Prof. Ataman graduated from the Faculty of Political Science in the Department of International Relations at Ankara University. Ataman earned his MA at Central Oklahoma University, and PhD at University of Kentucky between 1996 and 1999. He worked as an RA and a faculty member afterwards in the Department of International Relations at Abant İzzet Baysal University from 1993 until 2014. Ataman is currently a faculty member at the Faculty of Political Science in the Department of International Relations at Social Sciences University of Ankara. Prof. Ataman worked at SETA for three years as a part-time researcher in Foreign Policy Research Department. Currently, he serves as SETA's Director of Foreign Policy Studies and conducts academic research on Turkish foreign policy, the Middle East politics and the Gulf politics. Ataman is also the Editor-in-Chief of Insight Turkey, a journal published by SETA Foundation.
In this piece, I will attempt to answer the question that I asked in last week’s column, in which I tried to assess the French approach toward Turkey. I will elaborate on the general view of the Western countries toward Turkey by answering the following questions: Why has the West been otherizing and alienating Turkey? What are the main sources of anti-Turkish sentiments in the West? Why is the West concerned about the democratic institutions in Muslim countries? Is the rise of Turkophobia related to the most recent wave of Islamophobia? Why is the West against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government? Are they worried about the rise of the Turkish state?
For the last decade, the main concern of Turkish foreign policy has been the crises in the Middle East and North Africa, which include threats emanating from different terrorist groups and state failures as a result of Arab insurgencies. Ankara, however, has been spending its energy on its relations with Western countries, especially France and the United States, rather than on these crises. Nowadays, many observers both from inside and outside the nation have been trying to answer the question, “What does the West want from Turkey?” In this piece, I will try to trace the roots of Paris' approach toward Ankara.
One of the main reasons for Greece’s anti-Turkish policies is the dramatic change in the balance of power between Turkey and Greece. Turkey began to play in the upper league and became a major regional power. Therefore, Greece has been trying to prevent the further rise of Turkish power in the region, and for this reason, it is insistently trying to provoke Turkey and push it over its limits.
After the formalization or normalization of bilateral relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, many observers began to discuss the agreement's impact on Middle Eastern politics and the Arab World. It seems that the biggest impact will be on the future of the “political Arab world,” which collapsed in the wake of the Arab insurgencies and revolutions during the Arab Spring.