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|Title:||TURKEY’S ‘LITTLE BROTHER’: EVALUATING THE IMPACT OF DOMESTIC TURKISH POLITICS ON SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS IN CYPRUS|
|Department:||Woodrow Wilson School|
|Abstract:||The conflict between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is commonly regarded as one of the longest and most intractable disputes in international politics. Because of its longstanding nature, the current body of scholarship examines the Cyprus conflict from a wide range of perspectives including those of bargaining theory, ethnocentric nationalism, and game theory. Nevertheless, a substantial gap in the literature exists. Most scholars focus on relations between the island’s two communities to explain the current dynamics of the conflict and typically treat Turkey’s role in the conflict as constant over time. This thesis takes a different approach. Fundamentally, it seeks to understand the reason for Turkey’s continued support of Turkish Cypriots and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus in spite of the political and economic costs it incurs. While a number of factors impact the policymaking process, this thesis chooses to examine Turkish domestic politics specifically in order to develop a nuanced understanding of the ways in which EU accession and Turkey’s civil-military relations have impacted ongoing settlement negotiations in Cyprus. Relying on a combination of publicly available sources in both English and Turkish, this thesis contrasts Turkish policy before and after the Annan Plan in order to understand how these two variables have influenced Turkish foreign policy at different points in time. This thesis’s findings challenge existing notions that Turkish policy towards Cyprus has remained stagnant. Instead, the evidence indicates that Turkey’s policy varies widely in response to events in domestic politics. Most significantly, using the EU accession process as an anchor with which to legitimize its program of reforms, Turkey’s civilmilitary relationship in the mid-2000s allowed the Islamist AKP to consolidate power and curtail the military’s involvement in foreign policymaking. Though this initially made for a more democratic policymaking process, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian grip on the country means that decisions about Turkey’s Cyprus policy are now concentrated solely in his hands. Even if relations on the island itself are increasingly positive, a settlement will only be possible if Erdoğan deems it politically expedient.|
|Type of Material:||Princeton University Senior Theses|
|Appears in Collections:||Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2016|
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