Turkey and Syria from 2011 to 2013: From Intimacy to a Dilemma

Hakan ÖZDEN
2016 Turkish Studies  
This article reveals how Turkish-Syrian relations have evolved from a common historical background, culture and civilization. Times of tension have occurred in this mutual relationship during which both sides have experienced conflict, enmity and heightened security concerns. Bashar al-Assad's ascent to power in Syria in 2000 and the rise of the Justice and Development Party in 2002 in Turkey marked a new stage in bilateral relations. At that time, Turkey and Syria were engaged in political and
more » ... ed in political and economic cooperation to improve their relations. However, with the emergence and spread of the Arab Spring into Syria, the relaxation of tensions could not be perpetuated. The effects of the Arab Spring were felt in Syrian society by March 2011, when Syrians were exposed to the cruelty and increasing bloodshed of the Assad regime. Turkey initially called for political reforms from the Assad administration that did not occur. Regional and international actors, including Turkey, subsequently attempted to broker a peaceful resolution for the crisis. Several meetings and conferences were organized, and a six-point Annan Plan was prepared, but all attempts failed to produce concrete results. Turkish-Syrian relations continued to deteriorate. Bilateral relations entered a phase of disengagement during which several tension-escalating incidents occurred, such as the downing of military jets by both sides and bomb explosions on Turkish territory. This study focuses on the inability of both regional and international actors to produce a peaceful and effective resolution to the Syrian crisis, which has had regional and global effects. The study also describes and analyzes various perspectives regarding the nature of the crisis.
doi:10.7827/turkishstudies.9302 fatcat:lnx7fgcgo5dmbbxk75lwxlzczy