The Turkish Strategic Restrictions towards the Arab Revolts (2011 – 2012)

  •  Fares Al-Fayez    


Turkey is distinguished with property of elements of enough power, which makes it a regional power: the location, the area, the population, and the strong economy. The creed, identity, skills and natural resources, all these factors assist Turkey to prove its domination and power in a rising shape, but its strategic concept did not appear before the present Turkish government comes in 2002 and may be, because of the dispersion of power elements in the state. The Turkish policies at that stage could be described in confronting internal, regional and international issues. It is a policy of running the variety, or (management of diversity) and from the other side, (policy of crises management).

Turkey witnesses ever since discussions about the significance of the concealed true power of Turkey in the field of its international relations, and to which extent it invests them in its diplomatic relations. These discussions amount between two trends; one attempts to found legitimacy of the concept of Turkey to remain mortgaged to the connected policies with centers of powers formed outside. That is by showing Turkey’s level of concealed power less than level, which it should be on, through frozen operations of evaluation connected with stage situations. The second is a trend presenting excessive optimistic estimations, mortgaging that Turkey can explode its power strictly, without new analysis and dynamic to the elements of the changing and static power which Turkey owns in the shadow of the new international situation. Ankara sticked to neutrality at the beginning of the Arab incidents towards the Tunisian Revolt in December 2010. But with the hasting of incidents in Egypt after one month from that date Ardoghan initiated by calling former president Husni Mobarak to withdraw, and Abdullah Ghoul was the first president to visit Egypt after the collapse of Mobarak, the thing that duplicated the popularity that Turkey obtains on the Egyptian sphere, and it is what was reflected in receiving Ardoghan at his visit to Egypt in September, 2011. He paid a visit heading a big delegation of businessmen. This assured Turkey's desire to enlarge its economic relation with the biggest Arab state.

At the start of the Libyan Revolt in February 2011, Turkey hesitated to act. Turkey had big investments with Al-Quaddafi's regime. Therefore, it assured this significance to reach a political settlement of the Libyan crisis, at the beginning of incidents, fore-warning from seriousness of fighting like that which happened in Iraq before, the thing that harmed Turkey's picture inside Libya. But after passing the resolution of the Security Council 1973, which allowed forcing an area of air-navigation prohibition over Libya, Ankara's stand was changed by sending sea-forces to participate in the NATO operations there, beside the participation in the human aid efforts.

Also, the break- out of Bahrain Revolt in February 2011 placed Turkey among numerous accounts. Turkey had large economic interests with states of the Gulf Cooperative Council, and had to respect the security specialty of Gulf region, and it did not wish to encourage Iran to interfere in the Gulf affairs. Though, Ankara wanted to rise its diplomatic role in an attempt to quiet the Shia't –Sunni tensions in the region, that harm its special interests. Ankara presented mediation.

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