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Turkish Foreign Policy since the Ottoman Empire - Essay Example

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Since time immemorial,Turkey had been a predominantly a Muslim country that was controlled by the Sultanates of the Ottoman Empire.However,through a nationalist movement,Turkey was able to establish itself as a prosperous secular state that could assert itself as a force in the Central African region…
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Turkish Foreign Policy since the Ottoman Empire
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Turkish Foreign Policy since the Ottoman Empire

Download file to see previous pages... Since time immemorial,Turkey had been a predominantly a Muslim country that was controlled by the Sultanates of the Ottoman Empire.However,through a nationalist movement led by Musataf Kemal,Turkey was able to establish itself as a prosperous secular state that could assert itself as a force in the Central African region. To establish itself to be the modern day Turkey, it had to employ numerous strategies as the Ottoman Empire under the leadership of the Sultanates was greatly opposed to an independent Turkish state with a distinct language, dress code and run through secular laws. The early leadership of Abdulhamid II (1876-1909) that laid claim that the Ottoman Sultan was the universal leader of the Muslims used propaganda and counter-propaganda. However, he did not anticipate that opposition could come from an Islamic perspective. This Sunni idea was largely opposed by the Shiite Iran who did not recognize the Ottoman Empire as it occupied what was traditionally land owned by the Arabs, due to endless persecution, the As Shiites and the Sunnis waged an endless war depending on which side they supported.1 As a method to re-engineer the state towards attaining legitimacy, the Ottoman Empire bought about education through the imposition of uniform religious values through primary and secondary education. This has however been proved to have been the Ottoman Empire’s way of propaganda to educate the ills of the Shiites to the Iraqi population which was perceived to be a moral duty. Finally, it was proved that the attempts of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire fell flat on its face but formed the basis of the republican Turkish nation building, which has been a success. This historical heritage of past concepts and conflicts explains the current geopolitical occurrences in the Middle East and Central Asia.2 As at the imminent collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the sultanate became only limited to the plateau at Anatolia. The implementation of the Treaty of Serves weakened the empire as it lost its geopolitical positioning that deprived it of its most important resources. This led to the formation of nationalist movements under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, which culminated in the National Pact of Ankara of January 1920 that resolved to claim those parts of the empire occupied by Turkish populations that laid the basis for the Kemal foreign policy that focused on national unity buttressed by economic and political independence. Through nationalist uprisings and rebellions, the forces led by Kemal were able to crush the Armenian Republic as well as defeating the Greeks. In the process, it was able to negotiate itself into occupying Asia Minor and East Thrace. The Lausanne Treaty set the stage for the Kemalist foreign relation policy especially Greek-Turkish relations marked with the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of Turkey under Kemal. This marked the proclamation of Turkey as a republic after the Sultan had been driven away and recognition of Turkey as a secular state.3 Thereafter the Kemal regime focused on pursuing a foreign policy of maintaining peace as Turkey had been involved in a conflict for almost a decade. To achieve this, even when there was the First World War and the upheavals in South Eastern Europe, Turkey adopted a neutral stand. For example, Turkey signed a treaty with Russia known as the Turco-Soviet Treaty of Neutrality and Non-Agression that emphasized its neutrality and no acts of aggression in whatever circumstances. What was integral to Turkey then was the securing of its borders through emphasis on territorial integrity as well as the independence of Turkey as republic.4 Later Turkey forged a common foreign policy with Russia to the extent of refusing to be members of the League of Nations due to the suspicion of the Western powers, Turkey was also apprehensive of some articles in the treaty forming the League of Nations. After the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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