In my modest opinion politics is, as of today, one of the fastest growing approaches in social sciences and it is important to understand, explain and address the unsolved problems affecting many countries on both a political and economic dimensions. Political scientists have been called to try and solve these great problems of world politics and I personally felt very involved since the first time I studied theoretical and practical aspects of it. Thus, I came to realize that both dimensions retain a fascination for me, the extent of their interrelation making them a perfect platform for a complete understanding of our world and its future.
Every new course I took in the university showed me that the field of social sciences is like an immense ocean. Therefore, in my second year at the college I concluded that if I was to face the pressing challenges as a decision-maker in this ocean, I would need to be equipped with further training in international affairs. Since that moment, I have been determined not to be content with an undergraduate degree.
In my graduate study, I want to examine the issue of terrorism when it comes to matters of security, which is my special field of interest. However, the core incentives that stimulate me to pursue my studies in security are fairly practical, as well as functional. These are more about one’s passion to serve one’s country than a struggle to gain prominence. So, what do I mean by this?
If you have suffered from a problem for a long time or have faced a protracted and sometimes unavoidable constraint, it is likely that tackling it would be your profession. You would have no choice but to develop methods to overcome it. Lying in one of the world’s most seismically active zones, Japan had to become the leading country in earthquake-proof building construction, and it did. Located in a desert terrain, Israel needed to develop an advanced agricultural system to be able to overcome a scarcity of basic resources, and it did. Yet, having faced devastating security challenges and being located in the world’s most insecure region, Turkey has yet to develop any sophisticated approach towards dealing with crucial security challenges.
My country faces one of the world’s most destructive terrorism problems; one that has claimed approximately 40,000 lives so far. Given that, for example, the death toll from ETA terrorism is 1000 at the maximum, the sheer scale of PKK terrorism is incomparable. Moreover, Turkey has permanently unstable neighbors that host the world’s most ruinous conflicts, and this makes Turkey more vulnerable to every kind of threat. Despite all these hazards and their tragic outcomes, there has been no substantial progress in coping with these threats; neither in terms of diplomacy strategies, nor in terms of academic studies. In my country, the field of security studies is still not considered to be an area worth specializing in. There is not a single think-tank specifically addressing national and international security challenges. In the United States on the other hand, the number of think-tanks and academic studies on security soared on the heels of the tragic 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, experts on security were appointed to the key positions in new government agencies that were created after the attacks. In Turkey however, dealing with security-related issues is still based on a primitive strategy: recruit as many soldiers as possible. Most notably, the diplomatic dimension of security challenges has been largely neglected.
In short, as a nation, we lack experts on security, whom we greatly need both in the academic world and in public services. Most of the scholars that are introduced as security experts are nothing more than former generals. On the other hand, there are only a few academically genuine security experts to develop strategies and implement them, which is quite ironic. And yet, this appears to be a vital deficit I am aiming to help close. I hope I can able to find satisfactory answers to these questions.