Michael B. Bishku
Dr. Bishku is a professor of history at Augusta State University in Georgia.
In early December 2010, representatives from Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan signed an agreement in Istanbul prepared by the Foreign Economic Board of Turkey (DEİK) to form a "Levant Quartet." Those countries were seeking to develop closer economic and cultural integration in what was envisioned as an "EU of the Middle East" — although for Turkey "not an alternative" to the European Union.1 It was projected to include Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Yemen by 2015.2 As a start, visa-free travel was initiated for nationals from the Levant Quartet countries, a policy Turkey maintains with all of its immediate neighbors except Iraq and Armenia. Meanwhile, these countries would work toward establishing a free-trade zone for goods and services. Turkey did have free-trade agreements with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. In January 2011, Turkey's prestigious Hürriyet newspaper labeled Turkish-Syrian relations a "model partnership in the Middle East."3 Two months later, with the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, ties began to suffer. Then, in November 2011, less than one year after the announcement of the Levant Quartet, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan explained his growing criticism of Bashar al-Assad's regime and his call for sanctions against it:
We had a friendship that began nine years ago but Syria failed to appreciate this. [The Syrian government] did not pay heed to our warnings…, [and instead] unfortunately … massacres and kills people, making them martyrs…. I believe that the Syrian people will be successful in their glorious resistance.4
Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, informed a correspondent for the Financial Times of London that there might be the possibility of a buffer zone on his country's border to protect Syrian civilians or a no-fly zone over Syria in the future if targeted sanctions did not work.5 President Abdullah Gül warned Syria, in an interview with the same journalist, not to provide assistance to the insurgent Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), which has been engaged in conflict with Turkey since 1984.6 Things have been starting to resemble the "bad old days" of Turkish-Syrian relations during much of the Cold War and its immediate aftermath. This article will examine that relationship, from Syria's independence from France in 1946 through the Arab Spring crisis.
Cold Warriors, 1945-60
Since the founding of the Turkish Republic under Kemal Atatürk (1923-1938), Turkey's general indifference toward the Middle East was represented by an old Turkish proverb: "Neither sweets from Damascus nor the face of the Arab." Then, during the tenure of Atatürk's successor, İsmet İnönü (1938-50), Turkey "kept aloof from momentous developments in the Middle East … [and] made no effort to prepare the ground culturally and psychologically for better understanding and cooperation with the Arabs." Even when the "pro-Western and pro-Turkish" Colonel Husni Zaim was in power in Syria briefly during 1949, there was a "half-hearted" mission led by General Kazım Orbay to see what could be done to modernize the Syrian military.7
In the parliamentary elections of May 1950, the Democratic Party (DP) defeated the Republican People's Party (CHP), the political organization that had dominated Turkish politics since the establishment of the Republic in 1923. The new government of Adnan Menderes pursued a more aggressive policy in seeking Turkey's membership in NATO. The experience of facing Soviet territorial demands towards the end of World War II impressed upon the Turks the need for security arrangements with the West. However, Great Britain originally opposed Turkey's membership when NATO was established in 1949, preferring that country to be the focal point of a Middle East defense alliance.
By September 1952, Turkey (and Greece) were NATO members, having joined in February of that year. George McGhee, the U.S. ambassador to Ankara, sent letters to other mission heads in the Arab world and Iran, asking them to assess the attitudes of those states towards Turkey. There was the possibility that Ankara could take the lead in organizing a military pact directed against the Soviet Union in defense of Western interests in that region. A November memorandum sent by McGhee to Washington summarized the analyses in those reports:
Relations with Turkey … [are] not close…. [There is] latent Syrian resentment over the status of Alexandretta [and] … a heritage of fear and mistrust of the Turks stemming from the First World War when the latter repressed the Arab nationalist movement…. [M]ost important in consideration of this problem, however, is the fact that … Turkey has failed to support the Arabs in UN voting on Palestine, and has no claim to a place in the ‘Arab-Asiatic' bloc.8
No Arab states joined the envisioned military alliance except for Iraq, which signed a mutual-security and defense agreement with Turkey on February 24, 1955, establishing the Baghdad Pact. Great Britain, Pakistan and Iran joined that group later in the year, but the Iraqi Hashemite monarchy was overthrown in 1958 by Arab nationalists. The pact became known as the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), which lasted until the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. The United States did not join, so as not to complicate relations with either Israel or Egypt.
Syria joined Egypt in opposition to the Baghdad Pact. Both countries felt the alliance caused division in the Arab world and were concerned about Israel, which launched a raid on Gaza in February 1955 that exposed Egypt's military vulnerability, pushing the latter to seek arms from the Soviet bloc. At the same time, Jordan's King Hussein and Lebanon's President Camille Chamoun (1952-58) were sympathetic to the alliance in principle but could not see the benefit of resisting public opinion. During 1955, Baathist Arab nationalists and others who favored neutralism — subsequently called nonalignment — became stronger in Syrian parliamentary politics. Egypt deployed its propaganda machine throughout the Middle East, and engaged in a great deal of diplomatic activity within Syria. Saudi Arabia spread around its wealth among politicians and journalists in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Cairo was interested in taking the lead in the cause of Arab nationalism, while Riyadh wanted to tame the ambitions of its Hashemite rivals in Iraq and Jordan.
In March 1955, just a month after the signing of the Turco-Iraqi treaty, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia agreed to a tripartite declaration to develop a counter alliance for defense and economic cooperation solely open to membership of other Arab states. However, it was not until October of that year that a defense agreement was signed between Syria and Egypt, establishing a war council and joint command under Egypt's war minister, General Abd al-Hakim Amr. Although this arrangement proved to be "militarily ineffective," Nasser had gained "control of Syria's foreign policy."9 While King Saud shared the anti-communist sentiments of King Hussein and Camille Chamoun, he also agreed with Egyptian and Syrian arguments that Iraq's action had threatened Arab unity and that Turkey's ties with Israel were of great concern. Jordan, at the request of the British, was noncommittal on the proposed Egyptian-Syrian-Saudi pact, while Lebanon refused to cooperate with any project that would antagonize Iraq.
Turkey's President Celal Bayar and Prime Minister Adnan Menderes underestimated the power of Arab nationalism and resistance to what was perceived by the Arab public as Western imperialism. In addition, in March 1955, Turkey's aggressive behavior — such as warning Syria that, if it joined Egypt in an alliance, the Turks would regard it as a "hostile action" — did little to help Turkey's cause. In December 1955, Israel launched a military raid on Syrian positions near the Sea of Galilee, while Syria drew closer to Egypt and was purchasing sizable amounts of Soviet weapons. By the time of Syria's tenth anniversary of independence, in April 1956, Syrian Baathists, who warily cooperated with the Communist party in certain instances, were calling for a political union with Egypt. Two months later, the Baath had secured the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economics in a government of national unity.
As far as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said was concerned, the growing influence of Egypt and the Baath in Syria was part of a plot "to strangle Iraq through the communists in Syria."10 In mid-1956, with American and British support and Turkish approval, Iraq proceeded with plans involving conservative Syrian political figures to seize power in Damascus. This scheme had the support of Lebanon's President Chamoun, who regarded Syria as "the most serious threat to the stability of the Middle East." The coup never took place. Many of the plotters were arrested in November 1956; three months later, 12 received the death penalty and 29 were given varying terms of imprisonment. While Turkey did not participate in the planning of the coup, during the summer of 1956 it did engage Syria in armed clashes along their mined border in pursuit of suspected smugglers.11 Even though Jordan's King Hussein signed bilateral defense agreements with Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia, he refused to join their alliance and continued to insist on pan-Arab coordination that included Iraq and Lebanon. While King Saud publicly supported Egypt's President Nasser, he was wary of the latter's actions, such as nationalizing the Suez Canal in July 1956. He wanted to avoid the Egyptian leader's hostile propaganda, however. Meanwhile, Turkey participated in conferences in London in August and September siding with the majority of 18 out of 22 countries, including the United States, Western European states, Australia, Japan, Iran and Pakistan, to create a Suez Canal Users' Association to operate the canal. The plan was opposed by the Soviet Union and India. Syria was able to avoid provoking Israel, as Amr wanted to prevent a possible invasion of the country.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union opposed the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion of Egypt, albeit for different reasons, as did all the Arab states and Turkey publicly. The latter's DP government "intensely disliked Nasser and saw him as a communist agent," but the Egyptian leader had become immensely popular throughout the Arab world. Besides, the Turks wanted to distance themselves from Great Britain, France and Israel, even though the "Baghdad Pact [members] continued to be regarded as puppets of Western imperialism" in much of the Middle East.12 Turkey recalled its chargé d'affaires from Tel Aviv but told the Israelis privately that the move was designed "to save the Baghdad Pact" and "should not be interpreted as a hostile action against the state of Israel."13 The pact members also decided to temporarily suspend Great Britain's participation in the organization. Despite this, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Said believed that Nasser's nationalization of the Canal "was an excellent pretext for the British to eliminate the Egyptian leader."14 Nevertheless, following the Suez War, the Arab states either enthusiastically or matter-of-factly showed their solidarity with Nasser.
Lebanon's Chamoun voiced opposition to the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion but was attacked by Nasser for refusing to break off diplomatic relations with Great Britain and France, as Egypt and its ally Syria had done. Jordan severed diplomatic relations with France. However, the nationalist government of Prime Minister Sulayman al-Nabulsi called only for the abrogation of the Anglo-Jordanian defense treaty, which had provided Great Britain with the use of military bases in Jordan for an annual subsidy of £12 million. King Hussein began secretly receiving millions of dollars a year from the United States.
In January 1957, the American government announced what was referred to as the Eisenhower Doctrine, which was quickly approved by the Baghdad Pact members. It called for economic and military assistance to Middle Eastern countries, including the deployment of U.S. armed forces "to secure and protect the territorial integrity and political independence of nations requesting such aid against overt armed aggression from any nation controlled by international communism."15 Unlike the Truman Doctrine of 1947, which was applied in cases of actual threats from the Soviet bloc, the Eisenhower Doctrine was applied both overtly and covertly to counteract manifestations of Arab nationalism. For example, in mid-1957, there was only one representative from the Syrian Communist Party in that country's parliament, Khalid Baqdash, and the local communist party was not even a factor in the Lebanon Crisis of 1958, when the U.S. intervened militarily in support of Chamoun's government. Nevertheless, Turkey was very worried about political developments on its southern border, as Kemal Karpat points out:
Syria, in Turkish eyes, had become now an armed center of subversion, aiming at the overthrow of the existing regimes in the area, while the Baath, the party in power in Damascus, was regarded as a communist front, although the actual domestic situation of Syria was rather different from the image formed by Turkish leaders.16
Naturally, Presidents Nasser and Quwatli opposed the Eisenhower Doctrine and were originally joined by kings Hussein and Saud. While Nasser caused problems for the two monarchs' regimes during 1957, they never publicly embraced the U.S. policy, but were worried about a possible political union between Egypt and Syria. Nevertheless, during mid-1957, while Nasser hoped to normalize relations with the United States, Syria appeared to be becoming more anti-Western.
In August 1957, Syria expelled three American officials on charges of trying to overthrow its government with the help of Turkey and Iraq. The following month, Turkey mobilized about 33,000 troops on the Syrian border, and at the United Nations the Soviets accused Turkey of being an aggressor, threatening that it would not stand by idly if Syria were attacked. Some have claimed that Turkey's DP government was trying to exploit the crisis to its advantage in parliamentary elections by distracting the electorate from domestic economic difficulties. Meanwhile, Nasser had convinced the Americans that he could "impede Communist penetration [into] Syria."17 In October 1957, Nasser sent fewer than 2,000 Egyptian troops to Latakia as a symbolic move designed to underscore his support of the Baathist Party against its rivals on the left. By the following month, Turkish troops were moving away from the border, and in February 1958, Egypt established a political union with Syria known as the United Arab Republic (UAR).
Cairo's Voice of the Arabs radio station asserted that "every meeting of the Baghdad Pact is followed by a plot against the Arabs, and the union between Syria and Egypt is the shield which protects Arabism against any aggression." Nevertheless, Turkey formally recognized the UAR in March 1958. A statement by Turkish Foreign Minister Fatin Rüştü Zorlu just prior to establishment of the union explains why: "The strengthening of relations between Middle Eastern countries will never do us any harm … if it is to protect the region against Soviet penetration and … especially Syria from falling under Soviet influence."18 However, the Iraqi coup of July 14, 1958, would pose further problems for Turkey. The government asserted that the coup was inspired by Nasser and the communists. It was on the verge of sending troops to Iraq but was dissuaded from doing so by the Americans. Reluctantly following the U.S. lead, Turkey recognized the Baathist regime in Iraq on July 31.
At the time of the Iraqi coup, the United States had intervened in Lebanon. Naturally, this action was praised by the remaining members of the Baghdad Pact, and Turkey also reportedly offered, but did not send, troops in that effort.19 Moreover, while the opposition CHP in the Turkish parliament supported pro-Western policies toward the Middle East, its chairman, İsmet İnönü, publicly questioned Menderes and the DP's "adventurist behavior" and "high profile" in the region. İnönü and his party were upset that Menderes had a tendency to make important decisions, such as allowing the United States to use İncirlik air base during its Lebanon intervention without seeking parliamentary approval.
Bilateral Issues, 1960-2002
Meanwhile, in May 1960, General Cemal Gürsel and his 38-member National Unity Committee of army officers overthrew the Menderes government. Their intention was to restore the democratic process, which had often been violated under the DP government. While honoring Turkey's NATO and CENTO commitments, the new government also made clear its intentions to improve relations with the Arab world. They hoped to shed their image as an agent of Western interests in the Middle East and, at the same time, gain Arab support on the Cyprus issue.
Civilian rule was restored in Turkey following parliamentary elections in October 1961, though Gürsel remained president until 1966. Just one month before those elections, Syria seceded from the UAR, and Turkey became the second state after Jordan to extend formal recognition to the new regime in Damascus. Turkey's relations with Syria, though no longer revolving strictly around Cold War alliances, were still "cool" and quite complex, involving such bilateral problems as
illegal border crossing and smuggling, the mutual restrictions on the property of citizens of the other country, the apportionment of waters, and Syria's possible support for Turkish terrorists. Other issues such as Alexandretta [Hatay] and Israel, constituted long-standing irritants, but they … were not allowed by both countries to get out of hand.20
As a result of Turkey's (and Jordan's) recognition of Syria's independence, the Egyptians temporarily broke off relations with those countries.
Naturally, for Egypt and the rest of the Arab states, the plight of the Palestinians was an important issue. In February 1965, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Cemal Erkin asserted in his ministry's official bulletin that Turkey's newfound interest in the problem of the Palestinian "refugees [would] eliminate old disagreements between Turkey and the Arab world and lead to close and friendly relations with them."21 Erkin's successor, Hasan Işık, stated later in the year that "Turkey's relations with Israel would not develop in the direction which would be against the interests of the Arab countries."22 Indeed, Turkish-Israeli relations were never raised from the level of chargé d'affaires until December 1991. Turkey tolerated the attitudes of most of the Arab states, which continued to have close relations with Archbishop Makarios, president of Cyprus, an important figure in the Nonaligned Movement (NAM). However, by 1979, the "Turkish Cypriot State" became an observer in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group established a decade earlier to promote cooperation among Muslim-majority countries. While not always pleased with Turkey's positions regarding Israel, the Arabs were able to discern a shift in their favor as the Turks continued to actively increase bilateral political and commercial ties.
Just prior June 1967, Turkey remained silent when Egypt closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping and declared that NATO countries would not be able to use their organization's bases in Turkey in the event of war. Following the war, Foreign Minister İhsan Sabri Çağlayangil made it clear that his country was opposed to territorial gains by military force and sent food, clothes and medicine to the frontline Arab states (Egypt, Syria and Jordan). At the same time, the Turks never labeled Israel an "aggressor." Ferenc Váli in Bridge across the Bosporus describes Turkey's policy of "benevolent neutrality" as "diplomacy at its best." The country was "able to express sympathies toward the Arab states involved in the war without offending Israel."23 Nevertheless, Turkey's relations with Syria were not close.
Parts of Turkey's 835-mile-long border with Syria were mined until 1969 to prevent smuggling, while during the 1950s and 1960s, both Turkey and Syria seized businesses and farmlands from Turkish and Syrian citizens living or working in the other's territories. These problems continued; in 1981, it was estimated that "regular" smuggling had surpassed legal trade in monetary value.24 Also, while Turkey and Syria agreed in 1972 to compensate those who had lost property, nothing was accomplished in that regard until 2008. However, historically the issues that could have pushed the two countries to war involved the usage of water from the Asi (or Orontes), Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and Syria's providing sanctuary to Armenians, Kurds and leftists regarded by Turkey as terrorists.
Since their rapprochement with the Arab world beginning in the 1960s through this decade of Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, with the exception of the 1991 Gulf War, Turkey avoided becoming involved in the conflicts of its Middle Eastern neighbors. During the "Black September" of 1970, Turkey took a cautious approach despite its obvious concern for the predicament of King Hussein in Jordan, where his rule was being challenged by radical Palestinians and Syria. Hafiz al-Assad, on the verge of assuming undisputed power in Syria, later told his biographer Patrick Seale about the brief Syrian intervention in Jordan:
It was a difficult predicament. I was distressed to be fighting the Jordanians, whom we did not think of as the enemy. I didn't bring up our own much stronger air force because I wanted to prevent escalation. My feeling was that as long as we could achieve our goal of protecting the [Palestinian] guerrillas without committing the air force, there was no need to do so.25
Nevertheless, as Seale points out, Assad's "half-hearted intervention" irritated the guerrillas. They felt betrayed and elicited hostility from King Hussein, "which debarred co-operation between them for years to come."26 As for the Turks, they exercised diplomatic tact, issuing the following declaration: "[Our government] considers the Jordanian events as a domestic matter of that country and is convinced that foreign interventions will not only aggravate the situation, but will handicap the successful conclusion of efforts being made to bring an end to the fighting."27 Furthermore, Turkey did not allow the U.S. Sixth Fleet to use its harbors throughout the Jordanian crisis. Later during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Turkish government did not permit the Americans to use its military facilities to ship supplies to Israel, but it turned a blind eye to the Soviets' use of airspace to supply Syria and Iraq. Turkey also avoided involvement in the Lebanese Civil War of 1975-90.
As for Syria, it intervened militarily in Lebanon in June 1976, originally in support of the Maronite Christians and against the Palestinians, to maintain the political status quo and deny Israel an excuse for intervening. (The Israelis intervened anyway in 1978 and again on a much larger scale in 1982, establishing a security zone in southern Lebanon until 2000.) In 1979, Assad developed close relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran as a counterbalance to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which he felt was giving covert aid to the Muslim Brothers in Syria. Assad subsequently allowed Iranian revolutionary guards to operate in the Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon to train the militant Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah to challenge Israel. The Syrian army remained in Lebanon until April 2005, in the midst of the so-called Cedar Revolution that followed the assassination of Sunni Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri a couple of months earlier. Senior Syrian officials and, later, Hezbollah leaders were implicated in Hariri's death as a result of investigations by a UN commission and tribunal.28
With the Levant in turmoil, Turkey continued to develop relations with its Muslim neighbors. In November 1975, Turkey joined 71 other countries, including the entire Arab world, in support of UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 equating Zionism with racism. Turkey also allowed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to open an office in Ankara in 1979. Meanwhile, trade with other Middle Eastern countries increased. During the mid-1960s, it accounted for about 8 percent of Turkey's total trade; by the early 1980s, it had risen to over 40. In addition, well over 100,000 Turkish workers as well as hundreds of Turkish firms were engaged in approximately $15 billion worth of construction projects In the Arab world, not only in oil-producing states such as Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait, but also in Jordan. Turkey and Syria continued their disputes over water rights and Syria's sheltering of "terrorists."
Unlike Syria (and Iraq), Turkey has regarded the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers as "transboundary" rather than international waters, and that allocation of water should be based on two premises: the rivers form a single basin — one with an arid climate, the other semi-arid — and some irrigation methods are more efficient than others. This reasoning has obviously benefited the Turks. The Euphrates is shared by Turkey, Syria and Iraq in approximately the following respective percentages: 41, 24 and 35; while their respective shares of the Tigris are 21, 2 and 77 percent. Turkish concerns about the use of the Asi [Orontes] River, which begins in Lebanon and flows primarily through Syria before emptying into the Mediterranean in Turkey's Hatay province, were ignored until the last decade by Syria due to the disputed nature of the latter territory.
In order to reduce their respective dependency on imported fossil fuels, Turkey and Syria have both engaged in recent decades in developing hydroelectric projects, including dams and power plants, the most ambitious of which is the former's Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) formally begun in 1983. Before that, Turkey began construction of the Keban Dam on the Euphrates River in 1965, while Syria initiated its General Organization for Land Development (GOLD) project around the same time with the building of the Tabqa (later renamed Thawra) Dam. The region affected covers eight Turkish provinces on or near the borders of Syria and Iraq, comprising 9.7 percent of Turkey's land surface. Ten percent of the country's population inhabits the region, about two-thirds of whom are Kurdish speakers. The total cost of GAP when completed is predicted to be about $32 billion. For Turkey, these developments are seen as a means to develop agriculture and industry in the southeast, raising the economic status of the poorest part of the country. After 1984, GAP was regarded as a means to help defeat the Kurdish insurrection, despite the fact that thousands of people have had to be relocated.
On July 25, 1992, just before the opening of the Atatürk Dam on the Euphrates, then-Prime Minister (and later president) Süleyman Demirel reportedly remarked, "The water resources are Turkey's. The oil resources are [the Arabs]. We do not say we share their oil resources; they cannot say they share our water resources."29 While Demirel was known on occasion to overstate the Turkish position on issues like Central Asia, he was obviously resentful of Turkey's having to depend on Iraq for oil, and quite possibly on Syria for help with the PKK rebels. Nevertheless, Turkey held bilateral and trilateral meetings with its neighbors over water-allocation issues, never fully to the satisfaction of Syria or Iraq. Aside from harboring the PKK within its territory or in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley until the Adana Agreement of October 1998, Syria was reluctant to "eschew taking up the Turkish challenge while still in a state of war with Israel."30
Today, Syria and Israel are still at war, but the strategic partnership Turkey developed with the Jewish state during the mid-1990s — which influenced Syria's decision to sign the Adana Agreement — was moribund by the time of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza against Hamas in December 2008-January 2009. There are still no formal criteria or a treaty between Turkey and Syria for sharing the waters of the Tigris-Euphrates Basin. However, as Turkish-Israeli relations foundered (a little over three months before the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara, part of the Gaza Flotilla to challenge Israel's blockade Gaza), Turkey and Syria announced in February 2010 that they would jointly construct a "friendship dam" on the Asi (Orontes) River in Hatay.31 In order to fully understand Syria's rapprochement with Turkey during the last decade, it is necessary to analyze what contributed to the development and demise of Turkey's strategic alliance with Israel as well as Syria's support for the PKK and other insurgents operating against Turkey.
Turkey's pro-Arab tilt during the 1970s and early 1980s brought it economic benefit. However, with the drop in oil prices during the mid-1980s, Libya, one of Turkey's largest trading partners, canceled numerous construction projects and expelled Turkish and other foreign workers. At the same time, not one country in the Muslim world recognized the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus when it was established in 1983; nor had the Arabs been supportive of the plight of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria during the mid- to late-1980s. Syria had been providing assistance to the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA), which had been engaging in terrorism against Turkish institutions, diplomats and citizens, as well as to Turkish Marxists since the 1970s. Following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Israel provided Turkey with documentary evidence of its support, which included military training, and even handed over some captured terrorists.32
As for the PKK insurgents, according to the Turkish National Security Council (MKG), Syria gave the PKK financial support not only in Syria and Lebanon, but also in northern Iraq. It also provided military and logistical assistance in the former two countries. Syria even hosted PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, its headquarters and training camps.33 (Turkey's Kurdish population is approximately 14 to 15 million, close to half of all Kurds; those in Syria number between one to two million and are not politically active.) While other regional countries provided varying degrees of support to the PKK, Syria was the most active and dangerous to Turkish national security. Therefore, in January 1996, Turkey accused Syria of committing aggression and asserted that it was entitled under Article 51 of the UN Charter to adopt measures of self-defense. Turkey also announced that normalization of relations could only be accomplished by Syria's ceasing support for the PKK and turning Öcalan over to Turkish authorities. Less than a month later, the Turks signed a secret "Military Cooperation and Training Agreement" with Israel that was acknowledged in April 1996. Syrian Vice President Abd al-Halim Khaddam called the Turkish-Israeli strategic partnership "the greatest threat to the Arabs since 1948" and together, with U.S. cooperation, "the most dangerous alliance we have witnessed since the Second World War."34
The Turkish-Israeli strategic partnership developed just after the Cold War came to an end, despite the fact that relations between the two countries had been improving following Israel's withdrawal of most of its forces from Lebanon in the mid-1980s. Turkey became the eleventh state and only NATO member to recognize Palestinian statehood in November 1988; and following the Gulf War in December 1991, it upgraded relations with Israel to ambassadorial-level, just a few days after abstaining in a vote to repeal UN General Assembly Resolution 3379, equating Zionism with racism. After all, Israel signed a Declaration of Principles in September 1993 and a peace treaty with Jordan in October 1994, and many countries including the People's Republic of China and India, recognized the Jewish state for the first time. Turkey's minister of tourism visited Israel in 1992, the first cabinet-level official to do so in 27 years, while Turkey's foreign minister did the same the following year. Historic visits to Turkey by Israel's President Ezer Weizmann and Foreign Minister (now President) Shimon Peres in early 1994 were followed by an official visit of Turkey's Prime Minister Tansu Çiller to Israel later in the year. The Turkish leader, who compared Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to Atatürk, also visited a Palestinian delegation in East Jerusalem. As for the Military Cooperation and Training Agreement mentioned above, Turkey asserted in public that it was not directed against any third parties; yet the timing was not coincidental as far as the Syrians were concerned. During 1998, dissatisfied with Syria's attitude, Turkey engaged in "military coercion without the direct application of force." Warnings were issued to Syria and troops were amassed on the Syrian border. Syria capitulated as some high-ranking government officials felt that Syria would not only lose in a war with Turkey; Israel would benefit.
Under the Adana Agreement, Syria recognized the PKK as a terrorist organization and agreed to end all assistance to it. It had already expelled Öcalan from its territory. The PKK leader sought asylum unsuccessfully in Russia, Italy and Greece before being captured in Kenya in February 1999. He was brought back to Turkey, tried and sentenced to death three months later, but remains today in prison on İmralı Island. The PKK instituted a unilateral ceasefire in September 1999 that lasted almost five years. (About 40,000 people have died in the conflict which has intensified recently in southeastern Turkey on both sides of the Iraqi border.) Egypt had acted as an intermediary between Syria and Turkey during the crisis and, with other countries in the Arab world, was suspicious of the intent of the Turkish-Israeli Military Cooperation and Training Agreement, which called for joint training and military exercises. The United States, Turkey and Israel were unable to assuage the distrust, but they had success with Jordan, which was invited to send an observer to joint naval exercises code-named "Reliant Mermaid" in January 1998. Turkey subsequently agreed to further military exchanges with Jordan, and relations have gotten closer over the last decade. Turkey's ties with Syria were strengthened, especially after the AKP came to power in November 2002, as were those with Lebanon.
Since taking office in 2002, the AKP "has shrewdly used an assertive foreign policy to enhance Turkey's status as an actor and power on the world stage" and to consolidate its popularity at home. It has done so by emphasizing three themes: a "strong affinity for ‘Muslim' causes, evocation of muscular nationalist pride, and active mercantilism."35 Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his chief adviser and (as of 2009) foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, welcomed Hamas when it won Palestinian legislative elections in January 2006. They condemned Israel's onslaught against Hamas in Gaza in December 2008-January 2009. Beyond that, they dramatically increased Turkey's participation in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which contributed to the election of Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu as its secretary-general in January 2005. (Current president [and former minister of foreign affairs] Abdullah Gül worked at the Islamic Development Bank, an institution of the OIC, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from 1983 to 1991.)36
As for the second theme, the AKP supported the Annan Plan (named for former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan) for a federated state in Cyprus. Although the Greek Cypriots rejected it in a referendum in April 2004, the Republic of Cyprus was admitted into the European Union (EU) the following month. Turkey was interested in starting accession talks with the EU, which began in 2005, but nevertheless felt betrayed. As a result, Turkey actively supports the hard-line government of the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Derviş Eroğlu, refusing to allow Turkey's ports and airports to be open to Cypriot vessels or aircraft while threatening to freeze all ties with the EU if Cyprus is given the presidency of the EU, as expected, in the second half of 2012.37 Also, despite signing protocols in October 2009 to normalize relations with Armenia, the AKP has refused to open Turkey's border with that country in support of Azerbaijan, which demands the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict be settled first. The third theme is evinced by Turkey's continuing export trade to Europe and its expanding trade and investment in the Middle East, which has resulted in an economic growth rate averaging above 6 percent since 2002.38
Philip Robins points out that the AKP government has been able to successfully "cohabitate" with the Kemalist establishment on many issues of foreign policy, including relations with the Arab Levant as well as those with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This had been possible because existing "state strategies" have not been challenged, and "Islamic references and symbols [have been kept] out of Turkey's public diplomacy." Robins regards the AKP's increasing participation in the OIC, and its acceptance of Hamas without preconditions, as "managed ideological divergence."39 Indeed, while the AKP government has shown some independence from the United States and the West — for example in its policy towards Iran — it has remained committed to NATO. It engages in diplomacy with Hamas, but it also supports a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has maintained diplomatic relations and a free-trade agreement (ratified in 1997) with the Jewish state. It only expelled the Israeli ambassador and his deputy and froze military contracts in September 2011 following the release of the UN's Palmer Report on the Gaza Flotilla Raid of May 2010 and Israel's refusal to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish citizens during that event.40
Meanwhile, Turkish-Syrian relations had become quite close prior to the crisis in Syria, which began in March 2011. Protestors, encouraged by events in Tunisia and Egypt, challenged the oppressive rule of Bashar al-Assad, who had succeeded his father in 2000. The Syrian government employed the full force of its military, killing at least 13,000 people, imprisoning some 90,000, and driving more than 50,000 to seek refuge in Turkey. In addition, 200,000 people have been displaced inside Syria. 41 Naturally, the crisis has damaged Turkish-Syrian relations, which are now under review.
Whether Turkey and Syria have resolved or merely set aside two out of three issues — water and Hatay — is debatable; such is not the case with the property disputes, for which there is a formal agreement. It is obvious that, with the construction of the "friendship dam" mentioned above, Turkey and Syria are satisfied with the distribution of water resources. As for Hatay, it is clear that Syria cannot reclaim the territory; but, as long as Turkish-Syrian relations are friendly and politically and economically productive, the issue seems to have been downplayed. In December 2004, Prime Minister Erdoğan made an official visit to Syria, during which a free-trade agreement was signed. Reportedly within that document is a minor clause recognizing the two countries' de facto border.42 President Bashar al-Assad's visit to Turkey in January 2004 — the first ever by a president of Syria — had ushered in a "new era" of relations, according to Erdoğan, as the two countries agreed to cooperate on a number of issues, including crime and terrorism. Over the next year, Syria detained and extradited to Turkey 20 people wanted in connection with bombings against synagogues and British interests in Istanbul.43
Nevertheless, when the Turkish prime minister visited Syria in December 2009, he was unsuccessful in getting Assad to formally recognize Hatay's status as a province of Turkey; indeed, it is still shown as Syrian territory on maps printed in Syria.44 The two leaders did sign a formal agreement in May 2008 resolving the issue of compensation for the agricultural land and business properties of nationals from Turkey and Syria in each other's countries that were confiscated during the 1950s and 1960s. Turkish property in Syria is estimated at approximately $40 billion, while Syrian property in Turkey is about $10 million.45 In October 2009 and again in December 2010, meetings of the Turkish-Syrian High Level Strategic Cooperation Council resulted in the signing of numerous bilateral agreements on environmental protection, social services and energy, among other things. In 2010, 750,000 Syrians visited Turkey, while 1.35 million Turks visited Syria. Trade volume between the two countries reached nearly $2.5 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2009.46 Furthermore, in April 2009, Turkey and Syria engaged in a joint military exercise.
In an interview in The Wall Street Journal in January 2011, President Assad stated that Turkey was "a model [of investment] because we have the same society and similar traditions." He also praised Turkey's role as a "mediator" while criticizing the attitude of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was in Turkey and indirectly in contact through the Turks with Assad via telephone. This followed Erdoğan's (and Davutoğlu's) attempt in December 2008 to arrive at a framework for an agreement between the Jewish state and Syria over the occupied Golan Heights. According to Assad,
After that, Syria, and especially Turkey, went crazy because Olmert deceived them. He told them, "I am going back to Israel to think about how to solve this peace issue," but he went to war instead and killed one thousand five hundred Palestinians. That is how close we were.47
If all had gone well, Assad expected the United States to step in as an "arbiter" in direct negotiations. As a result of the war, Turkey's relations with Israel went downhill very quickly. Ironically, so too did Turkish-Syrian relations within months of Assad's interview.
Turkey has been proactive, at first in trying to get Assad to initiate political reform and end the use of violence against his fellow citizens, and later to give political support to opponents of his regime. The Arab states, Turkey and the rest of the world waited fruitlessly for close to two weeks to see if Assad would act in good faith regarding the November 2, 2011, Arab League peace plan. He was exhorted to end the bloodshed by withdrawing the army from cities and towns, allowing press, human-rights activists and the Arab League to monitor events, and by releasing political prisoners. He was also to begin dialogue with the opposition that might lead to democratic change.48 The regional press was very skeptical given Assad's track record. Mehmet Ali Birand in the Istandbul newspaper Posta wrote:
Today Al-Assad seems to be in control of the situation, as he seems to have managed to unite his supporters. Even Ankara, which until a short time ago was saying Al-Assad "will fall in a few weeks," is now talking about a period of several years. In short, it seems the calculations have been wrong.49
Rafiq Khoury, editor-in-chief of Al-Anwar in Beirut, cautioned:
The Arab League's task is to follow up the implementation of the agreement and seek other options if there are any obstacles in the way. The task for the regional and international powers is to support the Arab solution and prevent any agendas to abuse any loopholes in the Arab solution and any rush to an international solution.50
Radwan Ziadeh, a Washington-based member of the opposition Syrian National Council established in Istanbul in August 2011, said that the Assad regime was "lying and buying time."51
Apparently such was the case; Arab League observers were forced to suspend their observer mission in January 2012 in the face of continuing violence and a lack of cooperation from Syrian authorities. As mentioned earlier, the crisis in Syria began in March 2011 as security forces shot at and arrested peaceful protestors who made demands for political freedom and an end to corruption. On June 12, 2011, Turkey held parliamentary elections that returned the AKP to power for a third term, with about 50 percent of the vote. Prime Minister Erdoğan's victory speech did not address his countrymen only:
I greet with affection the peoples of Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Tunis, Sarajevo, Skopje, Baku, Nicosia and all other friends and brother peoples who are following the news out of Turkey with great excitement. Today the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans have won as much as Turkey. We will become much more active in regional and global affairs. We will take on a more effective role. We will call, as we have, for rights in our region, for justice, for the rule of law, for freedom and democracy.52
Meanwhile, thousands of Syrian refugees were flowing into Turkey (as well as in smaller numbers into Lebanon and Jordan). Turkey had endorsed the peaceful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, but it called for political reform in Libya and Syria, having greater patience with the leaders of those states than the Western powers did. The Turks had a large amount of trade and investment in Libya and Syria. Indeed, Syria was Turkey's largest trading partner and a country that the Turks hoped would keep some distance from Iran. Just a month before the election, İnan Özyıldız, the Turkish ambassador to Lebanon, said, "Maybe it's too early to talk about a post-Assad period. We still count on this existing regime, which is expected to start seriously thinking about a new strategy to address the demands of the Syrian population."53 However, when Assad sent Hassan Turkmani to meet with Erdoğan just after the Turkish elections to discuss the refugee crisis and other matters, the Turkish prime minister labeled Syria's crackdown on protestors "savagery."54
Iran accused Turkey of adopting a "Zionist" foreign policy regarding Syria, as the Turks announced that they would welcome defecting soldiers and would deliver aid across the border to displaced Syrians.55 Nevertheless, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu visited Damascus in early August 2011, during Ramadan, to implore Assad to end the bloodshed. The UN ambassadors from India, Brazil and South Africa made similar appeals. The Syrian government announced shortly after the visits of Davutoğlu and the other diplomats that it would continue the campaign against "armed terrorist groups."56 Before Davutoğlu's visit, an unnamed Turkish "senior diplomat" informed a reporter from Hürriyet: "The situation here is not like the one in Libya. No one can do anything on Syria without Turkey…. I don't think that military action against Syria is likely, but the process might lead to an embargo, isolation and a Saddam-like situation for Assad."57
By early October 2011, undeterred by Russian and Chinese vetoes of a UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Syria, Turkey announced that it was doing so on its own. Although it was hinted that those measures would be military and commercial in nature and would target the Syrian government, not its people, no specifics were revealed.58 Bashar al-Assad accused the United States of responsibility for his country's deteriorating relations with Turkey, as Turkish officials were behaving "like Obama's spokespeople" and Erdoğan had "changed."59 Erdoğan explained to Time magazine that he felt betrayed by Assad: "I am a person who is inclined to define relations between individuals based on principles. It is impossible to preserve my friendship with people who are allegedly leaders when they are attacking their own people."60 By November 12, 2011, following the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's membership, mobs of Assad supporters attacked the Saudi and Turkish embassies in Damascus — although Turkey is not a member of that organization — as well as Turkish consulates in Aleppo and Latakia. Turkey immediately evacuated nonessential diplomatic staff and family members from Syria and issued a travel warning to Turkish citizens.61
Meanwhile, as of October 2011, Turkey began hosting the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a militia composed initially of deserters from the armed forces. The Syrian government has referred to the FSA and other groups who have taken up arms against them as "terrorists" and claims that Turkey — along with Qatar and Saudi Arabia — has provided financial support for acquiring weapons. Turkey has emphatically denied these allegations.62 Indeed, Turkish policy has been to resist any armed intervention into Syria, as it does not want fighting to spill over into Turkey; over 50,000 Syrian refugees are being sheltered in the three border provinces of Hatay, Kilis and Gaziantep.63 Nevertheless, the Syrians fired at refugees crossing into Turkey just days before the ceasefire agreement negotiated by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was to take effect on April 12, 2012. This caused Turkey to once again consider the possibility of establishing a buffer zone just over its border with Syria for humanitarian purposes.
The current ceasefire and Annan's six-point plan, designed to resurrect the unsuccessful Arab League program of November 2011, are still works in progress. Russia and China eventually approved a Security Council resolution on April 21 to send 300 ceasefire observers to Syria, but it lacks any mechanism to insure Assad's compliance and spreads blame for the current crisis to include armed groups in the opposition.64 Apparently, sanctions are having a significant effect. While Iran is providing financial assistance, Assad's government has to dig deeply into its hard-currency cash reserves. Syria has lost its oil revenue and tourist industry, and banks are unable to provide letters of credit for imports.65 Assad can continue to hold out as long as he has funds for his armed forces, but he risks further isolation and the possibility of eventual international military action. Turkey, the Arab world and the West are losing patience. In late April 2012, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu was quoted as saying: "Peace and stability can be restored in Syria, not with the Baath regime but with a new political system which takes its legitimacy from the people."66
Turkey and Syria can only return to having a "model relationship" with Assad's departure. Turkey is preparing itself for that eventuality by giving political support to the Syrian National Council and by emphasizing that the current crisis only reflects the strained relations between governments, not people. Under the AKP government, Turkey has vastly improved relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds while maintaining close ties with the United States. Assisted by the changed political and economic conditions of the post-Cold War era, Turkey's leaders have mastered personal and creative diplomacy, reduced visa and trade barriers, and removed the military from foreign policy decisions, greatly improving Turkey's image in the region. Relations with Israel and the European Union, especially over the Cyprus and Kurdish issues, are still problematic, but reconcilable — as are those with Armenia. Turkey has gone from being perceived by its Middle Eastern neighbors as an agent of the West to being regarded as a partner in political, economic and cultural cooperation.
1 This fact was stated by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on June 10, 2010, at a meeting of the Turkish-Arab Economic Forum in Istanbul attended by delegations from 22 Arab countries. It was at the Forum that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced plans for the "Levant Quartet." "Turkey to Open Free Trade Zone with Arab States as Erdogan Denies Axis Shift," Los Angeles Times, June 11, 2010, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/11/israel-turkey-ira….
2 Gökhan Kurtaran, "Mediterranean Quartet Taking Step toward Union, Says Syrian Minister," Hürriyet Daily News, December 3, 2010, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=mediterranean-quartet-takes-a-step-to….
3 Gamze Coşkun, "Model Partnership in the Middle East: Turkish-Syrian Relations," Hürriyet Daily News, January 2, 2011, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=model-partnership-in-the-middle-east-….
4 "Erdoğan Says Syria's `Glorious Resistance' Will Succeed," Today's Zaman, November 1, 2011, www.todayszaman.com/news-261588-erdogan-says-syrias-glorious-resistance….
5 Daniel Dombey, "Turkey Hardens Stance against Syria," Financial Times, November 1, 2011, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f1438150-049e-11e1-ac2a-00144feabdc0.html.
6 Daniel Dombey, "Turkish President Welcomes Rapport with U.S.," Financial Times, November 7, 2011, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d0c2fde6-06d5-11e1-b9cc-01144feabdc0.html.
7 Altemur Kılıç, Turkey and the World (Public Affairs Press, 1959), 188-189.
8 Memorandum, Turkish-Arab Relations: Analysis of Views of U.S. Missions in Arab States and Iran, Ankara, Turkey, November 12, 1952, included in letter from Ambassador George McGhee to Department of State, November 15, 1952, which is reprinted in George McGhee, The U.S.-Turkish-NATO Middle East Connection (St. Martin's Press, 1990), appendix (186-207). The quotation is on pp. 187-188.
9 Patrick Seale, The Struggle for Syria (Yale University Press, 1987), 253-254.
10 Tabitha Petran, Syria (Praeger Publishers, 1972), 115.
11 Andrew Rathmell, Secret War in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 1995), 111-123. Chamoun's quote is from p. 121.
12 Erik J. Zürcher, Turkey: A Modern History (I.B. Tauris, 2004), 236.
13 Süha Bölükbaşı, "Behind the Turkish-Israeli Alliance: A Turkish View," Journal of Palestine Studies 29, no. 1 (Autumn 1999): 23.
14 Elie Podeh, "The Struggle over Arab Hegemony after the Suez Crisis," Middle Eastern Studies 29, no. 1 (January 1993): 92.
15 Quoted in George Lenczowski, The Middle East in World Affairs (Cornell University Press, 1980), 797.
16 Kemal Karpat, Turkey's Foreign Policy in Transition, 1950-1974 (E.J. Brill, 1975), 120.
17 Elie Podeh, The Decline of Arab Unity: The Rise and Fall of the United Arab Republic (Sussex Academic Press, 1999), 39-41.
18 Quoted in Baruch Gilead, "Turkish-Egyptian Relations," Middle Eastern Affairs 10, no. 11 (November 1959): 366.
19 Feroz Ahmad, The Turkish Experiment in Democracy (Westview Press, 1977), 397.
20 David Kushner, "Conflict and Accommodation in Turkish-Syrian Relations," in Moshe Ma'oz and Avner Yaniv, eds., Syria under Assad: Domestic Constraints and Regional Risks, (St. Martin's Press, 1986), 87.
21 Quoted in Bölükbaşı, "Behind the Turkish-Israeli Alliance," 26.
22 Quoted in Ferenc A. Váli, Bridge across the Bosporus: The Foreign Policy of Turkey (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971), 314.
23 Ibid., 308.
24 Kushner, "Conflict and Accommodation," 93.
25 Quoted in Patrick Seale, Assad of Syria: The Struggle for the Middle East (University of California Press, 1988), 158-159.
26 Ibid., 159.
27 Quoted in Ömer E. Kürkçüoğlu, "Recent Developments in Turkey's Middle Eastern Policy," Dış Politika 1 (Ankara), no. 2 (June 1971): 96.
28 "Lebanon: UN-Backed Tribunal Submits Indictment over Hariri Murder," UN News Service, June 30, 2011, www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38902&Cr=hariri&Cr1; and Robert Fisk, "UN Blames Hezbollah for Hariri Bomb Murder," Independent, July 1, 2011, www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-un-blames-h….
29 Quoted in Muhammad Muslih, "Syria and Turkey: Uneasy Relations," in Henri J. Barkey, ed., Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey's Role in the Middle East (United States Institute of Peace Press, 1996), 123. Muslih uses the word "[theirs]" instead of the words "[the Arabs]."
30 Ibid., 128. Also see Murhaf Jouejati, "Water Politics as High Politics: The Case of Turkey and Syria," in Reluctant Neighbor, 141; Jouejati asserts that it was "difficult to ascertain" whether Syria's support of the PKK is "specifically linked to the water dispute or whether it is part of the overall political conflict."
31 "Turkey, Syria to Build a Friendship Dam," Hürriyet Daily News, February 14, 2010, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-syria-to-build-a-friendship-da….
32 Bölükbaşı, "Behind the Turkish-Israeli Alliance," 28-30.
33 Mahmut Bali Aykan, "The Turkish-Syrian Crisis of October 1998: A Turkish View," Middle East Policy 6, no. 4 (June 1999): 175.
34 Quoted in Efraim Inbar, "Regional Implications of the Israeli-Turkish Strategic Partnership," Turkish Studies 3, no. 2 (Autumn 2002): 29.
35 Carol Migdalovitz, "AKP's Domestically-Driven Foreign Policy," Turkish Policy Quarterly 9, no. 4 (Winter 2010/11): 38.
36 Philip Robins, "Turkish Foreign Policy since 2002: Between a Post-Islamist Government and Kemalist State," International Affairs 83, no. 2 (March 2007), 301.
37 Jonathan Burch, "Turkey to Freeze EU Ties if Cyprus Gets EU Presidency," Reuters, September 16, 2011, www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/18/us-turkey-cyprus-idUSTRE78H20L201109….
38 Migdalovitz, "AKP's Domestically-Driven Foreign Policy," 42-43.
39 Robins, "Turkish Foreign Policy since 2002," 295-6, 298-302.
40 Jack Khoury and Barak Ravid, "Turkey Expels Israel Envoy after Gaza Flotilla Report, Freezes Military Ties," Haaretz, September 2, 2011, www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-expels-israel-envoy-after….
41 Alice Fordham, "Amid Unrest, Syrians Struggle to Feed their Families," Washington Post, May 1, 2012.
42 Yoav Stern, "Turkey Singing a New Tune," Haaretz, January 9, 2005, www.haaretz.com/print-edition/features/turkey-singing-a-new-tune-1.1465….
43 Burak Akinci, "Newly Found Friendship between Turkey and Syria," Middle East Online (London), December 23, 2004, www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=12236.
44 "PM Vows to Build Model Partnership with Syria," Today's Zaman, December 24, 2009, www.todayszaman.com/news-196473-102-pm-vows-to-build-model-partnership-….
45 Ercan Yavuz, "Turkey and Syria Settle Decades-Old Property Dispute," Today's Zaman, March 3, 2009, www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?load=detay&link=168465.
46 "Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade in Syria," Trend (Baku), January 15, 2011, http://en.trend.az/capital/business/1812283.html. Also see Dan Bilefsky, "Syrians' New Ardor for a Turkey Looking Eastward," New York Times, July 24, 2010.
47 "Interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2011, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487038332045761147124411228….
48 "Syria Accepts Arab League Plan to End Crisis," National Public Radio, November 2, 2011, www.npr.org/2011/11/02/141939266/syria-accepts-arab-league-plan-to-end-…; and Liz Sly, "Arab League Announces Peace Plan for Syria," Washington Post, November 2, 2011.
49 Quoted in "Arab League Syria Plan Leaves Regional Media Sceptical," BBC News, November 3, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15572173.
50 Quoted in ibid.
51 Quoted in Sly, "Arab League Announces Peace Plan."
52 Quoted in Susanne Güsten, "Mandate for a New Turkish Era," New York Times, June 15, 2011.
53 Quoted in Kelly McEvers, "Syria Strains Turkey's `No Problems' Foreign Policy," National Public Radio, May 6, 2011, www.npr.org/2011/05/06/136035297/syria-strains-turkeys-no-problems-fore….
54 "Turkey's Erdogan Holds Crisis Talks with Syrian Envoy," Haaretz, June 15, 2011, www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-s-erdogan-holds-crisis-talks-wi….
55 Borzou Daragahi, "Turkey Breaks with Syria over Crackdown," Los Angeles Times, June 17, 2011, http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/17/world/la-fg-turkey-syria-201106….
56 "Turkey to Press Syria to End Bloodshed" Guardian, August 9, 2011, www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/09/turkey-press-syria-end-crackdown; and Fadwa al-Hatem, "Turkey Won't Let Syria Become Another Iraq," Guardian, August 10, 2011, www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/aug/10/turkey-syria-complex-relat….
57 Sibel Utku Bila, "Erdoğan Sends Turkish FM to Increase Pressure on Syria," Hürriyet Daily News, August 7, 2011, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=erdogan-sends-turkish-fm-to-up-pressu….
58 "Turkey Says Sanctions on Syria to Go Ahead," Hürriyet Daily News, October 5, 2011, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-says-sanctions-on-syria-to-go-…; and Martin Chulov, "Turkey Imposes Sanctions on Syria in Protest over Deaths," Guardian, October 4, 2011, www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/04/bashar-al-assad-syria.
59 "Erdoğan Changed, Not Me," Hürriyet Daily News, October 7, 2011, www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=8216erdogan-changed-not-me8217-2011-1….
60 Ishaan Tharoor, "Exclusive: TIME Meets Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Time, September 26, 2011, http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/09/26/exclusive-time-meets-turkis….
61 "Turkey Issues Diplomatic Note to Syria over Mission Attacks," Today's Zaman, November 13, 2011, www.todayszaman.com/news-262535-turkey-issues-diplomatic-note-to-syria-…; and "Outside Pressure Builds on Syria as Violence Continues," BBC News, November 13, 2011, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15712876.
62 "Syrian Rebels Reject New Demands as Ceasefire Nears," BBC News, April 9, 2012, www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17655425.
63 Alice Fordham and Karen DeYoung, "Syrian Violence Spills into Lebanon and Turkey," Washington Post, April 9, 2012; and "Syrian Troops Fire on Refugees Fleeing to Turkey," Today's Zaman, April 12, 2012, www.todayszaman.com/news-27713-syrian-troops-fire-on-refugees-fleeing-t….
64 Colum Lynch and Alice Fordham, "UN Security Council Authorizes Team of Up to 300 Cease-fire Observers in Syria," Washington Post, April 21, 2012.
65 Joby Warrick and Alice Fordham, "Syria Running Out of Cash as Sanctions Take Toll, but Assad Avoids Economic Pain," Washington Post, April 24, 2012.
66 Quoted in Gabe Kahn, "France and Turkey Mulling Syria Intervention," Arutz Sheva, April 26, 2012, www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/155177.
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