The goal of this Geostrategic Intelligence Seminar (GIS) was to provide an overview of issues critical to Turkey including its internal diversity and its development as an increasingly important international player. The five-day seminar graduate-level, designed for intelligence professionals, will place contemporary Turkey in historical, cultural, political, economic and regional contexts to illustrate the ways in which the Turkey is being pulled in different directions: externally by the European Union, the Middle East, the United States, and Russia; and internally by the AK party, secularists, the military, religious and ethnic groups such as the PKK. The seminar provided a substantive context within which to analyze the challenges facing Turkey both at home and in a rapidly changing Middle East and Europe.
Through the seminar, participants:
- Gain a broader understanding of Turkey as part of the Muslim Middle East, as part of Europe, as a key player along with Russia in the Caucasus, and as important member of NATO.
- Deepen their knowledge of Islamic movements in Turkey in the 20th and 21st centuries, both as those movements have challenged the state and provided governing institutions. The discussion will include the AK and its predecessors, the Constitution and the rulings of the Constitutional Court, Gulenists, Alevis, Christians, and Jews.
- Explore the economic, ethnic, and social tensions inside of Turkey.
- Examine the relationship between the "mildly Islamist" AK government and the "secular leaning" military. Our discussions of the military will include security issues, tensions within the current administration, divisions within the military, and the military's attitudes towards Kurdish and religious issues.