Turkey’s changing security perceptions and expenditures in the 2000s: Substitutes or complements?

Gulden Ayman, Gülay Günlük-Şenesen


This article explains changes in Turkey’s security perceptions after the current ruling party, the AKP, came to power. It focuses on how Turkey tried to change the structure of conflictual relations with countries it has long viewed as sources of threat. Focusing on Syria, especially, the article delineates economic tools for conflict reduction and regional integration employed by Turkey and analyzes the challenges and main obstacles that the Turkish government has faced, especially after the Arab spring upheavals. The article then devotes attention to Turkey’s military modernization efforts launched to cope with the new threat environment and from there moves on to elaborate on the effect of security policy preferences and design on Turkish security-related resource allocation since the early 2000s. The intermingled nature of internal and external security policies calls for broadening the context of the economic aspects of security to include police, gendarmerie, and coast guard services along with the military. Descriptive analysis of on-budget components and off-budget facilities shed light on Turkey’s recent position in the international arena as an important military spender and arms importer.


Turkey; security; on-budget; off-budget

Full Text:



Agnew, J.A. and S. Corbridge. 1995. Mastering Space: Hegemony, Territory and International Political Economy. New York: Routledge. http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203422380

Akinci, B. 2004. “Newly Found Friendship between Turkey and Syria.” Middle East Online. Vol. 23 (December). www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=12236 [accessed 13 April 2016].

[AKP] 2011. “Syria is Our Domestic Problem.” 7 August. https://www.akparti.org.tr/english/haberler/syria-is-our-domestic-problem/11535#1

Altunisik, M. 2008. “The Possibilities and Limits of Turkey’s Soft Power in the Middle East.” Insight Turkey. Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 41-54.

Andoura S. and D. Korayni, eds. 2014. Energy in the Eastern Mediterranean: Promise or Peril? Joint Report by the Egmont Institute and the Atlantic Council. Academia Press. May. http://www.egmontinstitute.be/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ep65.pdf [accessed 13 April 2016].

Aras, B. 2009. “The Davutoglu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy.” SETA Policy Brief. No. 32 (May). http://arsiv.setav.org/ups/dosya/20875.pdf [accessed 13 April 2016].

Ayman, G. 2011. “An Analysis of Turkish Mediation in the Middle East in an Era of Turmoil.” Dış Politika–Foreign Policy. 40th Anniversary Issue. Vol. 37, Nos. 3–4, pp. 7-25.

Bachard, D. 2016. “With US no Longer Tusted, Turkey and Saudi Forge New Alliance.” Middle East Eye. 13 April. http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/regional-tensions-push-saudi-arabia-and-turkey-towards-closer-ties-236369218#sthash.YZmylhtu.dpuf.

Barkey, H. 2011. “Turkey and Iraq: The Making of a Partnership.” Turkish Studies. Special Issue: Turkey and the Middle East. Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 663-674.

Biresselioglu, M.E. 2011. “Turkey’s Transforming Relations with the Arab World: The Impact of Recent Turkish High-Level Visits to the Gulf Region.” http://www.balkanalysis.com/turkey/2011/01/27/turkey%E2%80%99s-transforming-relations-with-the-arab-world-the-impact-of-recent-turkish-high-level-visits-to-the-gulf-region/ [accessed 13 April 2016].

Cafiero, G. and D. Wagner. 2015. “Turkey and Qatar: Close Allies, Sharing a Doomed Syria Policy.” The National Interest. 9 November. http://nationalinterest.org/feature/feature/turkey-qatar-close-allies-sharing-doomed-syria-policy-14283.

Dagi, I. 2009. “The Liberal Turn in Turkish Foreign Policy.” Today’s Zaman. (23 February). [Source no longer accessible as the newspaper’s archive was banned by the government.]

Dombey, D. 2011. “Ahmet Davutoglu: Renewed Confidence is on Display.” Financial Times. 21 November. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/712dd55a09fe-11e1-8d46-00144feabdc0.html#axzz46lQNdJN6.

[DS] “Turkey Rejects plan to Partition Syria: Deputy PM.” Daily Sabah. 6 March 2016. http://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2016/03/06/turkey-rejects-plan-to-partition-syria-deputy-pm [accessed 13 April 2016].

[DW] “Greek President Accuses Turkish Authorities of Smuggling Refugees.” Deutsche Welle. 18 January 2016. http://www.dw.com/en/greek-president-accuses-turkish-authorities-of-smuggling-refugees/a-18988011 [accessed 13 April 2016].

[EC] Undated. http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.phpGlossary:Classification_of_the_functions_of_government_(COFOG) [accessed 20 March 2016].

Egeli, S. 2013. Füze Tehdidi ve NATO Füze Kalkani. Istanbul: Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayinlari.

Elekdag, S. 1994. “2.5 War Strategy.” Milliyet. 27 November. http://sam.gov.tr/2-12-war-strategy-4/

Enginsoy, U. 2010. “Turkey to Set Up Trade Zone with Syria, Lebanon, Jordan.” Hurriyet Daily News. 11 July 2010. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=turkey-to-set-up-trade-zone-with-syria-lebanon-jordan-2010-11-07 [accessed 13 April 2016].

Goshgarian, R. 2005. “Breaking the Stalemate: Turkish–Armenian Relations in the 21st Century.” Turkish Policy Quarterly. Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 4-5.

[Guardian] “Turkey Attacks: A Timeline.” The Guardian. 18 February 2016. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/18/turkey-attacks-a-timeline [accessed 3 April 2016].

Gunluk-Senesen, G. 1993. “Turkey: The Arms Industry Modernization Programme,” pp. 251-267 (chapter 13) in H. Wulf, ed. Arms Industry Limited. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Gunluk-Senesen, G. 2002. “Budgetary Trade-offs of Security Expenditures in Turkey.” Defence and Peace Economics. Vol. 13, No. 5, pp. 385-403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10242690213509

Gunluk-Senesen, G. and H. Kirik. 2016. “The AKP Era: Democratization or Resecuritization? An Assessment of the Institutional and Budgetary Reflections.” Research and Policy on Turkey. Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 75-87. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23760818.2015.1099783

[Hurriyet] 2010. “Turkiye-Suriye ortak sinir kapisinin temeli 1-2 ay icinde atilacak.” Hurriyet. 13 June 2010. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/turkiye-suriye-ortak-sinir-kapisinin-temeli-1-2-ay-icinde-atilacak-15007780 [accessed 13 April 2016].

[Hurriyet] 2015. “Org. Özel Savunma ve Havacılık Dergisi’ne konuştu.” Hurriyet. 25 March 2015. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/org-ozel-savunma-ve-havacilik-dergisi-ne-konustu-28549591 [accessed 13 April 2016].

Huth, P.K. and T.L. Allee. 2002. The Democratic Peace and Territorial Conflict in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kasapoğlu, C. 2014. “Uzun Menzilli Bölge Hava ve Füze Savunma Sistemi Projesi: Ankara’nın Tercihlerini Anlamak.” EDAM. (December). http://www.edam.org.tr/tr/File?id=2163 [accessed 3 April 2016].

Kiniklioglu, S. 2009. “‘Neo-Ottoman’ Turkey?” Project Syndicate. https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/-neo-ottoman--turkey?barrier=true [accessed 13 April 2016].

Kirik, H. and G. Gunluk-Senesen. 2012. “Conflict or Concession? Political and Economic Aspects of the Civil-military Relations in Turkey in the 2000s.” Paper presented at the Sixteenth Annual International Conference on Economics and Security, 21–22 June 2012, Cairo.

Kirişci, K. 2009. “The Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy: The Rise of the Trading State.” New Perspectives on Turkey. No. 40, pp. 29-57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0896634600005203

Kirisci, K. 2014. “Syrian Refugees and Turkey’s Challenges: Going Beyond Hospitality.” The Brookings Institution. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2014/05/12-turkey-syrian-refugees-kirisci/syrian-refugees-and-turkeys-challenges-may-14-2014.pdf [accessed 13 April 2016].

Kliot, N and D. Newman. 2000. Geopolitics at the End of the Twentieth Century. London: Frank Cass.

Kutlay, M. 2014. “Türkiye-Ortadoğu Ticari İliskilerinin Politik Ekonomisi.” Ortadogu Analiz, ORSAM. Vol. 6, No. 62, pp. 58-59. http://www.orsam.org.tr/tr/trUploads/Yazilar/Dosyalar/201457_15mustafakutlay.pdf [accessed 13 April 2016].

Oguzlu, T. 2007. “Soft Power in Turkish Foreign Policy.” Australian Journal of International Affairs. Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 81-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10357710601142518

Oguzlu, T. 2008. “Middle Easternization of Turkey’s Foreign Policy: Does Turkey Dissociate from the West?” Turkish Studies. Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 3-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14683840701813960

Oktay, M., and E. Kinacioglu. 2007. “The Domestic Dynamics of Turkey’s Cyprus Policy: Implications for Turkey’s Accession to the European Union.” Turkish Studies. Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 261–273.

Onis, Z., and Ş. Yilmaz. 2008. “Greek-Turkish Rapprochement: Rhetoric or Reality?” Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 123, No. 1, pp. 123-149. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/j.1538-165X.2008.tb00619.x

Ozkan, G. 2010. “Turkish–Armenian Protocols: Any Hope Left?” Hurriyet Daily News. 30 April. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-armenian-protocols-any-hope-left.aspx?pageID=438&n=turkish-armenian-protocols-any-hope-left-2010-04-30 [accessed 13 April 2016].

[Reuters] 2016. “Turkey, Israel make Progress on Deal to Restore Ties: Turkish Ministry.” 8 April. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-israel idUSKCN0X509W

Rosecrance, R. 1999. The Rise of the Virtual State. New York: Basic Books.

[SIPRI] Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. 2015. SIPRI Yearbook 2015 Armaments, Disarmament and International Security. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

[Syria] Government of Syria. 2009. “The Association Agreement Establishing a Free Trade Area between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Turkey.” http://investmentpolicyhub.unctad.org/Download/TreatyFile/2702 [accessed 13 April 2016].

[TDN] “Turkey to Fly Surveillance Balloons, Build New Fence and Moat for Border Security.” Turkish Daily News. 23 July 2015. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-fly-surveillance-balloons-build-new-fence-and-moat-for-border-security.aspx?pageID=238&nID=85810&NewsCatID=510 [accessed 13 April 2016].

Tur, O. 2016. Turkey-Syria Relations: Between Enmity and Amity. London: Routledge.

Yesiltas, M. 2013. Ic Savasa Komsu Olmak: Türkiye'nin Suriye S i n i r Guvenligi Siyaseti, SETAV. http://setav.org/tr/ic-savasa-komsu-olmak-turkiyenin-suri ye-sinir-guvenligi-siyaseti/analiz/27026 [accessed 13 April 2016].

Yourish, K., T. Wallace, D. Watkins, and T. Giratikanon. 2016. “Brussels Is Latest Target in Islamic State’s Assault on West.” The New York Times. 25 March 2016.http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/03/25/world/map-isis-attacks-around-the-world.html [accessed 13 April 2016].

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.11.1.35


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.