Friday, April 27, 2012


By: George Friedman

Published: April 17, 2012; The Geopolitical Weekly the state of the world

Level: ****

Thanks are due to my friend and colleague Hamide Koz for this interesting text.


Read the first two paragraphs of the text.

1.       What is the function of the last sentence of paragraph one?

2.       What was the advantage of the significant loss of land and political control Turkey suffered after WWI?

Read The Russia Problem.

3.       What vested interest did Russia have in the reshaping of Turkish sovereignty?

4.       What were the reasons for The US foreign policy after WWII?

5.       Close ties with the US suited Turkey too because………………………………………….. (Be brief and to the point)

6.       Why exactly did relationships with the US change in the ‘90’s?

Read The Post Soviet Shift:

7.       Why exactly did Turkey’s relationships with the US remain unchanged even after the change in strategic environment?

8.       Read the information about the US invasion of Iraq. What conclusion can we draw from this information?

9.       What does “That” refer to in the phrase “That left Turkey free to consider other options”?

10.   This shift in foreign policy could have gained Turkey EU membership. It did not. Why?

11.   In retrospect, the denial of EU membership turned out to be a blessing. Why?

12.   What three factors determine Turkey’s post cold war strategy?

Read The Transitional Stage.

  1. For what reasons has Turkey not yet become a great power?
  2. Current Turkish foreign policy may be compared to that of the US between 1900 and WWI. What is the similarity?
  3. What two problems must Turkey address before becoming a great power in the region?
  4. The Kurdish problem could be seen as Turkey’s soft underbelly because…………………………..
  5. A dire consequence of the above situation could be ………………………………………………………………
  6. In this last section of the text, Turkey and the US are, once again, compared. What is the similarity?
  7. What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This means allowing events around them to take their course”?
  8. Why exactly is managing a transitional power so hard?


This brilliant analysis of Turkey’s strategy off the Stratfor website is one of the most concise, historically accurate, insightful and well organized pieces of writing I have seen in a while. I have not included a pre reading activity as I have grave doubts the students have the background but I do feel this text will go like a dream. It might be an idea to analyze organization too as it is so well thought out. I suggest the students read the text in sections and answer the relevant questions so they actually absorb the content as well.

  1. It justifies the way the text has been planned and written.
  2. It solved the problem of Turkey’s strategic interests having come to outstrip its power.
  3. To prevent a blockade, to project power into the Mediterranean.
  4. A soviet allied or Soviet influenced would have broken the center of the American containment system, changing the balance of power.
  5. It was unable to deal with the Soviets alone.
  6. Because Turkey was freed from the fear of Russia. The defining element in Turkish foreign policy was gone is unacceptable as it requires further clarification.
  7. Because of inertia and inattention.
  8. It is much easier to forge a foreign policy in the face of a clear threat than in the face of an undefined set of opportunities.
  9. The Turks viewing themselves…
  10. A host of reasons from massive Turkish immigration to Greek hostility blocked Turkey’s membership bid.
  11. Turkey was left with a more dynamic economy than most of Europe and without liability for Greece’s debts.
  12. Its rise in relative power, the possible dangers posed to Turkish interests by destabilization, the US is in the process of….
  13. Paragraph one in the section.
  14. A transitional foreign policy is at work OR there is a period of balancing.
  15. The ongoing tensions between the secular and religious elements in its society; the Kurdish problem.
  16. So long as the Kurdish issue persists…
  17. The undermining of Turkey’s power….
  18. The more powerful a nation becomes, the more vulnerable it might be.
  19. Turkey’s current strategy is to make its safety among nations last as long as possible.
  20. Because it involves keeping your balance when the world around you is in chaos and the stresses this places on society and government.

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