Dr. Demirtaş is an associate professor, Department of International Relations, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara, Turkey.
October 13, 2009, was a historic day in the history of Turkish-Syrian relations. The foreign ministers, Ahmet Davutoğlu and Walid Muallem, came together to sign an agreement for lifting visa restrictions; and a joint cabinet meeting was organized with the participation of 10 ministers from each country. In order to emphasize the importance of the event, Davutoğlu stated that it should be declared a third bayram (religious festival) between Ramadan and the Sacrifice celebrations. According to the Turkish foreign minister, Turkish-Syrian relations can be characterized by the following motto: "common destiny, common history, common future."1 With this historical step, bilateral relations reached such a high level that, in countries in which only one of them had a diplomatic mission, it would have the authority to represent both.2 A mere three years later, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a "bloody handed dictator," stating that Turkey, because of its history and conscience, should not remain indifferent to the violent events in Syria. In his view, Turkey should do what the "sacred" Turkish nation was expecting from the government.3 This brief account is an indication of the radical change in Turkish-Syrian ties following the spread of the Arab Spring to Syria.
Turkey's Justice and Development Party (JDP), which has been in power for the last decade, promoted an ambitious agenda with regard to foreign policy as soon as it came to power. This stance was based on a highly critical evaluation of previous government policies that were claimed to be too passive, too securitized and too state-centric. It was regarded as essential to radically tranform Turkey's international relations to make them active, desecuritized and sensitive to societal dynamics. The main architect of the JDP's foreign-policy approach is Dr. Davutoğlu, who was the chief foreign-affairs adviser to the prime minister between 2002 and 2009 and since then has been the foreign minister.
Rising to power at a critical juncture in international relations — the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11 — the JDP tried to redesign Turkey's foreign relations mainly by advocating closer relations with neighboring countries, especially those that had been parts of the Ottoman Empire. By using soft instruments, like economic relations, and appealing not only to the state level, but also to the society, the JDP's main objective was to turn Turkey's security-centered approach to one dominated by economic and cultural cooperation. At the center of this change-inspiring approach lay the Middle East, the region with which Turkey's Islamist politicians have historically identified themselves. Taking their interest in the Palestinian-Israeli issue into account, it is possible to determine the historical basis of the interest of Turkey's Islamist politicians.
Stemming from the National Outlook (Milli Görüş) Movement led by Necmettin Erbakan, the JDP continued to pay close attention to the Palestinian issue, in particular, and Middle Eastern politics, in general. Within this perspective, the JDP government's relations with Syria have been marked by a level of cooperation and closeness unrivalled in the history of the relatonship between Ankara and Damascus. Its concrete achievements include the lifting of visa requirements, initiating high-level strategic cooperation, increasing trade and commercial relations and organizing common cabinet meetings. Relations reached such a level that JDP leaders began to talk about economic integration between the two countries.4
This rosy picture began to crumble with the spread of the Arab Spring to the streets of Syria in March 2011. Although the initial Turkish response to the Syrian uprising was rather balanced, it became much more assertive and tilted toward the Syrian opposition. It was in such an atmosphere that Turkish policy became more security centered.
This article tries to understand the causes behind this radical and rapid change in Ankara-Damascus ties from friendship to enmity. In fact, Turkish-Syrian relations have follwed a pattern since the 1980s in which periods of security-centred relations alternated with eras of cooperation. Why can this cycle not be broken, despite ambitous attempts?
A LOVE-HATE AFFAIR
Since the foundation of the republic, Turkish decision makers have not been able to establish a stable policy toward its Middle Eastern neighbors, usually perceived as the "other."5 Arab peoples were remembered as the ones who "stabbed Turks in the back" during World War I, when they cooperated with the occupying countries and "betrayed" the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Whenever common threats arose, cooperation was achieved, as in the case of Saadabad Pact of 1928, when the Kurdish problem brought them together.6 However, when common threats faded away, and Turkey and the Arab countries were allied with different great powers, cooperative relations were replaced by enmity. During the Cold War, Turkey was part of the Western bloc, while neighboring Arab countries were enjoying friendly relations with the Soviet Union.
During the bipolar international system, Turkey followed rather pro-Western policies toward the Middle East. In order to show its solidarity with the West, it extended diplomatic recognition to Israel, the first Muslim country to do so. In addition, it took a critical approach toward Syria in its showdown with the United States in 1957. But then Turkey experienced major crises with its Western allies, due to its dispute with Greece over Cyprus, and developed a cooperative policy toward its neighbors. It insisted on its neutrality in regional crises like the Iran-Iraq War, however.
With the onset of the PKK (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan) attacks in 1984, the Kurdish issue again became one of the main factors in Turkish policies toward its southern neighbors. Since the PKK got logistical and military support from some of the neighboring countries and was used as a trump card in their problems with Ankara, the decades of the 1980s and 1990s witnessed the "securitization" of Turkey's Middle East policy.7 It could clearly be seen in Turkish-Syrian relations; Damascus used the PKK card against Turkey, with whom it experienced problems over the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates and the sovereignty of the province of Hatay.8
After the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Turkey's relations with Iran became thorny, as Turkey claimed that Tehran was supporting Islamic groups within the country. Turkey's security dilemma with its Middle Eastern neighbors deteriorated to such a degree that even Prime Minister Turgut Özal's ambitious liberal approach could not achieve a significant change. Özal argued that it was possible to solve all Turkey's problems with its neighbors, whether Greece or Syria, by using soft means such as economics. Hence, Turkey should increase its economic relations with those countries. In the end, however, Özal could not solve its problems and break out of the security dilemma.9
The situation began to change at the end of the 1990s. With the collapse of the socialist regimes, Turkey found more space to maneuver and formulate its foreign policy; the perceived threat from the Soviet Union was over, and Turkey no longer had to stick to the policies of the Western countries. Second, the regional balance of power started to change, with the emergence of prospects for the solution of the Israeli-Palestinian problem thanks to the Madrid peace process and burgeoning Turkish-Israeli relations, especially in the area of security. Third, there was increasing criticism of the government for not taking harsher measures against Syrian support for the PKK. As a result of all these factors, Turkey initiated coercive diplomacy against the Assad regime and managed to get Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the PKK, expelled from the country in 1998. Damascus had to cease its support for the terrorist organization,10 and its bilateral relations with Turkey were transformed from enmity to friendship. Another breakthrough was achieved with Iran, mainly as a result of the election of Mohammad Khatami in 1997, which allayed fears of the spread of Islamism to Turkey. This process started a "limited desecuritization" toward Turkey's Middle Eastern neighbors.11 Ankara initiated policies to improve relations with Middle Eastern countries, not only in areas of politics and security, but also in economics and culture. It can be interpreted as the impact of the EU membership process on Turkish foreign policy: Ankara started behaving like a European country.12 What Özal started but could not complete was being realized by the coalition governments of the second half of the 1990s.
Hence, when the JDP came to power in 2002, the ground was already laid for the improvement of Turkey's relations with its immediate neighbors.
JDP FOREIGN POLICY
The metaphor of a boxing match is used by Foreign Minister Davutoğlu to describe politics in the Middle East.13 It is a "merciless" game of balance of power.14 The same metaphor of boxing was also used for relations between Ankara and Damascus, in which only the first round was fought. As a result, the rivals could neither fight in the real sense of the word nor cooperate by finishing the round, despite the clear geographical, economic and geopolitical necessities.15 In Davutoğlu's view, one could break this cycle of security and mutual threat through the use of economic instruments, allowing Anatolian economic might to spread its influence toward its southern neighbor. "The most effective remedy for the strained relations is the formation of common economic areas," he further stated.16
The Middle East is one of the main focuses of JDP foreign policy for several reasons: First, good relations with those countries were seen as important for the economic development of Turkey's relatively underdeveloped southeast. This area has the potential to take advantage of developing relations with countries like Iraq, Iran and Syria, due to increasing trade links. Second, turning hostility to friendship would contribute to the decrease of security threats toward Turkey. Third, the region has a special importance for Turkey's Islamist groups, which have associated themselves with issues like Palestine. Furthering the cause of the Palestinians and lamenting Israeli politics are the pillars on which Islamist groups built their worldview and foreign-policy approach.17
Hence, by prioritizing its cooperation attempts with this region, the JDP contributed to the diversification of Turkish foreign policy beyond traditional political and security issues activities: making use of the improving Turkish economy to increase commercial relationships; trying to spread the influence of the Turkish language by establishing Yunus Emre Turkish cultural centers in the important capitals;18 increasing the routes of Turkish Airlines (THY);19 and benefiting from the broadcasting of popular Turkish TV shows in the region. The motto of the government was dialogue with all actors by not discriminating against anybody.20 The JDP also developed friendly relations with Hamas and recognized its election victory in the Palestinian territories in 2006. The ties between the JDP and Hamas were criticized by the Western world, which labeled Hamas a terrorist organization and do not recognize the Palestinian election results. In order to justify its policies toward Hamas, JDP leaders argued that their conciliatory policy might contribute to moderating Hamas.
Another distinct feature of the JDP's regional approach was its effort to play the role of facilitator in conflicts and disputes. Its efforts to bring together different Iraqi factions, its role in contacts between Syria and Israel, and its effort to contribute to a solution of problems between Hamas and the PLO are important examples of the JDP's attempts at facilitation (which its leaders mistakenly call mediation). Another dimension of this policy is to cooperate with international actors in the solution of regional problems. In 2010, Turkey cooperated with Brazil (both temporary members of the UN Security Council at the time) in order to find a middle ground for the solution of the nuclear issue between Iran and the West.
In contrast to Turkey's increasing ties with Muslim countries under the JDP government, a short period of good relations with Israel — established with the signing of the important military agreements in 1996 — came to an end. The Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip in late 2008 and early 2009 — Operation Cast Lead — occurred at the very moment Israel and Syria were conducting negotiations, with Ankara's facilitation. About 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were killed. These attacks led to harsh criticism of Prime Minister Erdoğan, who did not hesitate to name Israeli policies towards Palestinians as "state terror."21 He followed up with a one-minute drama at the Davos Economic Summit in 2009, harshly criticizing Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.22 Another crisis occurred when the Turkish ambassador to Tel Aviv, Oğuz Çelikkol, was invited by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to the Israeli Knesset, where he was diplomatically humiliated — his chair was lower than the others, and the Turkish flag was not put on the table. The Israeli media recorded the scene and broadcast it. Turkish-Israeli relations reached their lowest point when Israel intercepted an international aid flotilla, organized by a Turkish nongovernmental group, en route to Gaza in May 2010. Nine civilians died, eight of them Turkish citizens and one a U.S. citizen of Turkish origin.23
Turkey's changing Middle East policies have been marked by a so-called neo-Ottomanist interpretation. As the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was underway, Erdoğan insistently referred to the Ottoman legacy and historical mission of Turkey in the region.24 During his visit to wounded Palestinian civilians in Turkish hospitals, he stated the following: "Tell them that they are in a safe country. Tell them that they are in the houses of their brothers and fathers."25
Thus, in the environment of improving ties between Turkey and Muslim Middle Eastern countries, relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv were getting worse. These changes became a reality at a time of decreasing enthusiasm for Europeanization at both the official and societal level. Two reasons can be mentioned for Ankara's waning enthusiasm for the EU: the deadlock with Greece over the Cyprus issue, and the temporary suspension of key chapters of Turkish-EU accession negotiations and a growing reluctance by key countries, mainly Germany and France, to allow Turkey in.
THE JDP AND SYRIA
Although Turkish decision makers tried to improve relations with all regional countries, Syria was at the center of JDP policy. Following the U.S. occupation, Iraq became destabilized and had to deal with terrorist attacks almost every day; Turkey's potential for deepening cooperation with Baghdad was limited as a result. Iran was also one of the countries with which Turkey started to desecuritize its relationship; however, despite the changing discourse and the increase in economic relations, Turkey and Iran remained regional powers and competitors. This left Syria as the country with which Turkey could increase its ties with the aim of establishing an economic union.
As soon as the Adana Agreement was signed in 1998, following the extradition of Abdullah Öcalan,26 a golden era began in Turkish-Syrian relations. Foreign Minister Hikmet Çetin called it a "bright period starting between the two countries."27 The JDP government gave a special emphasis to relations with the Damascus regime. It was during JDP rule that the two countries lifted visa requirements within the framework of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in 2009. Relations reached such a level that a joint cabinet meeting was organized; regular joint cabinet meetings were to follow.28 For the first time in its history, the Republic of Turkey developed a discourse aimed at economic integration with a neighboring country. The JDP government announced that it would seek economic integration with Syria.29 The concept of "Şamgen" was even developed concerning the formulation of a joint visa policy among Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, taking its inspiration from the Schengen system of the European Union.30 These developments all point to a new era in Turkey's Middle Eastern policy, in which "neo-Ottomanism" plays a strong role. One can perceive the impact of the Davutoğlu doctrine on Turkey's changing relationships.
But these ambitious policies were challenged by the events of the Arab Spring: mass protests against dictatorial regimes in the Middle East and Africa. These movements started at a time in which the JDP government had established its best political, economic and strategic relations with the leading cadres of many Middle Eastern and African countries since the establishment of the republic. When the rebellions started, the JDP remained at a crossroads: it had to choose between the regimes and people in the streets. Although many civilians were killed during these movements, the JDP's rhetoric in response was not as vocal as it might have been. This fact drew the criticism that, when it was Muslim leaders who were killing civilians, the JDP leaders' protest was rather soft and cautious.31 After a while, the JDP strengthened its support for the masses as the protests spread across the region and Western governments made their position clearer. Then, however, the JDP encountered another dilemma: whether to support the NATO operation in Libya. Initially Prime Minister Erdoğan declared the NATO operation unnecessary and nonsense (saçmalık), though after a month he stated his support for it. In addition, five Turkish warships and one submarine took part, in order to monitor the UN embargo.32
When the protest movements started to spread to the streets of Syria, Turkish leaders first tried to convince the Assad regime to carry out reforms in the political system and were hopeful that their views would be taken into account. But when President Bashar al-Assad insisted on maintaining his regime, Turkey started to take a harsher line, beginning in June 2011, three months after the start of the demonstrations.33
Despite the fact that, from the very foundation of the republic, Ankara has had to deal many times with crises to the south, this was the first time that it undertook a mission to change the regime of a neighboring country.34 Historically Turkish regional policies have oscillated between supporting Western governments, mainly the United States, and maintaining a neutral stance. It is unusual for the republican elite to involve themselves in the internal issues of another country, though this policy can be considered part of Middle Eastern politics. Especially in the period between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, some of the regional states used the PKK issue as a trump card in their relations with Ankara.
From the summer of 2011 onward, Turkey became one of the principal supporters of the Syrian opposition groups that came together first as the Syrian National Council, then renamed and reshaped as the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. They established a militant group called the Free Syrian Army, which carried out an armed resistance movement against the Assad regime. It was on Turkish territory that the opposition groups gathered and formed the umbrella organization. According to press reports, the Ankara government has been providing not only political and economic, but also military, aid and training to the opposition fighters.35 The Turkish government insistently denies these claims. Relations between Ankara and Damascus hit bottom when a Turkish jet was downed by Syrian forces on June 22, 2012. The incident led to a harsh reaction from Turkish decision makers, as seen in Davutoğlu's statement that nobody could question Turkey's capacity.36 Furthermore, the violent confrontation between Syrian security forces and opposition groups led to the deaths of several Turkish civilians living in the border region. The continued spread of the violence to the Turkish border resulted in Turkey's quest for Patriot defence missiles from NATO member countries.
Turkey is one of a few regional powers, not a great power in world politics, and its potential has not increased markedly in any sense of the word. This is true despite the fact that its GDP continued to grow at a time when most European economies were slowing down. How could Turkey imagine that it could force a change of regime in another country? Its new civilizational identity and "geographical imagination" — emphasizing the imperial Ottoman past37 and insisting on Turkey's exceptionalism because of its unique geographical location and historical legacy — have led to overambitious goals. One can argue that the JDP, under the leadership of Ahmet Davutoğlu, developed a new identity for Turkey as the inheritor of the Ottoman legacy because of its extraordinary location. Thanks to its history and geography, Turkey is defined as having missions and responsibilities for its brother and sister nations in the former Ottoman territories. Davutoğlu argued that Turkey should be the subject — not the object — of regional affairs, contributing to the unfolding of events and not just following what was happening.38 But this new identity caused a "capability-expectations gap,"39 since Turkish efforts have not thus far resulted in any change of regime.
The salient point about Turkish policy toward Syria is that both the United States and the European countries were rather reluctant to deeply involve themselves in the Syrian quagmire. Despite this Western reluctance, however, Ankara was keen to take a leadership role. Turkey's approach to the Syrian issue has been full of contradictions; Davutoğlu's foreign-policy principles do not fit with each other. "Zero problems with neighbors" is the stated cardinal principle of Turkey's approach of developing peaceful relations with surrounding countries and making efforts to solve bilateral problems. This principle, however, can sometimes lead decision makers to take risks. Another important principle of Davutoğlu's foreign policy was dialogue with all actors.
However, as can be seen in the latest crisis, Turkey broke off all contact with the Syrian government by withdrawing its ambassador and other diplomatic staff. However, there are some problems with the Syrian National Council. First, it could not bring together all opposition groups, the most important of them being the Kurds. Therefore, it was not in a position to claim to represent all factions. Second, it was not just a civilian group, as in the case of Egypt's Tahrir Square demonstrators; it did not shy away from using force. Third, there is no guarantee that if the Assad regime were to be overthrown by this opposition movement, a democratic system would be established and peace and stability would prevail in Syria.
It is interesting in terms of discourse analysis that JDP leaders changed the name of the Syrian leader from "Esad" to "Esed" during the crisis. And as the political leadership started to use the new term, all the pro-government Turkish media used it as well. This is important evidence of Turkish politicians' impact on media sources. It is noteworthy that after this discourse change, the Turkish Language Institution ruled in June 2011 that the new version, Esed, is the correct one.
The recent crisis with Syria indicates the limitations of one of the cardinal principles of Davutoğlu's zero-problems foreign policy. In fact, the JDP fell into the same trap as the previous Özal government in believing that democratic peace theory can be implemented with dictatorial regimes. Till the events of the Arab Spring, the JDP had overlooked the undemocratic nature of the Damascus regime. Recent events, however, have shown that there are limitations to cooperation and friendly relations between democracies and authoritarian regimes. One can question whether Turkey has a mature democracy or not, but since 1950 it has obeyed the standards of procedural democracy, though with the interruptions of coup d'états. The overambitious Turkish foreign policy now has to cope with diplomatic and security crises with most of the neighbors.
1 Davutoğlu stated both the Turkish and Arabic versions of these terms. Servet Yanatma and Nurullah Kaya, "Savaşın Eşiğinden Sınırsız Dostluğa," Zaman, October 14, 2009.
2 Yanatma and Kaya, "Savaşın Eşiğinden Sınırsız Dostluğa."
3 Başbakan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Ulusa Sesleniş Konuşması, http://www.bbm.gov.tr/Forms/pgNewsDetail.aspx?Type=4&Id=2969.
4 Meliha B. Altunışık and Lenore G. Martin, "Making Sense of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East under AKP," Turkish Studies 12 (December 2011): 583.
5 For mutual prejudices between Turks and Arabs, see Ferenc A. Vali, Bridge across the Bosphorus: The Foreign Policy of Turkey (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), 272-280.
6 Atay Akdevelioğlu – Ömer Kürkçüoğlu, "Sadabad Paktı," in Türk Dış Politikası, Kurtuluş Savaşından Bugüne Olgular, Belgeler, Yorumlar, Vol I: 1919-1980, Baskın Oran, ed. (İletişim, 2001), 365-369.
7 Meliha Benli Altunışık, "Turkey's Middle East Challenges: Towards a New Beginning?," in İdris Bal, ed., Turkish Foreign Policy in Post Cold War Era (Brown Walker, 2004), 363-377.
8 Benli Altunışık, "Turkey's Middle East Challenges," 365.
9 For more information on Özal's policies toward Middle East, see Graham E. Fuller et al., Turkey's New Geopolitics from the Balkans to Western China (Westview Press, 1993), 49-54.
10 For a comprehensive evaluation of the role of coercive diplomacy in Turkish foreign policy, see Fuat Aksu, Türk Dış Politikasında Zorlayıcı Diplomasi (Bağlam Yayınları, 2008).
11 Benli Altunışık, "Turkey's Middle East Challenges," 376.
12 Bülent Aras and Aylin Görener, "National Role Conceptions and Foreign Policy Orientation: The Ideational Bases of the Justice and Development Party's Foreign Policy Activism in the Middle East," Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 12 (March 2010): 73.
13 Ahmet Davutoğlu, Stratejik Derinlik, Türkiye'nin Uluslararası Konumu (Küre, 2001), 364.
14 Ibid., 355.
15 Ibid., 402.
16 Ibid., 404.
17 For an analysis of JDP's foreign policy and security approach, see Birgül Demirtaş, "Understanding Turkish Perception of Conscription and Reluctance to Reform: A Westphalian Approach in a Post-Westphalian World?" Iran and the Caucasus 16, (2012): 355-368. For a comprehensive evaluation of the place of the Palestinian issue in Turkish foreign policy, see Bülent Aras, "Turkey and the Palestinian Question," SETA Policy Brief, no. 27, January 2009, http://www.setadc.org/pdfs/SETA_Policy_Brief_No_27_Palestinian_Question_Bulent_Aras.pdf.
18 For more information on the activities of the Yunus Emre Institute, see its official website at http://www.yunusemreenstitusu.org/turkiye/index.php?lang=en&page=1.
19 According to Davutoğlu, THY destinations are directly related to where Turkish business people will invest, where they will export, and from where they will import. See interview with Davutoğlu, Turkish Time, 2004.
20 Mesut Özcan, "Türkiye'nin Orta Doğu Politikası: Mesafeden Müdahaleye Dönüşüm," in Türkiye'nin Değişen Dış Politikası, ed. Cüneyt Yenigün and Ertan Efegil (Ankara Nobel, 2010), 376.
21 "Türkiye-İsrail İlişkileri," Stratejik Düşünce Enstitüsü Analiz, October 2011, 16, http://www.sde.org.tr/userfiles/file/TURKIYE%20ISRAIL%20ILISKILERI.pdf.
22 Birgül Demirtaş-Coşkun, "Kurswechsel mit Tücken," Internationale Politik 64 (April 2009): 62-67.
23 For an analysis arguing for the impact of the religious factors on JDP's policies towards Israel, see Banu Eligür, "Crisis in Turkish-Israeli Relations (December 2008-June 2011): From Partnership to Enmity," Middle Eastern Studies 48 (2012): 429-459.
24 "Gürcistan'a gösterdiğiniz hassasiyeti gösterin," Hürriyet, January 4, 2009; "Erdoğan: İsrail insanlık yaşamına kara bir leke düşürdü," Radikal, January 7, 2009; "Erdoğan'dan Suudi gazeteciye Ortadoğu tepkisi," Milliyet, January 6, 2009.
25 "Başbakan Ağladı," January 13, 2009, http://www.haberajans.com/basbakan-agladi-haberi-76697.html.
26 For a comprehensive analysis of the crisis of 1998 between Ankara and Damascus, see Mahmut Bali Aykan, "The Turkish-Syrian Crisis of October 1998: A Turkish View," Middle East Policy 6 (1999): 174-191.
27 Quoted in Meliha Benli Altunışık and Özlem Tür, "From Distant Neighbors to Partners? Changing Syrian-Turkish Relations," Security Dialogue 37 (2006): 238.
28 Özden Zeynep Oktav, "Türkiye-Suriye İlişkilerinde Ekim Krizi'nden Ortak Kader Anlayışına Geçiş Sürecinin Bir Analizi," in Türkiye'nin Değişen Dış Politikası, eds. Cüneyt Yenigün and Ertan Efegil (Ankara Nobel, 2010), 431.
29 Bahadır Selim Dilek, "Suriye ile Entegrasyon Adımı," Cumhuriyet, October 14, 2009.
31 Semih İdiz, "AKP, Libya ve Suriye konusunda neden duyarsız?," Milliyet, April 24, 2011.
32 Sedat Ergin, "Erdoğan'ın Libya Seyir Defteri," Hürriyet, August 25, 2011.
33 Veysel Ayhan, Arap Baharı, İsyanlar, Devrimler ve Değişim (MKM, 2012), 428.
34 Sedat Laçiner, "Suriye Politikamız Yumuşak mı?," Star, July 17, 2012.
35 Ayhan, Arap Baharı, 441.
36 "Uçağımız uluslararası sularda vuruldu," HaberTürk, June 24, 2012, http://www.haberturk.com/dunya/haber/753370-ucagimiz-uluslararasi-sular….
37 Emel Parlar Dal, "The Transformation of Turkey's Relations with the Middle East: Illusion or Awakening?," Turkish Studies 13 (June 2012): 245-267; and Bülent Aras, "Turkey's Rise in the Greater Middle East: Peace-Building in the Periphery," Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies 11 (March 2009): 34.
38 Speech by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Konyalı Bürokratlar İftar Yemeği, July 25, 2012, http://www.mfa.gov.tr/disisleri-bakani-sayin-ahmet-davutoglu_nun-konyali-burokratlar-iftar-yemeginde-yaptiklari-konusma_-25-temmuz-2012_-ankara.tr.mfa.
39 This term is borrowed from the literature of the European Union. Christopher Hill, "The Capability-Expectations Gap, or Conceptualizing Europe's International Role," Journal of Common Market Studies 31 (September 1993): 305-328.