Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences

by Rasim Yilmaz (Volume editor) Günther Löschnigg (Volume editor)
©2017 Edited Collection 297 Pages


This volume is a collection of empirical and theoretical research papers in the social sciences regarding the Balkans and the Near East written by researchers from several different universities and institutions. The studies include a wide range of topics from economic, financial, political, agricultural, sociological, international relations to historical, cultural, and feminist issues in the region of the Balkan and Near East. The book is aimed at educators, researchers, and students interested in the Balkan and Near Eastern countries.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Foreword
  • Contents
  • The European Union’s Black Sea Policy and Regionalism (Füsun Özerdem)
  • A Research about Labor Force Participation Rate and Growth Data (Bilal Kargi / Nuri Baltaci)
  • Contributions of Organic Agriculture to the Turkish Economy (Tuğçe Kiziltuğ / Halil Fidan)
  • System Theory in International Relations and the Evolution of the International System in the Historical Process (Kadir Sancak)
  • The Impact of Perceived Ease of Use, Perceived Usefulness and Perceived Risk on Behavioral Intentions: A Study on Online Booking Sites (Volkan Özbek / Fatih Koç / Ümit Alnıaçık / Eda Kaş / Oktay Çetin)
  • Influence of Facebook Applications on Consumer Purchase Intention: A Case Study of Generation Y (Salih Yildiz / Emel Yildiz / Ali Tehci)
  • Youth Unemployment: Macroeconomic Causes, Consequences and Determinants (Hasan Engin Duran)
  • The Relationship between Foreign Direct Investment and Employment: The Case of the Balkan Countries (Nuri Baltaci / Bilal Kargi / Gülçin H. Beken / Zekai Özdemir)
  • Farmers’ Approaches in the Integration of Cooperatives and Ecotourism (Çağdaş İnan / Harun Hurma)
  • Examination of Project Preparation Tendencies of the Academic Staff in Social Sciences: The Case of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences of Çanakkale Province (Sibel Tan / Bengü Everest)
  • Role of Packaging in Sales of Industrial Foodstuffs (Yasemin Oraman / Deniz Çağla Turan)
  • Public Expenditures and Housing Prices in Turkey: A Spatial Econometric Analysis (Tugrul Cinar / Ersin Nail Sagdic / Guner Tuncer)
  • Evaluation of wheat Agriculture in Turkey with Swot Analysis (Sema Konyali)
  • Establishment of Beet Sugar Industries in Turkey and Great Britain during the 1920’s (Fatih Damlibağ)
  • Analyzing of Hazelnut Foreign Trade in Turkey with Competitiveness Indices (Derya İlkay Abdikoğlu / Gökhan Unakitan)
  • Examination of Revenue and Expenditure Items of Turkish Football Clubs Whose Shares are Offered to the Public (Büşra Tosunoğlu)
  • Determining the Occupational Health and Security of Personnel Working in a Highly Dangerous Industrial Branch (Elif Çelenk Kaya / Necla İrem Ölmezoğlu / Afşin Ahmet Kaya)
  • The Relationship between Education and Democracy in Turkey (Salih Türedi / Harun Terzi)
  • Giffen Good or Giffen Behavior (Egemen Ipek)
  • Student Relationship Management in Higher Education (Adnan Duygun)
  • Entrepreneurial Orientation, Intangible Resources Advantage, and Corporate Growth: Evidence from Turkish SMEs (Hasan Ayaydin / Fahrettin Pala / İbrahim Karaaslan)
  • The Effects of Different Energy Types’ Consumption on Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis on Turkey’s Economy (Osman Murat Telatar / Aykut Başoğlu)
  • Governance Quality and Taxation: A Panel Co-Integration Evidence for Oecd Countries (M. Hanefi Topal / Muhammet Sahin)
  • Factors Determining Customers’ Shopping Behaviour of Food Products Through E-Commerce: A Case Study (Deniz Çağla Turan / Yasemin Oraman)
  • The Visible and Invisible Parts of an Iceberg: Indirect/Direct Costs of the Occupational Accidents Encountered on a Global Scale (Elif Çelenk Kaya / Afşin Ahmet Kaya / Necla Irem Ölmezoğlu)

| 11 →

Füsun Özerdem1

The European Union’s Black Sea Policy and Regionalism


The Black Sea region is one of the world’s most complex and heterogeneous regions. The region covers many different countries in terms of size, political and economic level of development, military potential and geographical concerns as well as cultural, social and religious traditions. Some of these countries are former communist system countries and they have gone through a very complex history and identification process. Moreover, the regional conflicts that have not been solved yet, accumulated tension and hostility separate these countries from each other rather than bring them together (Pavliuk, 2014).

The modern history of the region bears witness to the sustained tension between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus; the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan about Nagorno-Karabakh; armed conflicts in Moldova-Transnistria and Russian war in Chechnya. These conflicts have prevented the development of regional relations, foreign trade and economic cooperation in the region (Pavliuk, 2014).

For many years, the southern and northern shores of the Black Sea have been separated from each other. Discrimination of the west and east has been the main line of the events and developments and the politics of the Black Sea have been contingent upon the competitiveness of superpowers. The Black Sea has functioned as a border but rather been an integral part of pan-European politics as it was destitute of any compound function. Since the end of the Cold War, it has been possible now to considerthe Black Sea with its own political and economic dynamics (Aybak, 2011: 122).

The Black Sea region is the crossroad of civilizations, combining Muslim, Orthodox, Persian, Turkish and Western politics, social cultures and traditions. The strategic importance of the Black Sea has been lasting for centuries due to the fact that it is a buffer zone between Europe and Asia, a bridge or a boundary. Moreover, the Black Sea has been a junction between trade routes and the regions. ← 11 | 12 →

Based on this point of view, in this study, the importance of the Black Sea giving its name to the region will be referred to, the regional politics of the European Union (EU) which has been expanding its concern towards the region recently will be evaluated; another sub-heading, the subject of regionalization will be analyzed and the issue of regionalization will be viewed from the perspective of the EU.

The Sea Giving Its Name to the Region: Black Sea and Its Value for the Region

Giving its name to the region, the Black Sea is an inland sea located between southeast Europe and the Anatolian peninsula and surrounded by Ukraine in the north, Russia in the northeast, Abkhazia and Georgia in the east, Turkey in the south and Romania and Bulgaria in the west. The Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean provide the connection of this inland sea with the Atlantic Ocean. The Black Sea is also linked to the European river system by the northern Don, Dnieper and Danube rivers. The Black Sea is an important economic connection and sea trade region between Russia and the Middle East as well as between Europe and Asia. The Black Sea, rich in rivers, while establishing the connection with other regions by means of this feature, leads to difficulties about where the region begins and ends. However, all descriptions differ through the historic process and the personal perspectives of those evaluating the issue (King, 2004: 17). Stating that it is difficult to identify on the Black Sea where its boundaries extend to, Erler is indecisive about whether the regional cooperation designates the borders or not (Erler, 2007: 24).

The Black Sea region had no single identity. For example, the entire region has never had a common name. The region was named by the specific languages of the countries; it was known as the “Cold Sea-Inhospitable Sea”, “The Great Sea-Great Sea” or just “Sea-The Sea” (Bergedorf Round Table Report, 2007: 25). The name “Black Sea” has been the ongoing identification for the last two centuries. If we make an ecologically oriented assessment, we can say that the Black Sea basin consists of 22 countries. However, if we make an assessment of the areas in terms of trade, economic relations, security etc., then the littoral countries with the Black Sea, Greece, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova should be included2.

The Black Sea has very popular holiday destinations for intensive touristic activities which are also used by the seven countries bordering it. The Bulgarian ← 12 | 13 → coasts were known as “Red Riviera” (The Red Riviera, 2015) when the country was ruled under the communist regime and it was one of the most famous destinations. Since it has been a member of the EU, it has regained its fame, and also has been meeting the high tourist demand through the airports in Varna and Burgas. In fact, tourism is one of the growing industries for the Black Sea region.

Until today, the Black Sea region has confronted uphill struggles. The Black Sea which has witnessed the naval warfares between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, the power struggle between the Republic of Turkey, the successor and the USSR/Russian Federation has still maintained its geostrategic importance for Russia who demands to reach the warm seas. The Black Sea began to lose its significance after World War II, when it prevented the Soviet Union to strike the Mediterranean. During this period, three members of the Warsaw Pact (Bulgaria, Romania, and USSR) and a member of NATO (Turkey) lived relatively in peace; the region was a strategic buffer zone during a long period of peace (Sanberk, 2007: 44). The region was not attractive enough until the Cold War.

This alteration, while increasing the geopolitical feature of the region, has conduced the region toward being more sensitive as it is open to external political interventions. If political activity is rising in geography, this means the region is being strengthened but at the same time political sovereignty is undermined by foreign policy (Kutluk, 2003: 23). The Black Sea is in a prime position to transport important regional natural resources (e.g. oil and gas) due to the pipelines transferring the energy resources of Central Asia and the Caspian Basin to Europe. The economic value of the Black Sea has been increased by the transportation of Kazakh and Azerbaijani oil and Turkmen gas to the world by the way of Black Sea (Sezer, 2000: 5). The EU has been the riparian to the Black Sea after the full membership of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU in 2007. Both the United States of America (USA) and the EU that had no serious Black Sea strategy until this period have started to consider the Black Sea one of their priority policies (Asmus and Jackson, 2004: 17).


Many countries around the world have begun to create alliances in different fields, especially in the economic field. The EU in Europe, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in America, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Asia are good examples for regional economic integration as well as being the most prominent alliances for regionalization. Such organizations have been eliminating trade barriers and also increasing regionalization tendencies. Regionalization is growing with globalization, but this situation may impede the economic development of the countries that could not enter into alliances or regional groups. ← 13 | 14 →

Before mentioning the event of regionalization growth in Europe, it would be appropriate to define the concept of “region”. This concept is often encountered in a geographical definition which has some common features but does not emphasize any management or governance structure. The basic concept of a region is identifying interconnected places socio-economically and setting the framework of regional planning and site regulation which emerged at the 19th century (Probst, 1994: 131). The word region expresses an indoor unit and its size and content may vary by the context in which the word is used or it may differ in the same context. As our subject matter is the European Union, the regions in the EU in the context of planning have several dimensions from urban and metropolitan areas to very large rural areas. Some of them are units having integrity in terms of functionality and some of them are cultural, social and economic (Özerdem, 2011: 100). European institutions have been generally acts of political-administrative units while trying to identify the region. The concept of “region” is also used at a supra-national level while identifying the regions of the world such as Europe and Australia. This concept in European saying is used for statistical classification through the Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) without emphasizing sub-national governance structures (Assembly of European Regions, 2010: 15).

Regionalization in the EU has been investigating more powerful humanitarian criteria to be found in the establishment of local units rather than a distinctive statehood (Probst, 1994: 173 and 179). Mengi describes regionalization as strengthening the local and regional units administratively in the direction of decentralization against centralization (Mengi, 1998: 45). The word regionalization means the requests concerning the people living in that region and activism and it is used to investigate the specific needs of such a unit (Wagstaff, 1999: 6). Joseph Nye describes a region as a “limited number of states getting together with the geographical relationship and mutual dependency level” and regionalization as an “international type of configuration based upon the regions” (Nye, 1968: vii). According to Nalbant, regionalization is divided into three main categories: economic factors, political factors and cultural and linguistic factors (Nalbant, 1996: 41). The economic development disparities among the regions are the most important driving force of regionalization and as a result of this, the association of the regional actors arises and even the economic networks are being established. The political deficiencies seen in the central state structure are the main political reasons of regionalization. Cultural and linguistic reasons are the leading regional tendencies in some countries and Belgium having the Walloon, Flemish and German Autonomous Communities is the best example. ← 14 | 15 →

The Assembly of European Regions (AER) identifies regionalization in the Declaration published by them as “it has been established as a sub-unit of the state by public law and a regional unit who has its own political government” (Act 1.1). According to this identification, European regions are not a coherent identity but differ in terms of size, population, institutional structures, competence and financial power (Assembly of European Regions, 2010: 15). However, regionalization should not be apprehended as a misunderstanding such as a secessionism symbolizing a special district movement distinguishing itself from the central government. It cannot be accepted as federalism because federalism is a sub-element of regionalization. Under a federal system, sovereignty is divided between a central government authority and constitutional political units, and it is not obliged to be like other forms of regionalization.

The European Regional and Local Governments Congress that carried out their first meeting in 1957 identified (Assembly of European Regions, 2010: 17) the concept of regionalism as economic, social and cultural characteristics as a whole running their own natural sources of the people living in a district; accordingly, EU policy in the European integration process has its part in literature as the concept of regionalism. The history of regionalization in Europe was seen after World War II and each government adopted different reforms in order to share its power and responsibilities with the local governments. Since the beginning of the 1960s and 1970s until the 1980s and 1990s, an important separation from centralization was observed (Fawcett, 2004: 37–73). This puts regionalization into an ever-growing situation rather than a lapsed process. Even today, this process has been proceeding and an ongoing effect has been seen in terms of the further progress of regionalization (Assembly of European Regions, 2010: 16). The best example for this can be that the regionalization process has been playing the part of a “supplement” in the participation of these countries in world trade through the adaptation of a multilateral trade system by eastern and southern countries (Lahiri, 2004: 4). The main differences between the old regionalism experienced in the period up to the 1980s and the new regionalism since the mid 1980s have been explained in Table 1 below. ← 15 | 16 →

Table 1: Old and New Regionalism

Import substitution industrialization policies and separating from the world economy Export-enhancing policies and trade liberalization, integration into the world economy
Planned and institutional distribution of the resources Distribution of the resources by the market
Regional competition Global competition
The priority of intra-regional trade Open trade, the importance of investment for growth
South-south or north-north partnership North-south partnership
Free movement of the industrial products Free movement of all products, services and liberalization of the investment
Only the removal of border barriers Deep integration
Preferential treatment for developing countries Mutual and equal treatment
Being a member of a regional group Being a member of more than one regional group

Source: Özer, 2005: 30

Different authors have identified the new regionalism differently, however, this concept has been perceived as the “second wave” of regional cooperation and integration since the mid-1980s and especially 1989, with the end of the Cold War (Hettne, 1999: 8).

European Union’s Black Sea Policy and Regionalism in Black Sea

After its large expansion in 2004 (the Czech Republic, Estonia, South Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and the membership of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and due to resting its borders upon the Black Sea and having new neighbours, the EU during this period was in a quest for new security and neighbourhood policy by discussing (Moisio, 2009: 99) where the borders are, historic missions, fundamental values and future directions. In this context, in March 2003, the document “Wider Europe- Neighbourhood: A new Framework for Relations with the Southern and Eastern Neighbours” was prepared and the “Wider Europe Task Force” was constituted. In 12 May 2004 “European Neighbourhood Policy Strategy Document” which was the basic document of the policy of the neighbourhood was published. In December 2003, the strategic objectives specified in “European Security Strategy” underlied the basis for the ← 16 | 17 → EU Neighbourhood Policy such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, regional conflicts and organized crimes.

The European Security Strategy published in 2003 was the first official document which emphasized that the South Caucasus is a part of the region and should have more importance. The region had a growing importance in the Policy of European Security and Defense with this document. The enlargement process gave the EU the opportunity to be included in the region more. Black Sea Synergy – A New Regional Cooperation Initiative published in 11 April 2007 was considered as a step for taking the EU to a strategic vision of the region3. It was also a very clear statement that it supports the North-East European and the North-East Asian countries with the Black Sea Synergy. Synergy, as a requirement of the neighbourhood policy, was based on the solution of common problems and promoting the economic, cultural and political relations between the Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Northern Caucasus countries along the coast of the Black Sea such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. It was completed with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the strategic partnership between the EU and Russia and negotiations with Turkey. In March 2009, the EU adopted the Eastern Partnership Programme4 that has been focusing on intensive bilateral cooperation and deep adaptation with the EU. This EU cooperation, the relationship directed by charity and democracy, the experience in post-poor policies during the Yugoslavia, Chechnya and Caucasus conflicts is reforming the democratic and peaceful applications to fulfil the political mission and responsibilities for the region (Seidelmann, 2001: 191).

The ENP is a different and holistic policy as it has a deeper and more integrated frame than the main foreign policy instruments of the EU. The ENP provides the opportunity to further support the modernization and reform process of neighbouring countries beyond classical foreign policy management. Financial and technical assistance is supported by the programmes such as Twinning and Technical Assistance Information Exchange-TAIEX. In this context, such programs as the Technical Aid to the Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS) program, Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (MEDA) for the Southern Mediterranean coast, The Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilization (CARDS) were implemented in the period of 2000–2006. All these programs were integrated under the Instrument of Pre-Accession (IPA) on 1 January 2007; the ← 17 | 18 → European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) created funding for the ENP for the Black Sea region.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2017 (March)
Economics Health Economics Regional Economics Marketing International Relations Agricultural Economics
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 297 pp., 18 b/w graphs, 107 b/w tables

Biographical notes

Rasim Yilmaz (Volume editor) Günther Löschnigg (Volume editor)

Rasim Yilmaz currently teaches economics and finance related subjects in Turkey. His field of interest comprises microfinance and the fight against poverty, the economy of China and macroeconomics. Günther Löschnigg is Professor at the University of Graz, Austria. His research interests include labor economics and public economics.


Title: Studies on Balkan and Near Eastern Social Sciences
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300 pages