An Appraisal of Debates on the Turkish-Soviet Break-Up and Turkey's Reorientation to the West from a Systemic Perspective


JOURNAL OF BALKAN AND NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, vol.22, no.2, pp.240-258, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier


This study seeks to examine how the mainstream and radical circles interpreted the developments in Turkish-Soviet relations starting in 1939 and the causes of Turkey's historical reorientation towards the Western alliance under the conditions of rising inter-systemic confrontation of the Cold War. This article suggests that both the mainstream and the radical circles have not adequately taken into consideration the fundamental changes in the international order in both pre- and post-war developments. It argues that while researchers focus on either geopolitical factors or socio-economic dynamics with the aim of explaining the pre- and post-war Turkish foreign policies, they tend to evaluate the geopolitical and socio-economic dynamics as independent from each other. Additionally, by ignoring the transformative impacts of the changing patterns or forms of the inter-imperialist and inter-systemic relationships, they fail to differentiate the changing dynamics behind the pre- and post-war Turkish foreign policies, which in turn led to ahistorical interpretations of Turkish foreign policy.