927 and to accept the role of quiet diplomacy.
  • While it is necessary to increase the Turkish public relations efforts in the S. it is also incumbent on U.S. administra­tion to assist Turkey which does not have an effective lobby in the U.S. For example, in 1930’s when Armenians in the United States wanted to prepare a film out of an anti-Tur­kish book, the U.S. Government could quietly pressure the film company to drop the idea. Today a “Midnight Express” is even awarded an Oscar.

Let me now turn to the future of our relations :

The most likely trend is the continuation of Turkey’s Western orientation  which may eventually guide the Turkish destiny and give their identity to Turkey of the coming decades.

The most likely trend is the continuation of Turkey’s Western orientation. This trend may succeed only if Turkey becomes part of the European Community. In such a case it will be possible to give a healthy character to U.S.-Turkish relations on a long term basis, and increase the dimensions of our relations with the West.

What would happen if Turkey ceases to become a member of Western camp?

Ambassador Parker Hart thinks that if and when the sipirit of NATO alliance is dead «Turkey gradually will turn leftward because only a regimented philosophy and discipline will be open to it. In the age of socialist polycentrism, it could decide to become a Yu­goslavia, seeking accomodation with the USSR and security by neutrality and strengthened Third World ties. It would be counting on the U.S. to recognize this that is far preferable to complete absorption into the Communist bloc.”

Dr. Scott Thompson of Tufts University, on the other hand, thinks that by the middle of 1980s Soviet Union might be able to take over Turkey by indirect means.

The third alternative discussed is that Turkey may be dragged into Islamic revivalism aligning itself with the Arab world.

I believe these observers are influenced by the tragedy of eco­nomic conditions and increasing political violence prevailing in Turkey. Although, both factors constitute bad omens for Turkey, the clock is not irreversibly advanced.

The greatest part of the Turkish people are determined to pre­serve their democratic and secular way of life and independence. If the United States and Western powers decide to show understan­ding for the assets that Turkey constitutes for Western interests and translate their understanding into political and material action by helping to ease Turkey’s economic and security problems, they will increase their own power in this region and at the same time will make it easier for Turkey to continue to share common values with them.


Mehmet GÖNLÜBOL, et al. Olaylarla Türk Dış Politikası. Cilt  I   (1919 1973) Ankara Universitesi Siyasal  Bilgiler Fakültesi Yayınları  No. 407.

Feridun  Cemal   ERKlN. Türk – Sovyet   İlişkileri ve  Boğazlar  Meselesi, Ankara, 1968

M.W. THORNBURG, et  al. Turkey,  An  Economic  Appraisal, Greenwood Press, New York ,1968

Nuri  EREN. Turkey.  NATO and Europe :  A   Deteriorating  Relationship? The Atlantic Institute for International Affairs, Atlantic Papers No. 34

John M. COLLINS. Greece and Turkey: Some Military Implications Related to   NATO   and   Middle   East,   February   28,   1975   U.S.   Government

Printing Office

Foreign   Economic  Trends  and   Their  Implications  for   the   United  States, TURKEY, U.S.  Department of Commerce.  March  1979

Roger   R.   TRUSK.   U.S.   Response   to   Turkish   Nationalism   and   Reform. 1914 – 1939

Metin  TAMKOC, The  Warrior  Diplomats,  University  of Utah  Press, Salt Lake City, 1976

Morton KODRRACKE, ”The Greek Lobby”, The New Republic,  April 29, 1978

Geerge S. HARRIS, “Troubled Alliance” AEI and Institute on War and Peace,  Washington, D.C.

Harry  N.  HOWARD, “The Bicentennial in  American-Turkish  Relations”,  Middle East Journal, Summer  1976

NATO, TURKEY and UNITED STATES INTERESTS, American Foreign Policy Institute, Washington D.C. 1978

Jacob M, LANDAU, Johnson’s  1964 Letter to İnönü and Greek Lobbying of the While House, Jerusalem  Papers on  Peace Problems, 1979

Visits: 220

NATO’s New Strategic Concept Conference June 2010, Ankara

Keynote Speech

H.E. Tacan İldem, Director General of International Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  1. E. Tacan Ildem:

Thank you Mr. President,

Excellencies distinguished guests to very important event and I would like to express my thanks and appreciations to President Seyfi Tashan of the Foreign Policy Institute in bringing about this meeting today. It is a timely one when the experts group at NATO has presented its Report on the Strategic Concept and when in all allied countries and also in partner countries the topic is being discussed publicly. I think for us to have such a debate is relevant and important. I would like to express my thanks to the Vice Rector as well. I know that Bilkent University is not only the venue for the institute but also contributing intellectually to the work undertaken. I had previously prepared some written remarks. But since this is a much closed society, dealing with such an important issue I thought that it would be better to express my thoughts on this topic dealing with certain items relevant to the strategic concept. If I make stride with the process at NATO during the Strasbourg- Kehl Summit Meeting of 2009, the Heads of State and Government decided to establish an expert group to make its contribution for the preparation of the Strategic Concept. The present Strategic Concept dates back to 1999 and I think time has come to reflect upon the developments that have taken place since then and to give a vision statement for the future. The Experts Group had already presented its report on 17th on May and when I talked with my successor our Permanent Representative to NATO yesterday he told me that they already had a way day being an informal discussion of any issue outside the headquarters with an informal environment provided by the Secretary General. So, they had very useful discussion yesterday and I am sure that they will continue to do so because what the Expert Group had done so for is to bring together all ideas, some of them perhaps out of the box ideas to be thought of in preparing the New Strategic Concept. And we would like to see the permanent Council to be fully involved in the process. On the half of, the capitals to feel sense of ownership if such an opportunity is given now. The text should be of course not too long for the public also to understand what such a vision will be for the future. But I think we should not exaggerate the brevity of the Strategic Concept by making certain analogy that it should be understood by Omaha Milkman because I don’t think that no matter how brief, concise it would be there won’t be an interest by certain segments of the society. But in any case public perceptions are extremely important and we have to eliminate the perceptions of the Cold War. The international scene has changed so has NATO and NATO is in a constant process of adaptation, adapting itself to the new security environment and of course such a Strategic Concept should set a clear guidance to the NATO military authorities. It is essential that there is no ambiguity in that sense. When we talk about NATO and its success so far we can claim that it has been a primary forum of consultation, transatlantic forum for consultation, it is a political organization with military means and Article four which enables any given ally to bring matters directly affecting its security defense and also the security interest of its allies. Article 4 is very crucial in that sense it enables allies to consult among themselves. The core function of alliance is still important and relevant. Article 5 is the bedrock of the alliance and I don’t think that the passage of time will erode its importance and meaning. When we look at the discussions that took place in 1980s and even the beginning of 1990s out of area was some sort of a sinful expression and everybody feared the consequences of embarking upon an endeavor which might be considered as out of area activity. When we look what NATO is doing right now most of its activities can be qualified as out of area. The ongoing operation, ISAF Operation in Afghanistan is a case a point and I must say that in the years to come NATO will continue to be active in such expeditionary operations. For us, the important thing is to have a balance between the core function of the alliance and the expeditionary operations. If we have maintained a success of NATO so far, it is thanks to our ability, capability, capacity to deal with the issues, contingencies related to the core functions to the alliance. Therefore, we can not neglect such areas which we qualified them to be in that category of activity. Such a balance can be struck not only rhetorically but also in practice, it should encompass planning activities and also allocation of resources.

Now, in this new strategic concept and when I say new strategic concept one should not expect a document to be prepared from the scratch. The existing Strategic Document will continue to be valid what we are going to do is to update the present text. And in updating the present strategic concept of course we need to take into account the developments. There have been changes in the international scene, that unknown phenomenon that we have to reflect in the new document, areas like energy security cyber defense or counter piracy, these were perhaps areas that we started to think about in the past but now more and more we have to focus on them. Terrorism will definitely be something that the strategic concept should reflect. If we remember that in 2001 after the terrorist attack in New York, Article 5 was evoked because of such terrorist activities, this will be one important area that we should be united to fight against it. Partnership is another important point that we need to enlarge our capacity. So far we have created a web of relationships with a number of countries and group of countries, EAPS, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council will continue to be a forum of political dialogue, discussion. In the coming months, what we may do in the light of the new strategic concept is to give some substance to do work of the EAPS with tailored arrangements, thematic cooperation models with flexible structures like 28+n. But, in any case we should not give up the existence of such a forum of discussion. Mediterranean dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative these are all very important tools for political dialogue and practical cooperation. When talking about partnerships there is one important player in the Euro-Atlantic scene, it is Russia and I think the alliance should engage with Russian Federation in a meaningful manner. I must say that NATO- Russia Council provides a very important forum for our engagement; it is not 28+ n forum it is a council compose a of 29 nations and we need to engage with Russia in all weather conditions. I recall that after Georgia crisis NATO-Russia council suspended its meetings at Ambassadorial level. At that time, I always found that to be a great mistake. We should have engaged of with Russia even more often at Ambassadorial level if it had been once a month we should have met four times a month, to deliver our messages at appropriate levels and to make them see what the sensitivities are and I think there is now a better understanding about the utility of the NRC. There are areas of mutual interest from counter terrorism to weapons of mass destruction, cooperation in Afghanistan; so we need to build on these areas so that our engagement will be mutually reinforcing and to the satisfaction of all.

What we have seen in the recent year is that in all operational theatres we can not achieve results only through military means. This brings me to the notion of comprehensive approach which will need to be reflected in the Strategic Concept. What I meant is that if we take Afghanistan as an example, we have the ISAF Operation and military operation there. But, in order to achieve success we need to bring different components; civilian military, good governance, reconstruction and development so that we see the ownership of the Afghan people and to see state structures functioning properly. And that is why we need to bring together the capabilities and capacities of different international organizations. When NATO has claimed to contribute to comprehensive approach we are sincere about that and we wish to engage with other international actors and organizations in a proper and profitable manner. We are genuine in our offer to have such cooperation with other organizations and that’s why in every operational theatre we can see NATO being engaged with the United Nations with the European Union and with all concerned organizations there. Now usually Turkey is being criticized that it is sort of an obstacle for making a progress in furthering cooperation between NATO and the European Union. I must say that such a statement will not be with the knowledge of what Turkey is trying to do and what Turkey has been contributing in operational field. First of all, Turkey since the inception of European Security and Defense Policy has been contributing to almost all operations and actions of the European Union. We are in Bosnia under the mandate of the Althea Operation and it is a EU-led Berlin plus military operation and we would soon be the first leading nation within Althea. In Kosovo Eulex mission we have 64 policemen and we wish to increase the number up to 150. And we, at the same time, wish to be properly involved in the planning decision shaping and execution phases of each an every mission and operation. If you ask me what we are satisfying with the level of involvement, my answer would not be positive unfortunately. NATO has been very open minded forward leaning towards its partners in involving them, in planning, decision shaping and execution of any operation- ISAF- KFOR. I must say that our allies who have been very vocal during the NATO discussions, were silent when it comes to the deliberations of to EU with respect to a better and proper involvement of the Non- EU allies within the CFDP of EU.

Lisbon Treaty, according to what I hear from my interlocutors in EU, will hopefully bring some possibilities in that direction. But when I read certain stipulations within the Lisbon Treaty and also the instruments provided by the union, I get more skeptical; because no matter what accumulated we have in our relationship with EU and one clear example is this implementation of the document, we see that according to Lisbon Treaty we are qualified to be a third country, a third state together with Russia, India, China or whichever country you may remember. And I think that there should be a difference between other partners of EU and Non-EU European allies. So, no matter what our membership process how it will continue and let us for the sake of assumption think that Turkey will remain out of the European Union forever, still Turkey will have the rights to be properly involved in ESDP because we are Non-EU European ally. Now, one critical question in the Strategic Concept would be the nuclear component of the alliance deterrents, as long as nuclear weapons do exist in the world and we very much support the vision of Obama, one day to have a world free of nuclear weapons. Still it will take time and until such time NATO will need to maintain its nuclear deterrence. I am sure that the debate on the finalization of Strategic Concept would require a focus on the nuclear dimension of the deterrence and I presume a balancing language will be added by incorporation of certain language with respect to arms control and disarmament. Missile defense will be another issue which will have to be with in the Strategic Concept. For nuclear weapons stationed in Europe sub strategic systems, I must say that the maintenance of Trans-Atlantic links, display of solidarity and also the principle of fair burden and risk sharing would be something we should not lose side of. The missile defense is an important issue and on that I have to highlight the principle of indivisibility of security and solidarity yet another principle in that context and we need to see all alliance territory to be fully covered with any missile defense architecture to be developed in the years ahead. Few points on Headquarters Reform because when I read the report and I think it is in front of you, the report of the Experts on Strategic Concept, there are two fundamental issues, one is military transformation and second is the reform of the headquarters and decision making process and of course one other issue is expanding our capacity in the partnership field. On Headquarters Reform all I can say is that we very much support various ideas to strengthen the ability of alliance to deliver things in a timely fashion and streamlining the Committees is one very good idea. But, we have to be very careful about it and we always have to review the process with lessons learned. As to the decision making process, consensus has always been in the heart of our work in the alliance. Sometimes, we may come across certain suggestions with the expectation that NATO can also follow the European Union by incorporating qualified majority rule to its working methodology. But, first of all, every organization has distinct future as it is not EU and second when people make such suggestions they fail to recognize the fact that even within the EU security and defense is one domain of activity that qualified majority voting rule is not applicable. So, at NATO, we may also come across suggestions that perhaps we should restrict the consensus rule only with the Council, Committees will discuss briefly what is before them and bringing it to the Council table. I do not think that it would be practical since we will be over, burdening the work of the Council and at the same time we will be losing expertise accumulated in the Committees. A few words on allocation of resources, because it is one particular area that we are facing more and more difficulty at NATO and the circumstances is not proper to increase the level of spending due to financial crisis that we are undergoing. But if the level of ambition of the alliance is determined by financial constrains then we will be losing one important and successful organization, like NATO because we will be focusing only in areas that financial capability could permit. So, the level of ambition has to be determined by the Strategic Concept but not by financial constrains. Strategic concept may eventually lead a discussion on command structure and I caution the audience that frequent change of command structure will lead to question mark as to the credibility of our system. These are some thoughts that I offer again I would like to thank you for organizing this meeting and I hope that it will produce very good exchange of views that will help us in having our ownership in the process.


Prof. Duygu Sezer: Thank you very much, first perhaps I should thank the organizers of the conference, this is a unique organization. This is a rare occasion for us from many perspectives especially because we all time are used to attend such conferences take part and we are active such conferences because they are used to be more of them during the Cold War years and in the early days of the passing away of the Cold War. But, it is quite rare that you are taking part in a conference which is exclusively dedicated to NATO issues which I believe it is very timely. Mr. Ambassador, you have given us a very informative overview, but I had not seen the report, I haven’t had a chance to look at in fact I am just seeing report today, this morning. And you touched on some critical points; I would not take up more of your time because it is very satisfactorily explained by you. There is one area which you may have talked about it but I may have missed it that is the enlargement process. I’ve read the small short paragraph on that report just now it. What do you say about this? Is this a repetition of the old because the 1991 again? This seems to be open-ended approach; it is a continuation of the open-ended approach. What do you think about it? Where do you stand? Where does Turkey stand on that question? Thank you very much.

  1. E. Tacan İldem: Thank you Professor, enlargement will continue to be an item in our agenda in the years to come, and Open Door policy will be the guiding principle for us. There is an unfinished business in the Balkans as you now, one country Macedonia was aspiring and still aspires to join NATO as a member. And in 2008 in Bucharest Summit meeting we were expected Macedonia to join NATO together with Albania and Croatia but it could not be possible. And we hope that the main issue will be resolved soon and we could welcome them without further delay. It would be a strategic mistake on the part of NATO, if we can not deal with this unfinished business properly. We were happy last April in Talen when the Ministers decided to invite Bosnia Herzegovina to Membership Action Plan. And we hope that in the fall of this year, their MAP cycle can start together with Montenegro without any delay. You are right we have to be open-minded and it is up to the nations who wish to join the alliance to strengthen its ties with NATO. We have certain procedures, there are countries that are in the partnerships for peace program, and there are countries which have cycles. Before membership is actual to prepare them we have the Membership Action Plan process. So, it is important that those countries who will join NATO can contribute to the security and defense of the alliance. So, it is not a charity business, but rather contribution of individual nations to the strength of NATO. Of course NATO provides an added capacity and security for them. But Open Door policy is valid and it will continue and I am sure that it will be reflected in the Strategic Concept.

The Ambassador of Netherlands: Thank you, I have two questions one is very short. The short will be what is your primary assessment of the Report? Second one is, you talked about Russia, I came from Moscow last year and what you mean is that it is very important to one way is trying to engage with Russia. Do you think there is special work of the achievement, because you are much nearer with Russia not only geographically but also with other issues as well?

  1. E. Tacan Ildem: Thank you Ambassador, yes indeed I had the privilege to work with both Secretary Generals and you are right to be proud to produce Secretary Generals from both countries. It is an important position guiding the work of the alliance, Shaffer and Rasmussen. It will be a guiding force in the period ahead of us and so far what he has done is a testament of this ability to guide us in that direction. We had read the Report and I must say that it is a very useful contribution to the deliberations that we are going to have. As we know, when the Strategic Concept work was embarked upon, the first was reflection period. We had seminars organized in different allied countries and even in one partner country as I remember one seminar I went in Helsinki so it shows again the forward leaning attitude of alliance towards the partners. We welcome the Report, it contains very useful ideas and we are happy to see the contributions of Ambassador Ümit Pamir who was among the experts and another qualification we give to individual in the group is Wiseman he contributed enormously to the work of group, of course without national affiliation. We endorse all these ideas but of course it is a huge document and I don’t think that it is concise with the aim of clarity and to be concise for the publics to read it. But nevertheless, the ideas that they have shared with us through this report will need to be taken into account discussed properly at all levels. And firstly, at the Permanent Council by our Ambassador, later on 14th of October the Secretary General intends to bring together Foreign and Defense ministers prior to the Lisbon Summit on 19th of November where our Heads of State and Government will endorse the Strategic Concept. So it is a welcome paper and we very much appreciate the work of the Experts Group. For Russia and I know how knowledgeable and experienced you are given your ten year as an Ambassador in Moscow. It is no doubt very important country and an important player in Euro-Atlantic security environment and we can not just ignore Russia but rather we need to engage them in a wise strategic manner. Turkey perhaps has certain experience to share with its allies; we respect and understand the sentiment of certain allied nations. It is not easy to deal with recent past when it comes to relations with Russia. So, we respect those sentiments but not necessarily agree with the course of action that we should take and Turkey together with some other allies try to have a vision for the engagement of Russia with a proper manner because at the end of the day we can not go for lowest common denominator, we should go beyond that and I am quite happy to see that almost all allies now are in full agreement in engaging with Russia. So there is no division among us and like any other allied country Turkey is also trying to influence the discussion with the experience that it had accumulated through its bilateral relations with Russia. I believe that we need to coordinate our views, but NATO-Russia Council should also reflect the structure being a forum of 29 nations not 28+1. Then the discussions will not be reflected of that spirit it, will be subjective to criticisms by our Russian partner so we have to avoid that. But on critical issues like the CFE I think we should have a uniform, united alliance position. It is fundamental that we not only coordinate but reach a decision, a position corresponding to all of our requirements.

Mustafa Kibaroglu: Mr. Ambassador, it is always a pleasure to listen to your remarks, just like today you set the stage in a very eloquent way. Especially with respect some research I am doing, it is about US nuclear weapons in Europe, as you also mentioned there is a paragraph in the document, I just want to refresh the minds of participants here, as long as the nuclear weapons exist, we should continue to maintain secure and reliable nuclear forces with widely shared responsibility for the deployment and operational support. Any change in this policy including in the geographical distribution of NATO nuclear deployments in Europe should be made as with other major decisions by the allies as a whole. But we all know that there is this letter dated February 2008 earlier this year Foreign Minister of Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherland and Norway stated that they will come the initiative taken by President Obama to strive force substantial production of strategic arms and to move towards producing the role of the nuclear weapon and to seek peace and security in the world without nuclear weapons. We need to emphasize that there should be discussions towards the allies can do more closer to this political objective ensured three countries that are known to have US weapons in their territory, Belgium, The Netherland, and Germany want to sent this weapons back. So, what is NATO’s reaction to this terror, if these countries somehow or NATO as a whole takes a decision or approve their desire to sent them back? What is Turkey’s reaction to this, could you please explain?

  1. E. Tacan Ildem: Thank you very much, Professor Kibaroglu is always very much focused on this particular issue and I very much appreciate his work, he will definitely contribute this meeting. If I may respond to your question, it is true that these five nations express their expectations to see reductions in the number of nuclear weapons; they are for arms control and disarmament which we will fully support. We share as I mentioned earlier, the vision of President Obama to have a world free of nuclear weapons. And as the Report says until such time we need to preserve nuclear deterrence with safe and secure system. I have to remind that in Talen during the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, NATO for the first time has discussed this issue in deep. And one clear message came out of that meeting and it is also reflected in this Report that not a single nation will be implement unilaterally; this is a very powerful statement in itself. So, there may be a genuine interest and desire to see some those sub strategic systems withdrawal to individual nations like Belgium, The Netherland and Germany. In fact, German coalition government had incorporated in the coalition protocol clear stipulations with respect to the withdrawal of these systems. Nevertheless, after Talen we see that there is a unity among allies and we have to remember that Nuclear Posture Review of the US is another element in this point that with all decisions to be made together. There is a clear reference to the fact that even the US will not make decisions unilaterally. I can not of course speak on the behalf of the Netherlands, since we have there, the ambassador of that country. Nevertheless, I can only give as an idea how this statement is reflective in the policies and rhetoric of individual states. For instance, during the NPT review conference that I attended in New York, there was a paragraph with respect to the elimination of the sub strategic systems in Europe and that reference was deleted with the very forceful intervention of the Dutch delegation. So, it shows that even if there is a desire as a long term objective to see this system eliminated from our inventories until such time all allies are united to stick to the nuclear deterrence that it provides. A speculative question that you put Turkey’s reaction would be. The only thing I can refer to that is my earlier statement that among the guiding principles there is one which fair risk and burden sharing, so if three allies say no then I will put the question to you whether it will be fair risk a burden sharing to keep those systems in a nation’s soil.

Question: Thank you, I have just one remark and 2 questions. The remark is that I am really impressed by the level of bola between parties position with varied aspect Strategic Concept will touch upon in Italy’s position, I will be talking about further but it is really impressive. My two questions regard initial briefly mentioned with CFE treaty that NATO members should follow common position. I would like to know of Turkey would be ready to support ratification of the amended treaty regardless of the fact that Russian troops in Chechnya. Second question regards that NATO’s role outside the Euro-Atlantic in particular in the Middle East I would just wonder whether Turkey would be ready in NATO for a role in the Middle East for instance as a peace-keeping capacity in the Middle East conflict?

Question: My question is about Russia- NATO relationship. When I looked at the Eeport, there is one thing that I personally share and I think the Europeans people share of the sentiments, I would be critical of is this over emphasis on finding a balance between Article 4 and 5 without being clear on how to implement them. I am sure everybody agrees that assurance of the allies in area in dynamic engagement outside is a good thing but how Europe actually go around doing it, I don’t think even NATO as I talked to them including Jamie have an idea perhaps pushing some more troops in area. But we are talking about fundamental disagreement as to what constitutes an Article 5 operation. In terms to engage Russia, Report actually says the Medvedev Treaty on European security should not be as a basis of engagement because it undermines NATO. But moderate Russian views actually tell us the opposite view; the Treaty could be a basis of dialogue and engagement although it does not provide all the answers. It could be a basis for seriously engaging with Russia beyond NATO-Russia council structure which at the moment only deals with rather massive, boring technical issues; it does not really look at the wider strategic issues. On that basis, I think there is a European and American disagreement and I would really like to know where Turkey stands on that, how do you view the Treaty as a basis of engagement that Medvedev has proposed.

Reşat Arım: You mentioned the adaptation of NATO to the international developments. We know that the international developments affect the international system. We see that international system is still evolving. So, do you think that we can say the same thing for NATO, which it is evolving according to the situation in the international system?

  1. E. Taycan Ildem: Thank you very much, these are very important questions and the time constraints make my job rather difficult more than a challenging one. First on CFE, we have to remember that we have decided not to go to our parliaments for the ratification of CFE because we were waiting Istanbul Commitments to be fulfilled and now we have yet another difficulty with developments in Georgia, the political implication that it brought about. We accepted the Parallel Action Plan developed within the alliance at this crucial juncture we would like to see allies to agree on a unified alliance position in how to proceed from now on in engaging Russia, because Russians as you know more than 12 half years ago they have suspended implementing the CFE Treaty and now we should not feel the necessity to rush in a hasty decision just for the sake of engaging Russia, if we are not united on a position in how to deal with CFE. We very much appreciate the work undertaken by Ambassador Newland the new Special Representative for CFE but we have to be realistic and we have to see that CFE Treaty is a legally binding document and it would be difficult for us to bring together legally binding and political commitments in a meaningful manner to accommodate the Russian side. So, going for the ratification of the adapted CFE will not be something realistic given the fact that the United States insists that it is not possible to see this adapted CFE ratified by the Congress given the situation in Georgia. So, putting this aside we have to reflect upon new ways how to proceed but we should not lose the instruments that we had created, the CFE is something vital to maintain as an instrument. And I don’t think that we can reach something better than CFE and legally binding that nature of it is quite important not to lose. Now regarding your question on a possible role of NATO to have a peace keeping mission in the Middle East, first of course there has to be a peace there, so that we have a peace keeping role. But, in reaching that point we need to intensify our political dialogue and practical cooperation with Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative countries in such a way not only in the political and practical cooperation terms but also in public diplomacy dimension. There are still misperceptions as to what NATO stands for and we have to eliminate certain concerns or certain cliché ideas about NATO on the minds of those countries in the region. And I can remember one interesting development when I was sitting on the Council at NATO we had Ambassador Amro Musa the Secretary General of Arab League. He came to meet with the Council and his remarks were quite an eye opener, he told us that he would never have thought of coming to NATO to speak with NATO ambassadors on the Council. The reason he came was that he saw that NATO had changed it did not represent what NATO used to be during the Cold War years. So, if the Secretary General of Arab League could engage with NATO in such a fashion; it can give us hope that with the proper public diplomacy efforts we can eliminate an important segment of concerns and NATO can well participate in any peace keeping effort. And we may at the same time recall that the NATO training mission in Iraq is one clear example that in such geographies NATO can deliver, and it is quite possible that when we finally see Middle East peace established NATO can be one organization to contribute.

Now, with respect to the portions of the Report pertaining to Article 4 and Article 5 again as I said earlier Article 4 provides allied countries to have a consultation on issues related to their security and defense. It is a very important mechanism that we can engage in a dialogue among ourselves. For Article 5, I don’t think that we should prescribe which situations warrant the evoking of Article 5. There has always been flexibility we should not introduce a rigid system of what is applicable, what is not applicable, this requires the discussion among allies and Article 4 will provide that. But, at the end of the day take for instance 2001 and for the first time in its history NATO evoked Article 5 because of the attacks in New York. So, if NATO embarks upon an exercise from now on what will fall into the category of the Article 5 then we will be losing the beauty of its flexibility and I rather find it difficult for us to go through that part. With respect to Medvedev proposals, it is not only the Medvedev proposals which to me were containing very important ideas but the formulation of what we called Medvedev proposals in the form of two agreement treaties: one for European security, the other for NATO-Russia Council, to me is not as sophisticated as the ideas formulated under the title of Medvedev proposals and we may even qualify them to be less than what it was and not too sophisticated in nature those instruments. And I have to emphasis that Russia is insisting on legally binding commitments when it comes to its own concerns but when it comes to concerns of some allied nations then it can easily go for political statements or commitments. And I think we need to be very careful about that careful process is progressing, NATO-Russia Council will of course discuss the agreement that Russia has proposed. But we don’t have Medvedev proposals as such imply because what we have seen in the wordings of these two treaties are not reflected of what Medvedev proposals intended to have initially.

For your question Ambassador, I can in all fairness say that NATO is transforming itself constantly. In early 1990s after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union fall of the communism and Warsaw Pact it was the first major transformation. Transformation is a key word guiding the work of the alliance and it will continue, we can not sustain the success of NATO without transformation and even for the fact that there is allied comment transformation in Norfolk is a clear indication that we are focusing in a very pragmatic manner and the ACT in Norfolk is instrumental to generate ideas like a think tank if I may qualify that way giving us perspectives for the future and it is extremely useful to see a number of possible contingencies and how the alliance can react to such evolving situations. So our motive is transformation and we will continue to do that and this Report in fact highlights the importance of transformation in that sense.

Visits: 275






The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) was hosted by Turkey, on 23-24 May 2016 in Istanbul, upon the  initiative of Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki-moon, amid the current challenges facing the global humanitarian system.

The Istanbul Summit, in line with its inclusive structure, brought together for the first time in history all stakeholders of the world  humanitarian community, including representatives of affected populations.

The participation at the summit  exceeded earlier estimations, by reaching a record level  with 9.000 participants from all stakeholders . 173 Member States, including 55 Heads of State and Government, more than 60 Ministers, as well as some 40 Secretaries/Directors   General from different  international and regional organizations were present therein. According to the UN figures,  it was the highest number of  the United Nations members who  have  ever come together at this scale in one single time outside its headquarters in New York.

The aim of this article is to provide insights on the whole WHS process, from its inception to the present and beyond, with particular  emphasis on the role and position of Turkey, as a leading country in the humanitarian field, in this historic process.




It is true that the global humanitarian system has made considerable progress throughout history, to the common benefit of peoples in need. The omnibus UN resolution on humanitarian assistance of 1991 [1]  had laid the foundation, through which the present system was set to function.

Yet, given the scales of humanitarian crises today, it has become undeniable that the international community face tremendous challenges in the humanitarian field.  In addition, the current  humanitarian system can no longer adequately address today’s humanitarian crises. In fact, contemporary humanitarian crises worsen  in number  and complexity. Moreover, such crises are transcending borders as the recent tragic exodus of refugees and effects of pandemics like Ebola and Zika have bitterly reminded the international community once again. What is more distressing is the ever-growing dichotomy between  increasing needs at   unprecedented  levels and limited available resources in financing which marks  the underlying problematic facing the present humanitarian system.

Today, 80 percent of humanitarian crises are caused by conflicts, with most being recurrent or protracted ones  lasting years long. The number of people forcibly displaced worldwide is likely to have surpassed a record 60 million, half of which are children, mainly driven by protracted conflicts.

Natural disasters also cause loss of lives of millions and leave severe economic damages as a consequence. Natural disasters have affected 218 million people on average and caused over an economic damage of some 300 billion USD  per year for the last 20 years.  In brief,  as the UN Secretary General stressed once, there is a record number of people,  130 million, who   need aid to survive.[2]

As a whole, the foregoing  realities form altogether the pressing background that led to the World Humanitarian Summit  process initiated by the UN Secretary General in 2013.

The process was led by the UN, notably the WHS secretariat,  the establishment of which was supported by Turkey. It was  of a multi-stakeholder nature  where all interested stakeholders of the world humanitarian community were able to participate in the spirit of  consultation, in contrast to  the customary intergovernmental process requiring negotiations.  The stakeholders included civil society, international and national aid organizations, private sector, academia, youth, faith groups,  along with member states, UN specialized bodies and persons affected by crises.   Through three years of consultations which brought together 23,000 people in more than 150 countries,  the WHS Secretariat organized eight regional consultations, along with technical, sectorial ones and  online discussions and submissions,   as well as a thematic consultation which took place  in Berlin, September 2015 as a follow-up to the former ones. The consultative process was finally completed with the global consultations in Geneva on 14-16 October 2015 concluding on a synthesis report as the outcome of the process.  [3]

Following this consultation process, the UN Secretary-General articulated his vision and recommendations for the future of the global humanitarian system in his report, entitled  “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility” which was  issued on February 9, 2016.[4] In  this report, he identified five core responsibilities : Securing global leadership to prevent conflicts, respecting international humanitarian norms, reaching the most vulnerable and furthest behind, changing people’s lives and ending the need, and investing in humanity. The annex to this report, Agenda for Humanity,  included concrete areas of action and  provided the framework under which all stake holders including Member States could  announce their commitments at the Summit.



When the above-mentioned process was initiated by   UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2013,  he   declared  Istanbul as the   host of the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit,    during the 68th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on 26 September 2013. In his statement, the Secretary General drew attention to Turkey’s position as one of the world’s leading humanitarian donors, as well as to Turkey’s own experience in directly responding to humanitarian emergencies.


The designation of Turkey  by the UN Secretary General, as the host of the World Humanitarian Summit in the face of two other candidate cities, New York and Geneva,  can be seen as the sign of international community’s acknowledgement  for the  role and position  of Turkey in the humanitarian system. It also indicates the evolving realities  in the humanitarian field,  to seek new balances between not only  the traditional donors and emerging actors, but also  the donors and affected ones.

In fact, Turkey has a strong tradition of responding to those in need. Situated in a disaster-prone geography, Turkey’s land has historically been moulded with humanitarian  efforts.  As early as in the late 15th century, the Turkish rulers  provided sanctuary  to several hundreds of  thousands of exiled populations fleeing persecution in their homelands. Since then Turks have embraced countless peoples in dire needs, regardless of their religious, ethnic or linguistic backgrounds, throughout history. Based on such heritage, modern Turkey has continued to  provide humanitarian assistance to such peoples in need,   by either hosting them in its territory or helping them in their own or third countries, to the extent of its resources and capacities.

Built  on its own  experiences, in recent times, this humanitarianism  has been vividly  reflected in Turkey’s humanitarian diplomacy. This diplomacy  has a broader meaning than mere humanitarian assistance which   is yet  an important  tool of  it.  Humanitarian diplomacy as Turkey applies is a human-centered and conscience-driven policy having particular attention, in  its efforts,  on human   dignity and development,  in countries where humanitarian crises of all sorts  occur.

Today,  Turkey is long considered as the world’s “most generous” humanitarian donor as  the ratio of official humanitarian assistance to national income is taken into consideration.[5] Beside the humanitarian assistance  directed to the Syrians sheltered in Turkey, the  amount allotted for overseas humanitarian assistance by Turkey   has also been  in steady increase.  As the figures  show, almost 70 percent of  Turkish development aid has been used for humanitarian assistance purposes. [6]

While extending its  humanitarian assistance globally, Turkey also hosts   millions of affected people who fled in despair from their homelands, notably Syria and Iraq.  This is a unique but rather bitter experience, through which  Turkey can be better positioned to  see the current issues prevailing in both sides of the system, as a donor and a refugee hosting country.

Turkey’s humanitarian response is directed today to all types of crises ranging from conflict situations to natural disasters and pandemics,  such as Ebola. It is  conducted  through different formats via either   emergency relief operations or   more comprehensive ones, while always observing all related law, such as international humanitarian and refuge norms and regulations.


The system    has institutionally three major pillars operating under the general coordination of   the Turkish Foreign Ministry, namely, the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the Turkish Red Crescent and the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the latter focusing on social and economic development through technical cooperation projects, whereas the former two focus more on humanitarian relief. They all  operate also  in close coordination with civil society organizations as appropriate. Naturally, specialized Ministries, such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, as well as the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs,  substantially  contribute to the programmes in  their areas of expertise.


All these institutions  play roles in distribution of humanitarian aids in kind, fulfilment of development aids and evacuation of injured people. Moreover, Turkey has relatively  a flexible humanitarian assistance system as regards to regulations, budget and decision-making process. These characteristics facilitate  making humanitarian assistance promptly.


Currently, the main components of the Turkish humanitarian policy can be summarized as follows:

As manifested in today’s cases around the globe, humanitarian crises appear  in fact to be  symptoms of  bigger maladies. It is thus of great importance to address the root causes in order to treat the malady, rather than relieving only the symptoms. This is the main approach that drives Turkey’s policies vis-à-vis humanitarian crises of the present  era.

It is an undeniable fact that humanitarian crises can be alleviated by humanitarian aids but never eliminated without a sustainable and holistic approach. This requires  a series of different tools to be deployed in  tackling humanitarian crises through a more comprehensive and encompassing approach which complements crisis response policies  with preventive ones.

Humanitarian crises caused or triggered  by conflicts lead to   serious impacts not only in the country of origin, but also in its neighbors. Turkey in its humanitarian policy has certainly had experience in both cases.

The major case in respect of the latter is   hosting millions of Syrians fleeing the conflict in Syria.  This is the biggest humanitarian crisis of a protracted nature in the present era which severely affects also the neighboring countries both financially and security-wise.

In line with its humanitarian responsibilities and its humanitarian diplomacy, Turkey has developed a multi-fold strategy, from the very beginning of the humanitarian crisis, to help the Syrians fleeing in exodus from their country.

Turkey has maintained an open border policy since the outset of the Syria crisis which is regarded as the worst human tragedy since the Second World War.  More than 50 percent of the displaced Syrians found shelter in Turkey.  “Turkey has become the biggest refugee-hosting nation in the world”, to quote the UN High Commissioner for Refugees when launching  the annual Global Trends  Report on 18 June 2015.

As it is widely recognized, this policy has been conducted in the absence of a meaningful  international support. While Turkey has spent more than 10 billion USD, the financial support coming from the international partners remains rather  symbolic to this date, corresponding to only 5 percent of this amount[7].

In this process, Turkey has tried to provide   best possible living conditions for the Syrians and mobilized all institutions of the state, first and foremost, the  Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD)  and the Turkish Red Crescent.

Affected persons  fleeing the conflict in Syria have been able to recreate in a user-oriented atmosphere,  to the maximum extent possible, the previous lives and livelihoods they had to leave behind. In this regard,  the innovative use of cash based assistance model in Turkey, the “e-voucher” programme, needs to be  mentioned.  This  has been implemented in temporary protections centers (TPCs) housing Syrians since October 2012.  The e-voucher program, as a human-oriented method, has not only enabled Syrian beneficiaries to do their shopping with these  magnetic cards  profiting the right to choose and to prepare their meals based on their traditional taste and preferences, but has also helped increase interaction and socialization through the provision of a marketplace. By eliminating the need for public aid institutions to provide three daily meals, the e-voucher program  also proves   cost-effective.


As to the humanitarian assistance policies directed to countries of origin stricken by humanitarian crises in conflict,  Turkey’s policy to assist  Somalia can be regarded  as a exemplary case.

Somalia is in fact the most striking example of countries affected  by protracted crises which are triggered by both conflicts and natural disasters. The country was hit   by a severe famine in 2011. Following the visit of the then Prime  Minister of Turkey, all segments of the Turkish society from public institutions  to NGOs and private  sector   were  mobilized to assist the people of Somalia. This process  has gradually resulted into a comprehensive policy, comprising  humanitarian, development as well as stabilization efforts in an integrated strategy.   In a relatively short span of time, several projects were put into action which consisted of human and institutional capacity building, construction of essential infrastructure, providing services such as education, sanitation and  health  etc. while humanitarian aids such as delivering food  and medicine continued.

In this multi-stakeholder process, in addition to TİKA, AFAD  and the Turkish Red Crescent, the Turkish  business sector,  civil society as well as municipalities   have also been heavily engaged with fund raising and undertaking humanitarian and development assistance projects.   While the projects on humanitarian aid and development assistance are  carried out in a concerted way,  political efforts of Turkey contributing to  stabilization efforts have  also been put into action  through bilateral and multilateral channels. Naturally, all these have become possible with a holistic and  integrated approach under a strong political leadership.

As can be seen from the foregoing, the development-oriented humanitarian assistance constitutes the core of Turkey’s policies in its  humanitarian response. Given the complexity of the present crises, the humanitarian-development nexus needs to be strengthened to increase the resilience and capacity of recipient actors to respond to humanitarian crises themselves.

This is crucially important to address the humanitarian crises of recurrent and  protracted nature. Both have one underlying fact in common: severe negative impacts of a destructive nature on the country in question, including refugee plights.

In such cases,  humanitarian crises are triggered as the negative impact of insufficient development, environmental issues, conflicts, poverty and lack of infrastructure. For example, in many cases in sub-Saharan Africa, there exists a vicious circle entangling the countries. Food crises mostly resulting in famine repeat themselves in circles, due to either drought or flooding which are aggravated by climatic degradation such as deforestation or desertification. Limited agricultural capacities are ruined by either droughts or floods every season due to the limited basic infrastructure (water storage or drainage systems etc.) or  lack of human or institutional capacity to tackle such disasters.

This vicious circle is hard to break. Why?  Because there is a huge problem on the development side. Such vicious circles might risk even causing  or triggering conflicts leading to refugee crises as well.

In such cases, humanitarian crises cannot be remedied fully without developmental tools.  This makes also the SDGs ( Sustainable Development Goals of the UN)  crucial both to tackle humanitarian emergencies and to enhance peace and security. In fact, to ensure peace and security lasting and   enduring, the humanitarian action  needs to be  supplemented  with sustainable development along with democratic structures.

In order to break such vicious circles it is needed  to intervene with various  tools. At the first stage, Turkey intervenes with humanitarian aids for emergency humanitarian relief and continues with development projects to support resilience, in tandem or simultaneously as appropriate.

This is the main philosophy behind the Turkish  policy in such cases, which is marked with the combined use of humanitarian and development financing along with various  tools in a concerted way.

This is not an easy task but the result is rewarding for all.

The combined use of humanitarian and development tools turns to be cost effective for donors in the longer run as affected countries become more resilient increasing their level of development, thanks to development aids on basic infrastructure, human and institutional capacity-building. This development assistance enables affected countries to resist to such humanitarian shocks, which in turn would reduce their need of humanitarian aids in future. Thus, it is a win-win approach.

This model is also applied to conflict-driven protracted crises. In these cases Turkey’s  humanitarian and developmental efforts are complemented  with political and stabilization efforts. This approach is also applicable to neighboring countries hosting refugees in a protracted case because of the severe impacts on such countries.

Today, such an approach  is increasingly recognized as an effective way to overcome humanitarian-development divide. In the related literature, there is a classic analogy to describe development-oriented humanitarian policies: Give the needy  fishes to eat, but  teach them also how to fish. Yet, Turkey’s policy in this regard goes far beyond this as it aims to assist  the country in need to manufacture fishing tools and  help for the creation of  its   fishing industry. This naturally requires a holistic approach.

These policies are always carried out in cooperation with the  authorities of the host country in need, taking into account its  demands.  In this process, TIKA, Turkey’s hand abroad along with all agencies and institutions such as AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent, as well as NGOs, act together in coordination with respective Ministries towards this end.

Naturally, there are certain conditions for the success of such combined use of different instruments and financing. Making different bureaucracies work together is not an easy task.  For the success, the main key words are : case-specific but holistic approach, joint and integrated  strategy and planning based on shared analyses, context-based and tailor-made programmes, concerted actions through better coordination avoiding duplication, overlapping and flexible budgeting. All these need an enhanced culture of collective labor which definitely requires a mentality change. There comes the important role of strong political backing and leadership.

Another area in responding to humanitarian crises where Turkey has developed its own policies is related to emergency responses to disasters, be they natural or man-made. Turkey  is in fact a disaster-prone country   subject to the destructive impact of such  disasters.  During the last century, around 50 big earthquakes, numerous floods and landslides, forest fires, mining accidents and more hit  Turkey. Not only common sufferings but also common experiences along with them are embedded in the memory of Turkey. Thus, Turkey has enhanced its capacity for disaster response with its NGOs and public institutions, notably  AFAD, Turkish Red Crescent and TIKA, and has taken an active role in humanitarian field.

Just like in its other activities, Turkey considers humanitarian assistance in response to disasters as a moral obligation and an international responsibility, too.  With this understanding, Turkey extends a helping hand to all disaster regions in its neighborhood and beyond, which essentially  contributes to  the stability of international community as well.

These abovementioned  views, practices  and experiences of Turkey, in  particular on the joint use of humanitarian and development  assistance in areas affected by protracted and recurrent crises and financial support to refugee hosting countries on a basis of effective, genuine and fair burden sharing,  were extensively shared with the international community during the WHS preparation process to which Turkish stakeholders actively contributed in substance. In this process, they were also  submitted  by Turkey   in a compact manner as  the  National Position Paper[8] to the Summit Secretariat as early as in June 2015. In addition to the aforementioned policies, Turkey also underlined in its position paper,

  • Need for stronger coordination not only among the relevant UN bodies operating in the field, but also  between them  for better field effectiveness,
  • Need for new financing mechanisms and new  global pooled funds in order to ensure the predictability, sustainability and reliability of humanitarian financing,
  • Need for effective and genuine burden-sharing in financial terms to neighboring countries that host displaced populations.
  • Need for close consultation and cooperation with local authorities and affected populations in needs assessment and delivery of in kind and cash assistance.



As stated earlier, the WHS process reached its culmination in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016 with the summit.  In accordance with its format the Istanbul Summit evolved into a high level global platform where all interested stakeholders of the world humanitarian community announced their   commitments to the future of the humanitarian system, while sharing their experiences and views,  in view of the UN Secretary General’s report and  its Agenda for Humanity which was released in February 2016. In this context, likeminded countries and stakeholders also  made joint commitment, statements, or launched initiatives as well.

As formally stated by the UN, the Summit had three main goals[9]:

To re-inspire and reinvigorate a commitment to humanity and to the universality of humanitarian principles.

To initiate a set of concrete actions and commitments aimed at enabling countries and communities to better prepare for and respond to crises, and be resilient to shocks.

To share best practices which can help save lives around the world, put affected people at the center of humanitarian action, and alleviate suffering.

The summit comprised of the following events: Leaders’ Segment, Announcement Plenary, 7 high level roundtable meetings, 15 special sessions and more than  130 side events, not to mention the exhibition fair and innovation market place which brought hundreds of  stands and exhibitors. In two consecutive days, these events took place simultaneously in a rather busy environment where stakeholders practically rushed  from one to other meetings, cognizant of their common ownership for the future of humanity.  [10]

During the countdown process started a year ago by the UN Secretary General, around 2-3 thousand people were envisaged to attend the Summit. Later,  the expectations were updated  to 5-6 thousand people in view of  increased engagement of the stakeholders in the preparations in the lead up to the Summit. However, as mentioned in the introduction,  the summit ultimately ended up in 9.000 participants who were  physically present.

As regards the donors world,  Chancellor of Germany was the only Prime Minister who participated in  the summit from the G7 countries at that level and Japan was represented by the former prime minister as the special envoy of the Japanese PM. Other G7 countries  participated at ministerial level or below.[11] Nevertheless, donor countries other than G7 countries participated at the level of Minister and above. Likewise, all the EU countries attended  the Summit at high levels ranging from the heads of state or government to the ministers.

It was also welcoming that the members of the G77 and LDC’s, who represent  in general the recipient side in the humanitarian system, were mostly present at ministerial level or above. It would not  be wrong to argue that hosting of the Summit, which was not assumed by a traditional donor country but by Turkey as a leading donor and an affected country which conducts an active humanitarian diplomacy, had an impact on this active engagement.

The record level of participation from the UN member states was attained despite the reluctance shown by these member states in general  towards the non-intergovernmental structure of the WHS process.  This  can   be attributed to the growing interest of the world humanitarian  community in the alarming challenges transcending borders such as refugee flows. It is with no doubt that the selection of Turkey as the host country as well as the active role Turkey has assumed in the humanitarian domain in recent years has  also contributed to the increasing level of engagement of the stakeholders to be present in Istanbul.

During the Summit, Turkey’s views and positions, which are summarized above, were extensively voiced by the President of Turkey,  H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and several  members of the Governments, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, as well as by other high level national bodies such as AFAD at several meetings [12]. President Erdoğan inter alia  co-chaired with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the Leaders’ Segment where all heads of state and government attended sharing their ideas about the future of the system in  support for the Agenda for Humanity.

Turkey also announced its support to the commitments in the five responsibility areas of the “Agenda for Humanity” document and made numerous national commitments. The commitments Turkey made during the Summit mark in fact  both Turkey’s achievements in the humanitarian domain and its commitment to improve the  collective response  to humanity in line with the spirit of shared responsibility and common ownership.

The Turkish public stakeholders and NGOs also marked the priorities of Turkish humanitarian policy through 21 side events[13] and several exhibitions they held during the Summit.

Furthermore, Turkey as the host country organized an international academic forum on 21 May 2016 in Istanbul,   in contribution to the Summit where members of academia from various parts of the world gathered to discuss good practices in responding to most pressing types of humanitarian crises.  [14]

The formal conclusion of the Istanbul Summit was marked by the Chair’s Summary of the UN Secretary General, which in brief  reflected announcements and commitments declared at the Summit as well as his initial views about the way forward. As can be seen in the document, the pressing issues of the humanitarian system, such as the importance of political leadership to prevent and end conflicts, the need for avoiding development-humanitarian divide and  better handling forced displacement as a consequence of humanitarian crises, as well as the needs for more engagement in humanitarian financing and  upholding humanitarian principles and law were all discussed at length during the summit and several ideas and commitments were presented  with a view to their improvements. In the Chair’s Summary, Secretary General’s proposal for a possible review process in the post-summit era was  also noteworthy. He stated “We should collectively assess progress made in taking forward the Agenda for Humanity and the commitments we have made at this Summit by 2020. We owe it to all people affected by crises, and we owe it to ourselves in the name of our common humanity and our shared responsibility. Let us now turn the Agenda for Humanity into an instrument of global transformation.” [15]

As the UN Secretary General mentioned in his Chair’s Summary, the way forward in the aftermath of the Istanbul Summit is of crucial importance for the future of the humanitarian system.  According to the agreed timeline, all the commitments which were made at the summit will be complied in a document entitled “Commitments to Action”. Announcements of commitments were gathered online through an online Commitments Platform at the summit. The platform allowed Member States and other stakeholders to register commitments to action or to join existing initiatives. Based on these commitments and views announced  at the Summit, the UN Secretary General will report to the UN General Assembly in September 2016 which will likely be setting possible directions and orientations  for the post-summit process. As the UN Secretary General   comes to the end of his tenure in the end of 2016,  whatever the post-summit process would be, will be  the responsibility of  his successor.  The two basic questions will be pending in the period ahead: what would be the eventual channels for furthering the process for the betterment of the humanitarian system and how would all these commitments materialize to translate them into  concrete actions in the post-summit process?

The WHS has served as a unique and historic platform to address the alarming challenges of the humanitarian system and express commitments for sustainable solutions in order to improve the lives of millions of crisis-affected people. The initiative to organize the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, and also the growing interest of the global community in the preparations of the Summit were testimony to  the urgent need acknowledged  to address the alarming challenges in the humanitarian system.

The global humanitarian community should assume the responsibility to follow up the Summit outcomes and take the commitments forward through various channels, including intergovernmental and inter-agency platforms together with all the stakeholders. It is hoped that the Istanbul Summit has set the seeds for a transformative change in the system encompassing a mentality, if not a paradigm,   shift as well. The Istanbul Summit was not a destination, but departure point of a historic journey for the future of the humanitarian system. With this understanding, President Erdoğan called indeed on all the stakeholders  at the opening   session of the Istanbul Summit, stating “we  should  never forget our   responsibilities vis-à-vis the people who locked their eyes and hearts to the messages and commitments that will arise from Istanbul”[16].

From its inception Turkey has vocally advocated that the summit should not be a one-time  event but entail  a process with a clearly defined follow-up. Now, it is of crucial importance to build on the global momentum which the Istanbul Summit has generated and to work in close and genuine partnership with all stakeholders to improve our   collective response to humanity in line with our shared responsibility. This should be the common responsibility of each and every member of the world humanitarian community, at least to alleviate the suffering of those in need, if not to end it,  so that the future of our common humanity could be secured in a sustained manner.


[*] Ambassador Dr. Hasan Ulusoy is  currently serving as Director General for Multilateral Political Affairs at the Turkish MFA.  The Directorate General which he is in charge was  responsible for the preparations of the WHS.   Ambassador Ulusoy is a PhD holder in international relations with several articles and one book published in his areas of expertise.





[1] UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182/19 December 1991  on Strengthening of the coordination of Humanitarian emergency assistance of the United Nations.


[2]  Secretary-General’s opening remarks at World Humanitarian Summit, http://www.un.org/sg/statements/index.asp?nid=9723.


[3] See for details http://worldhumanitariansummit.org/consultation-reports

[4] The report is available at https://  www.worldhumanitariansummit.org.  Prior to his report, the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing which was commissioned by him earlier, submitted its report on the proposed ways and means on how to better finance the humanitarian system. Its recommendations were instrumental  to shape the preparations  of the Istanbul Summit, which mostly correspond to the views of Turkey, such as on the importance of joint use of humanitarian  and development assistance ( the report is also available at  https://consultations2.worldhumanitariansummit.org/whs_finance/hlphumanitarianfinancing.   )


[5] See the global humanitarian assistance reports at http:// www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org


[6]  The overseas humanitarian assistance of Turkey reached  2, 4 billion USD in 2014 .  See for details http://www.tika.gov.tr/tr/yayin/liste/trky_raporlari-24


[7] See the web page of AFAD, www.afad.gov.tr


[8] The paper is available  at  http://whsturkey.org/turkey-and-the-summit/key-documents-for-turkey


[9] See https://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/faq


[10] For detailed information, see www.worldhumanitariansummit.org.


[11] The G7 Summit was held in Japan on May 26-27, just after the Istanbul Summit, which  seems to have affected the participation level from these countries. This was criticized at the Istanbul Summit. To show their support to WHS, the G7 leaders expressed their welcome for  the organization of the WHS summit in their final communique of the G7 Summit, see G7 Ise-Shima Leaders’ Declaration at http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000160266.pdf.


[12] The texts of  the speeches made by the President of Turkey and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are available on the official web site of Turkey for the WHS ,  see http://whsturkey.org


[13]  For detailed information, see http://whsturkey.org/side-events


[14] For detailed information, see http://sam.gov.tr/world-humanitarian-summit-academic-forum


[15] The Chair’s Summary is available at https://consultations2.worldhumanitariansummit.org/bitcache/5171492e71696bcf9d4c571c93dfc6dcd7f361ee?vid=581078&disposition=inline&op=view


[16] see http://whsturkey.org/turkey-and-the-summit/statements


Visits: 224

Is there a move towards a change in the international system? First,US-Russian relations RESAT ARIM

Is there a move towards a change in the international system? First,US-Russian relations


The Summit meetting between President Obama and President Medvedev  in Moscow has signalled a change in the relations between the US and Russia.But we are hesitant to see it  as a move towards a change in the internatonal system;because we experienced such a good start before,just after the September 11 attacks on the US in 2001.At the time,US-RUssian relations took a big uplift,then slowly melted down to a point where relations came to a period of “dangerous rift”. President Obama is taking now a fresh start.We will see to what degree these relations can improve.We have to monitor the steps.

The  important step was the determination shown by both Presidents when they met in London on April 1 and decided to”resetting” relations by creating a “Bilateral Presidential Commission”.The work of the Commission mly interested of anyade it possible to achieve many things during their summit meeting in Mocow.First was the signing of a  Joint Understanding to guide the work of negotiators on a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty( START) to be signed before December.It will be recalled that START 1 which was signed in   1991   before the demise of the Soviet Union had foreseen the reduction of nuclear warheads from 10.000 to 6.000 in each country.In Moscow, also proliferation trends in North Korea and Iran were discussed.Second, both Prsidents mede commitments to deepen securrity cooperation,to work to defeat violent extremists and counter transnationl threats,including piracy and narcotics trafficking.They also decided that Russia would help transit ISAF related personel and material for Afghanistan.Political,military and economic cooperation was also taken up.

Of course,this is a good beginning. Let us see how the third interested party,Europe,evaluates this raprochement. Firstly, we have to look at how the improving relations beteen the US and Russia will affect European –Russian relations. It is well known that these relations have been tense because of the natural gas crisis, Kosovo nd South Caucasus. Also Russia objects to the advancement of the Euro-Atlantic structures  to its “priviledged interests zone”. Both US and Europe are being criticised by Moscow over Georgia nd Ukraine.In the face of such a situation President Obama’s moderate stand on NATO’s enlargement and US antimissile depleyment in Europe is probably welcomed by Germany and France,but viewed with suspicion by the old communist countries of Europe.

China  is the other party directly interested in changes in the US-Russian relations.We have to see what her reaction will be.Then, we may start making an overall judgment.We can only hope that such good signs in relations between major powers  proliferate in the future so that stabiliity prevails on all corners of the World.

Visits: 184

Peace Support Operations[1] HASAN GOGUS

Peace Support Operations[1]


Let me start by welcoming our foreign guests to Turkey for this important conference jointly organized by Bilkent University and the Centre for European Security Studies. I am grateful for the opportunity to address this gathering of eminent academicians and senior officials. The subject matter of the deliberations today and tomorrow is a critical issue for the international community as a whole; how to conduct effective peace support operations in the 21st century, at a time of growing demands for international action in the face of instability and conflict in many parts of the world. I am especially pleased that the conference will have the benefit of the presence and active contribution of our friends from Groningen; an ancient city with a university dating back to the beginning of the 17th century.

There has been a substantial amount of academic and policy activity over the past decade to identify the best means for conducting an increased amount of peace support activity with essentially limited military and financial capabilities. Peacekeeping is a delicate and expensive undertaking, requiring a robust mandate, adequate force protection, deployment of scarce military capabilities and sustained political engagement. The major international organizations with specific responsibilities in this area, such as the United Nations, NATO, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, have all invested a considerable effort to review and revamp their procedures for executing their respective, and often complementary, field activities.

Naturally, Turkey fully supports these efforts. As Director General, in the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for international organizations, I have daily oversight of all UN activities in this respect. We are confident that the establishment of the UN Peace building Commission, the restructuring of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the formation of a separate Department of Field Support will serve to provide the international community with a higher-quality service. It has been 61 years since Winston Churchill called for equipping the United Nations with an international armed force, in the famous Iron Curtain speech. The world organization certainly has some military clout now; it is conducting 17 operations with more than 100.000 personnel.

Turkey is keen to sustain and enhance her contributions in this respect. The UN’s own data, as of September 2007, declares that Turkey is the 25th largest contributor to UN operations, with nearly one thousand troops on active duty, while, in terms of police contributions, we are ranked 14th among UN member states. We are, of course, also taking part in all NATO operations, with some 2.500 troops, and a further 2.750 troops on call in the NATO Response Force. We have commanded ISAF twice, and still have some 1.200 troops in Afghanistan, as well as a Provincial Reconstruction Team. Furthermore, we have supported the development of the European Security and Defence Policy from the outset and taken part in every EU operation to which we were invited. In fact, we are the leading non-EU European ally in terms of contributions to ESDP missions.

I see that there is an impressive congregation of experts here to deliberate the important topics on the agenda of the conference. Perhaps I should briefly touch upon one of those topics, namely national approaches to peace support operations, as Turkey has collected a considerable amount of experience in this field. As I said, we led ISAF twice; once as a UN operation and again as a NATO-led force. We also currently have nearly a thousand troops in UNIFIL in Lebanon. This body of experience makes it possible for me to make certain observations, especially with regard to political engagement between the peacekeeping force and the host country. This is a critical relationship for the success of any mission, in terms of ensuring force protection for our men and women on active duty in foreign lands, allowing timely exit from the host country and preventing a subsequent recurrence of hostilities.

The first of these observations is that the task of securing and maintaining the trust of our hosts is the most crucial aspect of peacekeeping work. Naturally, military planners will insist on the right mix of combat and support elements and the availability of critical enablers, but without this mutual trust, the endeavor will almost certainly fail in attaining its objectives. Experience has shown that remaining equi-distant to the ethnic and religious groups in the host country is essential. The Turkish military commanders and personnel also avoid any involvement in the domestic affairs of the country. Transparency in dealings with all local leaders, whether in government or not, helps to sustain a constructive two-way dialogue. Full respect for the customs, cultural values and religious beliefs of the local population is also essential.

We would probably all agree that local ownership of the responsibility for peace and stability is highly desirable. However, this will not be possible if local officials, community leaders and military commanders do not have a culture of working together, as is often the case. This may well be due to a lack of trust among those players because of past behavior. The commanding officers of a peacekeeping force will find it easier to persuade their local counterparts to cooperate with each other and thus facilitate the establishment of a broad-based national consensus in the host country, if they have already won their confidence and respect.

Friendly patrols on foot, rather than an excessive use of armored vehicles driven at high speed, are likely to win the hearts and minds of the population. Sensitive treatment at control posts, for example by ensuring that women are only searched by female officers, is also essential. Joint patrols with local forces or police officers may remove any grounds for suspicion by the population and government officials as to the activities of what is essentially a sizeable and well-armed group of foreigners. Conspicuous display of arms and weapons should be discouraged. Where such simple practices are not followed, the peacekeeping force may quickly resemble an army of occupation.

Regarding the composition of peacekeeping forces, I note that roughly ten percent of uniformed personnel in current UN peacekeeping forces is made up of police officers. This trend should be encouraged further, as the evolving nature of peacekeeping tasks requires a greater amount of conventional police work in post-conflict societies. We should also endeavor to get the right ratio of combat troops and support personnel, as many countries prefer not to provide combat forces or critical enablers like transport assets or intelligence units, which are all in short supply.

As a final remark, I would like to emphasize the need to integrate the political and socio-economic dimension of peace building into our peace support operations, in order to create societies that can sustain peace on their own long after peacekeeping forces depart their country.


[1] The text of a statement made by Ambassador Hasan Göğüş, Director General, Multi-lateral Political  Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs  during the conference on “Peace Support Operations” organized by Bilkent University and CESS of Netherlands on 12-13 November 2007.

Visits: 172

A Transformed NATO: Delivering Security in a Dangerous World, Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO Washington, 22 October 2002 Speech by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson at Brookings Institution

A Transformed NATO: Delivering Security in a Dangerous World

Lord Robertson, Secretary General of NATO Washington, 22 October 2002

Speech by the Secretary General of NATO, Lord Robertson at Brookings Institution

The subtitle for my speech today is delivering security in a dangerous world.  It’s easy to say.  It’s harder to do.

The virus of insecurity and terrorism seems to be spreading.  From New York, Washington and Pennsylvania barely more than a year ago to attacks on US marines in Kuwait, a synagogue in Tunisia, a French oil tanker in the Indian Ocean and a nightclub full of tourists in Bali.  Geography is no barrier to terrorists.  Race, colour and creed are no protection against their attacks.

Yet it would be wrong to paint too bleak a picture.  Last week, CIA Director George Tenet wisely urged us to take the threat very seriously.  He reminded us all that further outrages are inevitable.  Even with the best intelligence, the best countermeasures, the best defences, the lesson of decades of terrorism in Europe is that you cannot hope to foil every attack.

Al Qaida is evil.  It is brutal, fanatical.  It can kill innocent people.  It can damage our free societies.

But it is a loose coalition of extremists.  It is not now, nor ever has been, a threat comparable to fascism or Stalinism.  It can only hope to defeat us if we connive in our own destruction.

So I say to you with some deliberation that we cannot allow a small, unrepresentative network of criminal extremists to believe that by exploiting the openness of our free societies they somehow have us licked.

They are not invincible.  They will be defeated in any war where freedom loving people are united against evil.

Just consider what has been achieved in the past year, since September 11, 2001.

We have built the largest, most powerful coalition the world has ever seen.  A coalition based on a global consensus that terror must not and will not be allowed to succeed.  That consensus was enshrined in an extraordinarily robust UN Security Council resolution.  A resolution which is being implemented across the world.

That coalition has enjoyed a year of extraordinary success.  The Taliban have been toppled.  Bin Laden’s bases have been destroyed and his fighters killed, captured or on the run.  Afghanistan has been stabilised.  Two million Afghan refugees have already gone home.  Terror cells across the world have been crushed.  Financial support to terrorists has been cut.  Their communications have been disrupted.

Look too at the spin-offs.  Russia is working as an equal partner with the United States and 18 other Allied nations in the new NATO-Russia Council.  An international consensus has been forged that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue states such as that of Saddam Hussein must be dealt with, and we are now near agreement on how to do so.

What is the common factor in all of these successes?

International cooperation.  International action.  Not one of the blows struck at terror and insecurity since September 11 could have been launched without countless nations working closely and effectively together.

Sometimes this cooperation has been bilateral.  Sometimes it has been multilateral, in ad hoc coalitions of the willing.  Sometimes it has been channelled through multilateral institutions, such as the United Nations, the European Union and NATO.  There is no single blueprint.

Take Afghanistan.  US diplomacy assembled a series of political and military coalitions, but it was able to do so quickly and successfully because Secretary Powell was not working in a diplomatic vacuum.

The UN Security Council passed a uniquely powerful resolution against terrorism.  NATO nations had declared that September 11 was an attack on them all, and stood ready to provide assistance, political and military.  President Putin offered to open Russian airspace.  The Central Asian states, conditioned to working with the West through years of cooperation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace, quickly offered the bases without which the campaign could not have been won.

Militarily, the United States also worked at the centre of a multinational campaign.  Pakistani troops hunted Taliban and Al Qaida fighters along the Afghan border.  Soldiers from 14 NATO countries fought alongside US soldiers clearing caves in the Afghan mountains.  In parallel, 11 NATO countries sent troops to bring peace and stability to Kabul.  Overhead, British and French aircraft flew combat, reconnaissance, air defence and tanker missions.  Supplies for coalition operations flowed through European ports and airspace.  And, of course, NATO early warning aircraft patrolled America skies so that US aircraft could be deployed elsewhere.

Some have argued that European Allies could have done more.  Almost certainly they could have.  Some other critics say that the United States could have taken up European offers earlier.  And yes, they should have.  But both kinds of critics forget that we are still in the early stages of the war against terror.

We may perhaps have seen the end of the beginning, to quote Winston Churchill almost exactly sixty years ago.  However, this will be a long haul and many more troops from both sides of the Atlantic will be needed on the ground in Afghanistan, the Balkans and elsewhere if we are to completely win our war.

Some have argued that the lesson of Afghanistan is that the future of multinational cooperation lies in ad hoc coalitions rather than permanent alliances such as NATO.  Perhaps these are the same experts who argued after Kosovo that all military operations would in the future have to be undertaken by NATO.  As Secretary General, I am not sure which prospect fills me with most dread.

The fact is that Kosovo and Afghanistan, and Bosnia and Desert Storm before them, show one thing clearly:  that you cannot conduct either diplomacy or military operations on your own, and that you need different options for different circumstances.

But they also show that acting together strongly crucially needs preparation and a habit of working together which comes only from having a core of permanent allies you can trust and who share your values.

That is why Europeans recognise the continuing necessity of a close transatlantic security and defence relationship enshrined in NATO.  The Europeans needed you in Europe for 40 years of Cold War.  They still need you now after a decade or more of post-Cold War instability.

Unlike the Cold War, I do not have to spend my time arguing the public case for NATO in Europe.  It is a paradox that the Alliance is on firmer ground over there against today’s complex, multi-dimensional, often ambiguous risks than it was against the clear, overwhelming Soviet threat.

Al Qaida and the prospect of endless Balkan civil wars focused European minds in a way SS-20 missiles could not.

Recent opinion poll evidence suggests that the same is true on this side of the Atlantic, that the divide is in attitudes is far less marked than gloomier pundits have accepted.

I hope that is so because the case for NATO from a US perspective is in my view as strong today as at any time since 1949.

Imagine, if you will for a moment, the world today without the Atlantic Alliance.

No Article 5 on September 12.  No AWACS aircraft sharing the burden of defending your cities.  No NATO forces smashing Al Qaida cells in the Balkans.  Indeed, no end to the instability in Bosnia, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

True, there would have been shared values and a flood of bilateral offers of help.  But no North Atlantic Council meeting weekly  sometimes even daily  to concert political and military cooperation.  No single focus for US diplomacy in Europe.

Remember too that without NATO, there would have been no successful coalitions in Desert Storm or Afghanistan.  That is because NATO provides the planning framework, the training, the common standards and the interoperable equipment that enables our forces to work and fight together.  Without that glue, our troops, aircraft and ships could do nothing together.  The political will may have been there.  The military capacity certainly would not.

So NATO gives the United States access to a permanent coalition of 18 like-minded, militarily effective Allies.  In addition, you get another 26 Partner countries from Ireland through Switzerland to Russia and Uzbekistan, all modernising their armed forces so that they too can work side by side with us.  As Lithuanian and Romanian soldiers are now doing in Afghanistan.

And since May 2002, NATO gives the United States a forum for mould breaking cooperation with Russia on key topics from terrorism to missile defence to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  That’s real cooperation, not rhetoric.

My conclusion?  If NATO did not exist, the United States would be working round the clock today to build something similar.  Or, more likely, it would be thrashing about ineffectually in a morass of bilateral links that provided fine words but precious little else.

But I recognise that it is not enough for NATO simply to carry on doing what it has always done, no matter how successful it might have been.  No organisation can take itself for granted, especially in the post-9/11 world.

NATO has to meet the contemporary needs of its members, on both sides of the Atlantic, if it is to remain at the core of our security and defence policies.  That was the message in the Administration’s new National Security Strategy, and that message was spot on.

We can still argue about what this means and how high you set the bar.  For me, the equation is simple:  relevance equals roles that matter today plus the political will and capabilities to implement them.

Thankfully for the Alliance, we are not starting from scratch.  We have achieved much since the Cold War ended.  Remember NATO’s legacy in 1990.  A strategy designed to deter a threat that has since completely disappeared.  Plans focused solely on defence of Europe.  Heavy metal forces equipped to fight a short defensive war on home soil against overwhelming odds with no prospect of conventional success.  European Allies who were urged to look only at the Fulda Gap, not the extravagancies of power projection.

Today’s NATO is already unrecognisable from this legacy.  For a decade we have been shifting inexorably towards flexibility, deployability, sustainability; forces to be used, not simply to deter; forces to win, not to gain time.

The results were demonstrated in Bosnia, where NATO brought peace and stability after a bloody civil war; in Kosovo, where we pre-empted ethnic cleansing and the spread of instability across the region; and now in Afghanistan where European troops trained and equipped to NATO standards form the bulk of forces engaged on the ground.

Politically, we have three new members, a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, a NATO-Russia Council and a NATO-Ukraine Commission working on substantive issues and building a robust habit of cooperation.

But 9/11 was as great a galvanising force as the end of the Cold War or the disintegration of Yugoslavia.  NATO’s member governments know that NATO needs yet again to transform to meet a new security environment.

The Prague Summit in late November was always important for the Alliance, with the prospect of a further round of enlargement.  Now it is the focus for major changes across NATO’s agenda.

You know the issues.  Rather than list them, let me give you a glimpse of work in progress as we head towards Prague.

First, enlargement.  No numbers, no names for the moment.  But I am happy that a sound consensus is emerging.  A consensus that will strengthen NATO and contribute to the final end of artificial divisions in the Old World.

Next, theology.  Since our spring meeting of Foreign Ministers in Reykjavik, the in-area/out-of-area debate is dead.  NATO may decide on a case-by-case basis not to operate in particular circumstances.  But there is agreement at last that there is no bar should it decide to field forces wherever they are required.

Third, terrorism.  NATO is not set to transmute into the world’s counter-terrorist organisation.  The challenge is too complex for any single body and there are other tasks which NATO still needs to do.  But at Prague we will unveil a major enhancement in the Alliance’s capacity to contribute to the war against terror.  Some measures may not appear glamorous: concepts of operations and collective planning rarely set the pulse racing.  They are, however, as essential to our ultimate success as the new capabilities that will also make up the package.

Linked to terrorism is the threat from weapons of mass destruction.  No one now disagrees that we must act robustly and urgently to prevent these weapons, whether nuclear, biological or chemical, being used against our soldiers or our cities.  At Prague, NATO will take a significant leap forward in enabling our forces to defend themselves and civilian populations should the need arise.

Next, capabilities more generally.  We are not there yet.  But here too the picture is improving.

The US proposal for a NATO Response Force, a cutting edge capability for high intensity operations at short notice, wherever required, has gained great support and is now being developed from a national idea into multinational reality.  In parallel, we are close to agreement on a further radical streamlining of NATO’s command structure to make it better suited for running and supporting missions in the post 9/11 world.

The third leg of the capabilities triad is the successor to the Defence Capabilities Initiative, DCI.  DCI was not a failure.  It delivered real improvements.  But we can do better.  Much better.  And I am delighted that we are now doing so.

At Prague  through what we call the Prague Capabilities Commitment  the NATO nations will commit themselves to acquiring a spectrum of those capabilities which make a real difference in today’s operations:  heavy lift, air tankers, precision guided weapons, chemical and biological defences, ground surveillance radars and so on.

Not every NATO country will contribute to every capability.  Some solutions will be national, some multinational.  Some equipment will be bought nationally, some leased jointly.  We are at last showing the same flexibility and innovation in acquiring and fielding capabilities that we expect from the service men and women who operate them.

As we near Prague, I am continuing to browbeat all NATO governments on capabilities, capabilities, capabilities.  In Europe, the message is modernisation or marginalisation.  Here in Washington the message is:  remove the alibis.

Europeans have for years complained that they would like to do more, but the United States was unwilling to transfer the necessary technology.  Sometimes it was buy American, not European.  Sometimes it was a refusal even to sell US equipment.

Today, that simply will not do.  If the United States wants Europeans to share the responsibilities and risks of dealing with today’s threats, it must be prepared to transfer the technology needed to modernise European armed forces.  We can deal with concerns about onward proliferation and industrial competition.  We cannot deal with soldiers unable to communicate with each other, aircraft unable to use precision weapons, commanders unable to see the battlefield.

Last weekend, former soldiers from the World War II alliance met in the Egyptian desert to commemorate the Battle of El Alamein.  An army of British, Commonwealth, French and Greek soldiers won that turning point battle because the United States released its highest technology equipment, M4 tanks, to its friends ahead of its own troops.  You took away our alibi for failure and created the conditions for success.  A lesson from history with real relevance today.

And today that means fast tracking projects designated at Prague as critical NATO capabilities through the American defence trade control process, just as the United States has done with Allied requirements for Operation Enduring Freedom.  I am pleased to see the Administration is tackling this issue seriously.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I will end by returning to my subtitle.  We do indeed live in a dangerous world.  But our enemies are not ten feet tall.  They can be defeated.  They are being defeated.

More importantly, we are defeating them together.  You cannot deliver security in isolation.  A Maginot Line mentality and a Maginot Line strategy are no more effective against today’s threats than they were in past wars.

As a result, this will not be an easy conflict for future generations of military historians to describe.  The front lines are blurred.  Victory will come as much on the computer screen, in the courtroom, behind the desk as it will on the traditional battlefield.  And there is no single institutional vehicle for mobilising allies and friends and directing their collective energies.

But four themes will be clear.

First, this is a war being fought and won by freedom loving nations working together on an unprecedented scale.

Second, this global coalition is underpinned and made possible by the permanent transatlantic coalition that is NATO.  Without this permanent foundation, we would have good intentions, but precious few achievements.

Third, NATO needs to change and is changing.  Prague will set the seal on a profound transformation that will confirm the Alliance’s value to the United States, and to all of its member countries, in the very different strategic landscape of the 21st century.

Finally, effective cooperation in security and defence must be the sum of political will plus the right capabilities.  At Prague, NATO will silence the siren voices who have repeatedly told us that the transatlantic capabilities gap is too wide to bridge.

I have built something of a reputation as Secretary General for telling NATO ministers hard truths about what needs to be done.  I am delighted to tell this audience that they seem to be listening.

We are all now working together toward common goals, and as a result, Prague will be a major turning point in NATO’s ability to deliver the security that we all need.

Visits: 188

US Policy and the Iraq Time Bomb Prof. Dr. Hüseyin BAĞCI – 25 March 2002, Turkish News

US Policy and the Iraq Time Bomb

Prof. Dr. Hüseyin BAĞCI – 25 March 2002, Turkish News

When Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote his three consecutive articles in the National Interest in 2000 under the titles ‘Living with a New Russia,’ ‘Living with a New China,’ and ‘Living with a New Europa’ he was actually setting the new imperatives for U.S. foreign policy on how to deal with ‘those NEW power centers’ in a new security environment.

As one of the most well known and influential strategists in the United States together with Henry Kissinger during the Cold War years and in the post-Cold War period, Zbigniew Brzezinski appears now right in his definition of the hegemon United States, the likes of which history has never before experienced. Indeed, when Henry Kissinger published an article just a few months before Sept. 11, 2001, with the title ‘Does America need a Foreign Policy,’ he created many discussions as to the first signs of an anti-American coalition of some of the great powers starting to emerge. China, Russia, the European Union and India seem not to be very happy with U.S. conduct of international politics.

As the ‘exceptional hegemon’ in the new world order, the United States is recognizing terrorism as a global threat and finds it necessary to fight it with every means. It believes that liberal democracies are challenged by terrorism and terrorism must be fought on a global scale alone or with an ‘international coalition.’ Of course, the United States needs a global coalition to fight terrorism and this is why President Bush is sending Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to different parts of the globe to seek allies. It is not the year 1945 or 1989, or even 1991; Sept. 11 was a turning point where Henry Kissinger’s question can be answered. The United States needs a foreign policy, and this will be not easy.

Euroasia is the future of international politics. The security of the Eurasian landmass is solely America’s responsibility according to the U.S. administration. Indeed, Eurasia is the future, but poverty in Asia is the biggest challenge for all international actors. Usama bin Laden and his al-Qaida is only one among the expected challenges to the international and global order. To define some countries as ‘the axis of evil’ does not solve the problem. Look at what Russia, China and India have done following Sept. 11. None of them can openly take an anti-American position, therefore, they do not stress that the United States is doing wrong. China in particular is on good terms with the United States because China is bowling from inside [sic]. Unemployment is a big problem for all the countries in Asia and if China has bad news to spread that means it is bad for all the others too. How to contain China is indeed an ‘American problem’ now. Russia is also unhappy with the American presence in Central Asia and the Caucasus but has to appease the United States, like Britain and France did to Germany before World War II. Russia’s new alliance with China and India is a tactical one and Russia will further impose its policies over Eurasian just as before, though it will be not so easy.

Russia’s view that ‘failed states are not necessarily rouge states’ is important because Russia supports Iran, Iraq and North Korea. Therefore, Russia is not alone in this case. The EU is also having similar views and in particular in the last few years EU countries follow more and more ‘pro-Arab policies.’ The result is that Russia is more and more a reliable partner for the EU in global politics and no doubt the U.S. administration is not happy with this. In particular, French Foreign Minister Huber Vedrin leads this view and the gap between the United States and the EU on the definition of the meaning of international terrorism is widening and NATO has already been declared a ‘corpse.’ NATO enlargement has also lost speed and this will create some new discussions in Europe in November when NATO enlargement will be the main issue at the Prague summit.

Within this global context, discussions in Turkey on EU membership and the U.S. search for an international coalition dominated the political agenda over the last few weeks. Indeed, the ‘anti-EU block’ in Turkey gets intellectual support from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose book will be published in April. In her book, as some excerpts were published in several newspapers, she favors more U.S.-oriented policy than the EU and sees the EU as a ‘vanity of intellectuals.’ In her words, the EU is finished and will not be successful. No doubt, this view will be very much used in Turkey for domestic consumption and Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz will face stronger opposition. The different views of the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also prove that the coalition is still not harmonious and Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit is barely managing the existence of the coalition. The good old days for the coalition are over.

The visit of U.S. Vice President Cheney also showed that Turkey is part of U.S. global politics and the United States in security issues is more reliable than the EU. The meeting between Cheney and the Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Kıvrıkoğlu with Foreign Minister İsmail Cem and State Undersecretary Uğur Ziyal is a unique one and it shows what the United States is interested in.

Turkey is a key country for any U.S. intervention in Iraq and Turkey’s many interests are at stake and Turkey cannot remain indifferent to regional developments. Cheney left Turkey with a positive view, leaving behind it ‘a reliable ally’ in regional and global politics. The Turkish government’s view that it is against U.S. intervention in Iraq is not so important! None of the 11 other countries that Cheney visited also said yes but this ‘no’ means yes if the United States intervenes. Which country or countries can prevent it? Obviously none.

It was a fact-finding tour to tell countries what the United States is intending to do. It was not asking for their permission for such an operation. Next week, the conference in Lebanon of the Arab League will take place and let’s see what will come out of it. U.S. policy is this time very different from the Cold War and Iraq has limited time to meet the expectations of the United Nations. Saddam Hussein and Iraq have gained time, but how long it can go on like this an open question. There is a time bomb in the Middle East and it is ticking faster than ever.

Visits: 254

Aegean: Renewed Turkish – Greek Dialogue Seyfi Taşhan – 13 March 2002

Aegean: Renewed Turkish – Greek Dialogue

Seyfi Taşhan – 13 March 2002

After many years of refusal to talk with Turkey on the Aegean issues, the first encounter on these issues took place yesterday between Turkish and Greek diplomats in Ankara and will continue next month in Athens . Certainly this development is an achievement of the foreign ministers of the two countries whose policy of rapprochement brought the Greek diplomats who refused to talk nothing about the Aegean except taking the issue of the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Aegean to International Court of Justice. Until 1997 Turkey categorically rejected going to international arbitration on the continental shelf unless there were negotiations on all the contentious issues in the Aegean Sea. Basically, these issues were Greek initiatives taken over many decades upsetting the balance established between the two countries with the peace treaty of Lausanne signed in 1923.

It is true that in 1960s and 1970s these problems were discussed between the two sides under the shadow of the major Cyprus dispute that concerned not only the Turkish and Greek Communities in the island but also the two mainland. After 1980s with advent to power in Greece of the father Papandreu, all dialogue between the two countries were terminated, and people of Greece were led to believe that there was a Turkish military threat against Greece. Two points of view were advanced in the Greek public opinion. One the view argued that  Cyprus formed the crux of the dispute between the two countries and before its shadow was removed Greece could not discuss anything in the Aegean. The second was even more chauvinistic and defiant in simply refusing to discuss anything on Aegean which they considered was Greek.

The dialogue and contacts that began between the two countries several years ago and the initiation of direct talks between the two communities in Cyprus may have created the necessary atmosphere for renewed dialogue on the Aegean. Yet, it might be too soon to expect speedy solutions to all the problems on which the two countries and public opinions have hardened views and attitudes.

Let us take the continental shelf which the Greeks still consider as the only contentious issue that could be solved through resort to the International Court of Justice. Had the only problem in the Aegean been only the continental shelf delimitation it could have been possible to accept immediate joint recourse to international arbitration. However from the Turkish point of view other issues of dispute are directly or indirectly related and inter-linked with the continental shelf issue. Take for example, the question of territorial waters in the Aegean, a semi-closed sea dotted with many islands. Currently, territorial waters are limited to six miles.
This breadth of sovereign area leaves a substantial part of the Aegean as international waters (see map). Under the Law of the Seas Convention of which Turkey is not a signatory , the territorial waters of the islands may be extended up to 12 miles.
If Greece decides to use this right generally applicable in open seas it will take most of the Aegean under its sovereignty and Turkish and other flag ships will have to pass through Greek waters to cross the Aegean. In case of Turkey passage from one Turkish port to the other will also have to pass also through Greek waters. Greece currently reserves the right to extend their territorial waters to twelve miles. If she chooses to do so before or after arbitration on the continental shelf there will be no case to go bring to arbitration because there will be no international continental shelf to be divided. It is for this reason that Turkey declared the possible extension of the territorial waters in the Aegean  a “causus belli” in order to assert the vital importance of this issue and to demonstrate that he such a move could prejudice other issues of contention in the Aegean. Among other issues such as the current air space of 10 miles is an odd Greek practice recognized by no one. The fate of the rocks and uninhabited islets in the international waters is also an issue linked with the delimitation of the continental shelf and of the territorial waters. The sheer violations by Greece of the Lausanne Treaty that demilitarized the Greek islands in the proximity of the Turkish coast and of the Italian Peace Treaty that transferred the Dodacanese islands Greece but kept them disarmed are also very important security concerns for both Turkey’s coastal regions and also for the safety of the sea traffic and cannot be ignored on the basis of the Greek claim that this is a matter that concerns only the Greek sovereignty.

Since the dialogue has begun several years ago between the two governments and the civil sectors of both countries,  many  statesmen  as well as significant portions of public opinion in Greece have come to the conclusion that Turkey can no longer be considered a threat to Greece, and that the two countries have significant interest in bilateral cooperation not mention their common interests in the Balkans, the Black Sea region and in the Mediterranean.

If we recall that in 1930 the treaty of alliance and friendship between the two countries gave the right to each party in international conferences to represent the other if he could not attend that meeting, it would not be terribly difficult both for the Turks and the Greeks to adopt the liberal European integrative approach in their bilateral relation.

The international conditions are quite suitable for the success of this newly begun dialogue on the Aegean and we have practically no reason to be pessimist for the eventual outcome.

Visits: 241