Neo-Ottomanism, Eurasianism or securing the region? A longer view on Turkey's interventionism



Hoffmann C (2019) Neo-Ottomanism, Eurasianism or securing the region? A longer view on Turkey's interventionism. Conflict, Security and Development, 19 (3), pp. 301-307.

Few observers will have noticed that Turkey is second only to the USA in having large parts of its army stationed abroad. This contribution will focus on these interventions – which are diverse in nature and political origin. Featuring the second largest territorial army within NATO and only recently exploring its regional and, to some extent, global geopolitical ambitions, Turkey’s interventionism is ambiguous and remains difficult to make sense of. While Turkey’s interventions may not confront Western interests to the same extent that Russia’s do, operations, like in Cyprus, nevertheless cause a general sense of unease about this middle-ranking regional power conducting large-scale military interventions. While many are not directly sanctioned, others are outright opposed by the West. Starting from Turkey’s participation in the Korean War, there is, conversely, a longer history of Turkey playing an integral role in Western interventionism. More recently, Turkey’s involvement in the Middle East, and particularly in Syria, has given rise to claims that it continues to pursue a ‘neo-Ottoman’ foreign policy. The short history presented here reflects on the geopolitically awkward position Turkey’s interventionism takes up in between ambitions for regional hegemony, a rising global power and an integral part of the liberal Western order.

Turkish foreign policy; Turkey; intervention; Middle East; international history

Conflict, Security and Development: Volume 19, Issue 3

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online11/06/2019
Date accepted by journal15/04/2019

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Dr Clemens Hoffmann
Dr Clemens Hoffmann

Lecturer in International Politics, Politics