Vestnik RUDN. International Relations, 2021 Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 459—471
The importance of the Eastern Mediterranean for the Turkish state is diachronic. In recent years, however, a renewed interest of Ankara is being recorded as a result of the developments in the energy sphere. This is expressed through various forms of interventionist policy of Turkey in the area. This article examines the reshaping of Turkey’s geopolitical dogma and its connection with Turkish perception of the Eastern Mediterranean.
It examines the impact of the failed coup attempt in 2016 on the ruling power bloc and its reflections in the Turkish geopolitical doctrine. In this framework the article explores the reinstatement of the need for “survival of the state” (devletin bekası) as a result of the reshaping of the ruling coalition and the legitimisation of the attempt to strengthen the authority of the state. At the same time, the ideological construction of the Eastern Mediterranean is important, as it can reveal the process of construction of security issues or the instrumentalisation of real threats through which geopolitical orientation is reshaped and specific policies are implemented. This study consequently reviews the identification of the Eastern Mediterranean with a wider “hostile region” and analyses the functioning of the “blue homeland” concept as a legitimising axis of Turkish politics. The concept of “blue homeland” is examined in conjunction with internal developments in Turkey and especially the change of balance in the power bloc. Finally, the last part of the article analyses the ideological legitimisation of the “blue homeland” concept in Turkey’s strategy for the Eastern Mediterranean. Through these dynamics, the change in Ankara’s perception of the Turkish Cypriot community and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is also identified.
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