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Turkish Foreign Policy & the Balkans: Implications on Transatlantic Security

Date  Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Cañada Blanch Room, Cowdray House, LSE


Dr Oya Dursun-Ozkanca, Assistant Professor of Political Science; Director of the International Studies Minor, Elizabethtown College, PA; LSEE Visiting Fellow, LS


Dr James Ker-Lindsay, Senior Research Fellow, LSEE-Research on South Eastern Europe

IOya1n recent years, Turkey has sought to extend its international influence. One of the key targets of these efforts has been the Balkans, where Ankara has actively sought to build on its religious, cultural and historical affiliations with the countries of the region; a process many pundits and scholars have labelled as ’Neo-Ottomanism’.

But just how far has the Turkish Government been able to use its significant soft power potential to consolidate its political, economic, and cultural influence in the region? Based on extensive interviews with policy makers and opinion formers in the region, this paper provided some insights into this increasingly interesting topic.

Oya4After discussing the factors contributing to and hindering the soft power potential of Turkey, the presentation explored the recent track record of the Turkish foreign policy in the region, looking at some of the key case studies such as Bosnia and Kosovo, before offering some insights into the ways in which this recent activism in Turkish foreign policy has made Turkey a more vulnerable international member of NATO.

Oya3Dr Dursun-Ozkanca research interests include Turkish foreign policy, transatlantic security, NATO, Security Sector Reform, peace-building operations in the Balkans, EU enlargement, and the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU.

This very informative discussion was co-organised with the LSE Turkish Studies Programme.




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