Karakasis, Vasileios P. (2019). The 2017 incidents in the Aegean and Turkish foreign policy: Using Q-methodology to examine Greek viewpoints. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 19(3), 451-472. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1080/14683857.2019.1628446) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/14683857.2019.1628446) (Open Access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14683857.2019.1628446?needAccess=true)
Abstract: In January 2017, relations between Greece and Turkey were under severe strain when warships from both sides engaged in a brief standoff near a pair of uninhabited Greek ‘islets’ in the Aegean, whose sovereignty is disputed by Turkey. Theoretically informed by the literature of foreign policy analysis, we examine how the Greek diplomats, military officers and political analysts interpreted Turkey’s behaviour at that particular time. The article considers the following research question: which factors, from a Greek point of view, explain Turkey’s foreign policy in the Aegean in January 2017? Our theoretical expectation is that, in the aftermath of the coup attempt in Turkey, Greek diplomats, military officers and political analysts would ascribe domestic calculations into Turkey’s activities. We employed Q- methodology to uncover socially shared perspectives on this topic. Based on our findings, we uncovered two viewpoints: (1) Turkey’s diachronic strategy in the Aegean and (2) the strongman style. According to the former and most widely shared viewpoint, a consistent ‘rationalist’ strategy to change the status quo in the Aegean explains Turkey’s behaviour. According to the second one, the belief system of Turkey’s leadership legitimises the use of force in the conduct of foreign policy.
Vasileios P Karakasis <email@example.com> is in Institute of Public Administration, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.