SAM Papers


Address of Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan to the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye

The SAM Papers features the address of Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan to the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye.

The speech delivered by Foreign Minister Fidan to the General Assembly of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye on 21 December 2023 on the occasion of the budget discussions is a “policy speech” that outlines the priorities of Türkiye's foreign policy.

The speech offers an insightful perspective on the important topics of the foreign policy agenda.


The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict and the Requirements of a Guarantorship Model

Prof. Dr. Hüseyin Işıksal

Since October 7, 2023, the world has silently been witnessing one of the worst humanitarian tragedies in history like a television reality show. The long-lasting plight of the Palestinians is not a contemporary phenomenon nor did it start after the recent Hamas attack on Israel. The agony of the Palestinians has continued since the 1948 war and has taught them in the hardest possible way that they need an effective guarantorship model for a sustainable solution to their security and survival concerns.


Guarantorship Model for Palestine: An Alternative Approach to Peace

Assoc. Prof. Umut Uzer

The Palestine Question is considered the core issue among the conflicts in the Middle East and has been on the world agenda for well over a century. In light of the Israel-Hamas war which started on October 7, 2023, the issue presents challenges to the stability in the region and the world at large, and urgently requires a lasting resolution.


The Disaster of the Century, Relief Diplomacy, and International Solidarity


Two massive earthquakes hit Türkiye’s southeast region along the Syrian border on February 6, 2023. The earthquakes, which both occurred in the Kahramanmaraş province, had tremendous magnitudes; the Pazarcık quake was 7.7 and the Elbistan was 7.6 on the Richter scale. They were felt as far away as Jordan, Israel, Libya, Egypt, and Lebanon. The first earthquake occurred in Pazarcık at 04:17 am local time and lasted until 06:30 am; 42 aftershocks were recorded.


SAM Papers No 22: Implications of NATO’s 2022 Strategic Concept on its Enlargement & Partnership Policies and Türkiye’s Position: Challenges and Opportunities

Arif Bağbaşlıoğlu

Unlike NATO’s previous three post-Cold War strategic concepts, NATO 2022 Strategic Concept marks a significant shift in discourse, recognizing that the Euro-Atlantic Area is not at peace and presenting the Russian Federation as a direct threat to NATO members. For this reason, the document reprioritizes NATO toward defense and deterrence, and strengthens the discourse of state-based threats to the Alliance. This discourse has implications on NATO's enlargement and partnership policies.


SAM Papers No 21: The Future of the Libyan Quagmire: Challenges and Prospects

Prof. Dr. Murat Yeşiltaş

Ever since the February 17 Revolution in 2011, Libya has gone through various phases of turmoil, instability, power struggle and meddling by international actors. The political and security landscape in the country has been heating up since 2020, as the political process proceeds. However, Libya remains fragile due to the many potential challenges and risks, while external players demand sustainable solutions and a clear pathway for the future. Since the pre-revolution period, many countries have had various interests in Libya, and have pursued different policies toward the country both during Gadhafi’s rule and after the revolution.


SAM Papers No 20: Syria: What’s Next?

Oytun Orhan

There has been a critical decrease in the number of conflicts in Syria since the beginning of 2020. The main reason for this is that the internal and external actors involved in the civil war have reached their natural borders within the country. After this stage, any new military step in Syria will go beyond being a struggle between local actors, entailing the risk of interstate conflicts. Such a scenario would increase the costs of war and force the parties into large-scale military operations. As a result, Syria now seems to be divided into spheres of influence. Regions held by the Syria regime are under Russian and Iranian protection, opposition-held areas are under Turkish influence and SDF/YPG-held regions are under U.S. protection.


SAM Papers No 19: Possible Revamp in Turkey-EU Relations in the Post Covid-19 Era: Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Şuay Nilhan Açıkalın

Turkey-EU relations have been under de facto suspension for the last few years. 2020 played a transformative role in international relations, bringing huge unpredictability but at the same time presenting various opportunities in Turkey-EU relations.


SAM Papers No 18: Hard Fighting In The Caucasus: The Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ Combat Performance and Military Strategy In The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh War

Dr. Can Kasapoğlu

The 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh clashes marked more than a bonan-za between two belligerents. In essence, the war was fought be-tween two strategic paradigms, one belonging to the 21st century and the other the remnant of 20th century military thinking.


SAM Papers No 17: New Balance of Power in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey

Prof. Dr. Nurşin Ateşoğlu Güney

Currently, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea is brewing as a region of potential conflict rather than cooperation due to continuous geopolitical and geo-economic competition among various actors, not only at the national level but also at regional and strategic levels.


Sam Papers No 16: On Turkey’s Missile Defense Strategy: The Four Faces of the S-400 Deal Between Turkey and Russia

Prof. Dr. Mustafa Kibaroğlu

The S-400 deal signed between Turkey and Russia has sparked an intense debate in the international arena, where harsh criticisms have been leveled against Turkey, extending from whether Turkey needs to spend billions of dollars to buy an air defense system whose effectiveness has not yet been...


SAM Paper No:15 Turkey and The United Nations Reform: Turkey’s Case for a More Effective, Representative and Participatory United Nations

Prof. Dr. Oktay F. Tanrısever

This SAM Paper explores the origins, characteristics, and implications of Turkey’s call for a United Nations (UN) reform which could make the UN a more effective, representative and participatory international organization. The key highlights of the SAM Paper are as follows: The SAM Paper claims that the existing UN system needs to be reformed due...


SAM Papers No:14 Leading Peace Operations: Turkey’s Experience

Doç. Dr. Uğur Güngör

This policy brief focuses on Turkey’s leadership in peace operations in Somalia (UNOSOM II) and Afghanistan (ISAF II and VII). It explains the events leading to the establishment of these operations, provides a brief history, and explores their mission in order to provide a better understanding of Turkey’s...


SAM Paper No:13 Turkey and the OIC: Greater Economic Cooperation, Opportunities and Challenges

Dr. Bilal Bağış & Dr. Çağlar Yurtseven

This paper aims to analyze potential future areas of greater cooperation between Turkey and the other OIC member economies. It then provides some specific policy recommendations. In particular, the paper aims to contribute to economic policymaking efforts in terms of the potential future areas


SAM Papers No:11 The United Nations Peace Operations and Motivations at the Roots of Turkey’s Involvement

Doç. Dr. Uğur Güngör

This policy brief studies the evolution of United Nations peace operations and aims at analyzing the motivations that lie at the root of Turkey’s involvement in peace operations, mostly organized under the leadership of the United Nations in the post-Cold War era. The brief puts forth the argument that participation in such...


SAM Papers No:10 Demokrasi, Otoriterlik, Uluslararası Politika: Entegre Bir Yaklaşım Arayışı

Prof. Dr. Ali Resul Usul

Uluslararası İlişkiler literatüründe siyasal rejimlerin doğası ve uluslararası siyasete olan etkisi genel olarak Demokratik Barış Tezi (DBT) çerçevesinde tartışılmaktadır. Bu tezi, yaklaşım ya da teoriyi savunanlar ve karşı çıkanlar akademik alanlarda tartışmayı sürdürmektedirler. Bununla birlikte, DBT, sadece bir teori değil aynı zamanda ...


SAM Papers No:9 La política Exterior de Turquía en el Siglo XXI: La Diplomacia Cultural y el Poder Blando

Mehmet Özkan

La politica turca cambio radicalmente despues del 3 de noviembre de 2002, cuando el Partido de la Justicia y el Desarrollo (AK Parti - PJD) gano suficientes escanos en el parlamento para formar un gobierno en solitario. Considerado este hecho como un terremoto politico, el PJD ha sido el primer partido que ha conseguido gobernar en mayoria en Turquia durante la ultima decada. Antes...


SAM Papers No:8 Human Rights and the Transformation Process in Turkey

Bülent Arınç

The increase in the number of nation-states and the violent wars of the last century has triggered the evolution of a new approach that seeks to find a place for the individual in international law. In other words, human rights has become internationalised and this is for the good of all humanity. Today, the fundamental human rights principles, such as justice, equality and freedom,...


SAM Papers No:7 A Dictionary of Turkish Foreign Policy in the AK Party Era: A Conceptual Map

Murat Yeşiltaş and Ali Balcı

This study aims to describe the foreign policy discourses and practices which have seen wide use in the era of the Justice and Development Party (the AK Party). Given the fact that concepts do not emerge independently of their historical context, this study argues that the AK Party government’s foreign policy can be analysed through the dominant concepts that have been used. The


SAM Papers No:6 Turkey’s Regional Approach in Afghanistan: A Civilian Power in Action

Doç. Dr. Şaban Kardaş

This policy brief studies Turkey’s contributions to the resolution of the Afghan conflict by focusing on its regional approach. The brief puts forth the argument that Afghanistan provides a good show-case to demonstrate the elements of a new security culture Turkey has adopted in its post-Cold War transformation. Reflecting the growing power of...


SAM Papers No:5 Making Sense of Turkish-EU Relations in the Aftermath of the Arab Spring

Bülent Aras

Both the EU’s recognition of the importance of its value system and Turkey’s rediscovery of its European component in its foreign policy identity have occurred during a period of radical transformation in the Mediterranean region. The Arab Spring has resulted in a process of renegotiation over territory, identity and...


SAM Papers No:4 Turkey’s Mediation and Friends of Mediation Initiative

Bülent Aras

This brief critically examines a new area of activism in Turkey’s foreign policy agenda: Turkey’s rise as a mediator in regional and international crises zones. It contextualizes Turkey’s reliance on a multitude of actors to support its mediation initiatives, most notably its vibrant civil society and NGOs, as a successful...


SAM Papers No:3 Turkey’s New Horizon: Turks Abroad and Related Communities

Kemal Yurtnaç

Across the world, there are many countries that have established institutions to serve and engage with their citizens and kin living abroad. Such institutions are called Diaspora Ministry/ Department in some cases, while in others they operate as independent units under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dissolution of the Soviet...


SAM Papers No:2 Religion and Secularism in the Modern World: A Turkish Perspective

Prof. Dr. Mehmet Görmez

This policy brief presents an alternative perspective on the relationship between religion and politics by employing an inter-disciplinary framework. Identifying two problematic approaches to the role of religion in modern world – viewing religion as an artifact of the past and neglecting the everyday realities of religion – the author proposes to...


SAM Papers No:1 The ‘Arab Spring’ and the Rise of the 2.0 Version of Turkey’s ‘zero problems with neighbors’ Policy

Doç. Dr. Tarık Oğuzlu

This brief seeks to explain the challenges facing Turkey’s ‘zero problems with neighbors’ policy in the context of the developments associated with the ‘Arab Spring.’ How Turkey’s foreign policy understanding will be affected by the tumultuous changes in the region, and how Turkey should cope with these changes require urgent answers.. .