Turkey’s new identity revisited and its Islamist reflections in North Cyprus

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Some scholars argue that Turkish foreign policy has undergone a structural change since 2002. This shift in Turkey’s identity is primarily linked to the ascendancy of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) and its proactive foreign policy towards Turkey’s eastern neighbourhood. The change in Turkey’s identity and foreign policy is mostly intertwined with the Islamist identity embraced by the AKP, which can be traced back to the National Vision Movement (Milli Görüş Hareketi). This article aims to analyse what are said to be ‘newly’ established preferences in AKP identity and its reflections in Turkey’s foreign policy, particularly since 2009/2010. The main argument is that the emergence of this new ideological discourse has had immediate reflections on Turkey’s relationship with North Cyprus.

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... Remarkably, although both groups describe each other in positive terms, the majority of both of them described the relationship between the two groups as bad . note that lately the fear of Islamization has been a strong concern among native Turkish Cypriots (Smith 2018; see Dayıoğlu and Köprülü 2019), and many believe that this is likely to occur through immigrants . According to Weise (2018), 'When Turkish Cypriots worry about Islamization, few of them fear that their own families will become more religious . ...
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Based on a survey, this report explores citizens’ attitudes towards different political and social issues in the northern part of Cyprus. Particularly, it focuses on the differences and similarities between native Turkish Cypriots and Turkish immigrants who came to the island after 1974. The survey results show that while the two groups’ attitudes diverge on major political and social issues, similarities can be observed too.
... Those on the left side of the political spectrum argue that lack of financial freedom is associated with political influence of Turkey over Northern Cyprus. On the other hand, conservative and national parties tend to embrace Turkish help, financial and political alike, without questioning, and argue the relationship between the two nations is not of two independent countries but instead mother-child relationship and thus justify the Turkish involvement in domestic affairs (Bryant and Yakinthou 2012;Dayıoğlu and Köprülü 2019;Ergul Jorgensen and Latif forthcoming). ...
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This paper talks about the impact of Turkish aid on the macroeconomic development of Northern Cyprus. Since the physical division of the island of Cyprus in 1974, Turkey has been sending considerable financial aid to the de-facto state in its northern part, but the impact of this aid on local economics and politics has been controversial. We show that foreign aid has not been directly relevant for economic growth of Northern Cyprus. We suggest that persistence of aid, despite its negative impacts, can be explained by Turkey’s geopolitical interests on the island.
... 69 This heavy-handed approach continues, with the deployment of religious symbols in Turkey's nationalist approach as well. 70 Indeed, Turkey's rapid economic growth produced somewhat improved living standards for a significant part of the Turkish population and comprised the material basis for ongoing support to the AKP. As a result, new industries were developed, and the construction industry became a crucial sector. ...
Cyprus has featured prominently on Turkey’s foreign policy agenda in recent years. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has weaved this long-standing issue into a broader narrative of ‘geographical imagination’. Cyprus policy has thus reflected the AKP’s socio-political vision of a ‘Yeni Türkiye’ (New Turkey), first articulated nearly a decade ago, in which well-entrenched narratives about national identity and the Cyprus conflict are central. Against this backdrop, Cyprus has been leveraged in the twin interests of AKP survival (boosting incumbency through nationalist appeals) and Turkey’s regional power aspirations. The present article offers a timely survey of Turkey’s Cyprus policy over a 15-year period from 2002 (when the AKP rose to power) until the failure of the negotiation talks on Cyprus in Crans-Montana, Switzerland in July 2017. In so doing, the article charts the important continuities as well as the key markers of transition in Ankara’s policy towards Cyprus under the AKP.
... Recently, some academic studies have substantially contributed to the scant literature with alternative discourse and analysis. These studies reveal the Turkish Cypriots' self-perception of their status, concerns about Turkish hegemony and expression of their distinctiveness from Turkey (Akçalı 2019), the claims of young Turkish Cypriots for autonomy and protection of their local identity (Özgür et al., 2017) as well as the anxieties caused by the perceptions of the AKP's Sunni Islamist activities in North Cyprus (Dayıoğlu & Köprülü, 2019). ...
This study explores the reciprocal perceptions, main tendencies, prejudices and expectations of the societies in Turkey and North Cyprus. To this end, 160 participants from both societies were interviewed. The specific social processes that result in various judgements, thoughts and tendencies observed in the semi-structured interviews were evaluated by the discourse analysis method. Although the research findings and analyses are not representative of the whole populations, they still shed light on common perceptions. In fact, the results counterintuitively revealed that people from both societies exhibit increasing suspicion, if not negativity, about each other despite the widely accepted nationalist narrative of ‘motherland-babyland’, which is believed to be the main dynamic of the relations.
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Much has been written and said about the roles, functions, and status of English and its diverse implications in local contexts and for people therein. However, Northern Cyprus stands out as a ‘blind spot’ as it is often annexed in studies related to Turkey or diluted within discussions focusing on Cyprus – which collectively leads to limited, partial, and tangential accounts of the complexities embedded in the local context. Departing from this premise, the current paper offers a comprehensive sociolinguistic profile of English in Northern Cyprus. More specifically, it portrays a historical account of the sociolinguistic situation with present‐day connections to statuses, roles, attitudes, functions, domains, policies, and practices in the local context. It is concluded that as the island morphed first into a postcolonial context and later into a partitioned sociopolitical entity, the linguacultural hegemony of English remained in Turkish Cypriots’ linguistic repertoires, collective psyche, and educational curricula.
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Bir anket çalışmasına dayanarak bu rapor, vatandaşların Kıbrıs'ın kuzeyindeki farklı siyasi ve sosyal meselelere yönelik tutumlarını araştırıyor. Çalışmada, özellikle, yerli Kıbrıslı Türkler ile 1974'ten sonra adaya gelen Türkiyeli göçmenler arasındaki farklılık ve benzerliklere odaklanılmaktadır. Anket sonuçları, bir takım temel siyasal ve sosyal konularda, iki grubun tutumlarında ciddi farklılıklar olsa da, bazı konularda önemli benzerliklerin de gözlemlenebileceğine işaret etmektedir.
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There is little known about the architectural conservation policies, mechanisms, and dynamics within the contested boundaries of unrecognised states. This paper redresses this lack of information and discusses the situation in northern Cyprus, an exemplary case of a long-surviving de facto state. Following its secession in 1974, the Turkish Cypriot community assumed responsibility for a substantial portfolio of monuments and heritage structures with complex ethnoreligious legacies. Except for some limited local resources, conservation works have been externally-funded, mainly from Turkey, the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union. This paper explores conservation governance and the diplomatic manoeuvrings of the local and international actors . There are de facto authorities, which keep cultural heritage under their control but cannot safeguard it, and the Greek Cypriot-led Republic of Cyprus, which links the conservation of cultural heritage to resolving the Cyprus problem. As well, there are foreign agents whose growing heritage diplomacies mark their presence in northern Cyprus by providing support for conservation. The analysis reveals an imbroglio with numerous complexities and potential ethical issues and dilemmas. It suggests that heritage conservation in an unrecognised state becomes a tool of soft power for international actors and is linked to wider geo-political tensions.
This article addresses the religious policies of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) targeted at promoting Islam among the Turkish Cypriot community. For the secular circles of the Turkish Cypriot community, the AKP’s imposed religious policies constitute a threat to its fundamental features and social fabric. Islamisation policies are regarded as cultural imperialism of the AKP government, with the aim of generating a religious youth, a conservative mentality, and more widespread religious practice in North Cyprus. Within this context, this article analyzes the historical account of the secularization experience of the Turkish Cypriot community, the politicization of religion with reference to education, and the penetration of AKP’s religious policies in North Cyprus.
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The conquest of Cyprus by the Ottoman Empire in 1571 had an impact on the growing Muslim population there. However, the majority Muslim population does not make Northern Cyprus adopt Islam as the official religion of the country. This article aims to analyze the roots of secularism in Northern Cyprus, some of which are caused by British government policies, the rise of Kemalism, the emergence of Alevism and Linobambaki, and the repression of Sufi orders at the end of Ottoman rule. Besides, the political situation in Turkey turned out to have an impact on Northern Cyprus, where Turkey sought to implement the Islamization policy there.
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Dış politikayı bütüncül bir perspektifle değerlendirmek, her zaman çeşitli zorluklara sahiptir. Bu uluslararası sistemin ve aktörlerin çok katmanlı ve karmaşık yapısından kaynaklanmaktadır. Dış politikanın bu yapısı, araştırmacıları tutarlı ve ölçülebilir analizler yapmak için bu politikalara yön veren ilkeler bütününü tespit etmeye sevk etmiştir. Bu makalede, Türkiye'nin izlemiş olduğu dış politika ilkelerinden önemli görülen çok yönlü/boyutlu diplomasi, proaktif dış politika, komşu ülkelerle 'Sıfır Sorun', 'Model' ülkeden 'Merkez' ülkeye geçiş, yumuşak güç (soft power), ekonomi merkezli dış politika ve güvenlik-özgürlük dengesi politikalarına değinilecektir. Türk dış politikası (TDP)'na bütüncül bir bakış açısıyla bakabilmek ve bu politikalara yön veren ilkeleri değerlendirmek hedeflenmektedir. Türkiye'nin 2000 sonrası dış politikasına yön verdiği söylenen ilkeler ışığında, izlenen stratejiler incelenecektir. Çalışmanın ikinci kısmında, bu ilkelerin ne kadar uygulamaya geçirilebildiği ve doğru tespit edilebildiği sorgulanacaktır. Bu sebeple, tüm bu ilkelerin pratikte uygulanma biçimini ve uygulanabilirliğini test etmek için, Türkiye'nin Orta Doğu'da yürüttüğü dış politika uygulama alanı olarak seçilmiştir.
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This paper seeks to analyse the position of Cyprus within the geopolitical vision and broader worldview of the National Outlook Movement (Milli Görüş Hareketi) and especially of the National Salvation Party (MSP). The importance of this particular Party lies on the fact that it participated in the coalition government that made the decision to militarily intervene in the island in 1974. The paper’s principal focus is on the Islamic criticism of Turkey’s Westernization and the development of a comprehensive programme of Islamic transformation. Drawing from the above-mentioned axes, and from the context of the MSP’s geopolitical vision, Cyprus and the Cyprus problem, as well as their impact on the political stance of the MSP, are analysed.
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Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East has become highly contested in the last two decades. The changes in the international and domestic environment have led to the emergence of competing ideas as to the ele-ments of Turkish foreign policy in this region. This article argues that these ideas ultimately represent worldviews as they start with different assumptions about what Turkey is, what the basis of Turkey's interest and involvement should be in this region, to what extent Turkey should engage the Middle East, and what the threats and/or opportunities ema-nating from the region are. Each of these worldviews has been institu-tionalized to some extent. I conclude that these worldviews continue to co-exist and compete with each other in Turkish foreign policy today.
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Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, a potential medicinal plant used for the treatment of nervous disorders, intestinal infection, leprosy, and cancer, is a perennial herb belonging to Solanaceae and distributed throughout the drier parts of India. Leaf blight disease of this plant generally occurs during March in various districts of South Bengal, India. At the initial stage of infection, symptoms appear as small, light brown spots, gradually becoming irregular, dark brown, concentrically zonate with a diffuse margin, frequently surrounded by light yellow haloes, conspicuous brownish concentric rings in the advance stage of infection. A species of Alternaria was isolated from the lesions. The pathogen was isolated on potato dextrose agar (PDA) media. On PDA, the fungus grew slowly with colonies reaching approximately 35 to 40 mm in diameter in 7 days when incubated at 30°C. Conidiophores arose singly or in groups, straight or flexous, cylindrical, septate, pale to olivaceous brown, as much as 155 μm long, 4 to 5.5 μm thick; conidia were straight, obclavate, pale olivaceous brown, smooth, with up to 15 transverse and rarely 1 or 2 longitudinal or oblique septa and measured 50 to 115 × 5 to 10 μm. Pathogenicity tests were carried out three times on 6-month-old plants (n = 10). Plants were sprayed with a conidial suspension of 10 ⁵ conidia/ml; control plants were sprayed with sterilized water. Plants were covered with polyethylene bags for 10 days. Disease symptoms appeared after 12 ± 1 day after inoculation. Symptoms on the leaves were similar to those of a naturally occurring diseased plant. The fungal pathogen was consistently reisolated from inoculated plants. The pathogen was identified as Alternaria dianthicola and further confirmed by the Agharkar Research Institute, Pune, India. A literature survey reports the occurrence of some fungal diseases (1), but to our knowledge, this is the first report of A. dianthicola on W. somnifera. References: (1) P. Sinha et al. Page 14 in: Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants. Vol. 6 Diseases and their Management. Sci Tech Publishing LLC, Houston, TX, 2000.
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From May to June 2011, during a survey of the wheat-growing areas in Meknes in the Saïs Region of Morocco, several cyst nematode populations were detected. Sampling was performed 1 month before wheat (Triticum durum) harvest, in fields showing patches of stunted plants. Plants were growing poorly, had chlorotic lower leaves, and a reduced numbers of ears. Root systems were short and had a bushy appearance because of increased secondary root production. No cysts were visible on the roots, but were found in the soil. Cysts were collected from soil on 200-µm sieves by the modified Cobb decanting and sieving method (1) and identified by morphology and internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-rDNA sequencing. All isolates were identified as Heterodera avenae except the isolate from Aïn Jemâa. From the latter, key morphological features from cysts and second-stage juveniles (J2) were determined. The cysts (n = 10) had the following characteristics: bifenestrate vulval cone, body length without neck 590 µm (551 to 632 µm), body width 393 µm (310 to 490 µm), neck length 75 µm (65 to 90 µm), fenestra length 64 µm (60 to 72 µm) and width 21 µm (18 to 25 µm), underbridge length 96 µm (85 to 115 µm), vulval slit length 8 µm (7 to 9 µm), vulva bridge width 27 µm (24 to 33 µm), and bullae absent. The J2s (n = 10) had the following characteristics: body length 445 µm (412 to 472 µm), body width 19 µm (19 to 21 µm), stylet length 24 µm (23 to 25 µm), four lateral lines, tail length 50 µm (46 to 54 µm), and hyaline terminal tail 28 µm (24 to 31 µm). Values of the morphological characters were within the range of H. latipons reported by Handoo (3). The bifenestrate cysts with a strong underbridge and no bullae and J2 with a tail length greater than 40 µm, a stylet longer than 15 µm, and four incisures in the lateral field were typical for H. latipons. To confirm the identification, molecular observations were made. DNA was extracted from three juveniles from three different cysts separately (4). The ITS-rDNA region was amplified using the primers 5′-CGT AAC AAG GTA GCT GTA G-3′ and 5′-TCC TCC GCT AAA TGA TAT G-3′ as described by Ferris et al. (2). This resulted in a 1,040-bp DNA fragment. The PCR-products were purified and sequenced (Macrogen, Inc., Seoul, Korea). All sequences obtained (GenBank Accession Nos. per cyst: JQ319035, JQ319036, and JQ319037) were compared with sequences available from the GenBank database (, including several species of Heterodera. This comparison revealed a sequence similarity of 97 to 99% with H. latipons and 89% or lower with any other species of Heterodera. Morphological and molecular identification demonstrated that the population of cyst nematodes from a wheat field in Aïn Jemâa, Morocco was H. latipons. In the patches with poor growing plants, 65 cysts per 100 cm 3 soil were found. To our knowledge, this detection represents a new record of H. latipons. Since the nematode can cause considerable damage to wheat, one of the main cereals produced in Morocco, care should be taken to prevent the spread to other regions.
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Crenate broomrape (Orobanche crenata Forsk.) is a parasitic weed known to threaten legume crops since antiquity. It is mainly restricted to the Mediterranean Basin, Southern Europe, and the Middle East where it is an important pest in grain and forage legumes and in some apiaceous crops such as carrot and celery (1). White lupines are cultivated in acid soils, which usually are free of O. crenata infestations. However, breeders are attempting to develop white lupine cultivars adapted to alkaline soils (2). We report here findings of O. crenata infection in field trials of this new lupine germplasm in alkaline soils in experimental farms with a known history of faba bean cultivation and heavy infestation of O. crenata in Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt and Cordoba, Spain in the spring of 2009. Symptoms were typical of O. crenata infection with reduced growth and emergence of typical O. crenata nonbranched spikes close to the lupine plants. Infection was confirmed by digging up the plants to verify the attachment of ...
This paper reviews the evolution of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP)’s civilizational outlook vis-à-vis the West as a discursive instrument that justified its Muslim democracy practices as well as its nativist authoritarian practices. The former practice entails that the AKP appear as a Muslim democratic political force, reconciling Islam and democracy, falsifying the Orientalist essentialism prevalent in the West and resolving the crisis in Turkey’s Western identity. After relieving the secular establishment of its guardianship roles in 2010/2011, the AKP’s nativist practices have aimed at redefining Turkey as a Muslim nation by using a civilizational discourse. As such, the AKP’s nativism was characterized by an attempt at resetting the legitimate parameters of Turkish politics to reject the validity of the universal norms of democracy and the legitimacy of their domestic and international proponents. This naturally entailed a populist anti-establishment stance in foreign as well as domestic policy realms.
Scholars have recently debated whether non-recognition is a blessing or a curse for democracy. Some suggest that lack of recognition forces political elites to democratize and acquire internal legitimacy to compensate for the lack of external legitimacy. Others suggest that democratization is used as a strategy by which to acquire international recognition. Still others claim that non-recognition obliges unrecognized states to rely on a patron state which, in turn, hinders the quality of democracy. To contribute to this discussion, we have conducted an in-depth case study. Focusing on democratic quality in Northern Cyprus from 2010 to 2016, it is observed that reliance on a patron state leads to dynamics of tutelage, in turn hindering the quality of democracy.
Despite its waning influence, Kemalism remains a compelling topic within scholarship on Turkey. In recent years, for instance, a growing literature has critically examined the policies, arrangements, and institutions that underpinned the Kemalist single-party rule (1923–46). Although they have expanded our stock of knowledge on this period and pushed scholarly exchanges beyond polemical debates, most of these studies neglect to account systematically for the origins of the regime and assess it in light of other similar cases from the global south. To address such questions, this paper classifies Kemalism within a category of national-developmentalist regimes. The Turkish case differed from these cases, however, with its low level of institutionalization, particularly its ruling party's limited organizational and mobilizational capacity. While scholars tend to focus on the coercive aspects of Kemalist rule, in reality the regime was built upon a weak party apparatus, a factor that precluded the consolidation of the regime. This paper attributes such an outcome to two factors that gave Mustafa Kemal few incentives to build strong state and party institutions at the onset of his rule, namely (1) a low level of intra-elite conflict and (2) limited popular mobilization. Due to their limited base of support, the Kemalist leadership remained vulnerable to the defection of elites, who could mobilize the popular classes against the ruling party. This paper situates Kemalism as part of a broader category of reformist regimes in the developing world. In so doing, the paper carves out an analytical space wherein scholars can analyze Kemalism in comparative light and highlight the ways with which the Turkish experience differed from other similar cases in the global south.
As opposition to the West and westernization used to be the basis of Islamic political identity in modern Turkey, the recent effort of the Islamists at rethinking this historical positioning, it is argued, has paved the way for the emergence of a new form of Islamic identity as reflected in the program and practice of the ruling Justice and Development Party. Thus this study, first, explains how the positioning of the Islamists vis‐à‐vis the West and westernization constructed an Islamic political identity; then explores the circumstances that led the Islamists to reconsider their positioning; and finally evaluates the impact of this discursive shift on the identity formation and policy orientation of the ruling Justice and Development Party.
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