Understanding Turkish-Greek relations through securitization to desecuritization :A Turkish perspective
This thesis focuses on the main contentious issues between Turkey and Greece particularly in the post-Cold War era which was the peak point of securitization in bilateral relations by using the framework of securitization theory in order to understand how by whom and to what extent Greece is securitized and desecuritized by Turkey. By doing so the thesis argues that there was a “threatening” and a “hostile” tone in Turkish elites’ discourses in almost every contention between the two countries such as delimitation (territorial waters airspace and the continental shelf) and sovereignty issues (the status of the islands islets and rocks as well as the (de)militarization of the islands) in the Aegean Sea problems related to Cyprus and Greece’s ties with terrorist organizations. Even tough Turkish elites have securitized issues related to Greece such security speech-acts paradoxically since the late 1990s due to the forces of rapprochement bilateral relations were almost transformed into a cooperative stance with emphasis on “friendship” rather than focusing on any existential threat and decision-makers began to substitute their security grammar with a positive and cautious tone. Accordingly this thesis argues that it is possible to explain the amelioration of bilateral relations with the methodology of desecuritization as there is a close correlation between the rapprochement process and desecuritization. in this context the thesis reaches the conclusion that the rapprochement process which has been an outcome of several factors in Turkish-Greek relations quite fits into the form of “change through stabilization” borrowed from Lene Hansen’s terminology.
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