ChangingTurkey.com is currently looking for an academic book reviewer for ‘Diasporas and Homeland Conflicts: A Comparative Perspective’ by Bahar Baser (Ashgate, 2015). PhD candidates and academics working on related themes are warmly welcome to send their CV to ChangingTurkey@gmail.com

We require a maximum 1000 word-long review which explains the main contributions of the book to the state-of-the-art. We strongly encourage book reviews that put forward constructive criticisms about the book’s main arguments, some important issues that the book may have neglected, the dialogue (or lack thereof) between individual book chapters, and so on. The deadline for review submission is proposed as 1 July 2015.


Information about the book

As violent conflicts become increasingly intra-state rather than inter-state, international migration has rendered them increasingly transnational, as protagonists from each side find themselves in new countries of residence. In spite of leaving their homeland, the grievances and grudges that existed between them are not forgotten and can be passed to the next generation.

This book explores the extension of homeland conflicts into transnational space amongst diaspora groups, with particular attention to the interactions between second-generation migrants. Comparative in approach, Diasporas and Homeland Conflicts focuses on the tensions that exist between Kurdish and Turkish populations in Sweden and Germany, examining the effects of hostland policies and politics on the construction, shaping or elimination of homeland conflicts.

Drawing on extensive interview material with members of diasporic communities, this book sheds fresh light on the Ashgate Generic Series 1136influences exercised on conflict dynamics by state policies on migrant incorporation and multiculturalism, as well as structures of migrant organizations. As such, it will be of interest to scholars of sociology, political science and international studies with interests in migration and diaspora, integration and transnational conflict.Contents: Foreword. Part I Importation of Homeland Conflicts to the Diaspora: Introduction; Theoretical approaches to diaspora politics; The Kurdish question at home and abroad. Part II Setting the Scene: Sweden and Germany as Host Countries: Migrant incorporation and multiculturalism in Sweden and Germany; The Turkish-Kurdish question in Sweden and Germany. Part III Generational Continuation of Contentions Related to Homeland Conflicts: Interactions between Turkish and Kurdish second-generation in Sweden: negative peace and group competition; The impact of Swedish policies and politics on Turkish-Kurdish diaspora spaces; A replica of Turkey in Germany? Violent conflict, negative and positive peace; The impact of German policies and politics on Turkish-Kurdish interactions; Comparing two puzzles. Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

by Dr. Zenonas Tziarras

Analyst on Security & Turkey,

Diplomatic Academy, University of Nicosia

Short Bio: Zenonas Tziarras holds a PhD in Politics & International Studies from the University of TZIARRAS Zenonas 5Warwick. His thesis analysed Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East between 2002 and 2013 from a Neoclassical Realist perspective. He previously completed an MA in International Relations and Strategic Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK and a BA in Mediterranean Studies and International Relations at the Aegean University, Greece. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the e-magazine The Globalized World Post and is currently the Analyst on Security & Turkey of the Europe Levant Observatory at the Diplomatic Academy, University of Nicosia. Among other publications, he co-edited a volume [in Greek] titled Republic of Cyprus: Dimensions of Foreign Policy (2013) and co-authored a forthcoming book [in Greek] titled Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean: Ideology and Strategy (2015).


Domestic Transformations and Foreign Policy Change: The Rise of Revisionist Turkey

The presentation I delivered during the 6th Changing Turkey workshop at Warwick University sought to explore Turkish foreign policy change under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) towards the Middle East from a Neoclassical Realist (NcR) perspective and it was based on my PhD thesis.[i] It was argued that systemic changes in Turkey’s geopolitical environment have been primary in driving Turkey’s foreign policy behaviour with domestic politics being secondary. Within this NcR framework the system level comprises of three independent variables (international power changes, external threat perceptions, international economic interdependence) and two intervening variables (elite ideology and domestic interest groups). The dependent variable is essentially the foreign policy outcome – Turkey’s foreign policy behaviour – with the possibility of variation between status quo and revisionist foreign policy behaviour. To trace the change in Turkish foreign policy (TFP) since the AKP’s election to power (2002) I briefly evaluate the domestic and systemic context of the 2002-2011 and 2011-2013 periods. When it comes to the domestic level I remain focused on one of the two intervening variables (i.e. the AKP elite ideology) for brevity purposes.

2002-2011 – Systemic Context

With regard to the first period (2002-2011) it is argued that the systemic context was relatively benign despite changes in international power relations (i.e. the main independent variable) such as the war in Iraq (2003) and its geopolitical consequences for Turkey and the region. It was benign not because of the absence of security threats – there were plenty of those; but rather because it provided Turkey with the opportunity of re-engaging the region due to deteriorating relations with the United States (US), growing anti-American sentiments in the Middle East, improved relations with Iran and Syria, and so on. This rather favouring geopolitical environment, of the 2000s, in conjunction with the AKP’s struggle to overcome political obstacles posed by the traditional Kemalist establishment domestically, produced an outward foreign policy behaviour mainly characterised by cooperation, mediation and the employment of “soft power” tools more generally. Its economic relations with the Arab/Muslim world improved drastically – while its economic relations with the EU declined also due to the economic crisis and the Turkey-EU stalemate – even as it undertook significant mediation initiatives such as the one between Syria and Israel, albeit unsuccessfully. It was a period when Turkey, once again in its history, came to be referred to as a model of fusion between democracy, liberal economics and conservative values.

Though this outward foreign policy orientation of Turkey resembled past initiatives such as those of Turgut Ozal and Necmettin Erbakan in the 1980s and 1990s it proved to be something more during this time period. It was more focused, broader, deeper and arguably more serious and successful. It was all due to the ideological differentiation that gradually came about domestically with the election of the AKP to power. This is not to say that the AKP elite ideology was the primary factor. As mentioned, systemic changes are considered to be the primary driver of TFP. But the elite ideology of the state, the one that filters the geopolitical changes and the domestic constraints according to NcR, is very important in the shaping of the foreign policy outcome. The system-level changes could prompt different foreign policy outcomes depending on the dominant ideology and worldview of the (policy-making) elite; but without systemic changes foreign policy change is rarely, if ever, induced.

Elite Ideology & Domestic Transformations

Having said that, one has to identify the AKP elite ideology and thus its character and features. Based on research on texts, speeches and interviews of AKP elites (e.g. Ahmet Davutoglu, Abdullah Gul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bulent Arinc, Ibrahim Kalin) and a comparative analysis between the AKP and its traditionalist predecessor Welfare Party (Refah Party – RP) of Necmettin Erbakan, I suggest that the AKP elite ideology (not of the AKP as a whole) is based on a version of Turkish political Islam which is actually more traditionalist than reformist, as the AKP argues. On the front of foreign policy and strategy in the Middle East, this worldview or set of beliefs, perceives the region as a primarily post-Ottoman and geoculturally integrated Islamic space; one that Turkey, from the AKP elite perspective, rightfully claims leadership over (as the successor of the Ottoman Empire).

In this sense, the AKP elite ideology is revisionist, provided that revisionism is defined (in Realism literature) as a state’s efforts to change the geopolitical status quo to its own benefit. As noted previously, the domestic power struggle between the Kemalist establishment and the AKP did not leave much room to the latter to freely express and implement its revisionist goals. For example, the AKP’s shift towards the Middle East was not significantly opposed by other domestic powers or groups insofar as it did not take place at the expense of relations with the West. Once the AKP managed to win the power struggle and predominate domestically through a process that roughly started in 2007 and had largely succeeded by 2010, its policies became more openly revisionist. However, by that time domestic groups (of mostly Kemalist ideology) were unable to successfully oppose or constrain the AKP’s policies as the Kemalist establishment, the traditional and most noteworthy political force, was to a great extent marginalised and crippled.

2011-2013 – Systemic Context & Revisionism

The impact of these historical domestic transformations became even more evident in the next period under examination (2011-2013). The systemic shifts that came about with the Arab uprisings caught Turkey by surprise, challenged the regional relationships that it developed as well as its geopolitical stature. As such, the systemic environment was no longer benign; it had become unstable and greatly insecure, brewing conflict and multiple security threats. This had a great impact on Turkey’s ability to implement its revisionist elite ideological vision in a benign way and through “soft power” tools. Perhaps the most significant examples of Turkey’s revisionist foreign policy behaviour since 2011 are the case of Syria and Egypt. In the case of the Syrian civil war Turkey, for the first time in its history, adopted the revisionist strategy of regime change, albeit with some delay. Not only that, but it also seemed reluctant to carry out its threats towards Syria while preferring to “bandwagon-for-profit”[ii] which essentially entailed that it chose to achieve its strategic goals through its reliance on Western powers for regime change in Syria.

Similarly, Ankara’s stance towards the ousting of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood (2013) points to mingling in Egypt’s internal affairs. It was revisionist foreign policy behaviour because Turkey actively, if politically, tried to reverse the changes under way in Egypt that would deprive it from an Egyptian government that was ideologically and politically close to the AKP. Since then Turkish-Egyptian relations have deteriorated dramatically. Other examples of revisionism in TFP can be remembered such as the coercive diplomacy employed against Israel and Cyprus in 2011.


Overall, Turkey, over the past 13 years or so has experienced great economic growth and development as well as democratic reforms. At the same time it has risen as an openly revisionist state. The domestic transformations and the substitution of the largely pro-status quo Kemalist politico-military establishment by the AKP’s revisionist elite ideology, resulted in a revisionist foreign policy behaviour. Foreign policy action that is prompted by system-level changes is increasingly being filtered through the ideological lens of the AKP – and specifically President Erdogan. Because Ankara’s revisionist goals cannot be achieved in the turbulent post-2011 Middle East, it often resorts to “hard power” or other revisionist tactics that exacerbate regional polarisation and highlight its revisionist foreign policy strategy even more.

[i] Zenonas Tziarras, Turkish Foreign Policy towards the Middle East under the AKP (2002-2013): A Neoclassical Realist Account, Department of Politics & International Studies, The University of Warwick, Coventry, 2014.

[ii] A term borrowed from Randal Schweller. See, Randall L. Schweller, “Bandwagoning for Profit: Bringing the Revisionist State Back In,” International Security 19, no. 1 (1994): 72-107.

EURASIA ENERGY SUMMER SCHOOL: “Turkey at the Eurasian Energy Crossroads”

Dates: 26-31 JULY 2015



The Eurasia Energy Summer School is one-week (30 hours) certificate program, co-organized by ANKARA UNIVERSITY Research Centre for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies and EPPEN (Institute for Energy Markets & Policies) in partnership with “ENERCO Enerji”. It aims to bring leading energy scholars, professionals and policy makers together in order to analyze general energy issues and to gain a practical knowledge on Turkish & Eurasian energy dynamics. Upon completion of the program, the participants will be granted an international certificate by Ankara University

The EURASIA ENERGY SUMMER SCHOOL (EESS) will take place on July 26-31, 2015 in Antalya-Turkey. Special focus of the program is on the strategic outlook of Turkish energy policy and Eurasian energy development (Geopolitics of Eurasian energy and regional oil & gas markets). In addition to theoretical lectures, the program offers practical knowledge and invaluable networking opportunities with Turkish and international energy circles.


Those who are interested in energy from any part of the world and from wide range of backgrounds (civil servants from governmental agencies, professionals from energy companies, employees from international organizations, journalists, academicians and graduate students) are welcome to apply. The Selection Committee will evaluate applications and limited number of applicants will be accepted to the program. Admission decisions will be based on a combination of proven interest, academic merit and professional experience in the field of energy.

TO APPLY(Application is between April 15 and June 15, 2015)

In order to apply, please fill the application form here

and together with your CV (with a recent photo) send it to the following address:


The deadline for the application        is   June 15, 2015

The announcement of the decisions   is   June 22, 2015

Registration date after admissions     is   June 26, 2015

Note: The Selection Committee will review the applications received by the deadline but the Committee has also right to declare early acceptance.

LECTURERS and SPEAKERS are the Heads of public/private energy institutions in Turkey as well as world-renowned energy experts from academia, international organizations and research centers such as Ankara University, Moscow Higher School of Economics, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, EC Joint Research Center for Energy & Transport, EPPEN Institute and the others.


For details and the draft programme please visit www.eppen.org

For further information please do not hesitate to contact us from:

recerees@ankara.edu.tr and info@eppen.org


As Changing Turkey, we are delighted to announce that Dr. Bilge Eriş-Dereli has joined our team as an Associate Editor. A successful economist from Marmara University, Dr. Eriş-Dereli will actively contribute to Changing Turkey website, events and activities. We are certain that she will be an invaluable addition to the Changing Turkey team.

Dr. BilBilge Eris Derelige Eriş-Dereli is a lecturer at Marmara University, Department of Economics (English) since 2013. She worked as a research assistant at the same department between 2009 and 2013. She is currently a TUBITAK research fellow at The University of Warwick, Department of Economics. She received her Bachelor’s (2006), MA (2008) and PhD (2013) degrees in Economics (English) at Marmara University. She was a visiting researcher in Centre de Recerca en Economia Internacional (CREi) at Universitat Pompeu Fabra for her doctoral thesis research during the 2011-2012 academic year. Bilge has participated projects conducted by The Conference Board, The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey and Turkish Employment Agency as a researcher both during and postdoctoral period.

Her publications include:

Duzgun Oncel, B. and Eriş Dereli, B. (2015), “Why Do Women Prefer Part-Time Employment in Turkey?”, 35th  MEEA proceedings (forthcoming)

Tekçe, M. and Eriş, B. (2009), “The Development of Human Capital and Economic Growth in China”, TMA Science Journal, Vol: 19, No: 2, pp: 30-48. (in Turkish)

Eriş, B. and Ogunleye, E. (2007), “Human Capital and Economic Growth: Comparative Analysis of the Impact of Knowledge and Health on Economic Growth in Nigeria and Turkey”, 6th Knowledge, Economy and Management Proceedings, Vol:1, pp: 341-358.

Elazar Barkan and Karen Barkey (eds.) (2014) Choreograhies of Shared Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution, Columbia University press.

Reviewed by Associate Prof. Dr. Sezai Özçelik (Çankırı Karatekin University, TURKEY)

This book is an interdisciplinary contribution involving international relations, history, anthropology, architecture, geography, urban studies, regional studies, and political science. It can be used for scientific research purpose, but it also enables non-academic people to gain a deeper understanding of many archaeological and ethnographic 9780231169943historical sites not only in the post-Ottoman Empire but also in other parts of the world such as the Babri Masjid in Uttar Pradesh in India, the Catholic Church and Inka shrine in Cuzco, Peru, and the mosque and church in Mertola, Portugal.

This edited book also makes an important contribution about religious conflicts by employing different conceptual frameworks and theoretical approaches. For example, the last chapter of the book introduces Hayden’s theoretical model of “antagonistic tolerance” that can be used for the study of shared and contested religious sites. The model emphasizes a negative definition of tolerance and is applied to the settings where communities that identify themselves and each other as Self and Other live side by side for many generations but refuse to marry each other. When political hierarchy/dominance is clear between two communities, there is a possibility of peaceful co-existence. But in the absence (or demise of) political control, violence occurs and leads to the transformation of religious sites. Besides, the book uses such concepts as “religioscapes”, “secularscapes”, “competitive sharing”, “cultural fusion which can help to provide the basis for future inter-disciplinary scientific research.

The book is divided into two main sections. In the first section (consisting of the Introduction and Chapter 1) provides a strong conceptual and theoretical framework in addition to a summary of the methodological approach employed in the book. The second main section is mostly devoted to case studies that are accumulated into three different streams. The first stream (Chapters 2, 3 and 4) focuses on Cyprus, Bosnia and Algeria. The second stream (Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8) includes four case studies from Palestine/Israel. The third stream (Chapter 9 and 10) is about dispute resolution and museumification.

This book deals with conflict resolution in general but puts an emphasis on cultural studies of conflict resolution in particular. The book makes some important contributions on politics of space and the conceptualization of the shared sacred sites. However, some important conflict resolution terminology and theories are overlooked. For example, some of the articles could have introduced the basic concepts of conflict resolution such as structural violence, escalation, hurting stalemate, chosen trauma, psycho-historical approaches and so on. Second, the book is generally based on the assumption that the legacy of the Ottoman Empire about sacred sites was ‘peaceful co-existence’. It may be true for inter-religious relations, especially in the case for the sacred sites of non-Muslim communities in the Ottoman Empire. But it is questionable when it comes to intra-religious relations, especially Sunni-Alevi relations in the Ottoman Empire. Most Alevi-Bektaşi and “heterodox Islam” members in Turkey have faced injustice and unfair treatment from the Sunni Ottomans. Although the book includes a chapter about the “museumification” of two important Alevi-Bektaşi sacred sites and their “dynamic secularization”, the first chapter by Karen Barkey could have better treated this intra-religious intolerance. Third, although the book is very rich in terms of new conceptual and theoretical tools, it could have benefited from alternative research methods such as surveys to measure attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions about sacred sites. In particular, religious communities and museum visitors could have been asked about how they perceive the selected sacred sites and how they understand such concepts as sharing, co-existence, indivisibility, centrality, vulnerability, malleability, heterodox, religioscapes, secularscapes and so on. Fourth, in the outline of the book, Anatolia is included as one of the comparative case studies (see the heading of the stream 1: ‘Comparisons: Cyprus/Bosnia/Anatolia/Algiers’).Yet, in that stream, there was no specific case study about Anatolia. While investigating the shared sacred sites in the post-Ottoman territories the book limits its focus to the case study of museum. Moreover, the case studies are heavily chosen from the case of Palestine/Israel conflict. The chapter about the Museum of Tolerance can be categorized as dispute resolution not conflict resolution since it mostly offers analyses from a legalistic perspective.

After reading this edited book, students of conflict resolution can more easily understand and explain tolerance, coexistence, and antagonistic tolerance. Also scholars of conflict resolution can use some chapters as theoretical and conceptual foundation for an inter-disciplinary course. This is an innovative work because it introduces new conceptualization and theorization of boundaries, spaces, identities, toleration and tolerance, and coexistence. Also, it offers an optimistic account about conflict resolution in respect to shared sacred sites because the authors believe that identities and boundaries are not fixed. So, there is a possibility of change that is hopefully towards more tolerance, coexistence and nonviolence.

This book is strongly recommended for both current and past students of anthropology, ethnography, cultural studies, religious studies, political science, conflict resolution and peace studies. It definitely is a major addition to the anthropo-conflict literature and opens new doors for future scholars and practitioners. I also recommend for Ph.D. students who have been searching for a dissertation topic. This book enriches your conceptual and theoretical framework for possible topics. I assume that there is no conclusion at the end of the book because there can/will be more editions of this book, including new research about the post-Ottoman territories. In the future editions and studies that complement this book, there can be more chapters about Turkey. Istanbul or Constantinople is a religioscape that has important sacred sites for the Orthodox Christianity and different Patriarchates. Since there are already two Turkish museums studied in the context of ‘secularizing the unsecularizable’ (Chapter 10), there may be no need to include the Hagia Sophia museum. But Istanbul can be a highly popular case study. Also, intra-religious tolerance, co-existence, sharing and boundaries can be studied within the Islamic context. However, the current violence–ridden and conflict-prone atmosphere of the Middle East may hinder the employment of on-site anthropological and historical methods. If there is a methodological chapter about historical methods, more scholars can apply the book’s conceptual and analytical framework into different case studies. Also, there may be more micro analysis to emphasize the diversity within particular identities so that diachronic and synchronic analyses could be included.

It should be noted that there has not been much scientific studies about sacred sites in the post-Ottoman territories in Turkey. The existing studies are mostly about the history of ‘sacred sites’ problem during the Crimean War of 1853-1856. Therefore, this study is a great contribution in this area. I recommend that this book should be translated into Turkish as the authors are filling a very important gap about this subject in Turkey. Ending with personal notes, the book personally touches me since it mentions places I have been to, such as Konya where I was born; Seyitgazi that is located near my father’s village, and Cyprus where I did my military service. Therefore, I believe that many people can easily find something for themselves in this book.

Date: 27 March 2015 Friday   Venue: University of Warwick


Panel 1: Turkey: Politics, History, Economy & Society

Dr Bilge Eris Dereli (Warwick & Marmara)—  Why Do Women Prefer Part-Time Employment in Turkey?

Dr Ömer Tekdemir (Coventry)—  Agonising Democracy: Mobilising Passion to Construct a “Collective Will” by Turkey’s Radical Democrat HDP

Dr S. Baris Gulmez (Warwick)—  The Paradox of Turkish Foreign Policy in the 1930s: Revisionism and Irredentism through Multilateral Diplomacy

Dr Zenonas Tziarras (Nicosia) —  Domestic Transformations and Foreign Policy Change: The Rise of Revisionist Turkey” (via Skype)

Panel 2: Beyond Turkey: Middle East, Mediterranean, Thrace & Black Sea

Dr Özge Dilaver (Surrey & BIAA)—  Between Here and Almost There, Understanding Border Impermeability through Life Stories

Cem Boke (Birmingham)— US intervention in intra-state conflicts: Libya and Syria

Ferhun Kahraman (Oxford Brookes)— Consociational Democracy, Judiciary and the Cyprus Precedent

Dr Didem Buhari-Gulmez (LSE)— Crimean Tatar nationalist movement and top-down Islamization


ChangingTurkey.com is currently looking for an academic book reviewer for “The Making of a Postsecular Society: A Durkheimian Approach to Memory, Pluralism and Religion in Turkey” by Massimo Rosati  (Ashgate, 2015). PhD candidates and academics working on related themes are warmly welcome to send their CV by  20 March 2015 to ChangingTurkey@gmail.com

We require a maximum 1000 word-long review which explains the main contributions of the book to the state-of-the-art. We strongly encourage book reviews that put forward constructive criticisms about the book’s main arguments, some important issues that the book may have neglected, the dialogue (or lack thereof) between individual book chapters, and so on. 

Information about the book

  • Drawing on the thought of Durkheim, this volume focuses on societal changes at the symbolic level to develop a PPCspine22mmnew conceptualisation of the emergence of postsecular societies. Neo-Durkheimian categories are applied to the case of Turkey, which in recent years has shifted from a strong Republican and Kemalist view of secularism to a more Anglo-Saxon perspective. Turkish society thus constitutes an interesting case that blurs modernist distinctions between the secular and the religious and which could be described as ‘postsecular’.

    Presenting three symbolic case studies – the enduring image of the founder of the Republic Atatürk, the contested site of Ayasofia, and the remembering and commemoration of the murdered journalist Hrant Dink – The Making of a Postsecular Society analyses the cultural relationship that the modern Republic has always had with Europe, considering the possible implications of the Turkish model of secularism for a specifically European self-understanding of modernity.

    Based on a rigorous construction of theoretical categories and on a close scrutiny of the common challenges confronting Europe and its Turkish neighbour long considered ‘other’ with regard to the accommodation of religious difference, this book sheds light on the possibilities for Europe to find new ways of arranging the relationship between the secular and the religious. As such, it will appeal to scholars of social theory, the sociology of religion, secularisation and religious difference, and social change.

  • Contents: Foreword, Alessandro Ferrara; Preface; Introduction: new centres, new stories. Part I A Sociological Theory of Postsecular Society: Centre and periphery: social symbolic morphology; Clarifying the postsecular: a sociological reading; Postsecular sanctuaries and the centre: the sacredness of sacred places; Memory, trauma and the work of rituals: the dynamics of symbols. Part II The Turkish Laboratory: Centre and periphery in the history of Republican Turkey: a symbolic analysis; From a secular to a postsecular and post-Kemalist Turkey? The neo-Ottoman (democratic) narrative and the reconstruction of the Turkish central value system; Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: an old symbol in transformation; Turning religious differences into a museum: Aya Sofya; When the water finds its crack: Hrant Dink at the crossroads of contemporary Turkey; Modernities and religions: the four quadrant model; Conclusion: Habap and the water that came from heaven; Appendix: Durkheim in Turkey; References; Index.

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