This paper covers the foreign policy crises that Turkey was involved in throughout the Republican period. Based on the findings of our research project funded by TÜBİTAK, the preferences of Turkey’s foreign policy decision makers in foreign policy crises will be analysed. In this context, the characteristics of Turkey’s crisis management culture will examined, with regard to crises arising within recurrent conflicts, crises with non-state actors and decision maker-centred crises.
In trying to manage crises that they face in different systemic conditions, political decision makers formulate appropriate crisis management strategies, taking into consideration the existing material power capacities and the situation of the international system. In the context of the 34 foreign policy crises covered by the project, the following questions will be addressed: Following Alexander L. George’s definitions, which “defensive” or “offensive” strategies were employed by the decision maker? Which specific strategies were used to pursue national/international legitimacy for the choices made? How was the defensive character constructed in foreign policy crises designed by Turkey? How could differentiations among the crisis management strategies employed by the decision makers be explained? These and similar questions will be addressed in the context of the historical totality of Turkey’s foreign policy crises.