Kemalist Turkey and the Middle East

Publication Year



Amit Bein, Ph.D. 2006.

To better understand the lasting legacy of international relations in the post-Ottoman Middle East, we must first re-examine Turkey's engagement with the region during the interwar period. Long assumed to be a period of deliberate disengagement and ruptured ties between Turkey and its neighbours, Amit Bein instead argues that in the volatile 1930s, Turkey was in fact perceived as taking steps towards increasing its regional prominence. Bein examines the unstable situation along Turkey's Middle Eastern borders, the bilateral diplomatic relations Ankara established with fledgling governments in the region, grand plans for transforming Turkey into a major transit hub for Middle Eastern and Eurasian transportation and trade, and Ankara's effort to enhance its image as a model for modernization of non-Western societies. Through this, he offers a fresh, enlightening perspective on the Kemalist legacy that still resonates in the modern politics of the region today.

  • Offers readers a revised view of regional dynamics in the history of the Modern Middle East, moving away from overly Eurocentric approaches to the period
  • Shows readers how Kemalist Turkey's international relations in the interwar period has had a lasting influence on the region's current politics
  • Corrects misconceptions regarding Turkey's engagement with the Middle East in the early post-Ottoman period, offering readers an accurate historical perspective

Table of Contents:

List of figures
List of maps
1. Not so distant neighbor
2. Degrees of separation
3. Ties that bind
4. Great expectations
5. The Turkish model
6. Strolling through Instanbul
7. A distant neighbor

Cambridge University Press