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Securitizing the Aegean: de-Europeanizing Greek–Turkish relations

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Abstract

Turkish foreign policy has experienced a profound transformation in the nearly two decades since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) came to power. In its first decade (2002–2011), the AKP government sought to consolidate, promote, and implement its agenda through the use of soft power while also aligning Turkey with the West and EU conditionality. However, since 2011 domestic and international developments have led Ankara to pursue a ‘logic of strategic autonomy.’ Since the failed coup attempt in July 2016 – which reinforced a trend towards resecuritization in Turkish foreign policy – relations with the EU in general and Greece, in particular, have grown more complicated, leading to a militarized and increasingly tense situation in the region. Against this backdrop, the present article analyses the rekindling of the ‘Aegean Cold War’ since 2016, focusing principally on the Aegean, Cyprus, and the refugee crisis and the EU’s ambivalent policy towards Turkey and Greek–Turkish relations in general.

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https://doi.org/10.1080/14683849.2020.1862474
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