A Déjà Vu All over Again? Identifying and Explaining ‘Change’ in Turkey’s Asia Policy

Aslan Ö.

Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, vol.24, no.6, pp.954-973, 2022 (Scopus) identifier identifier


© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Notwithstanding great number of studies addressing Turkey’s foreign policy after the Cold War, Turkey’s engagements in South, Southeast, and East Asia have remained submerged in narratives of Turkey’s relations with the Middle East, European Union, Central Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. This article addresses foreign policy changes in Turkish’s Asia relations by identifying five time periods since the foundation of the Republic: 1923–1950, 1950–1960s, 1970s to 1993, 1993–2000s, and 2010s-today by utilizing Hermann’s four levels of change in foreign policy, namely ‘adjustment, programme, problem/goal, and international orientation’. It explains these changes with reference to individual dynamics (decision makers) and domestic (institutional setting) and international factors (global structural shifts). It uses qualitative methodology and treats evolution of Turkey’s Asia policies as a case of ‘foreign policy change’. It relies on data collected from Turkish, Indian, Australian, and American archives, many of which has hitherto remained untapped, and memoirs written by Turkey’s retired diplomats and generals.