Turkish policy in the Middle East

Turkish policy in the Middle East
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2020. No 1(58). P. 139-156

DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2020-1-139-156

Viktor Nadein-Rayevski is a senior researcher at Group on Institutional problems of international relations, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow

Abstract. The rule of the Islamist Justice and Development Party in Turkey led to a shift in ideological foundations of the state and gradual backsliding on Ataturk’s ideas that had served as a basis for Turkish domestic and foreign policies. Turkish leader Recep Erdoğan managed to neutralize the political influence of the army through a constitutional referendum. In that, Erdoğan relied on support of the Gülenist movement that he later crashed. Strengthened domestic position enabled Erdoğan to change foreign policy priorities: orientation towards the West gave a way to closer ties with the Islamic world. Turkey’s ruling circles, influenced by the neo-Ottomanism, enthusiastically welcomed the ―Arab Spring‖ revolutions, but failed to gain support for these ideas in the Arab world. While proceeding with its fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Turkey launched repeated offensives against the Syrian Kurds, to prevent creation of Kurdish autonomy in Syria. Russian intervention prevented Turkey from occupying the Northern Syria. In Libya, Turkey has backed the government of Fayez al-Sarraj and affiliated Islamists and tries to take control over a part of the Mediterranean shelf.

Keywords: Justice and Development Party, Recep Erdoğan, Fethullah Gülen, Kurds, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, Abdullah Öcalan, Syria, Afrin, Rojava, Iraq, Mosul, Muslim Brotherhood, Libya

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For citation:
Nadein-Raevskii V. Turkish policy in the Middle East. Pathways to Peace and Security, 2020, No 1(58), pp. 139-156. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2020-1-139-156

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