Advertisement

East Asia

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 289–308 | Cite as

Can Two Ends of Asia Meet? An Overview of Contemporary Turkey-China Relations

  • Ceren Ergenc
Article

Abstract

China’s new Silk Road policy, titled “One Belt, One Road,” signals a proactive turn in China’s regional policy towards Central and West Asia. The policy has two dimensions: First, China aims to revitalize the old Silk Road exchange of goods, ideas, and people with trade, energy, and transportation projects. Second, armed with these new connections, China aims to redefine the territories the old Silk Road encompasses as a region in the contemporary international system. Turkey, as one of the countries at the westernmost end of the historic Silk Road, and one of the target countries of China’s new Silk Road diplomacy, welcomes the increasing economic and technological exchange with China. Establishing better contacts with China fits suitably in Turkey’s new foreign policy orientation. While the foreign policies of the two countries seem to be compatible, Turkish domestic political dynamics and public opinion hinder further engagement between the two ends of the Silk Road. The negative public opinion towards China manifests itself in the form of media coverage, protests and lobbying and, at times, it derails bilateral relations. This paper assesses the prospects for bilateral relations in the light of these developments. The paper starts with a historical analysis of Sino-Turkish relations and proceeds with various dimensions of the current relations. Then, it provides an analysis of various public opinion surveys in order to grasp the nature of the Turkish public opinion towards China, and it offers a media framing analysis in order to decipher the specific ways the image of China is constructed in Turkish public opinion. The last part of the paper discusses the domestic political actors that have a role in the perceptions and policies toward China in Turkey.

Keywords

Turkey China Silk Road One belt one road Asianization Public opinion Foreign policy Regionalization 

References

  1. 1.
    Altunisik, M. (2014). Geographical Representation of Turkey’s Cuspness: Discourse and Practice. In M. Herzog and P. Robins (Ed.) The Role, Position and Agency of Cusp States in International Relations (pp. 25-42), New York: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Atli, A. (2015). A View from Ankara: Turkey’s Relations with China in a Changing Middle East. Mediterranean Quarterly, 26(1). doi: 10.1215/10474552-2873010
  3. 3.
    Bacik, G. (2011). Envisioning the Asia-Pacific Century: Turkey between the United States and China. Resource Document.Today’s Zaman. http://www.todayszaman.com/todays-think-tanks_envisioning-the-asia-pacific-century-turkey-between-the-united-states-and-china_265222.html. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  4. 4.
    Beeson, M. (2010). Asymmetrical Regionalism: China, Southeast Asia and Uneven Development. East Asia An International Quarterly. 27(4), 329-343CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colakoglu, S. (2013).Turkey-China Relations: Rising Partnership. Ortadogu Analiz. 5(53), 32-45Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Colakoglu, S. (2014). Turkish Perceptions of China’s Rise. USAK Center for Asia-Pacific Studies Report No: 39Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Colakoglu, S. (2014). The Framework of Sino-Turkish Strategic Cooperation Should be Improved. Resource Document. The Journal of Turkish Weekly. http://www.turkishweekly.net/2014/09/26/news/prof-colakoglu-the-framework-of-sino-turkish-strategic-cooperation-should-be-improved/. Accessed 23 June 2015.
  8. 8.
    Davutoglu, A. (2008). Turkey’s Foreign Policy Vision: An Assessment of 2007, Insight Turkey, 10(1), 77-96Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Denemark, R. (2000). World Systems History: The Social Science of Long-Term Change。 London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duara, P. (2010). Asia Redux: Conceptualizing a Region for Our Times. The Journal of Asian Studies. 69(04), 963-983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ergenc, C. (2015). Kulagini Tersten Gostermek. Modus Operandi. 1(1), 32-54Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Esenbel, S., Atli, A. (2013). Turkey’s Changing Foreign Policy Stance: Getting Closer to Asia?. Resource Document. Middle East Institute, www.mei.edu/content/turkey’s-changing-foreign-policy-stance. Accessed 24 June 2015.
  13. 13.
    Hobson, J. (2004). The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation. London: Cambridge University PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kirisci, K. (2009), The Transformation of Turkish Foreign Policy: The Rise of the Trading State, New Perspectives on Turkey, no 40, IstanbulGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Konuk, K. (2007). Eternal Guests, Mimics, and Donme: The Place of German and Turkish Jews in Modern Turkey. New Perspectives on Turkey. 37, 5-30Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kuscu, I., (2013). The Origins of Uyghur Long-Distance Nationalism: The First Generation Uyghur Diaspora in Turkey. Journal of Central Asian & Caucasian Studies. 8(16), 73-94.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lin, C. (2013). Turkey Trots to East China. Transatlantic Academy. Resource Document. www.transatlanticacademy.org/node/606?page=7. Accessed 24 June 2015.
  18. 18.
    Onis, Z., Yilmaz, S. (2009). Between Europeanization and Euro-Asianism: Foreign Policy Activism During the AKP Era. Turkish Studies. 10(1), 7-24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pomeranz, K. (2000). The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy. New Jersey: Princeton University PressGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Robins, P. (2003), Suits and Uniforms: Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, University of Washington Press, Seattle WAGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rosenthal, J.L., Wong, R.B. (2011). Before and Beyond Divergence The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe. Boston: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Shichor, Y. (2009). Ethno-Diplomacy: The Uyghur Hitch in Sino-Turkish Relations. Honolulu: East-West Center.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sozen, A., Sahin, D. (2013). Perception of Axis Shift in Turkish Foreign Policy: An Analysis through “Butterfly Effect”. Izmir Review of Social Sciences. 1(1)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tiezzi, S. (2014). China May Lose Turkish Missile Defense Contract. Resource Document. The Diplomat. http://thediplomat.com/2014/09/china-may-lose-turkish-missile-defense-contract/. Accessed 25 June 2015.
  25. 25.
    Transatlantic Trends Country Profile: Turkey. Resource document. German Marshall Fund.http://trends.gmfus.org/transatlantic-trends/country-profiles-2/turkey-2/. Accessed 24 June 2015.
  26. 26.
    Turkish Investment Agency Infrastructure Report. Resource document. http://www.invest.gov.tr/en-US/infocenter/publications/Documents/INFRASTRUCTURE.INDUSTRY.pdf. Accessed 3 July 2015.
  27. 27.
    Üngör, Ç. (2012). “China reaches Turkey?: Radio Peking’s Turkish language Broadcasts during the Cold War”. All-Azimuth: A Journal of Foreign Policy and Peace,. Sayı 2. Cilt 1 sf 19-33Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Üngör-Sunar, Ç. (2013). Türkiye Solunda Çin Etkisi: Proleter Devrimci Aydınlık Hareketi üzerine bir İnceleme”,. Türkiye’de Çin’i Düşünmek. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları IstanbulGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Zan, T. (2013). An Alternative Partner to the West: Turkey’s Growing Relations with China. Resource Document. Middle East Institute. www.mei.edu/content/alternative-partner-west-turkey’s-growing-relations-with-china. Accessed 24 june 2015.
  30. 30.
    Zhao, S. (2011). China’s Approaches Toward Regional Cooperation in East Asia: Motivations and Calculations. Journal of Contemporary China. 20(68), 53–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Relations and Asian Studies ProgramMiddle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations