East, West, or Center? Turkey's Stance Straddling Continents, Pipelines, and Interdependences

Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Reginia Karp

Committee Member

Jan J. Anderson

Committee Member

Steve Yetiv

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 D34 2012


This thesis concentrates on the international relations of Turkey by studying one of the significant parameters of the world affairs, the Energy Security issue, and Robert 0. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye's Complex Interdependence concept. The research is conducted through two case studies between Turkey and two different neighboring actors, Iran and the European Union. This thesis is a qualitative study with descriptive analyses on the literature of the interdependence and the energy security concepts. By revealing mutual dependences between Turkey, Iran, and the European Union, with different vulnerabilities, the results of this scholarly quest suggest that the interdependent nature of the Energy Security issue leads Turkey to be a multi-directional actor both in the regional and global arena. Finally, contrary to such perspectives, which are stating that Turkey shifts toward the East or turns away from the West, this thesis finds that Turkey has begun to reconsider its position in order to both meet its needs and maximize the benefits from its possessions.


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