Think Tanks of Turkey and Russian Foreign Policy Studies

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Having expertise still serves as one of the most important elements in the process of foreign policy making in the worlds leading countries. Experts contribute to this procedure through a process of thinking, policy recommendations and as institutions that exhibit organizational behavior. The Republic of Turkey is not the exclusion but an example of the rule. More than a dozen think tanks have rapidly grown in the country over the last 15 years. The majority of them adopted a name with a Strategic Studies suffix and an attempt to provide deep and coherent analysis as well as policy recommendations for decision-makers.

 

Today these centers and institutes continue to publish estimates of what is going on in contemporary international relations and in the realm of foreign policy of different countries. Turkish think tanks have had a remarkable impact on relations with the Russian Federation that remains the country’s primary energy partner. The centers influence is not limited to decision-makers in Ankara as the articles and analyses are read with great attention inside Russia think tanks and within diplomatic circles. The study of Russian foreign policy has become important for Turkish experts in the field of international relations. 

 

One of the first such centers is the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (SAM). The Center started actively to produce research in 1995 and was established as an advisory to the MFA and for decision-makers in the Ministry and beyond. It provides science-based estimations and prognosis for the external relations of Turkey. It should be stressed that SAM has followed the experience of its counterparts in the U.S and the European Union states. The center organizes conferences, symposiums and roundtables in Ankara and Istanbul along with publishing reports and monographs. SAM has published its research online in the form of Vision Papers, which reflect the official position of the Turkish foreign ministry on global issues.

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