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  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: In consideration of the general instability in the Middle East – the bloody Syrian civil war and its mounting refugee crisis, the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing fighting in Iraq, and the war in Yemen – the author argues that the geographical map of the region based on the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement is disintegrating. Furthermore, the author argues that the region’s turmoil has to some extent had a spillover effect on the three non-Arab states – Turkey, Iran, and Israel, which further adds troubles to the region. While Israel is largely an outlier, the author posits that Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will be embroiled in the “increasingly bitter contest for dominance of the Muslim Middle East.”
  • Topic: Civil War, Imperialism, Regional Cooperation, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Lina Khatib
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Hezbollah today is Lebanon’s strongest political party. However, its military intervention in the Syrian conflict has put it at a crossroads. While the party’s domestic strength continues, largely due to the weakness of its Lebanese political opponents and to its reliance on the possession of weapons to intimidate them, Hezbollah is facing increasing challenges in Syria. The author argues that as a deal on Iran’s nuclear ambitions looms, and with it the possibility of imposed limitations on Iran’s behavior by the international community, Hezbollah – being Iran’s key client – will find its autonomy and ability to act in the domestic Lebanese sphere as well as externally reduced in the future.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Violent Extremism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Sabri Sayari
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Middle East policy under the AKP government – in particular, its stance on Syria and the fight against ISIL – has had a damaging effect on not only its 60-year-old alliance with the US, but also its regional standing. The author chronicles several of the government’s blunders, arguing that they ultimately stem from a “fundamental miscalculation of Turkey’s power and capacity to shape regional developments.” From the government’s misplaced confidence in Bashar al-Assad’s regime and subsequent radical reversal in its Syria policy, to its sectarian approach to the region and support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to its deteriorated relationship with Israel, the author contends that Turkey has succeeded only in further alienating itself.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, ISIL
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Itzhak Galnoor
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Israeli democracy has followed a unique trajectory. Despite its strengths – regular and fair elections, an independent judiciary, a pluralistic party system etc. – the author argues that democratic development is in fact “interrupted.” The author identifies four main areas: the continuous occupation since 1967, the status of the Arab citizens within Israel, the growing socio-economic gaps, and the relationship between the state and religion. In order to mitigate the threats to Israeli democracy, the author espouses going back to fundamental democratic values – above all, democratic education in schools to build an enduring trust in democracy among young people.
  • Topic: Development, Culture, Minorities, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Gabriel Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Most analysts consider Davutogˆlu’s “zero problems with neighbors” strategy a failure, and typically cite Turkey’s decision to lend its support to religious conservative movements like the Muslim Brotherhood during the Arab Spring as a primary example. However, the failures of the last few years must also be understood within the framework of a larger narrative where Turkey has insisted on functioning as an intermediary between Israel and Syria, and the United States and Iran. These episodes, during which Turkey overstepped the boundaries of its influence, revealed the limitations of Turkish foreign policy and foreshadowed its regional decline.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Diplomacy, Mediation
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria