Sabri Ciftci and Güneş Murat Tezcür, 2016. "Soft Power, Religion, and Anti-Americanism in the Middle East," Foreign Policy Analysis 12(3): 374-94.

This study presents the first systematic analysis of the public opinion dimension of soft power competition in the contemporary Middle East. Building on the scholarship on perceptions of foreign states and Arab public opinion, it proposes a series of hypotheses about sectarian identity, religious worldviews, and anti-Americanism as determinants of attitudes toward Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia in the context of regional rivalry. It then presents multivariate probit estimations utilizing Pew Global Attitudes Survey to test these hypotheses. The findings suggest that religious identity and worldviews directly affect favorability ratings of these three powers in the Arab Middle East. While Sunnis favor Saudi Arabia and Turkey over Iran, religious individuals demanding Islamic law favor the Islamic Republic. Furthermore, anti-Americanism translates into lower support for Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but greater support for Iran. Democratic attitudes have no influence over perceptions of these three powers indicating the limits of democracy promotion as a foreign policy tool.


 Güneş Murat Tezcür and Alexandru Grigorescu, 2014. "Activism in Turkish Foreign Policy: Balancing European and Regional Interests," International Studies Perspectives 15(3): 257-276.

This article argues that long-term changes in Turkish foreign policy are primarily due to the diversification of the country's political and economic interests. Important international structural shifts such as the end of the Cold War or the broad fluctuations in oil prices have constituted the initial impetus for the changes that we have seen in Turkish policies. Discussing alternative perspectives on new activism in Turkish foreign policy, the article gauges Turkey's foreign policy affinity (based on voting patterns in the United Nations General Assembly) and trade with other states to place recent trends in the broader context of the past three decades. It shows that, as the “West” has become less coherent in its policies, Turkey has moved closer to EU members and distanced itself from the US. The data also undermine “shift of axis” arguments as Turkey's foreign policy affinity with Middle Eastern countries has, in fact, declined. The trade data reveal a diversification of the country's commercial interests that contribute to Turkey's increasing regional activism. The country now balances its long term European interests with its recent regional ones.