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Making (Non)Sense of Turkey’s Policy on Kobane 13 novembre 2014

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie.
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GTE Commentary (Istituto Affari Internazionali) No. 16, November 2014, 2 p.

by Nathalie Tocci *

Turkey is pursuing three goals in Syria: eliminating Bashar al-Asad, weakening the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The snag is that these three goals are incompatible, at least in the short term. But whereas the latter two goals are genuinely liked to Turkish national security interests, the first is not. Approaching the Syrian regime and Iran with pragmatism does not mean hurrying into ironclad alliances with unpalatable partners, nor does it mean abandoning principles. Arguably, diversifying from Sunni-only alliances can represent value added in a sectarianised Middle East.

Document prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation project « Turkey, Europe and the World », November 2014. See also « Opinion: Turkey’s misguided Syria policy« , in Deutsche Welle, 4 November 2014.

* Nathalie Tocci is Deputy Director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali and Special Advisor to the EU High Representative.

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