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Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis

Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 competition between the traditions and the modern, between the East and the West, also reflected the intensified ideology competition within the collapsing Ottoman Empire. Securitization and De-securitization˖ Social and political reforms were also born, and they transported the Ottoman Empire from Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis a traditional empire to a modern state. Looking at the relationship between the political thoughts in the late Ottoman Empire and Islam, various nationalist thoughts still could not Rahmouni Fatima ZAHRA get rid of the influence of Islam. The impact of Islam could not only be found in (Department of World History, Shanghai University, China) pan-Ottomanism and pan-Turkism; moreover, pan-Islamism itself was influential as a relatively interdependent political and social trend of thought. Abstract: The article focuses on the nature of the relations between Turkey and Syria during the Syrian crisis. Although the relationship between Turkey and Syria had undergone some ups and downs in the last several years, both countries tried their best to improve their economic, political, cultural, and diplomatic relations. Indeed, Turkey introduced its model, “Moderate Islamic ideologies”, through Syria in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The “Arab Spring” of 2011 was a very good opportunity for Turkey to introduce its democratic Islamic dogmas which were welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in some Arab Countries. But, the President of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, and his allies were very critical of Turkey’s policy. Thus, the article mainly explores the role of Turkey in Syria’s internal affairs, in particular, Erdogan’s policy towards Syrian crises. Besides, it examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the Arab Spring in the MENA. However, the article has found out that the current policies of Turkey towards the Syrian crisis are critical within the Middle East region. In other words, the conflicts and the wars against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) weakened the bilateral relations. The Syrian refugees and the PKK are posing overwhelming challenges to Turkey’s economy and internal security. Key Words: Turkey-Syria Relations; Syrian Crisis; Turkey’s Foreign and Domestic Policies; Syrian Refugees; Securitization and De-securitization I. Introduction The bilateral relations between Turkey and Syria have, largely, included the areas of economy, politics and culture of both countries. Significantly, given their geographical locations, the two countries are connected with each other in their internal situations as well as the external conditions. Turkey is situated at the intersection of three continents and positioned between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. It shares the longest border with Syria, which is about 822 kilometers. This position influenced largely the Rahmouni Fatima ZAHRA, PhD candidate in global studies, Department of World History, Shanghai University, China. Ellen Churchill Semple, “The Regional Geography of Turkey: A Review of Banse’s Work,” Geographical Review, Vol.11, No. 3, 1921, pp. 338-350. 26 27 27 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 The article studies the changes of Turkish foreign policy toward Syria and shows how diversity of the Turkish population that has Ottoman, Arab, Western and Kurdish AKP is interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. It examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and descendants. Turkey is known for its multicultural diversities which enables it to have a how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the “Arab Spring” in the MENA strong presence regionally and internationally. It is also known for the predominance of region. Moreover, the article explores some main issues and their implications on the Sunni Muslims and supporters of secularism. Besides, because of its long glorious history, relationship of Turkey with Syria. In addition, the article starts with definition on the Turkey had scope to learn from past and earn the ability of efficient solutions to improve theories of Securitization and De-securitization referring to Waever, Buzan and Balzaqc. the conditions of its internal affairs. According to Ahmet Davuto÷ lu, “Turkey is a Middle This framework has been for a long time a source of discussions and arguments between Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf and Black Sea scholars, and international actors. Indeed, the two concepts allow us to understand the country, and can simultaneously exercise influence in all these regions and thus claim a situation of Turkey and Syria since the early years of the post-cold-war. Besides, the article global strategic role”. The Turkish influence on the Arab world was a great opportunity for investigates the actions and the position of the Turkish government towards the Arab the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to spread its ideologies and concept of moderate revolution and its implication on the Turkish-Arab region. Consequently, the “Arab Islam in the region. Indeed, Syria was an important gateway of Turkey to win the hearts Spring” caused instability and made a lot of people of Syria into refugees in Turkey and and minds of Syrians in particular and Arabs in general. Before the outbreak of the “Arab other countries. Spring” in 2011, the Syrian tourist companies were promoting and advertising Turkey’s destinations to the people of their countries. Both Turkish and Syrian universities and II. Securitization and De-securitization Framework institutions incorporated some exchange courses into their education curricula. Additionally, with Syrian collaboration, the spread of dubbed Turkish series and dramas Securitization and de-securitization theories are, always, associated with the foreign among Syrians had much and positive impact on the Turkish tourism. Turkey used soft policy of a specific country or to its domestic affairs. Many researchers from diverse areas power to maintain a good relationship with Syria and later with other Arab states. In fact, have been exploring these two concepts in different perspectives and angles generating the Syrians were taking Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an as a model who will bring peace in the many serious debates and discussions. Indeed, when we mention the words of Middle East region. In reality, AKP had a policy of using its common history, traditions securitization and de-securitization immediately the terms of security and instability come and religion to get close to the Arab region to increase their economic and political to our mind. But, what are Securitization and de-securitization theories? Going through engagements without using hard power. Moreover, Turkey used soft power and its some works, it is noted that the Copenhagen School is the most influential proponents of popularity in Arab countries before 2010, in Arab countries which perceived Turkey as a these theoretical approaches. This school is mainly composed of Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver friend and a model. Besides, Turkey’s economic growth was also a strong asset in the and others who developed the notions of securitization and de-securitization. The region. Turkey was also known by its mediating effort in conflicts, and by its “concept of framework is totally related to the security concerns or factors that push the leaders to zero problems with the neighbours” considered as a key pillar of AKP’s foreign policy in Indeed, securitization is “a field of struggle in which define a matter as a security issue. the 2000s. According to Meliha Benli Altunú k, “the coming of power of Justice and the securitizing actors point at a security issue to secure the support of society for a certain Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in 2002 and the transformation of Turkish politics But, Balzacq said, securitization ‘‘is a set of interrelated policy or course of action”. and economy coinciding with the evolution of regional politics in post-2003 Iraq War era practices and the processes of their production, diffusion, and reception, translation that led to Turkey’s actorness in the region”. However, according to the Arab states, Turkey did bring threats into being; the innovation of securitization theory is important for changing not have an opportunity to become a leading power. In 2010, Turkey’s image was still the attitude of security theorists toward language”. Securitization enables policymakers to positive in the Arab world, but one year later, the Arab countries were focusing on the Arab immediately adopt whatever means they deem appropriate to curb the threat. Spring, and because Turkey got involved with the Syrian regime, Ankara’s status has Abrahamsen argues that securitization has been employed to analyze the state foreign diminished in the eyes of Arab states. Thus, AKP supports the opposition regime and have ; however, Emmers emphasized the importance of securitization in the policy behavior the mission to get down the Bath party of Bashar Al Assad which have been accused nationally and internationally of the Syrian humanitarian crisis and killing millions of Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” innocent Syrians. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.695-717; Waever Ole “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipshutz, ed., On Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Loannis N. Grigoriadis, “The Davuto÷lu Doctrine and Turkish Foreign Policy,” Hellenic Foundation Ibid., p.4; Karakaya-Polat Rabia, “The 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: between Securitization for European and Foreign Policy, No.8, 2010. and Desecuritization,” Parliamentary Affairs, Vol.62, No.1,2009, pp. 129-148. Sami Moubayed, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: The Erdogan Legacy,” Seta Policy Brief, No.25, 2008, Thierry Balzacq, Securitization Theory: How Security Problems Emerge and Dissolve, London: pp.1-8, http://setav.org/en/turkish-syrian-relations-the-erdogan-legacy/yorum/141. Routledge, 2011. Meliha Benli Altunú k, “Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East,” in H. Fürtig, ed., Regional Powers in Thierry Balzacq, Stefan Guzzini, “Introduction: What Kind of Theory-If Any-Is Securitization,” the Middle East: New Constellations after the Arab Revolts, New York: Palgrave Macmilliam, 2014, International Relations, Vol.29, No.1, 2015. pp.123-142. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” European Journal of International 28 28 29 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 The article studies the changes of Turkish foreign policy toward Syria and shows how diversity of the Turkish population that has Ottoman, Arab, Western and Kurdish AKP is interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. It examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and descendants. Turkey is known for its multicultural diversities which enables it to have a how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the “Arab Spring” in the MENA strong presence regionally and internationally. It is also known for the predominance of region. Moreover, the article explores some main issues and their implications on the Sunni Muslims and supporters of secularism. Besides, because of its long glorious history, relationship of Turkey with Syria. In addition, the article starts with definition on the Turkey had scope to learn from past and earn the ability of efficient solutions to improve theories of Securitization and De-securitization referring to Waever, Buzan and Balzaqc. the conditions of its internal affairs. According to Ahmet Davuto÷ lu, “Turkey is a Middle This framework has been for a long time a source of discussions and arguments between Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf and Black Sea scholars, and international actors. Indeed, the two concepts allow us to understand the country, and can simultaneously exercise influence in all these regions and thus claim a situation of Turkey and Syria since the early years of the post-cold-war. Besides, the article global strategic role”. The Turkish influence on the Arab world was a great opportunity for investigates the actions and the position of the Turkish government towards the Arab the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to spread its ideologies and concept of moderate revolution and its implication on the Turkish-Arab region. Consequently, the “Arab Islam in the region. Indeed, Syria was an important gateway of Turkey to win the hearts Spring” caused instability and made a lot of people of Syria into refugees in Turkey and and minds of Syrians in particular and Arabs in general. Before the outbreak of the “Arab other countries. Spring” in 2011, the Syrian tourist companies were promoting and advertising Turkey’s destinations to the people of their countries. Both Turkish and Syrian universities and II. Securitization and De-securitization Framework institutions incorporated some exchange courses into their education curricula. Additionally, with Syrian collaboration, the spread of dubbed Turkish series and dramas Securitization and de-securitization theories are, always, associated with the foreign among Syrians had much and positive impact on the Turkish tourism. Turkey used soft policy of a specific country or to its domestic affairs. Many researchers from diverse areas power to maintain a good relationship with Syria and later with other Arab states. In fact, have been exploring these two concepts in different perspectives and angles generating the Syrians were taking Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an as a model who will bring peace in the many serious debates and discussions. Indeed, when we mention the words of Middle East region. In reality, AKP had a policy of using its common history, traditions securitization and de-securitization immediately the terms of security and instability come and religion to get close to the Arab region to increase their economic and political to our mind. But, what are Securitization and de-securitization theories? Going through engagements without using hard power. Moreover, Turkey used soft power and its some works, it is noted that the Copenhagen School is the most influential proponents of popularity in Arab countries before 2010, in Arab countries which perceived Turkey as a these theoretical approaches. This school is mainly composed of Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver friend and a model. Besides, Turkey’s economic growth was also a strong asset in the and others who developed the notions of securitization and de-securitization. The region. Turkey was also known by its mediating effort in conflicts, and by its “concept of framework is totally related to the security concerns or factors that push the leaders to zero problems with the neighbours” considered as a key pillar of AKP’s foreign policy in Indeed, securitization is “a field of struggle in which define a matter as a security issue. the 2000s. According to Meliha Benli Altunú k, “the coming of power of Justice and the securitizing actors point at a security issue to secure the support of society for a certain Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in 2002 and the transformation of Turkish politics But, Balzacq said, securitization ‘‘is a set of interrelated policy or course of action”. and economy coinciding with the evolution of regional politics in post-2003 Iraq War era practices and the processes of their production, diffusion, and reception, translation that led to Turkey’s actorness in the region”. However, according to the Arab states, Turkey did bring threats into being; the innovation of securitization theory is important for changing not have an opportunity to become a leading power. In 2010, Turkey’s image was still the attitude of security theorists toward language”. Securitization enables policymakers to positive in the Arab world, but one year later, the Arab countries were focusing on the Arab immediately adopt whatever means they deem appropriate to curb the threat. Spring, and because Turkey got involved with the Syrian regime, Ankara’s status has Abrahamsen argues that securitization has been employed to analyze the state foreign diminished in the eyes of Arab states. Thus, AKP supports the opposition regime and have ; however, Emmers emphasized the importance of securitization in the policy behavior the mission to get down the Bath party of Bashar Al Assad which have been accused nationally and internationally of the Syrian humanitarian crisis and killing millions of Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” innocent Syrians. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.695-717; Waever Ole “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipshutz, ed., On Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Loannis N. Grigoriadis, “The Davuto÷lu Doctrine and Turkish Foreign Policy,” Hellenic Foundation Ibid., p.4; Karakaya-Polat Rabia, “The 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: between Securitization for European and Foreign Policy, No.8, 2010. and Desecuritization,” Parliamentary Affairs, Vol.62, No.1,2009, pp. 129-148. Sami Moubayed, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: The Erdogan Legacy,” Seta Policy Brief, No.25, 2008, Thierry Balzacq, Securitization Theory: How Security Problems Emerge and Dissolve, London: pp.1-8, http://setav.org/en/turkish-syrian-relations-the-erdogan-legacy/yorum/141. Routledge, 2011. Meliha Benli Altunú k, “Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East,” in H. Fürtig, ed., Regional Powers in Thierry Balzacq, Stefan Guzzini, “Introduction: What Kind of Theory-If Any-Is Securitization,” the Middle East: New Constellations after the Arab Revolts, New York: Palgrave Macmilliam, 2014, International Relations, Vol.29, No.1, 2015. pp.123-142. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” European Journal of International 28 29 29 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 ‘security’ agenda and back into the realm of public political discourse and ‘normal’ field of crimes. Moreover, Elbe, Buzan and Roe argued that securitization is an essential political dispute and accommodation’’. Some argued that ‘‘an issue is de-securitized element when it comes to diseases, HIV, war on terror and minority rights which are when nothing is done’’. According to Olsner, on the contrary, ‘‘a problem is de-securitized considered as a security threats. For Wæver, ‘‘security constituted the opposite of when either it loses its threatening image because agent and audience’s perception of the ‘politics’, which implies the possibility for more open engagement and dialogue’’. In fact, nature of the threat change in a positive manner or they perceive a qualitative change in the securitization of some political matter in the internal affairs of certain countries could relationship between them and securitized threat”. Actually, the Copenhagen school create an inflexible ideology, and instability within the region. Based on Balzacq, claims that de-securitization is the opposite of securitization. So, whereas securitization is “security overlooks the objective context in which security agents are situated’’. In fact, defined as ‘‘moving an issue from a situation a, de-securitization refers to the return of the Balzacq argued that securitization is a strategic practice that happens within, and as part of, issues from being existential threats to normal politics. They also define the concept of an arrangement of situations, including the context, the psycho cultural nature and de-securitization as a continuity in which the political actors cease to treat the enemy that character of the audience, and the interaction that both the speaker and the listener Obviously, people from any society must participate and they saw before as a treat’’. brought. Furthermore, McDonald stated that ‘‘securitization has entered the language of express their views concerning the issue of security. Waever said that ‘‘society never international relations and security studies. Nor should such a development be viewed as a speaks; it is only there to be spoken for’’. negative one, particularly given the capacity for such a conceptual framework to illuminate key elements of the ways in which security preferences and practices are constructed in III. The Turkish Foreign Policy from Securitization to De-securitization: A international politics’’. From the standpoint of securitization theory, security is not Short Historical Background surrounded or formed by objectives. It is a “speech act”. For Williams, ‘‘Securitization is not the related to the military sector alone, but it is also produced by the conversational Historically, Turkey had a very unstable relationship with Syria, especially, after the elites, the media, and academia. The weakening role of the army does not automatically collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the early years of the post-Cold War period. In fact, bring de-securitization’’. Furthermore, Balzacq added “the power of the speech act would Turkey and Syria were in the opposite blocs during the Cold War, which means that Turkey appear to be undermined by the full incorporation of the idea that the act itself is only one In addition, was and still a founding member of NATO and Syria is one of Russia’s allies. part of the securitizing process’’. Moreover, Behnke argued that ‘‘If securitization is a the presence of France in Syria and the uprising of the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire speech act, de-securitization should be marked by the lack of any such speech act’’. To put Moreover, during the First World War resulted in Syria being put in the Turkish black list. it differently, Williams cited “de-securitization is the procedure of ‘moving issues off the in the 1970s, the Syrian government was supporting the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) which is an army group operating against Turkey. In the Relations, Vol.14, No.4, 2008, pp.563–587; Abrahamsen Rita, “Blair’s Africa: The Politics of Securitization and Fear,” Alternatives, Vol.30, No.1, 2005, pp.55-80. 1980s, Syria showed a huge tolerance toward the PKK by offering them a ground for Ibid., p.565; Emmers Ralf, “ASEAN and the Securitisation of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia,” training in the Syrian controlled area of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley which made Ankara very The Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No.3, 2003, pp.419-438. ĸ angry against Syria. In the early 1990s, this is considered as the area of securitization. Ibid., p.565; Elbe Stefan, “Should HIV/AIDS Be Securitized? The Ethical Dilemmas of Linking Hafiz Al Assad claimed the Turkish province of Hatay and demanded a larger share of HIV/AIDS and Security,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 50, No.1, 2006, pp.119-44; Barry Buzan, “The ‘War on Terrorism’ as the New Macro-Securitization,” Paper presented at Oslo workshop, February water from the Euphrates River which runs from Turkey to Syria. Furthermore, Syria had a 2-4, 2006; Roe Paul, “Securitization and Minority Rights: Conditions of Desecuritization,” Security Dialogue, Vol. 35, No.3, 2004, pp.279-94. Ibid., p.566; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipschutz, ed., On Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.498; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” pp.511–531. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish-Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” Relations with Syria and Iran,” Security Dialogue, Vol.39, No. 4, 2008, pp.459-515. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.698; Bülent Aras, Rabia Karakaya Ibid., p.497; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Polat, pp.459-515. Context,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 11, No.2, 2005, pp.171–201. Ĺ Cenap Çakmak, p.698; Olsner Andrea, “Desecuritization Theory and Regional Peace: Some Theoretical Ibid., p.497. Reflections and a Case Study on the Way to Stable Peace,” RSCAS EUI Working Paper, 2005. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.566. Ibid., p.796. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Ibid., p.697; Waever Ole, pp.46–86. Relations with Syria and Iran,” p.497; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” pp.46–86. Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy,” Middle East and North Ibid., p.502; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” Africa Program, 2012, https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/Middle% International Studies Quarterly, Vol.47, No.4, 2005, pp. 511–531. 20East/1212bp_phillips.pdf. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.572; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Kilic Bugra Kanat, “Continuity of Changein Turkish Foreign Policy under the JDP Government: The Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Context,” pp.171-201. Cases of Bilateral Relations with Israel and Syria,” Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol.34, No.4, 2012, Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, p.498; Behnke Andreas, “No Way Out: Desecuritization, pp.230-249. Emancipation and the Eternal Return of the Political-A Reply to Aradau,” Journal of International Ibid., p.234. Relations and Development, Vol.9, No.1, 2006, pp.62–69. 30 30 31 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 ‘security’ agenda and back into the realm of public political discourse and ‘normal’ field of crimes. Moreover, Elbe, Buzan and Roe argued that securitization is an essential political dispute and accommodation’’. Some argued that ‘‘an issue is de-securitized element when it comes to diseases, HIV, war on terror and minority rights which are when nothing is done’’. According to Olsner, on the contrary, ‘‘a problem is de-securitized considered as a security threats. For Wæver, ‘‘security constituted the opposite of when either it loses its threatening image because agent and audience’s perception of the ‘politics’, which implies the possibility for more open engagement and dialogue’’. In fact, nature of the threat change in a positive manner or they perceive a qualitative change in the securitization of some political matter in the internal affairs of certain countries could relationship between them and securitized threat”. Actually, the Copenhagen school create an inflexible ideology, and instability within the region. Based on Balzacq, claims that de-securitization is the opposite of securitization. So, whereas securitization is “security overlooks the objective context in which security agents are situated’’. In fact, defined as ‘‘moving an issue from a situation a, de-securitization refers to the return of the Balzacq argued that securitization is a strategic practice that happens within, and as part of, issues from being existential threats to normal politics. They also define the concept of an arrangement of situations, including the context, the psycho cultural nature and de-securitization as a continuity in which the political actors cease to treat the enemy that character of the audience, and the interaction that both the speaker and the listener Obviously, people from any society must participate and they saw before as a treat’’. brought. Furthermore, McDonald stated that ‘‘securitization has entered the language of express their views concerning the issue of security. Waever said that ‘‘society never international relations and security studies. Nor should such a development be viewed as a speaks; it is only there to be spoken for’’. negative one, particularly given the capacity for such a conceptual framework to illuminate key elements of the ways in which security preferences and practices are constructed in III. The Turkish Foreign Policy from Securitization to De-securitization: A international politics’’. From the standpoint of securitization theory, security is not Short Historical Background surrounded or formed by objectives. It is a “speech act”. For Williams, ‘‘Securitization is not the related to the military sector alone, but it is also produced by the conversational Historically, Turkey had a very unstable relationship with Syria, especially, after the elites, the media, and academia. The weakening role of the army does not automatically collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the early years of the post-Cold War period. In fact, bring de-securitization’’. Furthermore, Balzacq added “the power of the speech act would Turkey and Syria were in the opposite blocs during the Cold War, which means that Turkey appear to be undermined by the full incorporation of the idea that the act itself is only one In addition, was and still a founding member of NATO and Syria is one of Russia’s allies. part of the securitizing process’’. Moreover, Behnke argued that ‘‘If securitization is a the presence of France in Syria and the uprising of the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire speech act, de-securitization should be marked by the lack of any such speech act’’. To put Moreover, during the First World War resulted in Syria being put in the Turkish black list. it differently, Williams cited “de-securitization is the procedure of ‘moving issues off the in the 1970s, the Syrian government was supporting the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) which is an army group operating against Turkey. In the Relations, Vol.14, No.4, 2008, pp.563–587; Abrahamsen Rita, “Blair’s Africa: The Politics of Securitization and Fear,” Alternatives, Vol.30, No.1, 2005, pp.55-80. 1980s, Syria showed a huge tolerance toward the PKK by offering them a ground for Ibid., p.565; Emmers Ralf, “ASEAN and the Securitisation of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia,” training in the Syrian controlled area of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley which made Ankara very The Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No.3, 2003, pp.419-438. ĸ angry against Syria. In the early 1990s, this is considered as the area of securitization. Ibid., p.565; Elbe Stefan, “Should HIV/AIDS Be Securitized? The Ethical Dilemmas of Linking Hafiz Al Assad claimed the Turkish province of Hatay and demanded a larger share of HIV/AIDS and Security,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 50, No.1, 2006, pp.119-44; Barry Buzan, “The ‘War on Terrorism’ as the New Macro-Securitization,” Paper presented at Oslo workshop, February water from the Euphrates River which runs from Turkey to Syria. Furthermore, Syria had a 2-4, 2006; Roe Paul, “Securitization and Minority Rights: Conditions of Desecuritization,” Security Dialogue, Vol. 35, No.3, 2004, pp.279-94. Ibid., p.566; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipschutz, ed., On Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.498; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” pp.511–531. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish-Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” Relations with Syria and Iran,” Security Dialogue, Vol.39, No. 4, 2008, pp.459-515. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.698; Bülent Aras, Rabia Karakaya Ibid., p.497; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Polat, pp.459-515. Context,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 11, No.2, 2005, pp.171–201. Ĺ Cenap Çakmak, p.698; Olsner Andrea, “Desecuritization Theory and Regional Peace: Some Theoretical Ibid., p.497. Reflections and a Case Study on the Way to Stable Peace,” RSCAS EUI Working Paper, 2005. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.566. Ibid., p.796. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Ibid., p.697; Waever Ole, pp.46–86. Relations with Syria and Iran,” p.497; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” pp.46–86. Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy,” Middle East and North Ibid., p.502; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” Africa Program, 2012, https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/Middle% International Studies Quarterly, Vol.47, No.4, 2005, pp. 511–531. 20East/1212bp_phillips.pdf. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.572; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Kilic Bugra Kanat, “Continuity of Changein Turkish Foreign Policy under the JDP Government: The Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Context,” pp.171-201. Cases of Bilateral Relations with Israel and Syria,” Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol.34, No.4, 2012, Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, p.498; Behnke Andreas, “No Way Out: Desecuritization, pp.230-249. Emancipation and the Eternal Return of the Political-A Reply to Aradau,” Journal of International Ibid., p.234. Relations and Development, Vol.9, No.1, 2006, pp.62–69. 30 31 31 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. This initiative enriched the Turkish economy good connection with Greece in that period drawing upon a signed peace agreement which and strengthened the diplomatic relationship. It was a big step of Turkey to initiate this allow the government of Greece to use its planes in the Syrian air bases in case of war initiative inspired from the European Union’s Schengen system. Furthermore, Turkey had between Turkey and Greece. This troubled relationship had led the two governments intended to reunite the Arab region, taking the model of the European Union in 2010 by nowhere. In the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey, therefore, perceived securitization of its Middle making Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to join the “Levant Quartet”. Thus, it was the perfect East policy. de-securitization era for the Turks. However, a few years later, these efforts failed due to the Arab revolution in the region, by which the Turkish government took another Graph 1: Turkish De-securitization Foreign Policy towards the Arab region. opportunity to spread its ideology over the region. IV. The Turkish-Syrian Timeline Events The “Arab Spring” in the MENA messed up all Turkish strategies toward the region. Huge mass protests were spreading around the region, especially, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, and slightly affected other parts of the Arab world. In Syria, it was a totally different story and a very complex challenge for the International community, essentially, for Turkey. In fact, when the rebellions started, AKP had to choose between the Ba’athist party or the people in the streets. It was a big dilemma for AKP about what it should do. The Turkish government tried to convince Bashar Al Assad to carry out the reforms and listen to his people; nevertheless, Assad decided to keep his regime and did not listen to his Turkish friends. This decision led Turkey to take harsh decisions against the Assad’s regime just three months after the demonstrations. Although it is unusual for Turkey to get involved in the internal affairs of another country, the AKP started to support the Syrian National Council, the opposition group which later changed its name to National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and opposition forces. These groups were under the protection of Turkey; it was in the Turkish territory that these groups were founded. Basically, academic researchers and politicians claimed that there are several factors behind this intervention in the Syrian affairs and implementation of harsh actions toward Assad. First, the public opinion of Turkey was pressing the AKP leader to warn Assad’s regime and condemn the crisis that happened in Syria. Second, Turkey had to follow the decision of adopting harsh actions that the international community, foreign governments In 1998, bilateral relations deteriorated when Turkey threatened an invasion into Syria that belong to NATO, the Arab League and the European Union. Third, Turkey had to if the latter did not hand over PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. It was a very critical and break the contacts with Assad as it did in Libya. Fourth, Ankara felt horrified against complex situation that led Hafez Al Assad to promptly change the decision and to find Assad’s policies and how he did not listen to the advice of the AKP government. It is solutions for the problems. Basically, after Syria withdrew its support to PKK, gradually, noticeable that Turkish-Syrian diplomatic relations were broken down by withdrawing the the historical disputes were resolved and a new area of warm friendship started. Turkey’s Turkish ambassadors and Turkish representatives from Syria. The previous Özal ruling party of AKP came into power in 2002 and helped the Turkish-Syrian relationship to boost mainly during US occupation of Iraq. In the year 2010, the bilateral trade reached government believed that the democratic peace theory could be implemented in the $2.5 billion, making Turkey the largest trade partner of Syria. Moreover, both governments authoritarian countries. Turkey has been drowning into illusions of using its powers and collaborated against terrorism in the region through bilateral agreements. Concerning the having the confidence of using them excessively. “Turkey can be seen somewhere between AKP foreign policy, the Middle East is considered as the main area and target point for ĺ the traditional middle power and contemporary raising power”. This illusion has made AKP to enrich economic and diplomatic affairs. Moreover, since Turkey had many enemies in the region, it tries to bring peace and security, especially with Iran, Syria and Iraq. In Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” 2009, the AKP, therefore, decided to cancel the visa requirement for the Syrians during the p.702; Michael B. Bishku, “Turkish–Syrian Relations: A Checkered History,” Middle East Policy, Vol.19, No.3, 2012, pp.36-53. ķ ĸ Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy” . Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad”. ĸ Ĺ Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad,” World Politics Review, December 6, 2011. Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” pp.111-120. Ĺ ĺ Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” Middle East Policy, Tarik O÷uzlu, “Making Sense of Turkey’s Rising Power Status: What Does Turkey’s Approach within Vol.20, No.2, 2013, pp.111-120. NATO Tell Us,” Turkish Studies, Vol.14, No. 4, 2013, pp.774-796. 32 32 33 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. This initiative enriched the Turkish economy good connection with Greece in that period drawing upon a signed peace agreement which and strengthened the diplomatic relationship. It was a big step of Turkey to initiate this allow the government of Greece to use its planes in the Syrian air bases in case of war initiative inspired from the European Union’s Schengen system. Furthermore, Turkey had between Turkey and Greece. This troubled relationship had led the two governments intended to reunite the Arab region, taking the model of the European Union in 2010 by nowhere. In the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey, therefore, perceived securitization of its Middle making Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to join the “Levant Quartet”. Thus, it was the perfect East policy. de-securitization era for the Turks. However, a few years later, these efforts failed due to the Arab revolution in the region, by which the Turkish government took another Graph 1: Turkish De-securitization Foreign Policy towards the Arab region. opportunity to spread its ideology over the region. IV. The Turkish-Syrian Timeline Events The “Arab Spring” in the MENA messed up all Turkish strategies toward the region. Huge mass protests were spreading around the region, especially, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, and slightly affected other parts of the Arab world. In Syria, it was a totally different story and a very complex challenge for the International community, essentially, for Turkey. In fact, when the rebellions started, AKP had to choose between the Ba’athist party or the people in the streets. It was a big dilemma for AKP about what it should do. The Turkish government tried to convince Bashar Al Assad to carry out the reforms and listen to his people; nevertheless, Assad decided to keep his regime and did not listen to his Turkish friends. This decision led Turkey to take harsh decisions against the Assad’s regime just three months after the demonstrations. Although it is unusual for Turkey to get involved in the internal affairs of another country, the AKP started to support the Syrian National Council, the opposition group which later changed its name to National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and opposition forces. These groups were under the protection of Turkey; it was in the Turkish territory that these groups were founded. Basically, academic researchers and politicians claimed that there are several factors behind this intervention in the Syrian affairs and implementation of harsh actions toward Assad. First, the public opinion of Turkey was pressing the AKP leader to warn Assad’s regime and condemn the crisis that happened in Syria. Second, Turkey had to follow the decision of adopting harsh actions that the international community, foreign governments In 1998, bilateral relations deteriorated when Turkey threatened an invasion into Syria that belong to NATO, the Arab League and the European Union. Third, Turkey had to if the latter did not hand over PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. It was a very critical and break the contacts with Assad as it did in Libya. Fourth, Ankara felt horrified against complex situation that led Hafez Al Assad to promptly change the decision and to find Assad’s policies and how he did not listen to the advice of the AKP government. It is solutions for the problems. Basically, after Syria withdrew its support to PKK, gradually, noticeable that Turkish-Syrian diplomatic relations were broken down by withdrawing the the historical disputes were resolved and a new area of warm friendship started. Turkey’s Turkish ambassadors and Turkish representatives from Syria. The previous Özal ruling party of AKP came into power in 2002 and helped the Turkish-Syrian relationship to boost mainly during US occupation of Iraq. In the year 2010, the bilateral trade reached government believed that the democratic peace theory could be implemented in the $2.5 billion, making Turkey the largest trade partner of Syria. Moreover, both governments authoritarian countries. Turkey has been drowning into illusions of using its powers and collaborated against terrorism in the region through bilateral agreements. Concerning the having the confidence of using them excessively. “Turkey can be seen somewhere between AKP foreign policy, the Middle East is considered as the main area and target point for ĺ the traditional middle power and contemporary raising power”. This illusion has made AKP to enrich economic and diplomatic affairs. Moreover, since Turkey had many enemies in the region, it tries to bring peace and security, especially with Iran, Syria and Iraq. In Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” 2009, the AKP, therefore, decided to cancel the visa requirement for the Syrians during the p.702; Michael B. Bishku, “Turkish–Syrian Relations: A Checkered History,” Middle East Policy, Vol.19, No.3, 2012, pp.36-53. ķ ĸ Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy” . Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad”. ĸ Ĺ Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad,” World Politics Review, December 6, 2011. Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” pp.111-120. Ĺ ĺ Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” Middle East Policy, Tarik O÷uzlu, “Making Sense of Turkey’s Rising Power Status: What Does Turkey’s Approach within Vol.20, No.2, 2013, pp.111-120. NATO Tell Us,” Turkish Studies, Vol.14, No. 4, 2013, pp.774-796. 32 33 33 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 encircled and 400,000 civilians potentially trapped”. Thus, one of the consequences of the Turkey to fall into very bad mistakes. At the beginning of the civil war, Erdo÷ an sent Aleppo crisis was the killing of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016 by a police several messages to Assad. The first message advised Bashar Al Assad to undertake new This officer who shouted, “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria” before his death. political reforms and implement them with the help of the Turkish government; he could incident proved the failure of both Turkey and Russia to end the war in Syria and bring get out from the crisis. The second message was directed to the international community peace to the region. Following this, both the leaders of Turkey and Russia vowed to not let that it is possible to overcome the Syrian crisis through the new reform that satisfies the the death of the Russian ambassador worsen the relations of their countries. On the one wishes of the people of Syria. The Syrian crisis was no longer a Syrian matter, but has also hand, Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an said, “I describe this attack on Russia’s embassy as an attack affected badly the internal affairs of Turkey. What Turkey did not know and expect that to Turkey, Turkey’s state and nation.” On the other hand, the president of Russia Vladimir this civil war will take longer; six years of killing and chaos. Both parties Putin claimed, “we agreed, this is a provocation and there isn’t any dispute”. On June 22, 2012, a Turkish airplane was attacked by the Syrian forces. On May 11, tried to take wise decisions not to worse their relations. Furthermore, the Russian foreign 2013, a huge massacre and killing happened in the Turkish town, Reyhanli, near the minister claimed that the ties between Turkey and Russia “will depend on how we will borders. On September 2014, the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) attacked a cooperate on the settlement of the Syrian crisis”. However, Erdo÷ an did not show his Syrian town of Kobani in the Syrian border. On May 16, 2015, Turkey shouted a Syrian intention to end his opposition to Bashar-Al Assad. Besides, Iran sought cooperation with aircraft that violated its airspace. On July 20, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself in the Turkey in which both agreed on enhancing trade relations and resolving the issue of Syria. town of Suruc located to the borders of Turkey and Syria which killed at least 32 people. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu stated that “despite the differences of Turkey Furthermore, the unexpected July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey that was launched by a and Iran, the cooperation would strengthen for a lasting peace in Syria”. Iran is considered group of officers the Fettulah Terrorist Organization (FETO) within the Turkish army, as an important actor in Syria and a great supporter of Bashar-Al Assad’s regime; however, according to the experts and observers, totally reshaped the relations between Turkey and it does not have a new position on Aleppo. Iran’s main concern is the humanitarian crisis Syria. “Since Erdo÷ an remains in power-perhaps now with the incident less internal and the terrorist groups. opposition-there is no reason why he should not simply continue to pursue a Syria policy The international meeting of Turkey, Russia and Iran in Kazakhstan on January 23 of his own choice, whatever it might turn out to be. But the effects of the coup on Turkey’s and 24, 2017 was an opportunity to sign an agreement of “safe zones” in Syria which could foreign alignments and internal politics may still influence the way Ankara approaches its be a chance to implement peace. To put differently, Turkey, the leader of the Syrian Syrian dilemma”. Moreover, after the failed coup, President Racep Tayyip Erdo÷ an opposition, Iran and Russia agreed to have four “de-confliction zones” which will be decided to recover the isolation of Turkey from the international community through surveilled by the international community. The reason behind the “safe zones’ is to enable revising the foreign policy of the country and improve its respective relations with Israel Syrian victims to flee and receive help and protection. This agreement was disapproved by and Russia for the sake of Syria. On July 31, 2016, in Aleppo, the cultural capital of Syria some of the opposition delegation because it threatens the territorial sovereignty of Syria. famous for its long historical civilizations and situated 50 kilometers far from the Turkish Besides, rebels consider Iran “responsible for stoking the sectarian nature of the war in border, fights between the government and the rebels and airstrikes killed more than 300 Syria”. However, Turkey support this agreement because this latter ‘‘cannot carry two civilians. The international community for Red Cross described “the battle of Aleppo as watermelons under one arm’’. This saying means that Turkey cannot handle two big tasks one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times”. This incident was a continuation at the same time which are the Syrian crisis and domestic issues. Domestically, Turkey is or a consequence of Assad’s offensive maneuver that was few months before July when handling the issue of the PKK and regionally it is problem of Russia with the regime in “the Assad’s regime launched an offensive in the north Aleppo countryside which has cut Syria that could make the PKK and Russia to get together. Erdo÷ an, in his speeches, the major rebel supply line from Turkey to Aleppo, leaving Free Aleppo almost completely always claims the continuity in fighting the PKK and protecting his country from chaos. Furthermore, Turkey is becoming a land of dangerous waves of terrorist attacks and Ali Husain Bakir, “The Determinants of the Turkish Position towards the Syrian Crisis: The Immediate These bombings are mainly bombings, especially in the big cities, such as Ankara. Dimensions and Future Repercussions,” Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies Research Paper, August 15, 2011, http://english.dohainstitute.org/release/d86b0350-aae6-4836-8cf4-0e7cb377585f. supported by the Islamic States and the Kurdish Freedom Falcons (TAK), and the latter is Dalal Mawad, Rick Gladstone, “Syria Shoots down Turkish Warplane, Fraying Ties Further,” New York Times, June 22, 2012. Ĺ ķ “Turkey Arrests 9 in Connection with Deadly Bombings,” Times of Israel, May 12, 2013. Mark Boothroyd, “Assad Regime’s Offensive Maneuver in Aleppo,” Social Worker, February 10, 2016. ĺ ĸ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria,” The Telegraph, May Katie Hunt, “Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey: What Do We Know about the Assassin?” CNN, 12, 2017. December 20, 2016. Ļ Ĺ “Turkish Jet Shoots down Syrian Aircraft after It ‘Violated Air Space’,” RT, May 16, 2015. Ibid., p.1. ļ ĺ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria”. “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. Ľ Ļ “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. “Turkey, Iran Pledge Greater Cooperation over Syria,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2016. ľ ļ Ibid., p.1. Josie Ensor, “Turkey, Russia and Iran Sign Safe Zones Deal for Syria,” The Telegraph, May 4, 2017. Ŀ Ľ “Why Aleppo Syria’s Fiercest Battleground?” Times of Israel, August 20, 2016. Ibid., p.1. ŀ ľ Ibid., p.1. Kadri Gursel, “Will Turkey End up Stuck between Kurds, Russia?” Al Monitor, December 18, 2015. 34 34 35 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 encircled and 400,000 civilians potentially trapped”. Thus, one of the consequences of the Turkey to fall into very bad mistakes. At the beginning of the civil war, Erdo÷ an sent Aleppo crisis was the killing of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016 by a police several messages to Assad. The first message advised Bashar Al Assad to undertake new This officer who shouted, “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria” before his death. political reforms and implement them with the help of the Turkish government; he could incident proved the failure of both Turkey and Russia to end the war in Syria and bring get out from the crisis. The second message was directed to the international community peace to the region. Following this, both the leaders of Turkey and Russia vowed to not let that it is possible to overcome the Syrian crisis through the new reform that satisfies the the death of the Russian ambassador worsen the relations of their countries. On the one wishes of the people of Syria. The Syrian crisis was no longer a Syrian matter, but has also hand, Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an said, “I describe this attack on Russia’s embassy as an attack affected badly the internal affairs of Turkey. What Turkey did not know and expect that to Turkey, Turkey’s state and nation.” On the other hand, the president of Russia Vladimir this civil war will take longer; six years of killing and chaos. Both parties Putin claimed, “we agreed, this is a provocation and there isn’t any dispute”. On June 22, 2012, a Turkish airplane was attacked by the Syrian forces. On May 11, tried to take wise decisions not to worse their relations. Furthermore, the Russian foreign 2013, a huge massacre and killing happened in the Turkish town, Reyhanli, near the minister claimed that the ties between Turkey and Russia “will depend on how we will borders. On September 2014, the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) attacked a cooperate on the settlement of the Syrian crisis”. However, Erdo÷ an did not show his Syrian town of Kobani in the Syrian border. On May 16, 2015, Turkey shouted a Syrian intention to end his opposition to Bashar-Al Assad. Besides, Iran sought cooperation with aircraft that violated its airspace. On July 20, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself in the Turkey in which both agreed on enhancing trade relations and resolving the issue of Syria. town of Suruc located to the borders of Turkey and Syria which killed at least 32 people. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu stated that “despite the differences of Turkey Furthermore, the unexpected July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey that was launched by a and Iran, the cooperation would strengthen for a lasting peace in Syria”. Iran is considered group of officers the Fettulah Terrorist Organization (FETO) within the Turkish army, as an important actor in Syria and a great supporter of Bashar-Al Assad’s regime; however, according to the experts and observers, totally reshaped the relations between Turkey and it does not have a new position on Aleppo. Iran’s main concern is the humanitarian crisis Syria. “Since Erdo÷ an remains in power-perhaps now with the incident less internal and the terrorist groups. opposition-there is no reason why he should not simply continue to pursue a Syria policy The international meeting of Turkey, Russia and Iran in Kazakhstan on January 23 of his own choice, whatever it might turn out to be. But the effects of the coup on Turkey’s and 24, 2017 was an opportunity to sign an agreement of “safe zones” in Syria which could foreign alignments and internal politics may still influence the way Ankara approaches its be a chance to implement peace. To put differently, Turkey, the leader of the Syrian Syrian dilemma”. Moreover, after the failed coup, President Racep Tayyip Erdo÷ an opposition, Iran and Russia agreed to have four “de-confliction zones” which will be decided to recover the isolation of Turkey from the international community through surveilled by the international community. The reason behind the “safe zones’ is to enable revising the foreign policy of the country and improve its respective relations with Israel Syrian victims to flee and receive help and protection. This agreement was disapproved by and Russia for the sake of Syria. On July 31, 2016, in Aleppo, the cultural capital of Syria some of the opposition delegation because it threatens the territorial sovereignty of Syria. famous for its long historical civilizations and situated 50 kilometers far from the Turkish Besides, rebels consider Iran “responsible for stoking the sectarian nature of the war in border, fights between the government and the rebels and airstrikes killed more than 300 Syria”. However, Turkey support this agreement because this latter ‘‘cannot carry two civilians. The international community for Red Cross described “the battle of Aleppo as watermelons under one arm’’. This saying means that Turkey cannot handle two big tasks one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times”. This incident was a continuation at the same time which are the Syrian crisis and domestic issues. Domestically, Turkey is or a consequence of Assad’s offensive maneuver that was few months before July when handling the issue of the PKK and regionally it is problem of Russia with the regime in “the Assad’s regime launched an offensive in the north Aleppo countryside which has cut Syria that could make the PKK and Russia to get together. Erdo÷ an, in his speeches, the major rebel supply line from Turkey to Aleppo, leaving Free Aleppo almost completely always claims the continuity in fighting the PKK and protecting his country from chaos. Furthermore, Turkey is becoming a land of dangerous waves of terrorist attacks and Ali Husain Bakir, “The Determinants of the Turkish Position towards the Syrian Crisis: The Immediate These bombings are mainly bombings, especially in the big cities, such as Ankara. Dimensions and Future Repercussions,” Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies Research Paper, August 15, 2011, http://english.dohainstitute.org/release/d86b0350-aae6-4836-8cf4-0e7cb377585f. supported by the Islamic States and the Kurdish Freedom Falcons (TAK), and the latter is Dalal Mawad, Rick Gladstone, “Syria Shoots down Turkish Warplane, Fraying Ties Further,” New York Times, June 22, 2012. Ĺ ķ “Turkey Arrests 9 in Connection with Deadly Bombings,” Times of Israel, May 12, 2013. Mark Boothroyd, “Assad Regime’s Offensive Maneuver in Aleppo,” Social Worker, February 10, 2016. ĺ ĸ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria,” The Telegraph, May Katie Hunt, “Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey: What Do We Know about the Assassin?” CNN, 12, 2017. December 20, 2016. Ļ Ĺ “Turkish Jet Shoots down Syrian Aircraft after It ‘Violated Air Space’,” RT, May 16, 2015. Ibid., p.1. ļ ĺ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria”. “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. Ľ Ļ “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. “Turkey, Iran Pledge Greater Cooperation over Syria,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2016. ľ ļ Ibid., p.1. Josie Ensor, “Turkey, Russia and Iran Sign Safe Zones Deal for Syria,” The Telegraph, May 4, 2017. Ŀ Ľ “Why Aleppo Syria’s Fiercest Battleground?” Times of Israel, August 20, 2016. Ibid., p.1. ŀ ľ Ibid., p.1. Kadri Gursel, “Will Turkey End up Stuck between Kurds, Russia?” Al Monitor, December 18, 2015. 34 35 35 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 and Medical levels to solve the humanitarian crisis which Turkey was the first to protect considered as a radical group of PKK. These bombings are only the fruits of the youth the Syrians. Indeed, millions of refugees need huge assistance and protection because the depression of finding a suitable job with decent salary. Thus, poverty and unemployment continuity to stream over the countries resulted in many deaths and injuries. According to are the factors behind these attacks. According to the report of the Turkish Statistical the regional refugee and resilience of 2015-2016, at least, 190,000 have been killed and Institute (TUIK), the country’s overall jobless rate stands at 10.3%, while unemployment is over 3.2 million who have escaped to the neighboring countries and among them, 1.7 quite high at 18.5% in the 15-24 age groups, 22% of females and 16.5% of males. million are displaced children. These figures present the inhuman conditions of the war Compared to other regions, unemployment is higher mainly in the Kurdish eastern and which the international community failed to end; however, since the outbreak of the southeastern provinces, which have since 2016 been the theater of bloody urban clashes conflict, this latter did not stop providing some basic facilities to the Syrian refugees. To between the security forces and the PKK such as terrorist attacks, lengthy round-the-clock illustrate this, according to statistics of 2015-2016, there are 4,270,000 Syrian refugees curfews, massive destruction and civilian deaths. Additionally, Turkish politician Erdo÷ an registered, 18,000 individuals trained in child protection, 2,337,000 individuals receiving Toprak claimed that the unemployed people are considered as good potential for the food assistance, 830,000 targeted boys and girls from the age of 5 to 17 years old enrolled terrorist organizations which the government has huge difficulty dealing with. Besides, in primary and secondary education, 423,000 targeted boys and girls enrolled in there is the issue of Syrian refugees with which whole communities got involved; non-formal and informal education and 482 educational facilities were constructed and especially, Turkey that opened totally its doors. renovated. In heath sector, 439 health facilities are existing and 13,000 health staffs are working. In regard of the basic needs, 252,000 households are receiving core relief items V. Syrian Refugee Crisis since 2015 and 106,000 households are having assistance for shelter. Furthermore, 270,000 are accessing wage employment opportunities. Though, there are several people that suffer The generosity of Turkey and its open-door policy resulted in a large number of from limited livelihood opportunities and stretches of housing and social services. In fact, Syrian refugees on its territory. According to the United Nations reports, in March 2015, Turkey’s Syrian refugees are the most populous neighbor in the region that spread in urban the number exceeded 1.7 million; this huge number of refugees created some problems for areas and in 22 camps. Turkey. As for Murat Erdo÷ an, “The crisis affects Turkish society socially, politically, ‘‘Refugees from Syria need international protection with access and admission to economically and psychologically, and especially security concerns prevail. Turkey’s safety continuously, and protection from refoulement cornerstones of the protection “open door” policy, which was implemented in accordance with international law has response. Continuous registration, verification and renewal of documentation are critical resulted a serious risk regarding the level and duration of the residence of Syrians”. In fact, tools to determine those who are in need of protection and assistance; to maintain accurate in the beginning of the civil war, Turkey and the international organizations were funding records of numbers, locations and profiles of refugees; to ensure refugees have documents refugee camps by providing them the daily life necessities. However, nowadays, most of essential to facilitate their eventual return; and to enable access by refugees to the Syrian refugees are living in the villages, some of whom in cities, and some are relying humanitarian aid and services in host countries. Women, girls, boys and men with specific on their own income. But, many refugees are facing difficulties to access suitable needs and those most at the risk are systematically identified and their needs addressed accommodations and other necessities due to their financial situations and poor integration through specialized services and intervention, in close cooperation with host governments in the job market. At the same time, Turkish people are expressing their concerns about the and through national systems.” increase of Syrian refugees in their cities. They claim that they make the rising cost of the houses as well as the increase of unemployment. In the early 2015, the Turkish government Table 1: Syrian Refugees Population Figure: 2012-2015 spent more than $5 billion and only 3% were covered by the international community. According to ø çduygu, ‘‘Turkey will need to redefine the status of Syrian refugees, taking As of Turkey Lebanon Jordan Iraq Egypt Total into account the likelihood of their protracted displacement and prioritize integration policies (like socio-cultural and labor market integration) to offset the growing hostility of 2012 148,000 180,000 168,000 74,000 13,000 583,000 the host population’’. This crisis should make the states, nongovernmental organizations 2013 562,000 905,000 575,000 216,000 145,000 2,403,000 and governmental ones to contribute and work together on the social, political, financial 2014 1,165,279 1,146,405 619,777 228,484 137,000 3,297,449 Zülfikar Do÷ an, “Why Turkey’s High Unemployment Rate May Mean More Terror Attacks,” Al Monitor, March 18, 2016. Erdo÷an Toprak is a Turkish politician from Republican Peoples Party (CHP). Ĺ ķ Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The long Road Ahead,” 2015, http://www.migrationpolicy. “Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis: Regional Strategic Overview of org/research/syrian-refugees-turkey-long-road-ahead. the Year 2015-2016,” 2015, http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/3RP-Report-Over M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. view.pdf. Ļ ĸ Ibid., p.1 Ibid., p.11. ļ Ĺ Ibid., p.2 Ibid., p.18. 36 36 37 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 and Medical levels to solve the humanitarian crisis which Turkey was the first to protect considered as a radical group of PKK. These bombings are only the fruits of the youth the Syrians. Indeed, millions of refugees need huge assistance and protection because the depression of finding a suitable job with decent salary. Thus, poverty and unemployment continuity to stream over the countries resulted in many deaths and injuries. According to are the factors behind these attacks. According to the report of the Turkish Statistical the regional refugee and resilience of 2015-2016, at least, 190,000 have been killed and Institute (TUIK), the country’s overall jobless rate stands at 10.3%, while unemployment is over 3.2 million who have escaped to the neighboring countries and among them, 1.7 quite high at 18.5% in the 15-24 age groups, 22% of females and 16.5% of males. million are displaced children. These figures present the inhuman conditions of the war Compared to other regions, unemployment is higher mainly in the Kurdish eastern and which the international community failed to end; however, since the outbreak of the southeastern provinces, which have since 2016 been the theater of bloody urban clashes conflict, this latter did not stop providing some basic facilities to the Syrian refugees. To between the security forces and the PKK such as terrorist attacks, lengthy round-the-clock illustrate this, according to statistics of 2015-2016, there are 4,270,000 Syrian refugees curfews, massive destruction and civilian deaths. Additionally, Turkish politician Erdo÷ an registered, 18,000 individuals trained in child protection, 2,337,000 individuals receiving Toprak claimed that the unemployed people are considered as good potential for the food assistance, 830,000 targeted boys and girls from the age of 5 to 17 years old enrolled terrorist organizations which the government has huge difficulty dealing with. Besides, in primary and secondary education, 423,000 targeted boys and girls enrolled in there is the issue of Syrian refugees with which whole communities got involved; non-formal and informal education and 482 educational facilities were constructed and especially, Turkey that opened totally its doors. renovated. In heath sector, 439 health facilities are existing and 13,000 health staffs are working. In regard of the basic needs, 252,000 households are receiving core relief items V. Syrian Refugee Crisis since 2015 and 106,000 households are having assistance for shelter. Furthermore, 270,000 are accessing wage employment opportunities. Though, there are several people that suffer The generosity of Turkey and its open-door policy resulted in a large number of from limited livelihood opportunities and stretches of housing and social services. In fact, Syrian refugees on its territory. According to the United Nations reports, in March 2015, Turkey’s Syrian refugees are the most populous neighbor in the region that spread in urban the number exceeded 1.7 million; this huge number of refugees created some problems for areas and in 22 camps. Turkey. As for Murat Erdo÷ an, “The crisis affects Turkish society socially, politically, ‘‘Refugees from Syria need international protection with access and admission to economically and psychologically, and especially security concerns prevail. Turkey’s safety continuously, and protection from refoulement cornerstones of the protection “open door” policy, which was implemented in accordance with international law has response. Continuous registration, verification and renewal of documentation are critical resulted a serious risk regarding the level and duration of the residence of Syrians”. In fact, tools to determine those who are in need of protection and assistance; to maintain accurate in the beginning of the civil war, Turkey and the international organizations were funding records of numbers, locations and profiles of refugees; to ensure refugees have documents refugee camps by providing them the daily life necessities. However, nowadays, most of essential to facilitate their eventual return; and to enable access by refugees to the Syrian refugees are living in the villages, some of whom in cities, and some are relying humanitarian aid and services in host countries. Women, girls, boys and men with specific on their own income. But, many refugees are facing difficulties to access suitable needs and those most at the risk are systematically identified and their needs addressed accommodations and other necessities due to their financial situations and poor integration through specialized services and intervention, in close cooperation with host governments in the job market. At the same time, Turkish people are expressing their concerns about the and through national systems.” increase of Syrian refugees in their cities. They claim that they make the rising cost of the houses as well as the increase of unemployment. In the early 2015, the Turkish government Table 1: Syrian Refugees Population Figure: 2012-2015 spent more than $5 billion and only 3% were covered by the international community. According to ø çduygu, ‘‘Turkey will need to redefine the status of Syrian refugees, taking As of Turkey Lebanon Jordan Iraq Egypt Total into account the likelihood of their protracted displacement and prioritize integration policies (like socio-cultural and labor market integration) to offset the growing hostility of 2012 148,000 180,000 168,000 74,000 13,000 583,000 the host population’’. This crisis should make the states, nongovernmental organizations 2013 562,000 905,000 575,000 216,000 145,000 2,403,000 and governmental ones to contribute and work together on the social, political, financial 2014 1,165,279 1,146,405 619,777 228,484 137,000 3,297,449 Zülfikar Do÷ an, “Why Turkey’s High Unemployment Rate May Mean More Terror Attacks,” Al Monitor, March 18, 2016. Erdo÷an Toprak is a Turkish politician from Republican Peoples Party (CHP). Ĺ ķ Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The long Road Ahead,” 2015, http://www.migrationpolicy. “Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis: Regional Strategic Overview of org/research/syrian-refugees-turkey-long-road-ahead. the Year 2015-2016,” 2015, http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/3RP-Report-Over M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. view.pdf. Ļ ĸ Ibid., p.1 Ibid., p.11. ļ Ĺ Ibid., p.2 Ibid., p.18. 36 37 37 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 relations between the two countries are deteriorating due to Syria’s instability and 2015 1,700,000 1,500,000 700,000 250,000 120,000 4,270,000 insecurity. Besides, the cost of the civil war affected Turkey badly in a way the PKK is The Source: The regional and resilience plan 2015-2016 in response to the Syria Crisis making Syria a source of gaining power and strengths and from which they recruit new Regional Strategic Overview. members, experience and arms. The worse scenarios that we could expect are: First, the dominance of the PKK in the Syrian territory could bring the Kurdish issue in Turkey. This disaster has a big implication in the region; the flow is mainly directed to Turkey Second, the use of the PKK by the Russians to keep in check Turkey could diminish and to the rest of the world of which the European countries are receiving a great number Turkey’s interest over the region. Third, the terrorist organization could remain in the near of the population. Turkish actors have implemented informal approaches to decrease the future and may get stronger if the international community did not find effective ways to number of refugees for domestic and political reasons. The government has given support divest them. Fourth, the issue of Syria will surely cause more harm to the economy of to the non-governmental organizations that are responsible for managing camps, but near Turkey and its domestic security. the Turkish border humanitarian assistance are in a total dispensation for the Syrians. The Generally, people do not escape or leave their homes, which are the symbol of their problem is that there are so many Syrian refugees in Turkish cities that are not registered to identity and traditions unless their states do not offer them the basic needs or listen to their get enough social services and access to basic needs; registration enables the refugees to demands or fail to give them the security and protection they need. There is no smoke get these needs without any difficulties. Moreover, no working permission could cause without fire. This is the case of Syria and a number of non-democratic countries. The them to have a bad life situation. So, most the refugees prefer to work in some informal Syrian regime has totally failed from the beginning to evaluate and find adequate solutions sectors to avoid working under inappropriate conditions with very low wages. Based on for its people. The government had to listen to its people and give up some of its policies ø çduygu, ‘‘Despite the relative comfort and security of camps, more than 1 million Syrians by implementing new reforms and regulations that could satisfy the different ethnic groups have chosen to become urban refugees for several reasons: First, the unprecedented and regimes in the country. From this article’s point of view, the International Community number of refugees has exceeded the overall camp capacity; second, family ties and did not work as hard as it needed to avoid such catastrophe and human crisis. Turkey and financial independence have enabled some refugees to access shelter in other ways, often Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were generous in applying the open-door arranged by relatives; and third, those Syrians whose entry is considered illegal are not policy for the refugees; however, these refugees are not only from Syria but also from allowed to register for entering into camp’’. According to the findings from the interview Palestine and Iraq. Obviously, there were different arguments and suggestions that could be with Turkish people, Syrians are welcomed to live in Turkey; however, it would be better if implemented to avoid the war in Syria in the beginning of the revolution. The deaths and there are no more Syrians coming to Turkey because the “uncontrolled” Syrians are the injuries will increase if the war do not end. The Middle East region is an unrestricted considered as a threat to the economy and security of the country. The emergence of such playground of the “Islamic State” and other terrorist organizations that commit barbaric crisis is only the result of the failure of the Syrian government to find accurate solutions for actions. In a nutshell, Turkey-Syria relations and the Syria crisis are the perfect cases to their internal conflicts. Furthermore, the inability of the international community to prevent illustrate and apply the theories of secularization and de-secularization. such violence pushed the majority of Syrians to flee from their homes. Both Assad’s regime and anti-government groups are responsible for destroying Syria. Thus, the questions are: How will these refugees survive in the Turkish camps or other neighbor’s camps in such conditions? And how long will they live in such condition? What are the plans that the international community has to integrate these refugees into a new suitable environment? Drawing upon the urgency of redefining the status of Syrian refugees, the questions which are raised through analysis of the paper can be left for further research, and discussion for international community. VI. Conclusion The relationship between Syria and Turkey was considered as ‘‘enemy-friendly’’ relations. In other words, before the uprisings of 2011, Turkey’s engagement policy towards Syria was effective. However, in the last several years, Turkey’s engagement policy shifted to the isolation policy because of Bashar’s decisions and actions. Now, the Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Long Road Ahead” . M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. 38 38 39 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 relations between the two countries are deteriorating due to Syria’s instability and 2015 1,700,000 1,500,000 700,000 250,000 120,000 4,270,000 insecurity. Besides, the cost of the civil war affected Turkey badly in a way the PKK is The Source: The regional and resilience plan 2015-2016 in response to the Syria Crisis making Syria a source of gaining power and strengths and from which they recruit new Regional Strategic Overview. members, experience and arms. The worse scenarios that we could expect are: First, the dominance of the PKK in the Syrian territory could bring the Kurdish issue in Turkey. This disaster has a big implication in the region; the flow is mainly directed to Turkey Second, the use of the PKK by the Russians to keep in check Turkey could diminish and to the rest of the world of which the European countries are receiving a great number Turkey’s interest over the region. Third, the terrorist organization could remain in the near of the population. Turkish actors have implemented informal approaches to decrease the future and may get stronger if the international community did not find effective ways to number of refugees for domestic and political reasons. The government has given support divest them. Fourth, the issue of Syria will surely cause more harm to the economy of to the non-governmental organizations that are responsible for managing camps, but near Turkey and its domestic security. the Turkish border humanitarian assistance are in a total dispensation for the Syrians. The Generally, people do not escape or leave their homes, which are the symbol of their problem is that there are so many Syrian refugees in Turkish cities that are not registered to identity and traditions unless their states do not offer them the basic needs or listen to their get enough social services and access to basic needs; registration enables the refugees to demands or fail to give them the security and protection they need. There is no smoke get these needs without any difficulties. Moreover, no working permission could cause without fire. This is the case of Syria and a number of non-democratic countries. The them to have a bad life situation. So, most the refugees prefer to work in some informal Syrian regime has totally failed from the beginning to evaluate and find adequate solutions sectors to avoid working under inappropriate conditions with very low wages. Based on for its people. The government had to listen to its people and give up some of its policies ø çduygu, ‘‘Despite the relative comfort and security of camps, more than 1 million Syrians by implementing new reforms and regulations that could satisfy the different ethnic groups have chosen to become urban refugees for several reasons: First, the unprecedented and regimes in the country. From this article’s point of view, the International Community number of refugees has exceeded the overall camp capacity; second, family ties and did not work as hard as it needed to avoid such catastrophe and human crisis. Turkey and financial independence have enabled some refugees to access shelter in other ways, often Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were generous in applying the open-door arranged by relatives; and third, those Syrians whose entry is considered illegal are not policy for the refugees; however, these refugees are not only from Syria but also from allowed to register for entering into camp’’. According to the findings from the interview Palestine and Iraq. Obviously, there were different arguments and suggestions that could be with Turkish people, Syrians are welcomed to live in Turkey; however, it would be better if implemented to avoid the war in Syria in the beginning of the revolution. The deaths and there are no more Syrians coming to Turkey because the “uncontrolled” Syrians are the injuries will increase if the war do not end. The Middle East region is an unrestricted considered as a threat to the economy and security of the country. The emergence of such playground of the “Islamic State” and other terrorist organizations that commit barbaric crisis is only the result of the failure of the Syrian government to find accurate solutions for actions. In a nutshell, Turkey-Syria relations and the Syria crisis are the perfect cases to their internal conflicts. Furthermore, the inability of the international community to prevent illustrate and apply the theories of secularization and de-secularization. such violence pushed the majority of Syrians to flee from their homes. Both Assad’s regime and anti-government groups are responsible for destroying Syria. Thus, the questions are: How will these refugees survive in the Turkish camps or other neighbor’s camps in such conditions? And how long will they live in such condition? What are the plans that the international community has to integrate these refugees into a new suitable environment? Drawing upon the urgency of redefining the status of Syrian refugees, the questions which are raised through analysis of the paper can be left for further research, and discussion for international community. VI. Conclusion The relationship between Syria and Turkey was considered as ‘‘enemy-friendly’’ relations. In other words, before the uprisings of 2011, Turkey’s engagement policy towards Syria was effective. However, in the last several years, Turkey’s engagement policy shifted to the isolation policy because of Bashar’s decisions and actions. Now, the Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Long Road Ahead” . M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. 38 39 39 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Taylor & Francis

Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis

Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis

Abstract

Abstract:The article focuses on the nature of the relations between Turkey and Syria during the Syrian crisis. Although the relationship between Turkey and Syria had undergone some ups and downs in the last several years, both countries tried their best to improve their economic, political, cultural, and diplomatic relations. Indeed, Turkey introduced its model, “Moderate Islamic ideologies”, through Syria in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The “Arab Spring” of 2011 was a very good opportunity for Turkey to introduce its democratic Islamic dogmas which were welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in some Arab Countries. But, the President of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, and his allies were very critical of Turkey’s policy. Thus, the article mainly explores the role of Turkey in Syria’s internal affairs, in particular, Erdogan’s policy towards Syrian crises. Besides, it examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the Arab Spring in the MENA. However, the article has found out that the current policies of Turkey towards the Syrian crisis are critical within the Middle East region. In other words, the conflicts and the wars against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) weakened the bilateral relations. The Syrian refugees and the PKK are posing overwhelming challenges to Turkey’s economy and internal security.

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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© Shanghai International Studies University 2017
ISSN
2576-5957
DOI
10.1080/25765949.2017.12023299
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 competition between the traditions and the modern, between the East and the West, also reflected the intensified ideology competition within the collapsing Ottoman Empire. Securitization and De-securitization˖ Social and political reforms were also born, and they transported the Ottoman Empire from Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis a traditional empire to a modern state. Looking at the relationship between the political thoughts in the late Ottoman Empire and Islam, various nationalist thoughts still could not Rahmouni Fatima ZAHRA get rid of the influence of Islam. The impact of Islam could not only be found in (Department of World History, Shanghai University, China) pan-Ottomanism and pan-Turkism; moreover, pan-Islamism itself was influential as a relatively interdependent political and social trend of thought. Abstract: The article focuses on the nature of the relations between Turkey and Syria during the Syrian crisis. Although the relationship between Turkey and Syria had undergone some ups and downs in the last several years, both countries tried their best to improve their economic, political, cultural, and diplomatic relations. Indeed, Turkey introduced its model, “Moderate Islamic ideologies”, through Syria in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The “Arab Spring” of 2011 was a very good opportunity for Turkey to introduce its democratic Islamic dogmas which were welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders in some Arab Countries. But, the President of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, and his allies were very critical of Turkey’s policy. Thus, the article mainly explores the role of Turkey in Syria’s internal affairs, in particular, Erdogan’s policy towards Syrian crises. Besides, it examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the Arab Spring in the MENA. However, the article has found out that the current policies of Turkey towards the Syrian crisis are critical within the Middle East region. In other words, the conflicts and the wars against the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) weakened the bilateral relations. The Syrian refugees and the PKK are posing overwhelming challenges to Turkey’s economy and internal security. Key Words: Turkey-Syria Relations; Syrian Crisis; Turkey’s Foreign and Domestic Policies; Syrian Refugees; Securitization and De-securitization I. Introduction The bilateral relations between Turkey and Syria have, largely, included the areas of economy, politics and culture of both countries. Significantly, given their geographical locations, the two countries are connected with each other in their internal situations as well as the external conditions. Turkey is situated at the intersection of three continents and positioned between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea. It shares the longest border with Syria, which is about 822 kilometers. This position influenced largely the Rahmouni Fatima ZAHRA, PhD candidate in global studies, Department of World History, Shanghai University, China. Ellen Churchill Semple, “The Regional Geography of Turkey: A Review of Banse’s Work,” Geographical Review, Vol.11, No. 3, 1921, pp. 338-350. 26 27 27 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 The article studies the changes of Turkish foreign policy toward Syria and shows how diversity of the Turkish population that has Ottoman, Arab, Western and Kurdish AKP is interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. It examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and descendants. Turkey is known for its multicultural diversities which enables it to have a how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the “Arab Spring” in the MENA strong presence regionally and internationally. It is also known for the predominance of region. Moreover, the article explores some main issues and their implications on the Sunni Muslims and supporters of secularism. Besides, because of its long glorious history, relationship of Turkey with Syria. In addition, the article starts with definition on the Turkey had scope to learn from past and earn the ability of efficient solutions to improve theories of Securitization and De-securitization referring to Waever, Buzan and Balzaqc. the conditions of its internal affairs. According to Ahmet Davuto÷ lu, “Turkey is a Middle This framework has been for a long time a source of discussions and arguments between Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf and Black Sea scholars, and international actors. Indeed, the two concepts allow us to understand the country, and can simultaneously exercise influence in all these regions and thus claim a situation of Turkey and Syria since the early years of the post-cold-war. Besides, the article global strategic role”. The Turkish influence on the Arab world was a great opportunity for investigates the actions and the position of the Turkish government towards the Arab the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to spread its ideologies and concept of moderate revolution and its implication on the Turkish-Arab region. Consequently, the “Arab Islam in the region. Indeed, Syria was an important gateway of Turkey to win the hearts Spring” caused instability and made a lot of people of Syria into refugees in Turkey and and minds of Syrians in particular and Arabs in general. Before the outbreak of the “Arab other countries. Spring” in 2011, the Syrian tourist companies were promoting and advertising Turkey’s destinations to the people of their countries. Both Turkish and Syrian universities and II. Securitization and De-securitization Framework institutions incorporated some exchange courses into their education curricula. Additionally, with Syrian collaboration, the spread of dubbed Turkish series and dramas Securitization and de-securitization theories are, always, associated with the foreign among Syrians had much and positive impact on the Turkish tourism. Turkey used soft policy of a specific country or to its domestic affairs. Many researchers from diverse areas power to maintain a good relationship with Syria and later with other Arab states. In fact, have been exploring these two concepts in different perspectives and angles generating the Syrians were taking Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an as a model who will bring peace in the many serious debates and discussions. Indeed, when we mention the words of Middle East region. In reality, AKP had a policy of using its common history, traditions securitization and de-securitization immediately the terms of security and instability come and religion to get close to the Arab region to increase their economic and political to our mind. But, what are Securitization and de-securitization theories? Going through engagements without using hard power. Moreover, Turkey used soft power and its some works, it is noted that the Copenhagen School is the most influential proponents of popularity in Arab countries before 2010, in Arab countries which perceived Turkey as a these theoretical approaches. This school is mainly composed of Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver friend and a model. Besides, Turkey’s economic growth was also a strong asset in the and others who developed the notions of securitization and de-securitization. The region. Turkey was also known by its mediating effort in conflicts, and by its “concept of framework is totally related to the security concerns or factors that push the leaders to zero problems with the neighbours” considered as a key pillar of AKP’s foreign policy in Indeed, securitization is “a field of struggle in which define a matter as a security issue. the 2000s. According to Meliha Benli Altunú k, “the coming of power of Justice and the securitizing actors point at a security issue to secure the support of society for a certain Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in 2002 and the transformation of Turkish politics But, Balzacq said, securitization ‘‘is a set of interrelated policy or course of action”. and economy coinciding with the evolution of regional politics in post-2003 Iraq War era practices and the processes of their production, diffusion, and reception, translation that led to Turkey’s actorness in the region”. However, according to the Arab states, Turkey did bring threats into being; the innovation of securitization theory is important for changing not have an opportunity to become a leading power. In 2010, Turkey’s image was still the attitude of security theorists toward language”. Securitization enables policymakers to positive in the Arab world, but one year later, the Arab countries were focusing on the Arab immediately adopt whatever means they deem appropriate to curb the threat. Spring, and because Turkey got involved with the Syrian regime, Ankara’s status has Abrahamsen argues that securitization has been employed to analyze the state foreign diminished in the eyes of Arab states. Thus, AKP supports the opposition regime and have ; however, Emmers emphasized the importance of securitization in the policy behavior the mission to get down the Bath party of Bashar Al Assad which have been accused nationally and internationally of the Syrian humanitarian crisis and killing millions of Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” innocent Syrians. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.695-717; Waever Ole “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipshutz, ed., On Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Loannis N. Grigoriadis, “The Davuto÷lu Doctrine and Turkish Foreign Policy,” Hellenic Foundation Ibid., p.4; Karakaya-Polat Rabia, “The 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: between Securitization for European and Foreign Policy, No.8, 2010. and Desecuritization,” Parliamentary Affairs, Vol.62, No.1,2009, pp. 129-148. Sami Moubayed, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: The Erdogan Legacy,” Seta Policy Brief, No.25, 2008, Thierry Balzacq, Securitization Theory: How Security Problems Emerge and Dissolve, London: pp.1-8, http://setav.org/en/turkish-syrian-relations-the-erdogan-legacy/yorum/141. Routledge, 2011. Meliha Benli Altunú k, “Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East,” in H. Fürtig, ed., Regional Powers in Thierry Balzacq, Stefan Guzzini, “Introduction: What Kind of Theory-If Any-Is Securitization,” the Middle East: New Constellations after the Arab Revolts, New York: Palgrave Macmilliam, 2014, International Relations, Vol.29, No.1, 2015. pp.123-142. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” European Journal of International 28 28 29 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 The article studies the changes of Turkish foreign policy toward Syria and shows how diversity of the Turkish population that has Ottoman, Arab, Western and Kurdish AKP is interfering in Syria’s internal affairs. It examines Turkey’s domestic challenges and descendants. Turkey is known for its multicultural diversities which enables it to have a how Turkey has presented itself as a big supporter of the “Arab Spring” in the MENA strong presence regionally and internationally. It is also known for the predominance of region. Moreover, the article explores some main issues and their implications on the Sunni Muslims and supporters of secularism. Besides, because of its long glorious history, relationship of Turkey with Syria. In addition, the article starts with definition on the Turkey had scope to learn from past and earn the ability of efficient solutions to improve theories of Securitization and De-securitization referring to Waever, Buzan and Balzaqc. the conditions of its internal affairs. According to Ahmet Davuto÷ lu, “Turkey is a Middle This framework has been for a long time a source of discussions and arguments between Eastern, Balkan, Caucasian, Central Asian, Caspian, Mediterranean, Gulf and Black Sea scholars, and international actors. Indeed, the two concepts allow us to understand the country, and can simultaneously exercise influence in all these regions and thus claim a situation of Turkey and Syria since the early years of the post-cold-war. Besides, the article global strategic role”. The Turkish influence on the Arab world was a great opportunity for investigates the actions and the position of the Turkish government towards the Arab the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to spread its ideologies and concept of moderate revolution and its implication on the Turkish-Arab region. Consequently, the “Arab Islam in the region. Indeed, Syria was an important gateway of Turkey to win the hearts Spring” caused instability and made a lot of people of Syria into refugees in Turkey and and minds of Syrians in particular and Arabs in general. Before the outbreak of the “Arab other countries. Spring” in 2011, the Syrian tourist companies were promoting and advertising Turkey’s destinations to the people of their countries. Both Turkish and Syrian universities and II. Securitization and De-securitization Framework institutions incorporated some exchange courses into their education curricula. Additionally, with Syrian collaboration, the spread of dubbed Turkish series and dramas Securitization and de-securitization theories are, always, associated with the foreign among Syrians had much and positive impact on the Turkish tourism. Turkey used soft policy of a specific country or to its domestic affairs. Many researchers from diverse areas power to maintain a good relationship with Syria and later with other Arab states. In fact, have been exploring these two concepts in different perspectives and angles generating the Syrians were taking Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an as a model who will bring peace in the many serious debates and discussions. Indeed, when we mention the words of Middle East region. In reality, AKP had a policy of using its common history, traditions securitization and de-securitization immediately the terms of security and instability come and religion to get close to the Arab region to increase their economic and political to our mind. But, what are Securitization and de-securitization theories? Going through engagements without using hard power. Moreover, Turkey used soft power and its some works, it is noted that the Copenhagen School is the most influential proponents of popularity in Arab countries before 2010, in Arab countries which perceived Turkey as a these theoretical approaches. This school is mainly composed of Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver friend and a model. Besides, Turkey’s economic growth was also a strong asset in the and others who developed the notions of securitization and de-securitization. The region. Turkey was also known by its mediating effort in conflicts, and by its “concept of framework is totally related to the security concerns or factors that push the leaders to zero problems with the neighbours” considered as a key pillar of AKP’s foreign policy in Indeed, securitization is “a field of struggle in which define a matter as a security issue. the 2000s. According to Meliha Benli Altunú k, “the coming of power of Justice and the securitizing actors point at a security issue to secure the support of society for a certain Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in 2002 and the transformation of Turkish politics But, Balzacq said, securitization ‘‘is a set of interrelated policy or course of action”. and economy coinciding with the evolution of regional politics in post-2003 Iraq War era practices and the processes of their production, diffusion, and reception, translation that led to Turkey’s actorness in the region”. However, according to the Arab states, Turkey did bring threats into being; the innovation of securitization theory is important for changing not have an opportunity to become a leading power. In 2010, Turkey’s image was still the attitude of security theorists toward language”. Securitization enables policymakers to positive in the Arab world, but one year later, the Arab countries were focusing on the Arab immediately adopt whatever means they deem appropriate to curb the threat. Spring, and because Turkey got involved with the Syrian regime, Ankara’s status has Abrahamsen argues that securitization has been employed to analyze the state foreign diminished in the eyes of Arab states. Thus, AKP supports the opposition regime and have ; however, Emmers emphasized the importance of securitization in the policy behavior the mission to get down the Bath party of Bashar Al Assad which have been accused nationally and internationally of the Syrian humanitarian crisis and killing millions of Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” innocent Syrians. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.695-717; Waever Ole “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipshutz, ed., On Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Loannis N. Grigoriadis, “The Davuto÷lu Doctrine and Turkish Foreign Policy,” Hellenic Foundation Ibid., p.4; Karakaya-Polat Rabia, “The 2007 Parliamentary Elections in Turkey: between Securitization for European and Foreign Policy, No.8, 2010. and Desecuritization,” Parliamentary Affairs, Vol.62, No.1,2009, pp. 129-148. Sami Moubayed, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: The Erdogan Legacy,” Seta Policy Brief, No.25, 2008, Thierry Balzacq, Securitization Theory: How Security Problems Emerge and Dissolve, London: pp.1-8, http://setav.org/en/turkish-syrian-relations-the-erdogan-legacy/yorum/141. Routledge, 2011. Meliha Benli Altunú k, “Turkey’s ‘Return’ to the Middle East,” in H. Fürtig, ed., Regional Powers in Thierry Balzacq, Stefan Guzzini, “Introduction: What Kind of Theory-If Any-Is Securitization,” the Middle East: New Constellations after the Arab Revolts, New York: Palgrave Macmilliam, 2014, International Relations, Vol.29, No.1, 2015. pp.123-142. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” European Journal of International 28 29 29 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 ‘security’ agenda and back into the realm of public political discourse and ‘normal’ field of crimes. Moreover, Elbe, Buzan and Roe argued that securitization is an essential political dispute and accommodation’’. Some argued that ‘‘an issue is de-securitized element when it comes to diseases, HIV, war on terror and minority rights which are when nothing is done’’. According to Olsner, on the contrary, ‘‘a problem is de-securitized considered as a security threats. For Wæver, ‘‘security constituted the opposite of when either it loses its threatening image because agent and audience’s perception of the ‘politics’, which implies the possibility for more open engagement and dialogue’’. In fact, nature of the threat change in a positive manner or they perceive a qualitative change in the securitization of some political matter in the internal affairs of certain countries could relationship between them and securitized threat”. Actually, the Copenhagen school create an inflexible ideology, and instability within the region. Based on Balzacq, claims that de-securitization is the opposite of securitization. So, whereas securitization is “security overlooks the objective context in which security agents are situated’’. In fact, defined as ‘‘moving an issue from a situation a, de-securitization refers to the return of the Balzacq argued that securitization is a strategic practice that happens within, and as part of, issues from being existential threats to normal politics. They also define the concept of an arrangement of situations, including the context, the psycho cultural nature and de-securitization as a continuity in which the political actors cease to treat the enemy that character of the audience, and the interaction that both the speaker and the listener Obviously, people from any society must participate and they saw before as a treat’’. brought. Furthermore, McDonald stated that ‘‘securitization has entered the language of express their views concerning the issue of security. Waever said that ‘‘society never international relations and security studies. Nor should such a development be viewed as a speaks; it is only there to be spoken for’’. negative one, particularly given the capacity for such a conceptual framework to illuminate key elements of the ways in which security preferences and practices are constructed in III. The Turkish Foreign Policy from Securitization to De-securitization: A international politics’’. From the standpoint of securitization theory, security is not Short Historical Background surrounded or formed by objectives. It is a “speech act”. For Williams, ‘‘Securitization is not the related to the military sector alone, but it is also produced by the conversational Historically, Turkey had a very unstable relationship with Syria, especially, after the elites, the media, and academia. The weakening role of the army does not automatically collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the early years of the post-Cold War period. In fact, bring de-securitization’’. Furthermore, Balzacq added “the power of the speech act would Turkey and Syria were in the opposite blocs during the Cold War, which means that Turkey appear to be undermined by the full incorporation of the idea that the act itself is only one In addition, was and still a founding member of NATO and Syria is one of Russia’s allies. part of the securitizing process’’. Moreover, Behnke argued that ‘‘If securitization is a the presence of France in Syria and the uprising of the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire speech act, de-securitization should be marked by the lack of any such speech act’’. To put Moreover, during the First World War resulted in Syria being put in the Turkish black list. it differently, Williams cited “de-securitization is the procedure of ‘moving issues off the in the 1970s, the Syrian government was supporting the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) which is an army group operating against Turkey. In the Relations, Vol.14, No.4, 2008, pp.563–587; Abrahamsen Rita, “Blair’s Africa: The Politics of Securitization and Fear,” Alternatives, Vol.30, No.1, 2005, pp.55-80. 1980s, Syria showed a huge tolerance toward the PKK by offering them a ground for Ibid., p.565; Emmers Ralf, “ASEAN and the Securitisation of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia,” training in the Syrian controlled area of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley which made Ankara very The Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No.3, 2003, pp.419-438. ĸ angry against Syria. In the early 1990s, this is considered as the area of securitization. Ibid., p.565; Elbe Stefan, “Should HIV/AIDS Be Securitized? The Ethical Dilemmas of Linking Hafiz Al Assad claimed the Turkish province of Hatay and demanded a larger share of HIV/AIDS and Security,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 50, No.1, 2006, pp.119-44; Barry Buzan, “The ‘War on Terrorism’ as the New Macro-Securitization,” Paper presented at Oslo workshop, February water from the Euphrates River which runs from Turkey to Syria. Furthermore, Syria had a 2-4, 2006; Roe Paul, “Securitization and Minority Rights: Conditions of Desecuritization,” Security Dialogue, Vol. 35, No.3, 2004, pp.279-94. Ibid., p.566; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipschutz, ed., On Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.498; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” pp.511–531. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish-Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” Relations with Syria and Iran,” Security Dialogue, Vol.39, No. 4, 2008, pp.459-515. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.698; Bülent Aras, Rabia Karakaya Ibid., p.497; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Polat, pp.459-515. Context,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 11, No.2, 2005, pp.171–201. Ĺ Cenap Çakmak, p.698; Olsner Andrea, “Desecuritization Theory and Regional Peace: Some Theoretical Ibid., p.497. Reflections and a Case Study on the Way to Stable Peace,” RSCAS EUI Working Paper, 2005. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.566. Ibid., p.796. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Ibid., p.697; Waever Ole, pp.46–86. Relations with Syria and Iran,” p.497; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” pp.46–86. Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy,” Middle East and North Ibid., p.502; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” Africa Program, 2012, https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/Middle% International Studies Quarterly, Vol.47, No.4, 2005, pp. 511–531. 20East/1212bp_phillips.pdf. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.572; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Kilic Bugra Kanat, “Continuity of Changein Turkish Foreign Policy under the JDP Government: The Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Context,” pp.171-201. Cases of Bilateral Relations with Israel and Syria,” Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol.34, No.4, 2012, Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, p.498; Behnke Andreas, “No Way Out: Desecuritization, pp.230-249. Emancipation and the Eternal Return of the Political-A Reply to Aradau,” Journal of International Ibid., p.234. Relations and Development, Vol.9, No.1, 2006, pp.62–69. 30 30 31 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 ‘security’ agenda and back into the realm of public political discourse and ‘normal’ field of crimes. Moreover, Elbe, Buzan and Roe argued that securitization is an essential political dispute and accommodation’’. Some argued that ‘‘an issue is de-securitized element when it comes to diseases, HIV, war on terror and minority rights which are when nothing is done’’. According to Olsner, on the contrary, ‘‘a problem is de-securitized considered as a security threats. For Wæver, ‘‘security constituted the opposite of when either it loses its threatening image because agent and audience’s perception of the ‘politics’, which implies the possibility for more open engagement and dialogue’’. In fact, nature of the threat change in a positive manner or they perceive a qualitative change in the securitization of some political matter in the internal affairs of certain countries could relationship between them and securitized threat”. Actually, the Copenhagen school create an inflexible ideology, and instability within the region. Based on Balzacq, claims that de-securitization is the opposite of securitization. So, whereas securitization is “security overlooks the objective context in which security agents are situated’’. In fact, defined as ‘‘moving an issue from a situation a, de-securitization refers to the return of the Balzacq argued that securitization is a strategic practice that happens within, and as part of, issues from being existential threats to normal politics. They also define the concept of an arrangement of situations, including the context, the psycho cultural nature and de-securitization as a continuity in which the political actors cease to treat the enemy that character of the audience, and the interaction that both the speaker and the listener Obviously, people from any society must participate and they saw before as a treat’’. brought. Furthermore, McDonald stated that ‘‘securitization has entered the language of express their views concerning the issue of security. Waever said that ‘‘society never international relations and security studies. Nor should such a development be viewed as a speaks; it is only there to be spoken for’’. negative one, particularly given the capacity for such a conceptual framework to illuminate key elements of the ways in which security preferences and practices are constructed in III. The Turkish Foreign Policy from Securitization to De-securitization: A international politics’’. From the standpoint of securitization theory, security is not Short Historical Background surrounded or formed by objectives. It is a “speech act”. For Williams, ‘‘Securitization is not the related to the military sector alone, but it is also produced by the conversational Historically, Turkey had a very unstable relationship with Syria, especially, after the elites, the media, and academia. The weakening role of the army does not automatically collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in the early years of the post-Cold War period. In fact, bring de-securitization’’. Furthermore, Balzacq added “the power of the speech act would Turkey and Syria were in the opposite blocs during the Cold War, which means that Turkey appear to be undermined by the full incorporation of the idea that the act itself is only one In addition, was and still a founding member of NATO and Syria is one of Russia’s allies. part of the securitizing process’’. Moreover, Behnke argued that ‘‘If securitization is a the presence of France in Syria and the uprising of the Arabs against the Ottoman Empire speech act, de-securitization should be marked by the lack of any such speech act’’. To put Moreover, during the First World War resulted in Syria being put in the Turkish black list. it differently, Williams cited “de-securitization is the procedure of ‘moving issues off the in the 1970s, the Syrian government was supporting the Armenian Secret Army for Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) which is an army group operating against Turkey. In the Relations, Vol.14, No.4, 2008, pp.563–587; Abrahamsen Rita, “Blair’s Africa: The Politics of Securitization and Fear,” Alternatives, Vol.30, No.1, 2005, pp.55-80. 1980s, Syria showed a huge tolerance toward the PKK by offering them a ground for Ibid., p.565; Emmers Ralf, “ASEAN and the Securitisation of Transnational Crime in Southeast Asia,” training in the Syrian controlled area of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley which made Ankara very The Pacific Review, Vol. 16, No.3, 2003, pp.419-438. ĸ angry against Syria. In the early 1990s, this is considered as the area of securitization. Ibid., p.565; Elbe Stefan, “Should HIV/AIDS Be Securitized? The Ethical Dilemmas of Linking Hafiz Al Assad claimed the Turkish province of Hatay and demanded a larger share of HIV/AIDS and Security,” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 50, No.1, 2006, pp.119-44; Barry Buzan, “The ‘War on Terrorism’ as the New Macro-Securitization,” Paper presented at Oslo workshop, February water from the Euphrates River which runs from Turkey to Syria. Furthermore, Syria had a 2-4, 2006; Roe Paul, “Securitization and Minority Rights: Conditions of Desecuritization,” Security Dialogue, Vol. 35, No.3, 2004, pp.279-94. Ibid., p.566; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” in Ronnie D. Lipschutz, ed., On Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.498; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Security, New York: Columbia University Press, 1995, pp.46-86. Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” pp.511–531. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish-Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” Relations with Syria and Iran,” Security Dialogue, Vol.39, No. 4, 2008, pp.459-515. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol.29, No.2, 2016, pp.698; Bülent Aras, Rabia Karakaya Ibid., p.497; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Polat, pp.459-515. Context,” European Journal of International Relations, Vol. 11, No.2, 2005, pp.171–201. Ĺ Cenap Çakmak, p.698; Olsner Andrea, “Desecuritization Theory and Regional Peace: Some Theoretical Ibid., p.497. Reflections and a Case Study on the Way to Stable Peace,” RSCAS EUI Working Paper, 2005. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.566. Ibid., p.796. Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, “From Conflict to Cooperation: Desecuritization of Turkey’s Ibid., p.697; Waever Ole, pp.46–86. Relations with Syria and Iran,” p.497; Wæver Ole, “Securitization and Desecuritization,” pp.46–86. Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy,” Middle East and North Ibid., p.502; Michael C. Williams, “Words, Images, Enemies: Securitization and International Politics,” Africa Program, 2012, https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/Middle% International Studies Quarterly, Vol.47, No.4, 2005, pp. 511–531. 20East/1212bp_phillips.pdf. Matt McDonald, “Securitization and the Construction of Security,” p.572; Balzacq Thierry, “The Three Kilic Bugra Kanat, “Continuity of Changein Turkish Foreign Policy under the JDP Government: The Faces of Securitization: Political Agency, Audience and Context,” pp.171-201. Cases of Bilateral Relations with Israel and Syria,” Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol.34, No.4, 2012, Bulent Aras and Rabia Karakaya Polat, p.498; Behnke Andreas, “No Way Out: Desecuritization, pp.230-249. Emancipation and the Eternal Return of the Political-A Reply to Aradau,” Journal of International Ibid., p.234. Relations and Development, Vol.9, No.1, 2006, pp.62–69. 30 31 31 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. This initiative enriched the Turkish economy good connection with Greece in that period drawing upon a signed peace agreement which and strengthened the diplomatic relationship. It was a big step of Turkey to initiate this allow the government of Greece to use its planes in the Syrian air bases in case of war initiative inspired from the European Union’s Schengen system. Furthermore, Turkey had between Turkey and Greece. This troubled relationship had led the two governments intended to reunite the Arab region, taking the model of the European Union in 2010 by nowhere. In the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey, therefore, perceived securitization of its Middle making Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to join the “Levant Quartet”. Thus, it was the perfect East policy. de-securitization era for the Turks. However, a few years later, these efforts failed due to the Arab revolution in the region, by which the Turkish government took another Graph 1: Turkish De-securitization Foreign Policy towards the Arab region. opportunity to spread its ideology over the region. IV. The Turkish-Syrian Timeline Events The “Arab Spring” in the MENA messed up all Turkish strategies toward the region. Huge mass protests were spreading around the region, especially, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, and slightly affected other parts of the Arab world. In Syria, it was a totally different story and a very complex challenge for the International community, essentially, for Turkey. In fact, when the rebellions started, AKP had to choose between the Ba’athist party or the people in the streets. It was a big dilemma for AKP about what it should do. The Turkish government tried to convince Bashar Al Assad to carry out the reforms and listen to his people; nevertheless, Assad decided to keep his regime and did not listen to his Turkish friends. This decision led Turkey to take harsh decisions against the Assad’s regime just three months after the demonstrations. Although it is unusual for Turkey to get involved in the internal affairs of another country, the AKP started to support the Syrian National Council, the opposition group which later changed its name to National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and opposition forces. These groups were under the protection of Turkey; it was in the Turkish territory that these groups were founded. Basically, academic researchers and politicians claimed that there are several factors behind this intervention in the Syrian affairs and implementation of harsh actions toward Assad. First, the public opinion of Turkey was pressing the AKP leader to warn Assad’s regime and condemn the crisis that happened in Syria. Second, Turkey had to follow the decision of adopting harsh actions that the international community, foreign governments In 1998, bilateral relations deteriorated when Turkey threatened an invasion into Syria that belong to NATO, the Arab League and the European Union. Third, Turkey had to if the latter did not hand over PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. It was a very critical and break the contacts with Assad as it did in Libya. Fourth, Ankara felt horrified against complex situation that led Hafez Al Assad to promptly change the decision and to find Assad’s policies and how he did not listen to the advice of the AKP government. It is solutions for the problems. Basically, after Syria withdrew its support to PKK, gradually, noticeable that Turkish-Syrian diplomatic relations were broken down by withdrawing the the historical disputes were resolved and a new area of warm friendship started. Turkey’s Turkish ambassadors and Turkish representatives from Syria. The previous Özal ruling party of AKP came into power in 2002 and helped the Turkish-Syrian relationship to boost mainly during US occupation of Iraq. In the year 2010, the bilateral trade reached government believed that the democratic peace theory could be implemented in the $2.5 billion, making Turkey the largest trade partner of Syria. Moreover, both governments authoritarian countries. Turkey has been drowning into illusions of using its powers and collaborated against terrorism in the region through bilateral agreements. Concerning the having the confidence of using them excessively. “Turkey can be seen somewhere between AKP foreign policy, the Middle East is considered as the main area and target point for ĺ the traditional middle power and contemporary raising power”. This illusion has made AKP to enrich economic and diplomatic affairs. Moreover, since Turkey had many enemies in the region, it tries to bring peace and security, especially with Iran, Syria and Iraq. In Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” 2009, the AKP, therefore, decided to cancel the visa requirement for the Syrians during the p.702; Michael B. Bishku, “Turkish–Syrian Relations: A Checkered History,” Middle East Policy, Vol.19, No.3, 2012, pp.36-53. ķ ĸ Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy” . Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad”. ĸ Ĺ Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad,” World Politics Review, December 6, 2011. Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” pp.111-120. Ĺ ĺ Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” Middle East Policy, Tarik O÷uzlu, “Making Sense of Turkey’s Rising Power Status: What Does Turkey’s Approach within Vol.20, No.2, 2013, pp.111-120. NATO Tell Us,” Turkish Studies, Vol.14, No. 4, 2013, pp.774-796. 32 32 33 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. This initiative enriched the Turkish economy good connection with Greece in that period drawing upon a signed peace agreement which and strengthened the diplomatic relationship. It was a big step of Turkey to initiate this allow the government of Greece to use its planes in the Syrian air bases in case of war initiative inspired from the European Union’s Schengen system. Furthermore, Turkey had between Turkey and Greece. This troubled relationship had led the two governments intended to reunite the Arab region, taking the model of the European Union in 2010 by nowhere. In the 1980s and 1990s, Turkey, therefore, perceived securitization of its Middle making Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to join the “Levant Quartet”. Thus, it was the perfect East policy. de-securitization era for the Turks. However, a few years later, these efforts failed due to the Arab revolution in the region, by which the Turkish government took another Graph 1: Turkish De-securitization Foreign Policy towards the Arab region. opportunity to spread its ideology over the region. IV. The Turkish-Syrian Timeline Events The “Arab Spring” in the MENA messed up all Turkish strategies toward the region. Huge mass protests were spreading around the region, especially, in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, and slightly affected other parts of the Arab world. In Syria, it was a totally different story and a very complex challenge for the International community, essentially, for Turkey. In fact, when the rebellions started, AKP had to choose between the Ba’athist party or the people in the streets. It was a big dilemma for AKP about what it should do. The Turkish government tried to convince Bashar Al Assad to carry out the reforms and listen to his people; nevertheless, Assad decided to keep his regime and did not listen to his Turkish friends. This decision led Turkey to take harsh decisions against the Assad’s regime just three months after the demonstrations. Although it is unusual for Turkey to get involved in the internal affairs of another country, the AKP started to support the Syrian National Council, the opposition group which later changed its name to National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and opposition forces. These groups were under the protection of Turkey; it was in the Turkish territory that these groups were founded. Basically, academic researchers and politicians claimed that there are several factors behind this intervention in the Syrian affairs and implementation of harsh actions toward Assad. First, the public opinion of Turkey was pressing the AKP leader to warn Assad’s regime and condemn the crisis that happened in Syria. Second, Turkey had to follow the decision of adopting harsh actions that the international community, foreign governments In 1998, bilateral relations deteriorated when Turkey threatened an invasion into Syria that belong to NATO, the Arab League and the European Union. Third, Turkey had to if the latter did not hand over PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan. It was a very critical and break the contacts with Assad as it did in Libya. Fourth, Ankara felt horrified against complex situation that led Hafez Al Assad to promptly change the decision and to find Assad’s policies and how he did not listen to the advice of the AKP government. It is solutions for the problems. Basically, after Syria withdrew its support to PKK, gradually, noticeable that Turkish-Syrian diplomatic relations were broken down by withdrawing the the historical disputes were resolved and a new area of warm friendship started. Turkey’s Turkish ambassadors and Turkish representatives from Syria. The previous Özal ruling party of AKP came into power in 2002 and helped the Turkish-Syrian relationship to boost mainly during US occupation of Iraq. In the year 2010, the bilateral trade reached government believed that the democratic peace theory could be implemented in the $2.5 billion, making Turkey the largest trade partner of Syria. Moreover, both governments authoritarian countries. Turkey has been drowning into illusions of using its powers and collaborated against terrorism in the region through bilateral agreements. Concerning the having the confidence of using them excessively. “Turkey can be seen somewhere between AKP foreign policy, the Middle East is considered as the main area and target point for ĺ the traditional middle power and contemporary raising power”. This illusion has made AKP to enrich economic and diplomatic affairs. Moreover, since Turkey had many enemies in the region, it tries to bring peace and security, especially with Iran, Syria and Iraq. In Cenap Çakmak, “Turkish–Syrian Relations in the Wake of the Syrian Conflict: Back to Securitization,” 2009, the AKP, therefore, decided to cancel the visa requirement for the Syrians during the p.702; Michael B. Bishku, “Turkish–Syrian Relations: A Checkered History,” Middle East Policy, Vol.19, No.3, 2012, pp.36-53. ķ ĸ Christopher Philips, “Into the Quagmire: Turkey’s Frustrated Syria Policy” . Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad”. ĸ Ĺ Richard Weitz, “Turkey Turns on Syria’s Assad,” World Politics Review, December 6, 2011. Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” pp.111-120. Ĺ ĺ Birgül Dermitras, “Turkish-Syrian Relations: From Friend ‘Esad’ to Enemy Esad,” Middle East Policy, Tarik O÷uzlu, “Making Sense of Turkey’s Rising Power Status: What Does Turkey’s Approach within Vol.20, No.2, 2013, pp.111-120. NATO Tell Us,” Turkish Studies, Vol.14, No. 4, 2013, pp.774-796. 32 33 33 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 encircled and 400,000 civilians potentially trapped”. Thus, one of the consequences of the Turkey to fall into very bad mistakes. At the beginning of the civil war, Erdo÷ an sent Aleppo crisis was the killing of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016 by a police several messages to Assad. The first message advised Bashar Al Assad to undertake new This officer who shouted, “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria” before his death. political reforms and implement them with the help of the Turkish government; he could incident proved the failure of both Turkey and Russia to end the war in Syria and bring get out from the crisis. The second message was directed to the international community peace to the region. Following this, both the leaders of Turkey and Russia vowed to not let that it is possible to overcome the Syrian crisis through the new reform that satisfies the the death of the Russian ambassador worsen the relations of their countries. On the one wishes of the people of Syria. The Syrian crisis was no longer a Syrian matter, but has also hand, Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an said, “I describe this attack on Russia’s embassy as an attack affected badly the internal affairs of Turkey. What Turkey did not know and expect that to Turkey, Turkey’s state and nation.” On the other hand, the president of Russia Vladimir this civil war will take longer; six years of killing and chaos. Both parties Putin claimed, “we agreed, this is a provocation and there isn’t any dispute”. On June 22, 2012, a Turkish airplane was attacked by the Syrian forces. On May 11, tried to take wise decisions not to worse their relations. Furthermore, the Russian foreign 2013, a huge massacre and killing happened in the Turkish town, Reyhanli, near the minister claimed that the ties between Turkey and Russia “will depend on how we will borders. On September 2014, the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) attacked a cooperate on the settlement of the Syrian crisis”. However, Erdo÷ an did not show his Syrian town of Kobani in the Syrian border. On May 16, 2015, Turkey shouted a Syrian intention to end his opposition to Bashar-Al Assad. Besides, Iran sought cooperation with aircraft that violated its airspace. On July 20, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself in the Turkey in which both agreed on enhancing trade relations and resolving the issue of Syria. town of Suruc located to the borders of Turkey and Syria which killed at least 32 people. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu stated that “despite the differences of Turkey Furthermore, the unexpected July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey that was launched by a and Iran, the cooperation would strengthen for a lasting peace in Syria”. Iran is considered group of officers the Fettulah Terrorist Organization (FETO) within the Turkish army, as an important actor in Syria and a great supporter of Bashar-Al Assad’s regime; however, according to the experts and observers, totally reshaped the relations between Turkey and it does not have a new position on Aleppo. Iran’s main concern is the humanitarian crisis Syria. “Since Erdo÷ an remains in power-perhaps now with the incident less internal and the terrorist groups. opposition-there is no reason why he should not simply continue to pursue a Syria policy The international meeting of Turkey, Russia and Iran in Kazakhstan on January 23 of his own choice, whatever it might turn out to be. But the effects of the coup on Turkey’s and 24, 2017 was an opportunity to sign an agreement of “safe zones” in Syria which could foreign alignments and internal politics may still influence the way Ankara approaches its be a chance to implement peace. To put differently, Turkey, the leader of the Syrian Syrian dilemma”. Moreover, after the failed coup, President Racep Tayyip Erdo÷ an opposition, Iran and Russia agreed to have four “de-confliction zones” which will be decided to recover the isolation of Turkey from the international community through surveilled by the international community. The reason behind the “safe zones’ is to enable revising the foreign policy of the country and improve its respective relations with Israel Syrian victims to flee and receive help and protection. This agreement was disapproved by and Russia for the sake of Syria. On July 31, 2016, in Aleppo, the cultural capital of Syria some of the opposition delegation because it threatens the territorial sovereignty of Syria. famous for its long historical civilizations and situated 50 kilometers far from the Turkish Besides, rebels consider Iran “responsible for stoking the sectarian nature of the war in border, fights between the government and the rebels and airstrikes killed more than 300 Syria”. However, Turkey support this agreement because this latter ‘‘cannot carry two civilians. The international community for Red Cross described “the battle of Aleppo as watermelons under one arm’’. This saying means that Turkey cannot handle two big tasks one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times”. This incident was a continuation at the same time which are the Syrian crisis and domestic issues. Domestically, Turkey is or a consequence of Assad’s offensive maneuver that was few months before July when handling the issue of the PKK and regionally it is problem of Russia with the regime in “the Assad’s regime launched an offensive in the north Aleppo countryside which has cut Syria that could make the PKK and Russia to get together. Erdo÷ an, in his speeches, the major rebel supply line from Turkey to Aleppo, leaving Free Aleppo almost completely always claims the continuity in fighting the PKK and protecting his country from chaos. Furthermore, Turkey is becoming a land of dangerous waves of terrorist attacks and Ali Husain Bakir, “The Determinants of the Turkish Position towards the Syrian Crisis: The Immediate These bombings are mainly bombings, especially in the big cities, such as Ankara. Dimensions and Future Repercussions,” Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies Research Paper, August 15, 2011, http://english.dohainstitute.org/release/d86b0350-aae6-4836-8cf4-0e7cb377585f. supported by the Islamic States and the Kurdish Freedom Falcons (TAK), and the latter is Dalal Mawad, Rick Gladstone, “Syria Shoots down Turkish Warplane, Fraying Ties Further,” New York Times, June 22, 2012. Ĺ ķ “Turkey Arrests 9 in Connection with Deadly Bombings,” Times of Israel, May 12, 2013. Mark Boothroyd, “Assad Regime’s Offensive Maneuver in Aleppo,” Social Worker, February 10, 2016. ĺ ĸ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria,” The Telegraph, May Katie Hunt, “Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey: What Do We Know about the Assassin?” CNN, 12, 2017. December 20, 2016. Ļ Ĺ “Turkish Jet Shoots down Syrian Aircraft after It ‘Violated Air Space’,” RT, May 16, 2015. Ibid., p.1. ļ ĺ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria”. “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. Ľ Ļ “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. “Turkey, Iran Pledge Greater Cooperation over Syria,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2016. ľ ļ Ibid., p.1. Josie Ensor, “Turkey, Russia and Iran Sign Safe Zones Deal for Syria,” The Telegraph, May 4, 2017. Ŀ Ľ “Why Aleppo Syria’s Fiercest Battleground?” Times of Israel, August 20, 2016. Ibid., p.1. ŀ ľ Ibid., p.1. Kadri Gursel, “Will Turkey End up Stuck between Kurds, Russia?” Al Monitor, December 18, 2015. 34 34 35 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 encircled and 400,000 civilians potentially trapped”. Thus, one of the consequences of the Turkey to fall into very bad mistakes. At the beginning of the civil war, Erdo÷ an sent Aleppo crisis was the killing of the Russian ambassador on December 19, 2016 by a police several messages to Assad. The first message advised Bashar Al Assad to undertake new This officer who shouted, “don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria” before his death. political reforms and implement them with the help of the Turkish government; he could incident proved the failure of both Turkey and Russia to end the war in Syria and bring get out from the crisis. The second message was directed to the international community peace to the region. Following this, both the leaders of Turkey and Russia vowed to not let that it is possible to overcome the Syrian crisis through the new reform that satisfies the the death of the Russian ambassador worsen the relations of their countries. On the one wishes of the people of Syria. The Syrian crisis was no longer a Syrian matter, but has also hand, Recep Tayyip Erdo÷ an said, “I describe this attack on Russia’s embassy as an attack affected badly the internal affairs of Turkey. What Turkey did not know and expect that to Turkey, Turkey’s state and nation.” On the other hand, the president of Russia Vladimir this civil war will take longer; six years of killing and chaos. Both parties Putin claimed, “we agreed, this is a provocation and there isn’t any dispute”. On June 22, 2012, a Turkish airplane was attacked by the Syrian forces. On May 11, tried to take wise decisions not to worse their relations. Furthermore, the Russian foreign 2013, a huge massacre and killing happened in the Turkish town, Reyhanli, near the minister claimed that the ties between Turkey and Russia “will depend on how we will borders. On September 2014, the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) attacked a cooperate on the settlement of the Syrian crisis”. However, Erdo÷ an did not show his Syrian town of Kobani in the Syrian border. On May 16, 2015, Turkey shouted a Syrian intention to end his opposition to Bashar-Al Assad. Besides, Iran sought cooperation with aircraft that violated its airspace. On July 20, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself in the Turkey in which both agreed on enhancing trade relations and resolving the issue of Syria. town of Suruc located to the borders of Turkey and Syria which killed at least 32 people. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusolgu stated that “despite the differences of Turkey Furthermore, the unexpected July 15, 2016 failed coup in Turkey that was launched by a and Iran, the cooperation would strengthen for a lasting peace in Syria”. Iran is considered group of officers the Fettulah Terrorist Organization (FETO) within the Turkish army, as an important actor in Syria and a great supporter of Bashar-Al Assad’s regime; however, according to the experts and observers, totally reshaped the relations between Turkey and it does not have a new position on Aleppo. Iran’s main concern is the humanitarian crisis Syria. “Since Erdo÷ an remains in power-perhaps now with the incident less internal and the terrorist groups. opposition-there is no reason why he should not simply continue to pursue a Syria policy The international meeting of Turkey, Russia and Iran in Kazakhstan on January 23 of his own choice, whatever it might turn out to be. But the effects of the coup on Turkey’s and 24, 2017 was an opportunity to sign an agreement of “safe zones” in Syria which could foreign alignments and internal politics may still influence the way Ankara approaches its be a chance to implement peace. To put differently, Turkey, the leader of the Syrian Syrian dilemma”. Moreover, after the failed coup, President Racep Tayyip Erdo÷ an opposition, Iran and Russia agreed to have four “de-confliction zones” which will be decided to recover the isolation of Turkey from the international community through surveilled by the international community. The reason behind the “safe zones’ is to enable revising the foreign policy of the country and improve its respective relations with Israel Syrian victims to flee and receive help and protection. This agreement was disapproved by and Russia for the sake of Syria. On July 31, 2016, in Aleppo, the cultural capital of Syria some of the opposition delegation because it threatens the territorial sovereignty of Syria. famous for its long historical civilizations and situated 50 kilometers far from the Turkish Besides, rebels consider Iran “responsible for stoking the sectarian nature of the war in border, fights between the government and the rebels and airstrikes killed more than 300 Syria”. However, Turkey support this agreement because this latter ‘‘cannot carry two civilians. The international community for Red Cross described “the battle of Aleppo as watermelons under one arm’’. This saying means that Turkey cannot handle two big tasks one of the most devastating conflicts in modern times”. This incident was a continuation at the same time which are the Syrian crisis and domestic issues. Domestically, Turkey is or a consequence of Assad’s offensive maneuver that was few months before July when handling the issue of the PKK and regionally it is problem of Russia with the regime in “the Assad’s regime launched an offensive in the north Aleppo countryside which has cut Syria that could make the PKK and Russia to get together. Erdo÷ an, in his speeches, the major rebel supply line from Turkey to Aleppo, leaving Free Aleppo almost completely always claims the continuity in fighting the PKK and protecting his country from chaos. Furthermore, Turkey is becoming a land of dangerous waves of terrorist attacks and Ali Husain Bakir, “The Determinants of the Turkish Position towards the Syrian Crisis: The Immediate These bombings are mainly bombings, especially in the big cities, such as Ankara. Dimensions and Future Repercussions,” Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies Research Paper, August 15, 2011, http://english.dohainstitute.org/release/d86b0350-aae6-4836-8cf4-0e7cb377585f. supported by the Islamic States and the Kurdish Freedom Falcons (TAK), and the latter is Dalal Mawad, Rick Gladstone, “Syria Shoots down Turkish Warplane, Fraying Ties Further,” New York Times, June 22, 2012. Ĺ ķ “Turkey Arrests 9 in Connection with Deadly Bombings,” Times of Israel, May 12, 2013. Mark Boothroyd, “Assad Regime’s Offensive Maneuver in Aleppo,” Social Worker, February 10, 2016. ĺ ĸ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria,” The Telegraph, May Katie Hunt, “Russian Ambassador Killed in Turkey: What Do We Know about the Assassin?” CNN, 12, 2017. December 20, 2016. Ļ Ĺ “Turkish Jet Shoots down Syrian Aircraft after It ‘Violated Air Space’,” RT, May 16, 2015. Ibid., p.1. ļ ĺ “Suruc Attack: Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Turkey Near Border with Syria”. “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. Ľ Ļ “How the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria?” Diwan, July 28, 2016. “Turkey, Iran Pledge Greater Cooperation over Syria,” Times of Israel, August 12, 2016. ľ ļ Ibid., p.1. Josie Ensor, “Turkey, Russia and Iran Sign Safe Zones Deal for Syria,” The Telegraph, May 4, 2017. Ŀ Ľ “Why Aleppo Syria’s Fiercest Battleground?” Times of Israel, August 20, 2016. Ibid., p.1. ŀ ľ Ibid., p.1. Kadri Gursel, “Will Turkey End up Stuck between Kurds, Russia?” Al Monitor, December 18, 2015. 34 35 35 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 and Medical levels to solve the humanitarian crisis which Turkey was the first to protect considered as a radical group of PKK. These bombings are only the fruits of the youth the Syrians. Indeed, millions of refugees need huge assistance and protection because the depression of finding a suitable job with decent salary. Thus, poverty and unemployment continuity to stream over the countries resulted in many deaths and injuries. According to are the factors behind these attacks. According to the report of the Turkish Statistical the regional refugee and resilience of 2015-2016, at least, 190,000 have been killed and Institute (TUIK), the country’s overall jobless rate stands at 10.3%, while unemployment is over 3.2 million who have escaped to the neighboring countries and among them, 1.7 quite high at 18.5% in the 15-24 age groups, 22% of females and 16.5% of males. million are displaced children. These figures present the inhuman conditions of the war Compared to other regions, unemployment is higher mainly in the Kurdish eastern and which the international community failed to end; however, since the outbreak of the southeastern provinces, which have since 2016 been the theater of bloody urban clashes conflict, this latter did not stop providing some basic facilities to the Syrian refugees. To between the security forces and the PKK such as terrorist attacks, lengthy round-the-clock illustrate this, according to statistics of 2015-2016, there are 4,270,000 Syrian refugees curfews, massive destruction and civilian deaths. Additionally, Turkish politician Erdo÷ an registered, 18,000 individuals trained in child protection, 2,337,000 individuals receiving Toprak claimed that the unemployed people are considered as good potential for the food assistance, 830,000 targeted boys and girls from the age of 5 to 17 years old enrolled terrorist organizations which the government has huge difficulty dealing with. Besides, in primary and secondary education, 423,000 targeted boys and girls enrolled in there is the issue of Syrian refugees with which whole communities got involved; non-formal and informal education and 482 educational facilities were constructed and especially, Turkey that opened totally its doors. renovated. In heath sector, 439 health facilities are existing and 13,000 health staffs are working. In regard of the basic needs, 252,000 households are receiving core relief items V. Syrian Refugee Crisis since 2015 and 106,000 households are having assistance for shelter. Furthermore, 270,000 are accessing wage employment opportunities. Though, there are several people that suffer The generosity of Turkey and its open-door policy resulted in a large number of from limited livelihood opportunities and stretches of housing and social services. In fact, Syrian refugees on its territory. According to the United Nations reports, in March 2015, Turkey’s Syrian refugees are the most populous neighbor in the region that spread in urban the number exceeded 1.7 million; this huge number of refugees created some problems for areas and in 22 camps. Turkey. As for Murat Erdo÷ an, “The crisis affects Turkish society socially, politically, ‘‘Refugees from Syria need international protection with access and admission to economically and psychologically, and especially security concerns prevail. Turkey’s safety continuously, and protection from refoulement cornerstones of the protection “open door” policy, which was implemented in accordance with international law has response. Continuous registration, verification and renewal of documentation are critical resulted a serious risk regarding the level and duration of the residence of Syrians”. In fact, tools to determine those who are in need of protection and assistance; to maintain accurate in the beginning of the civil war, Turkey and the international organizations were funding records of numbers, locations and profiles of refugees; to ensure refugees have documents refugee camps by providing them the daily life necessities. However, nowadays, most of essential to facilitate their eventual return; and to enable access by refugees to the Syrian refugees are living in the villages, some of whom in cities, and some are relying humanitarian aid and services in host countries. Women, girls, boys and men with specific on their own income. But, many refugees are facing difficulties to access suitable needs and those most at the risk are systematically identified and their needs addressed accommodations and other necessities due to their financial situations and poor integration through specialized services and intervention, in close cooperation with host governments in the job market. At the same time, Turkish people are expressing their concerns about the and through national systems.” increase of Syrian refugees in their cities. They claim that they make the rising cost of the houses as well as the increase of unemployment. In the early 2015, the Turkish government Table 1: Syrian Refugees Population Figure: 2012-2015 spent more than $5 billion and only 3% were covered by the international community. According to ø çduygu, ‘‘Turkey will need to redefine the status of Syrian refugees, taking As of Turkey Lebanon Jordan Iraq Egypt Total into account the likelihood of their protracted displacement and prioritize integration policies (like socio-cultural and labor market integration) to offset the growing hostility of 2012 148,000 180,000 168,000 74,000 13,000 583,000 the host population’’. This crisis should make the states, nongovernmental organizations 2013 562,000 905,000 575,000 216,000 145,000 2,403,000 and governmental ones to contribute and work together on the social, political, financial 2014 1,165,279 1,146,405 619,777 228,484 137,000 3,297,449 Zülfikar Do÷ an, “Why Turkey’s High Unemployment Rate May Mean More Terror Attacks,” Al Monitor, March 18, 2016. Erdo÷an Toprak is a Turkish politician from Republican Peoples Party (CHP). Ĺ ķ Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The long Road Ahead,” 2015, http://www.migrationpolicy. “Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis: Regional Strategic Overview of org/research/syrian-refugees-turkey-long-road-ahead. the Year 2015-2016,” 2015, http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/3RP-Report-Over M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. view.pdf. Ļ ĸ Ibid., p.1 Ibid., p.11. ļ Ĺ Ibid., p.2 Ibid., p.18. 36 36 37 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 and Medical levels to solve the humanitarian crisis which Turkey was the first to protect considered as a radical group of PKK. These bombings are only the fruits of the youth the Syrians. Indeed, millions of refugees need huge assistance and protection because the depression of finding a suitable job with decent salary. Thus, poverty and unemployment continuity to stream over the countries resulted in many deaths and injuries. According to are the factors behind these attacks. According to the report of the Turkish Statistical the regional refugee and resilience of 2015-2016, at least, 190,000 have been killed and Institute (TUIK), the country’s overall jobless rate stands at 10.3%, while unemployment is over 3.2 million who have escaped to the neighboring countries and among them, 1.7 quite high at 18.5% in the 15-24 age groups, 22% of females and 16.5% of males. million are displaced children. These figures present the inhuman conditions of the war Compared to other regions, unemployment is higher mainly in the Kurdish eastern and which the international community failed to end; however, since the outbreak of the southeastern provinces, which have since 2016 been the theater of bloody urban clashes conflict, this latter did not stop providing some basic facilities to the Syrian refugees. To between the security forces and the PKK such as terrorist attacks, lengthy round-the-clock illustrate this, according to statistics of 2015-2016, there are 4,270,000 Syrian refugees curfews, massive destruction and civilian deaths. Additionally, Turkish politician Erdo÷ an registered, 18,000 individuals trained in child protection, 2,337,000 individuals receiving Toprak claimed that the unemployed people are considered as good potential for the food assistance, 830,000 targeted boys and girls from the age of 5 to 17 years old enrolled terrorist organizations which the government has huge difficulty dealing with. Besides, in primary and secondary education, 423,000 targeted boys and girls enrolled in there is the issue of Syrian refugees with which whole communities got involved; non-formal and informal education and 482 educational facilities were constructed and especially, Turkey that opened totally its doors. renovated. In heath sector, 439 health facilities are existing and 13,000 health staffs are working. In regard of the basic needs, 252,000 households are receiving core relief items V. Syrian Refugee Crisis since 2015 and 106,000 households are having assistance for shelter. Furthermore, 270,000 are accessing wage employment opportunities. Though, there are several people that suffer The generosity of Turkey and its open-door policy resulted in a large number of from limited livelihood opportunities and stretches of housing and social services. In fact, Syrian refugees on its territory. According to the United Nations reports, in March 2015, Turkey’s Syrian refugees are the most populous neighbor in the region that spread in urban the number exceeded 1.7 million; this huge number of refugees created some problems for areas and in 22 camps. Turkey. As for Murat Erdo÷ an, “The crisis affects Turkish society socially, politically, ‘‘Refugees from Syria need international protection with access and admission to economically and psychologically, and especially security concerns prevail. Turkey’s safety continuously, and protection from refoulement cornerstones of the protection “open door” policy, which was implemented in accordance with international law has response. Continuous registration, verification and renewal of documentation are critical resulted a serious risk regarding the level and duration of the residence of Syrians”. In fact, tools to determine those who are in need of protection and assistance; to maintain accurate in the beginning of the civil war, Turkey and the international organizations were funding records of numbers, locations and profiles of refugees; to ensure refugees have documents refugee camps by providing them the daily life necessities. However, nowadays, most of essential to facilitate their eventual return; and to enable access by refugees to the Syrian refugees are living in the villages, some of whom in cities, and some are relying humanitarian aid and services in host countries. Women, girls, boys and men with specific on their own income. But, many refugees are facing difficulties to access suitable needs and those most at the risk are systematically identified and their needs addressed accommodations and other necessities due to their financial situations and poor integration through specialized services and intervention, in close cooperation with host governments in the job market. At the same time, Turkish people are expressing their concerns about the and through national systems.” increase of Syrian refugees in their cities. They claim that they make the rising cost of the houses as well as the increase of unemployment. In the early 2015, the Turkish government Table 1: Syrian Refugees Population Figure: 2012-2015 spent more than $5 billion and only 3% were covered by the international community. According to ø çduygu, ‘‘Turkey will need to redefine the status of Syrian refugees, taking As of Turkey Lebanon Jordan Iraq Egypt Total into account the likelihood of their protracted displacement and prioritize integration policies (like socio-cultural and labor market integration) to offset the growing hostility of 2012 148,000 180,000 168,000 74,000 13,000 583,000 the host population’’. This crisis should make the states, nongovernmental organizations 2013 562,000 905,000 575,000 216,000 145,000 2,403,000 and governmental ones to contribute and work together on the social, political, financial 2014 1,165,279 1,146,405 619,777 228,484 137,000 3,297,449 Zülfikar Do÷ an, “Why Turkey’s High Unemployment Rate May Mean More Terror Attacks,” Al Monitor, March 18, 2016. Erdo÷an Toprak is a Turkish politician from Republican Peoples Party (CHP). Ĺ ķ Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The long Road Ahead,” 2015, http://www.migrationpolicy. “Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis: Regional Strategic Overview of org/research/syrian-refugees-turkey-long-road-ahead. the Year 2015-2016,” 2015, http://www.3rpsyriacrisis.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/3RP-Report-Over M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. view.pdf. Ļ ĸ Ibid., p.1 Ibid., p.11. ļ Ĺ Ibid., p.2 Ibid., p.18. 36 37 37 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 relations between the two countries are deteriorating due to Syria’s instability and 2015 1,700,000 1,500,000 700,000 250,000 120,000 4,270,000 insecurity. Besides, the cost of the civil war affected Turkey badly in a way the PKK is The Source: The regional and resilience plan 2015-2016 in response to the Syria Crisis making Syria a source of gaining power and strengths and from which they recruit new Regional Strategic Overview. members, experience and arms. The worse scenarios that we could expect are: First, the dominance of the PKK in the Syrian territory could bring the Kurdish issue in Turkey. This disaster has a big implication in the region; the flow is mainly directed to Turkey Second, the use of the PKK by the Russians to keep in check Turkey could diminish and to the rest of the world of which the European countries are receiving a great number Turkey’s interest over the region. Third, the terrorist organization could remain in the near of the population. Turkish actors have implemented informal approaches to decrease the future and may get stronger if the international community did not find effective ways to number of refugees for domestic and political reasons. The government has given support divest them. Fourth, the issue of Syria will surely cause more harm to the economy of to the non-governmental organizations that are responsible for managing camps, but near Turkey and its domestic security. the Turkish border humanitarian assistance are in a total dispensation for the Syrians. The Generally, people do not escape or leave their homes, which are the symbol of their problem is that there are so many Syrian refugees in Turkish cities that are not registered to identity and traditions unless their states do not offer them the basic needs or listen to their get enough social services and access to basic needs; registration enables the refugees to demands or fail to give them the security and protection they need. There is no smoke get these needs without any difficulties. Moreover, no working permission could cause without fire. This is the case of Syria and a number of non-democratic countries. The them to have a bad life situation. So, most the refugees prefer to work in some informal Syrian regime has totally failed from the beginning to evaluate and find adequate solutions sectors to avoid working under inappropriate conditions with very low wages. Based on for its people. The government had to listen to its people and give up some of its policies ø çduygu, ‘‘Despite the relative comfort and security of camps, more than 1 million Syrians by implementing new reforms and regulations that could satisfy the different ethnic groups have chosen to become urban refugees for several reasons: First, the unprecedented and regimes in the country. From this article’s point of view, the International Community number of refugees has exceeded the overall camp capacity; second, family ties and did not work as hard as it needed to avoid such catastrophe and human crisis. Turkey and financial independence have enabled some refugees to access shelter in other ways, often Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were generous in applying the open-door arranged by relatives; and third, those Syrians whose entry is considered illegal are not policy for the refugees; however, these refugees are not only from Syria but also from allowed to register for entering into camp’’. According to the findings from the interview Palestine and Iraq. Obviously, there were different arguments and suggestions that could be with Turkish people, Syrians are welcomed to live in Turkey; however, it would be better if implemented to avoid the war in Syria in the beginning of the revolution. The deaths and there are no more Syrians coming to Turkey because the “uncontrolled” Syrians are the injuries will increase if the war do not end. The Middle East region is an unrestricted considered as a threat to the economy and security of the country. The emergence of such playground of the “Islamic State” and other terrorist organizations that commit barbaric crisis is only the result of the failure of the Syrian government to find accurate solutions for actions. In a nutshell, Turkey-Syria relations and the Syria crisis are the perfect cases to their internal conflicts. Furthermore, the inability of the international community to prevent illustrate and apply the theories of secularization and de-secularization. such violence pushed the majority of Syrians to flee from their homes. Both Assad’s regime and anti-government groups are responsible for destroying Syria. Thus, the questions are: How will these refugees survive in the Turkish camps or other neighbor’s camps in such conditions? And how long will they live in such condition? What are the plans that the international community has to integrate these refugees into a new suitable environment? Drawing upon the urgency of redefining the status of Syrian refugees, the questions which are raised through analysis of the paper can be left for further research, and discussion for international community. VI. Conclusion The relationship between Syria and Turkey was considered as ‘‘enemy-friendly’’ relations. In other words, before the uprisings of 2011, Turkey’s engagement policy towards Syria was effective. However, in the last several years, Turkey’s engagement policy shifted to the isolation policy because of Bashar’s decisions and actions. Now, the Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Long Road Ahead” . M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. 38 38 39 Securitization and De-securitization: Turkey-Syria Relations since the Syrian Crisis Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Vol. 11, No. 2, 2017 relations between the two countries are deteriorating due to Syria’s instability and 2015 1,700,000 1,500,000 700,000 250,000 120,000 4,270,000 insecurity. Besides, the cost of the civil war affected Turkey badly in a way the PKK is The Source: The regional and resilience plan 2015-2016 in response to the Syria Crisis making Syria a source of gaining power and strengths and from which they recruit new Regional Strategic Overview. members, experience and arms. The worse scenarios that we could expect are: First, the dominance of the PKK in the Syrian territory could bring the Kurdish issue in Turkey. This disaster has a big implication in the region; the flow is mainly directed to Turkey Second, the use of the PKK by the Russians to keep in check Turkey could diminish and to the rest of the world of which the European countries are receiving a great number Turkey’s interest over the region. Third, the terrorist organization could remain in the near of the population. Turkish actors have implemented informal approaches to decrease the future and may get stronger if the international community did not find effective ways to number of refugees for domestic and political reasons. The government has given support divest them. Fourth, the issue of Syria will surely cause more harm to the economy of to the non-governmental organizations that are responsible for managing camps, but near Turkey and its domestic security. the Turkish border humanitarian assistance are in a total dispensation for the Syrians. The Generally, people do not escape or leave their homes, which are the symbol of their problem is that there are so many Syrian refugees in Turkish cities that are not registered to identity and traditions unless their states do not offer them the basic needs or listen to their get enough social services and access to basic needs; registration enables the refugees to demands or fail to give them the security and protection they need. There is no smoke get these needs without any difficulties. Moreover, no working permission could cause without fire. This is the case of Syria and a number of non-democratic countries. The them to have a bad life situation. So, most the refugees prefer to work in some informal Syrian regime has totally failed from the beginning to evaluate and find adequate solutions sectors to avoid working under inappropriate conditions with very low wages. Based on for its people. The government had to listen to its people and give up some of its policies ø çduygu, ‘‘Despite the relative comfort and security of camps, more than 1 million Syrians by implementing new reforms and regulations that could satisfy the different ethnic groups have chosen to become urban refugees for several reasons: First, the unprecedented and regimes in the country. From this article’s point of view, the International Community number of refugees has exceeded the overall camp capacity; second, family ties and did not work as hard as it needed to avoid such catastrophe and human crisis. Turkey and financial independence have enabled some refugees to access shelter in other ways, often Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were generous in applying the open-door arranged by relatives; and third, those Syrians whose entry is considered illegal are not policy for the refugees; however, these refugees are not only from Syria but also from allowed to register for entering into camp’’. According to the findings from the interview Palestine and Iraq. Obviously, there were different arguments and suggestions that could be with Turkish people, Syrians are welcomed to live in Turkey; however, it would be better if implemented to avoid the war in Syria in the beginning of the revolution. The deaths and there are no more Syrians coming to Turkey because the “uncontrolled” Syrians are the injuries will increase if the war do not end. The Middle East region is an unrestricted considered as a threat to the economy and security of the country. The emergence of such playground of the “Islamic State” and other terrorist organizations that commit barbaric crisis is only the result of the failure of the Syrian government to find accurate solutions for actions. In a nutshell, Turkey-Syria relations and the Syria crisis are the perfect cases to their internal conflicts. Furthermore, the inability of the international community to prevent illustrate and apply the theories of secularization and de-secularization. such violence pushed the majority of Syrians to flee from their homes. Both Assad’s regime and anti-government groups are responsible for destroying Syria. Thus, the questions are: How will these refugees survive in the Turkish camps or other neighbor’s camps in such conditions? And how long will they live in such condition? What are the plans that the international community has to integrate these refugees into a new suitable environment? Drawing upon the urgency of redefining the status of Syrian refugees, the questions which are raised through analysis of the paper can be left for further research, and discussion for international community. VI. Conclusion The relationship between Syria and Turkey was considered as ‘‘enemy-friendly’’ relations. In other words, before the uprisings of 2011, Turkey’s engagement policy towards Syria was effective. However, in the last several years, Turkey’s engagement policy shifted to the isolation policy because of Bashar’s decisions and actions. Now, the Ahmet ø çduygu, “Syrian Refugees in Turkey: The Long Road Ahead” . M. Murat Erdo÷an, “Perceptions of Syrians in Turkey,” pp.65-75. 38 39 39

Journal

Asian Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic StudiesTaylor & Francis

Published: Jun 1, 2017

Keywords: Turkey-Syria Relations; Syrian Crisis; Turkey’s Foreign and Domestic Policies; Syrian Refugees; Securitization and De-securitization

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