Turkey’s Multistakeholder Diplomacy: From a Middle Power Angle

  • Gürol Baba


Turkish diplomacy fits into middle power approaches. As a good international citizen, it performs as a “go-between” for international coalition-building and creates regional bridging alignments with similar-minded powers. It also utilizes international organizations to amplify its influence. Multistakeholder diplomacy puts an extra layer to this modus operandi. Turkey as a middle power has been performing multistakeholder diplomacy in four major “neighboring” areas: Africa, the Middle East, Balkans, and south Caucasus. This chapter analyzes how multistakeholder diplomacy could be a complementary extra layer to middle power diplomacy. Turkey’s efforts in the last decade give a clear example of what types of complex agendas have been dealt with by multistakeholder diplomacy. It also elaborates the tools Turkey has been utilizing and theoretically relabels Turkish diplomatic efforts within multistakeholder diplomacy.


  1. 6th Meeting of Directors of Yunus Emre Institute, Yunus Emre Bulletin, 16 April 2013, p. 8, 2017.,
  2. Akyol, Taha. 2005. Neden Türkiye Başardı. Milliyet, December 6.Google Scholar
  3. Altunışık, Meliha B., and Lenore G. Martin. 2011. Making Sense of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East Under AKP. Turkish Studies 12 (4): 569–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. “Announcement: 17, 26 May 2012, II. Press Release Regarding the Istanbul Somali Conference.” Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  5. Aras, Bülent. 2009. The Davutoğlu Era in Turkish Foreign Policy. Insight Turkey 3 (11): 127–142.Google Scholar
  6. Aras, Bülent, and Pınar Akpınar. 2011. The Relations Between Turkey and the Caucasus. Perception XVI (3): 53–68.Google Scholar
  7. Aras, Bülent, and Rabia K. Polat. 2008. From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Relations with Syria and Iran. Security Dialogue 5 (39): 492–515.Google Scholar
  8. Assanvo, William Taffotien. 2006. Multistakeholder Diplomacy in the Context of National Diplomatic Systems. In Multistakeholder Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities, ed. Jovan Kurbalija and Valentin Katrandjiev, 141–145. Geneve: DiploFoundation.Google Scholar
  9. Atalay, Zeynep. 2013. Civil Society as Soft Power: Islamic Ngos and Turkish Foreign Policy. In Turkey Between Nationalism and Globalization, ed. Riva Kastoryano. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Babali, Tuncay. 2009. Turkey Courts Iraq’s Energy-Rich Kurds. Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2010. Regional Energy Equations and Turkish Foreign Policy: The Middle East and the CIS. Insight Turkey 12 (3): 147–168.Google Scholar
  12. Bagdonas, Azuolas. 2015. Turkey as a Great Power? Back to Reality. Turkish Studies 3 (16): 310–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bank, André, and Roy Karadağ. 2013. The ‘Ankara Moment’: The Politics of Turkey’s Regional Power in the Middle East, 2007–11. Third World Quarterly 2 (34): 287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Barston, Ronald Peter. 2012. Modern Diplomacy. New York: Pearson.Google Scholar
  15. Bechev, Dimitar. 2012. Turkey in the Balkans: Taking a Broader View. Insight Turkey 14 (1).Google Scholar
  16. Begoyan, Anush. 2006. Multistakeholder Processes in Conflict Resolution. In Multistakeholder Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities, ed. Jovan Kurbalija and Valentin Katrandjiev. Geneve: DiploFoundation.Google Scholar
  17. Berridge, Geoff. 1995. Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. London: Prentice Hall/Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  18. Berridge, Geoff R., Maurice Keens-Soper, and T.G. Otte, eds. 2001. Diplomatic Theory from Machiavelli to Kissinger. New York: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  19. Bjola, Corneliu, and Marcus Holmes. 2015. Digital Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Bjola, Corneliu, and Markus Kornprobst. 2013. Understanding International Diplomacy: Theory, Practice and Ethics. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Boutros-Ghali, Boutros. 1992. Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-Keeping. New York: United Nations, − United Nations Department of Public Information.Google Scholar
  22. Cagaptay, Soner. 2014. The Rise of Turkey: The Twenty-First Century’s First Muslim Power. Dulles: Potomac Books.Google Scholar
  23. Cohen, Yoel. 1988. Media Diplomacy: The Foreign Office in the Mass Communications Age. International Journal 04.Google Scholar
  24. Cooper, Andrew F., ed. 1997. Niche Diplomacy: Middle Powers After the Cold War. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Cooper, David A. 2011. Challenging Contemporary Notions of Middle Power Influence: Implications of the Proliferation Security Initiative for “Middle Power Theory”. Foreign Policy Analysis 7: 317–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Cooper, Andrew F., Brian Hocking, and William Maley, eds. 2008. Global Governance and Diplomacy, Worlds Apart? New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  27. Cooper, Andrew F., Jorge Heine, and Ramesh Thakur. 2013. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Cornell, S.E. 2013. Turkey: Return to Stability? In Seventy-Five Years of the Turkish Republic, ed. S. Kedourie, 209–235. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  29. Cox, Robert W. 1989. Middlepowermanship’ Japan and the Future World Order. International Journal: Canada’s Journal of Global Policy Analysis 44: 823–862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Criss, Nur Bilge. 2010. “Parameters of Turkish Foreign Policy Under the Akp Governments.” UNISCI Discussion Papers, p. 23, May.Google Scholar
  31. Dalay, Galip, and Dov Friedman. 2013. The Ak Party and the Evolution of Turkish Political Islam’s Foreign Policy. Insight Turkey 2 (15): 123–139.Google Scholar
  32. Davutoğlu, Ahmet. 2001. Stratejik Derinlik, Turkiye’nin Uluslararasi Konumu. Istanbul: Kure Yayinlari.Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2012. Principles of Turkish Foreign Policy and Regional Political Structuring. TEPAV.Google Scholar
  34. Demirtas, Birgul. 2015. Turkish Foreign Policy Towards the Balkans: A Europeanized Foreign Policy in a De-Europeanized National Context? Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 17 2: 123–140. “T”, no. 17/2, 2015, 123–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Devrim, Deniz, and Evelina Schulz. 2009. The Caucasus: Which Role for Turkey in the European Neighbourhood? Insight Turkey 11 (3): 177–193.Google Scholar
  36. Diamond, Louise, and James Notter. 1996. Building Peace and Transforming Conflict: Multi-Track Diplomacy in Practice. Washington, DC: Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy.Google Scholar
  37. Dietzen, Mark. 2011. 2010–11 Fox Fellow to Freie University in Berlin, a New Look at Old Principles: Making the Madrid Document Work. Caucasus Edition 4 (1).Google Scholar
  38. Dış Ekonomik İlişkiler Kurulu.
  39. Dodds, Felix. 2000. The Context: Multistakeholder Processes and Global Governance. In Multistakeholder Processes for Governance and Sustainability: Beyond Deadlock and Conflict, ed. M. Hemmati. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  40. Eban, Abba. 1983. The New Diplomacy: International Affairs in the Modern Age. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  41. Efstathopoulos, Charalampos. 2011. Reinterpreting India’s Rise Through the Middle Power Prism. Asian Journal of Political Science 19 (1): 74–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Erickson, Edward J. 2004. Turkey as Regional Hegemon – 2014: Strategic Implications for the United States. Turkish Studies 5 (3): 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. European Stability Initiative. 2009. Turkish Foreign Policy: From Status Quo to Soft Power. Picture Story, April.Google Scholar
  44. Evans, Gareth, and Bruce Grant. 1991. Australia’s Foreign Relations. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Falk, Richard. 2013. Turkey’s New Multilateralism: A Positive Diplomacy for the Twenty-First Century. Global Governance 19: 353–376.Google Scholar
  46. Fotiou, Eleni, and Dimitrios Triantaphyllou. 2010. Assessing Turkey’s “Soft Power” Role: Rhetoric Versus Practice. The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs 1 (45): 99–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. “Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries.” United Nations.
  48. Fox, Annette Baker. 1977. The Politics of Attraction: Four Middle Powers and the United States. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Glaser, Charles L. 1996. Realists as Optimists: Cooperation as “Self-Help”. In Realism: Restatements and Renewal, ed. Benjamin Frankel. London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  50. Glazerbrook, George. 1947. The Middle Powers in the United Nations System. International Organization 1 (2): 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Görgülü, Aybars, and Onnik Krikorian. 2012. Turkey’s South Caucasus Agenda: The Role of State and Non-State Actors. In Turkey’s South Caucasus Agenda: Roles of State and Non-State Actors, ed. Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) and Turkish Economic Social Studies Foundation. Tbilisi, Georgia, March 2.Google Scholar
  52. Guzeldere, Ekrem E. 2009. Turkish Foreign Policy: From ‘Surrounded by Enemies’ to ‘Zero Problems’. CAP Policy Analysis 1: 14–20.Google Scholar
  53. Hatipoglu, Emre, and Glenn Palmer. 2014. Contextualizing Change in Turkish Foreign Policy: The Promise of the ‘Two-Good’ Theory. Cambridge Review of International Affairs 29 (1): 231–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Hawes, Michael K. 1984. Principal Power, Middle Power, or Satellite? Competing Perspectives in the Study of Canadian Foreign Policy. Toronto: York Research Programme in Strategic Studies.Google Scholar
  55. Hickok, Michael R. 2000. Hegemon Rising: The Gap Between Turkish Strategy and Military Modernization. Parameters 30 (2): 105–119.Google Scholar
  56. Hill, Christopher. 2003. The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  57. Hocking, Brian. 1999. Catalytic Diplomacy: Beyond ‘Newness’ and ‘Decline’. In Innovation in Diplomatic Practice. Studies in Diplomacy, ed. J. Melissen. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  58. ———. 2006. Multistakeholder Diplomacy: Forms, Functions, and Frustrations. In Multistakeholder Diplomacy: Challenges and Opportunities, ed. Jovan Kurbalija and Valentin Katrandjiev. Geneve: DiploFoundation.Google Scholar
  59. Hsu, Angel, Andrew S. Moffat, Amy J. Weinfurter, and Jason D. Schwartz. 2015. Towards a New Climate Diplomacy. Nature Climate Change 5 (6).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. İdiz, Semih. 2005. Türkiye’nin ‘Kolaylaştırıcı’ Rolü Ağırlık Kazanıyor. Milliyet, December 5.Google Scholar
  61. Ilgit, Asli, and Binnur Ozkececi-Taner. 2013. Turkey at the United Nations Security Council: ‘Rhythmic Diplomacy’ and a Quest for Leadership and Global Influence. Mediterranean Politics 2: 183–202.Google Scholar
  62. İpek, Volkan, and Gonca Biltekin. 2013. Turkey’s Foreign Policy Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Post-International Approach. New Perspectives on Turkey 49: 121–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Jensen, Lloyd. 1987. Explaining Foreign Policy. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  64. Keating, Tom. 1993. Canada and World Order: The Multilateralist Tradition in Canadian Foreign Policy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  65. Kerr, Pauline, and Geoffrey Wiseman. 2013. Diplomacy in a Globalizing World Theories and Practices. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Kickbusch, Ilona, Gaudenz Silberschmidt, and Paulo Buss. 2007. Global Health Diplomacy: The Need for New Perspectives, Strategic Approaches and Skills in Global Health. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 85 (3): 230–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Kirişçi, Kemal. 2011. Turkey’s “Demonstrative Effect” and the Transformation of the Middle East. Insight Turkey 13 (1): 33–55.Google Scholar
  68. Kissinger, Henry. 1994. Diplomacy. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  69. Langhorne, Richard. 2005. The Diplomacy of Non-State Actors. Diplomacy & Statecraft 16 (2): 331–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Lauren, Paul Gordon, ed. 1979. Diplomacy: New Approaches in History, Theory, and Policy. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  71. Leguey-Feilleux, Jean-Robert. 2017. Global Governance Diplomacy: The Critical Role of Diplomacy in Addressing Global Problems. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  72. Lightfoot, Simon. 2006. A Good International Citizen? Australia at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Australian Journal of International Affairs 60 (3): 457–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. McGillivray, Fiona, and Allan C. Stam. 2004. Political Institutions, Coercive Diplomacy, and the Duration of Economic Sanctions. The Journal of Conflict Resolution 48 (2): 154–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Melissen, Jan. 1999. Innovation in Diplomatic Practice. New York: St. Martin’s Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Meral, Ziya, and Jonathan Paris. 2010. Decoding Turkish Foreign Policy Hyperactivity. The Washington Quarterly 4 (33): 75–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Metzl, Jamie F. 2001. Network Diplomacy. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 2 (1): 77–87.Google Scholar
  77. Mitrovic, Marija. 2014. Turkish Foreign Policy Towards the Balkans: The Influence of Traditional Determinants on Davutoğlu’s Conception of Turkey – Balkan Relations. GeT MA Working Paper Series, no. 10.Google Scholar
  78. Mufti, Malik. 2011. A Little America: The Emergence of Turkish Hegemony. Middle East Brief, no. 51.Google Scholar
  79. Muguruza, Mikel I. 2002. In Civil Society and Trade Diplomacy in the “Global Age.” the European Case: Trade Policy Dialogue between Civil Society and the European Commission, Document for the Fourth Meeting of the Trade and Integration Network, ed. Inter-American Development Bank. Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  80. Muldoon, James P. 1999. Multilateral Diplomacy and the United Nations Today. Boulder: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  81. Neack, Laura. 1995. Linking State Type with Foreign Policy Behaviour. In Foreign Policy Analysis Continuity and Change in Its Second Generation, ed. Laura Neack, Jeanne A.K. Hey, and Patrick J. Haney. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  82. Neufeld, Mark. 1995. Hegemony and Foreign Policy Analysis: The Case of Canada as Middle Power. Studies in Political Economy 48: 7–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. “No: 107, 20 May 2010, Press Release Regarding the Somali Conference in Istanbul.” Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  84. Novinite, Bulgaria Second Largest Client of Turkish TV Soap Operas, 2011, February 9.
  85. Oguzlu, Tarik. 2007. Soft Power in Turkish Foreign Policy. Australian Journal of International Affairs 1 (61): 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Öktem, Kerem. 2011. Between Emigration, De-Islamisation and the Nation-State: Muslim Communities in the Balkans. Journal of Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 1 (2).Google Scholar
  87. Oktem, Kerem. 2012. Projecting Power: Non-Conventional Policy Actors in Turkey’s International Relations. In Another Empire? A Decade of Foreign Policy Under the Justice and Development Party, ed. Kerem Oktem, A. Kadioglu, and M. Karli. Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University Press.Google Scholar
  88. Özdemirkıran, Merve. 2015. Soft Power and the Challenges of Private Actors: Turkey – Kurdish Regional Government (Krg) Relations and the Rising Role of Businessmen in Turkish Foreign Policy. European Journal of Turkish Studies 21: 1–21.Google Scholar
  89. Ozkan, Mehmet. 2010. What Drives Turkey’s Involvement in Africa? Review of African Political Economy 126: 533–540.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Ozkan, Mehmet, and Birol Akgun. 2010. Journal of Modern African Studies. Turkey’s Opening to Africa 4 (48): 525–546.Google Scholar
  91. “Özür Diliyorum” Kampanyası,
  92. Parlar Dal, Emel. 2018. Profiling Middle Powers in Global Governance and the Turkish Case: An Introduction. In Middle Powers in Global Governance: The Rise of Turkey, London: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  93. Prime Minister’s Speech, February 28, 2006.
  94. Punsmann, Burcu G. 2009. The Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform: An Attempt to Foster Regional Accountability. ICBSS Policy Brief 13: 1–7.Google Scholar
  95. Rana, Kishan S. 2011. 21st-Century Diplomacy: A Practitioner’s Guide. New York: Continuum International Publication Group.Google Scholar
  96. Ravenhill, John. 1998. Cycles of Middle Power Activism: Constraint and Choice in Australian and Canadian Foreign Policies. Australian Journal of International Affairs 52 (3): 309–327.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Riordan, Shaun. 2003. The New Diplomacy. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  98. Saddiki, Said. 2006. Diplomacy in a Changing World. Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations 4 (5).Google Scholar
  99. Saner, Raymond, and Lichia Yiu. 2006. International Economic Diplomacy: Mutations in Post-Modern Times. Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ 84: 1–37.Google Scholar
  100. Smith, Gordon S. 2000. Reinventing Diplomacy: A Virtual Necessity. Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  101. Sözen, Ahmet. 2010. A Paradigm Shift in Turkish Foreign Policy: Transition and Challenges. Turkish Studies 1 (11): 103–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Spero, Joshua B. 2009. Great Power Security Dilemmas for Pivotal Middle Power Bridging. Contemporary Security Policy 30 (1): 147–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Stone, Diane, and Helen E. S. Nesadurai. 1997. Networks, Second Track Diplomacy and Regional Cooperation: The Role of Southeast Asian Think Tanks 38th International Studies Convention, Toronto.Google Scholar
  104. Suss-kind, Lawrence E., and H. Ali Saleem. 1994. Environmental Diplomacy: Negotiating More Effective Global Agreements. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  105. T.C. Başbakanlık Dış Ticaret Müsteşarlığı, Anlaşmalar Genel Müdürlüğü. 2010- Basbakanlik, 2010-. Güney Doğu Avrupa ile Ticari ve Ekonomik İlişkiler Hakkında Genel Değerlendirme. Mart. Basbakanlik, 2010.Google Scholar
  106. The statements of Ahmet Demirok, Turkish Ambassador in Qatar. 2015. Türkiye Katar’da askeri üs kuracak [Turkey will establish military base in Qatar]. Milliyet, December 16.
  107. The Statistical Institute of Turkey (TÜİK).
  108. Thompson, Kenneth W. 1982. Traditions and Values in Politics and Diplomacy: Theory and Practice. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.Google Scholar
  109. Tür, Özlem. 2011. Economic Relations with the Middle East Under the AKP—Trade, Business Community and Reintegration with Neighboring Zones. Turkish Studies 4 (12): 589–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. “Turkey’s Honorary Consuls from African, Asian and Middle Eastern Countries visit Turkey.” Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  111. Turkey-Africa Chamber.
  112. “Turkey-Africa Media Forum 2012.” Center for Strategic Research (SAM).
  113. “Turkey-Africa Media Forum in 2014.” Directorate General of Press and Information.
  114. “Turkish volunteer doctors to make permanent move to Africa.” 2012. Hiiraan Online, January 3.
  115. Umit Hekimleri Dernegi. official website.
  116. Wang, Jian. 2006. Managing National Reputation and International Relations in the Global Era: Public Diplomacy Revisited. Public Relations Review 32 (2): 91–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Wang, Musa, and Yong Bao. 2009. Diplomacy: Theory and Practice in Islam. Kuala Lumpur: IIUM Press.Google Scholar
  118. Ward, Barbara. 1970. The First International Nation. In Canada: A Guide to the Peaceable Kingdom, ed. William Kilbourn. Toronto: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  119. Watson, Adam. 1982. Diplomacy: The Dialogue Between States. London: Eyre Methuen.Google Scholar
  120. Wood, Bernard. 1988. The Middle Powers and the General Interest. Ottawa: North-South Institute.Google Scholar
  121. Woolcock, Stephen, and Nicholas Bayne. 2003. The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations. Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gürol Baba
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International RelationsSocial Sciences University of AnkaraAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations