Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)

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NK Consulting Inc. Archived from the original on 9 August Gulf News. Retrieved 7 December Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea. Archived from the original on 24 December Al Bawaba. Archived from the original on 8 March Council of the European Union. Cyprus Mail. Die Zeit in German. Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Berlin, Berlin , pp. Archived from the original on 8 June Archived from the original on 8 August Centre for European Reform. Royal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original PDF on 1 June Retrieved 11 December Trade between our two countries can be dated centuries back.

In Denmark and The Ottoman Empire signed a treaty on commerce and friendship, which paved the way for closer ties—both human and commercial—between our two people Archived from the original on 19 July Archived from the original on 5 May Archived from the original on 15 August Archived from the original on 12 March Archived from the original on 3 March RT English.

Retrieved 9 December Business Insider. Retrieved 7 October Turkish Weekly. Retrieved 22 May Archived from the original on 4 October Archived from the original on 28 May The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 14 May Archived from the original on 16 July Official web site of the British Monarchy.

Archived from the original on 25 September Retrieved 26 November Archived from the original on 13 March Retrieved 12 March Archived from the original on 5 December Retrieved 5 December Archived from the original on 26 February Retrieved 25 February United Nations. Archived from the original on 9 November Retrieved 30 October Foreign relations of Turkey. Australia New Zealand. European Union economic relations D8. Turkey topics. Basic topics Alphabetical index of topics. Sultanate of Rum Mongol invasions of Anatolia Ilkhanate. War of Independence One-party period Multi-party period.

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By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Constitution History Secularism. Turkey portal Other countries Atlas. Burundi has an embassy in Ankara. Cape Verde. Central African Republic. Chad has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in N'Djamena. See Egypt—Turkey relations Egypt and Turkey are bound by strong religious and historical ties. Ethiopia—Turkey relations Ethiopia has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey is represented in Guinea-Bissau by its embassy in Conakry , Guinea and an honorary consulate in Bissau. Guinea-Bissau has two honorary consulates in Istanbul and Ankara.

See Kenya—Turkey relations Kenya has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Nairobi. Lesotho is represented in Turkey via parallel accreditation of its embassy in Rome, Italy. Turkey has an embassy in Tripoli and a general consulate in Benghazi. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Libya. Madagascar is represented in Turkey through its embassy in Rome, Italy. Turkey is represented in Malawi by its embassy in Lusaka , Zambia.

The relations between the two nations go back to the Ottoman times. Mauritius is represented in Turkey by its embassy in Berlin , Germany. See Morocco—Turkey relations Morocco has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Rabat. See Nigeria—Turkey relations Nigeria has an embassy in Ankara.

Turkey has an embassy in Abuja. Sierra Leone. South Africa. See South Africa—Turkey relations Diplomatic relations were established at consular level in and consulates-general were opened in Istanbul and Johannesburg respectively. Both consulates were closed following the upgrading of relations to ambassadorial level in October South Africa has an embassy in Ankara. Swaziland is represented in Turkey through its embassy in Brussels , Belgium and an honorary consulate in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Tunis.

Since , Turkey has an embassy in Lusaka. Antigua and Barbuda. See Argentina—Turkey relations Argentina has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Buenos Aires. Turkey's staunch support for fellow NATO member United Kingdom during the Falklands War and recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Argentine parliament has soured relations between the two countries.

See Brazil—Turkey relations Brazil has an embassy in Ankara. See Canada—Turkey relations Canada has an embassy in Ankara. Colombia has an embassy in Ankara. Cuba has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Havana. Turkey is represented in Guyana by its embassy in Caracas , Venezuela. Peru has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Lima. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Trinidad and Tobago.

United States. See Turkey—United States relations U. Turkey is accredited to Uruguay from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Uruguay is accredited to Turkey from its embassy in Bucharest, Romania and maintains an honorary consulate in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Caracas. Venezuela has an embassy in Ankara. See Afghanistan—Turkey relations Afghanistan—Turkey relations have always been warm due to strong ethnic and historical links between the two modern states.

See Armenian—Turkish relations Armenia-Turkey relations have long been strained by a number of historical-political issues including Turkish dispute of the Armenian Genocide during World War I. See Azerbaijan—Turkey relations Azerbaijan-Turkey relations have always been strong with the two often being described as "one nation with two states" due to a common culture, history, ethnicity, and the mutual intelligibility of Turkish and Azerbaijani. Bahrain has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Manama.

Tensions between Chinese people and uyghur communities is always a hurdle as the latter have Turkish origin In February , Turkish government denounced China for "violating the fundamental human rights of Uyghur Turks and other Muslim communities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. East Timor. See Georgia—Turkey relations Turkey has a close partnership relations with Georgia. See India—Turkey relations Despite its close supportive bond with its geopolitical rival, Pakistan, Turkey's relations with India have always been generally friendly and stable, though at certain times cold.

India have an embassy in Ankara [87] and a Consulate General in Istanbul. See Indonesia—Turkey relations Indonesia has an embassy in Ankara. See Iran—Turkey relations Relations between both nations have essentially been peaceful since See Iraq—Turkey relations Facing strong domestic opposition in Turkey, a government motion to allow U. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the relations with Japan. See Kazakhstan—Turkey relations Turkey recognized Kazakhstan on 16 December , on the same day Kazakhstan declared its independence.

Turkey has an embassy in Almaty and a branch office in Nur-Sultan. See Lebanon—Turkey relations On 27 December , the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey had the following precis for that country's relations with Lebanon hyperlinks added : [] "Bilateral relations between Turkey and Lebanon gained a new momentum especially in the period following the visit of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri to Turkey in Malaysia has an embassy in Ankara. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Malaysia.

Unrealized Dreams: Egypt After the Arab Spring - NBC News

See Mongolia—Turkey relations Mongolia has an embassy in Ankara. North Korea. See Pakistan—Turkey relations Pakistan has an embassy in Ankara, a consulate-general in Istanbul and an honorary consulate in Izmir whereas, Turkey has an embassy in Islamabad , a Consulate-General in Karachi and honorary consulates in Lahore , Peshawar , Sialkot and Faisalabad. See Philippines—Turkey relations , Filipinos in Turkey Turkey established its resident embassy in Manila in and an honorary consulate in Cebu in See Qatar—Turkey relations Qatar and Turkey have improved relations for several years. Saudi Arabia.

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South Korea. Sri Lanka. Since , Sri Lanka has an embassy in Ankara. See Syria—Turkey relations See also: Turkish occupation of northern Syria Protest in London against Turkish military operation in Afrin , 31 March Syrian—Turkish relations have long been strained even though Turkey shares its longest common border with Syria and various other geographic, cultural, and historical links tie the two neighbouring states together. See Tajikistan—Turkey relations Turkey recognized the independence of Tajikistan on 16 December and established diplomatic relations on 29 January See Turkey—Turkmenistan relations Turkmenistan is inhabited by Turkic people, who share a cultural affinity with Turks.

United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate-general in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Tashkent. Uzbekistan has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate-general in Istanbul. See Turkey—Vietnam relations Turkey has an embassy in Hanoi. Vietnam has an embassy in Ankara.

Turkey has an embassy in Tirana. See Austria—Turkey relations From the middle ages until the twentieth century today's Austria and Turkey were the core regions within much larger empires. See Bulgaria—Turkey relations Bulgaria has an embassy in Ankara , 2 general consulates in Istanbul and Edirne and a chancellery in Bursa. Turkey has an embassy in Sofia and 2 general consulates in Plovdiv and Burgas.

See Belarus—Turkey relations Turkey was the first country to recognize Belarus on 16 December after the declaration of its independence on 25 August and the two countries established formal diplomatic relations on 25 June See Belgium—Turkey relations Belgium has an embassy in Ankara, a consulate—general in Istanbul and two consulates in Antalya and İzmir.

Bosnia and Herzegovina. Turkey has an embassy in Sarajevo. Ottoman admiral, geographer and cartographer Piri Reis ' historical map of Cyprus. See Denmark—Turkey relations The relations date back years and actually started in the field of trade in the 18th century. In , Denmark has appointed an extraordinary representative to the Ottoman Empire.

Today, Denmark has an embassy in Ankara and an honorary consulate in Istanbul. Finland has an embassy in Ankara and an honorary consulate general in Istanbul and other honorary consulates in Belek , Bodrum and Izmir. Turkey has an embassy in Paris and consulates general in Lyon , Marseille and Strasbourg. Holy See. Turkey has an embassy in Rome accredited to the Holy See. Turkey has an embassy in Budapest. See Ireland—Turkey relations Ireland has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Dublin.

See Kosovo—Turkey relations On 17 February , Turkey became one of the first countries to announce officially about recognition of sovereign Kosovo. See Malta—Turkey relations Malta is represented in Turkey through accrediting a Maltese Ambassador resident in Valletta to Turkey and through its consulate general in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Valletta.

Foreign relations of Turkey

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Malta. See Moldova—Turkey relations Moldova has an embassy in Ankara. There are around 11, Turks who live in Moldova. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Moldova. North Macedonia. See North Macedonia—Turkey relations Due to historical and cultural mutualities and human bonds, North Macedonia and Turkey have very close and friendly relations.

North Macedonia has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate—general in Istanbul. Turkey has an embassy in Skopje and a consulate-general in Bitola. Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Poland. See Portugal—Turkey relations Turkey's years of political relations with Portugal date back to the Ottoman period when Viscount de Seixal was appointed as an envoy to Istanbul.

Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Portugal. See Spain—Turkey relations Spain has an embassy in Ankara. Turkey has an embassy in Madrid. See Turkey—Ukraine relations Turkey and Ukraine have a long chronology of historical, geographic, and cultural contact. United Kingdom. New Zealand. Papua New Guinea. Solomon Islands. Both countries established diplomatic relations on 8 March The Arab Spring and political change in Tunisia and Egypt. In response to the events of the Arab Spring, the Obama administration has assumed different policy approaches. They are situated along a nuanced line that goes from favoring drastic regime change whether peacefully or by force , in some cases, and nudging other regimes towards gradual democratic transformation.

These approaches will be briefly outlined in the following paragraphs. In Egypt and Tunisia, Obama chose to rebalance the American stance, gradually backing away from support for Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and allowing the popular movements to run their course. In Tunisia, the act of despair of one fruit vendor unleashed a wave of revolution through the Arab world. The protests were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi on December 17, , and led to the ousting of President Ben Ali, 28 days later, on January 14, , putting an end to 23 years of autocratic rule.

In the first months of the uprisings, Obama's cautious response to the popular uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa drew frequent criticism. However, the first clear instance was Tunisia, where Obama immediately clearly chose to back away from support for Ben Ali. Obama expressed his support for the Tunisian pro-democracy movement saying: "the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people" CBSNews However, in the following weeks, the administration voiced its concern for the transition process in that country: "But there's a long way to go.

But, there's no experience. There's no institutional muscle memory about how you do this" US State Department In Egypt, the willingness of the Obama administration to break with the existing order and embrace its radical transformation was only too equivocal. The administration tried to perform a high-wire act between positioning itself "on the right side of history," as one senior diplomat put it, and not unceremoniously dumping a leader who has supported American policy on key regional policies Miller The balancing act performed by the Obama administration regarding the approach to adopt towards the Mubarak regime became excruciating to watch as the former tried to balance conflicting orientations.

As a result, the message often sounded muddled, as if written on an improvised playbook. Procrastinating in Egypt. Egypt's revolution began on January 25, the "Day of Revolt," when tens of thousands of marchers occupied Cairo's Tahrir Square to protest against President Mubarak and his government. Probably, not enough information was available to high-level policymakers at least by late January to have moved the Obama administration to seriously examine the possibility of profound instability for the one-man government in Egypt.

To be true, the administration's concern with the evolving revolt was uttered by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, during a speech at the Forum for the Future conference in Doha, on January 13 Clinton The secretary of state's speech actually marked a pronounced contrast with the tone of the Obama administration so far. In point of fact, President Obama had been criticized by democracy activists for not more aggressively pushing leaders in the Arab and Muslim world to pursue political openness.

Secretary Clinton warned Arab governments that they risked "sinking into the sand" if they did not meet the needs of their people in terms of democratization and development. That reaction signaled the US frustration with the lack of political change, undermining efforts to create stable Arab governments that can effectively combat terrorism. In any case, the outbreak of the revolution caught Washington by surprise and constituted a significant intelligence failure.

This event was similar to a certain extent to Washington's unpreparedness towards the revolution in Iran. Back then, not only did the administration fail to prevent the traumatic collapse of Pahlavi rule, which damaged the power and credibility of the United States in this critical part of the world, and, perhaps more importantly, undermined the prospects of constructive US-Iranian relations up to the present time. The belief that the Shah would remain in power despite the wave of protest was the prevailing view of the Carter administration and the possibility that he might be forced out of office as a result of the crisis was dismissed Pinto , In December , during a visit to Tehran, and as the police charged the demonstrations against his visit, Carter had referred to Iran as "an island of stability in a turbulent corner of the world" Bill , Later President Carter would express his "dissatisfaction with the intelligence community failure to warn the administration of the political crisis in Iran" Brzezinski , In the early weeks of the crisis, the majority of Washington's political establishment believed in Mubarak's resilience, as no one in the bureaucracy wished to be the first to "make the call" that the Rais 1 was on his way out.

Similarly as with the Iranian revolution, as a consequence, each individual and each organizational element procrastinated, waiting for incontrovertible evidence before pronouncing such a fateful judgment Sick , In the aftermath of the "Day of Rage," the first crucial day of the protests in Egypt, Clinton offered a flimsy reaction of the Mubarak's government hold on power.

Turkey’s Role in the Arab Spring

She gauged it was "stable" and was responding to "the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people" Sanger Hours later, riot police attacked the thousands of demonstrators who had gathered in Tahrir Square. Drawing a parallel to the Carter administration failure regarding the Iranian revolution, Gary Sick explains that Washington's inactivity and inability to draw the proper conclusions from revolutionary events has to do with "the paralysis of bureaucratic structures in high-risk situations" Sick , He argues that if the revolutionary events had taken place in an area of the world with less strategic importance, there would have been "little reluctance to speculate about a range of possible outcomes, including revolutionary overthrow of the existing power structure" Sick , From the "Day of Rage" on, the administration frantically tried to catch up with events, and at last begun to adjust its policy to the fast changing events.

On January 26, Hillary Clinton urged all parties "to exercise restraint" Clinton , while also appealing to the Egyptian authorities to allow peaceful protests and the use of the social media. On February 1, in a televised address, Mubarak defied demonstrators who wanted him to leave immediately, by announcing he would not seek re-election, but would serve out the rest of his term until September. The statement forced Obama into a difficult position. The official policy of support for Mubarak was bent on the assumption that the he was capable of acting vigorously and decisively and that events would not get out of hand: that was an expectation that proved to be unfounded and short-lived.

Obama's reaction was that "an orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now " Dorning and Goldman Obama's statement entered a new phase with Obama's carefully nuanced public statements signaling a desire for Mubarak to step aside. The announcement went a long way to meeting pressures for him to make clear his support for the protesters and preparing the way for easing Mubarak out of the way as painlessly as possible while beefing up the position of the moderate opposition.

On behest of the administration, Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, quietly pressed the newly designated Egyptian Vice President, Omar Suleiman, to urge Mubarak to step aside so that he could begin negotiating a transition to a new government with a coalition of opposition figures, including the Muslim Brotherhood Miller The White House had clearly decided that the Rais ' departure would enhance the chances that other figures in the regime, such as Gen.

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Omar Suleiman, could negotiate a smooth transition. The administration apparently concluded that stability could only be restored quickly in Egypt if it entered a smooth transition period. US officials feared that protests rocking Egypt could change the political landscape of the entire Arab world and beyond. Possible outcomes could range all the way from pro-democracy forces taking charge in Cairo to, in a worst-case scenario, regional war and instability, involving Israel and Iran.

In between, there could be a long period of instability that could breed economic chaos across the region, prolonging the economic plight in the US and Europe and concerns about mass migration to Europe Lizza Days of watching the protests spread on the streets of Egyptian cities convinced administration officials that Mubarak probably would not weather the political storm and that this was compromising the transition to a new political order Miller The remaining inherent contradictions of an Administration trying to simultaneously encourage and contain the forces of revolution in Egypt broke into the open on February 5, when Wisner called Mubarak an "old friend" of the United States, and said he "must stay in office in order to steer those changes through" News Wires Part of the confusion also stemmed from the government's own conflicting message and to the fact that the State Department diverged from the White House line.

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Contrary to the Iranian revolution, when the State Department had enough information "to seriously examine the possibility of profound instability for the one-man government in Iran," David , , this time around it raised doubts as to the wisdom of Mubarak's ouster. The Obama administration's awkward reaction reflects all too clearly the dilemma it faced between balancing its support for the democracy protesters' aspirations with its desire for an orderly political transition in a strategic ally.

The mixed message reflected a policy seemingly wrong-footed by the speed with which the revolt mounted, and that, inevitably, was made up on the fly Sanger Obama wanted to position the US on the side of the protesters. Simultaneously, he feared that the uprising could spin out of control and unsettle the region. He was also hard pressed to assure other autocratic allies that the US did not hastily abandon its friends.

Insight into the future of war-torn Arab countries - Egypt Today

The Saudis and other "moderate" pro-US Arab states were dismayed at the manner in which the Americans had responded to a faithful ally. They undoubtedly do not harbor illusions about the reliability of American support under the Obama administration Teitelbaum The strategic calculations behind the flip-flops of the administration are obvious: Egypt is a lynchpin of the American security architecture for the greater Middle East. As the world's largest Arab nation, Egypt is critically important to US foreign policy and to major goals the Obama administration pursues in the Middle East: the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, containment of Iran's influence and nuclear ambitions, and counter-terrorism.

Egypt's role is at the heart of normalizing Arab relations with Israel. Mubarak has also helped guarantee Israel's interests and the stability of its border with Gaza. After Washington's rapprochement with Egypt, under Anwar Sadat, every US administration has invested heavily to maintain the status quo. Fear that Egypt's uprising would develop into an Islamist revolution along the lines of that of Iran in would constitute the worst possible scenario for Washington and Tel Aviv.

American policymakers were initially tied by the fear that Egypt's move toward democracy might be hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood or another group unfriendly to American interests. But now that a generalized political upheaval swept throughout the Arab world, sticking to a status quo orientation would have been unrealistic and, political expediency-wise, negative.

Eventually, the administration managed to sharpen the message and to try to place itself on the right side of history. Libya: "realigning American interests and values". When the revolution caught up Libya, on February 15, Obama initially resisted intervening militarily until he felt he had no choice. He preferred at first to use diplomatic means and economic sanctions to signal that Gadhafi's use of force would not help keep him in power. In the first days of the revolts, a popular criticism of the Obama administration was that its response to the Libyan crisis was sluggish, the government perceived as idling while Col.

Gadhafi threatened and committed violence against his own people Goodenough Gadhafi ignored both his own pledge of a ceasefire and the West's warning of military intervention to launch a combined air and land assault on the rebel self-declared capital of "Free Libya," Benghazi. The rebel-held city had been clinging to the hope that the Security Council-backed resolution authorizing a no-fly zone would halt his advance eastward.

The decision to intervene militarily came when Gadhafi's forces were closing in on Benghazi. On March 17, the Security Council approved resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the attacks against civilians, and imposing a no-fly zone - and tightened sanctions on the Gadhafi regime.

Military intervention in Libya began on March 19, as Obama, who was on an official visit to Brazil, announced the beginning of the strikes, arguing: "We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy" Fox News The rationale for the military intervention was provided by his statement to the press: "This is the greatest opportunity to realign our interests and our values" Hamid The president was referring to the broader change going on in the Middle East and the need to rebalance US foreign policy in order to accommodate a greater focus on democracy and human rights.

He felt that, had the international community not acted when it did, thousands of Libyans would have been slaughtered as the world watched idly. As Marc Lynch noted, not acting would have been a powerful message, which would have haunted America's standing in the region Lynch Other factors concurred to make the intervention possible.

Obama emphasized that his decision on Libya was based on what has become his foreign-policy doctrine: relying on international consensus and multilateral action to bring about military intervention with a limited American role Cooper In a short timeframe, Obama and Clinton managed to accomplish the following policy acts: a resolution of support for the intervention from the UN Security Council; a statement from the African Union supporting democracy in Libya; and turning over the leadership of the coalition air campaign to the NATO command in Europe so as to share the costs and dangers of the operation with allies Davis Equally important, the administration garnered the support from the Arab League for a no-fly zone.

Among Arabs, the decision enjoyed a broad consensus, among both leaders and the street. Other flashpoints: Bahrain, Yemen and Syria. The upheaval in Bahrain, which hosts a major US military base and borders the world's primary oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is mostly rooted in discontent among the majority Shia Muslim community towards the Sunni monarchy, although instigators are also among pro-government Sunnis, and conservative factions of the ruling family especially the Royal Court and Defense Ministers.

Moreover, Manama is a critical link to the decades-old US effort to protect the Western world's access to Gulf oil. In Bahrain, where the uprisings turned violent, Obama did not even utter a word in support of armed intervention, instead pressing the regime to embrace reform on its own. Washington has moderated its regime reform pressures in Bahrain also for fears of Iranian meddling in that vital Gulf country and fear that protracted political turmoil could provide an opening for additional influence by Tehran in Bahrain's neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

The intensified wrangling across the Persian Gulf between the Sunni and Shia powers has reinforced Washington's wariness about Iran's regional ambitions, strained relations between the US and important Arab allies, and tempered the former's initial support for the democracy movements in the Arab world. US officials are wary Bahraini Shia are susceptible to outside influences, such as attempted subversion from neighboring Iran Hodge At the invitation of the Bahraini royal family, Saudi Arabia sent troops into Bahrain to quell the protests, a move that drove a wedge between Riyadh and Washington Hodge Saudi Arabia fears that, if the protesters prevail, Iran - Saudi Arabia's regional rival - could expand its influence and inspire unrest elsewhere.

While the Obama administration became ever more outspoken against repression in Syria and Yemen - not to mention Libya, where Obama eventually put in practice a policy of regime change -, it remained remarkably restrained about the escalating crackdown in Bahrain. The strongest criticism came from Secretary of State Clinton in mid-April at the US-Islamic World Forum when she appealed for a "political process that advances the rights and aspirations of all the citizens of Bahrain" and asserted that "security alone cannot resolve the challenges" facing the government.

She also said the administration had raised its concerns publicly and directly with Bahraini officials Clinton Apparently, the administration threw its weight behind attempts of Bahrain's royal family to survive, although protesters say their demands have not been met Reuters It believes Bahrain is "an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

In Syria and Yemen, the Obama administration took a cautious, incremental approach refraining initially from calling for a regime change. As repression took its toll, the divisions within the ruling tribal elite took on greater salience, eventually pitching tribe against tribe, rather than activists against the dictatorship. The geo-politics of the Arab Spring underwent a decisive change with the militarization of the Libyan uprising, under the auspices of the nato powers.

On 15 March he announced in a tv interview that he had personally telephoned Gaddafi and advised him to listen to the people and appoint a new president. A lot of swerving followed, once the nato operation was underway. On 25 March, a Turkish naval force was sent to enforce the blockade of Gaddafi-held ports. The Meclis approved the dispatch of further forces, including troops if necessary. Sarkozy moved to block a leading Turkish role in the assault. This was not difficult, given the mixed feelings and internal divisions among pro-government forces in Turkey.

Along with the us and other major Western states, Turkey had developed good business as well as diplomatic relations with Gaddafi, profiting in particular from the post Libyan construction boom. It was not clear that the violent overthrow of the regime would benefit Turkey, whereas the Western powers, more in control of the transition, could count on their ability to divide and manipulate the new Libyan power holders.

A revolutionary spirit, a culture of rebellion has developed in this region. Of course, one can point to similar conversions in Paris, London and Berlin. In July the Free Syrian Army, aiming at the military overthrow of the Assad regime, was established in the southern Turkish province of Hatay, with us logistical support and Saudi money and arms; fsa leaders were given the protection of the Turkish police. The principal demand of the fsa was for a no-fly zone; that is, Western bombardment of Syrian defences. Its campaigns, focused mainly in the vicinity of Homs, were waged with one eye on the Western media embedded in its ranks; the greater the atrocity, the more likely it was to create international pressure for us airstrikes.

The death toll duly rose, as Syrian forces shelled fsa positions in residential areas, and a multitude of sectarian militias, both Alawite and Sunni, looted and killed amid the destruction. In Turkey, the jingoism of the liberal and conservative Islamist press rose to a crescendo by early Calls for Turkish intervention also came from conservative forces in the Arab world, not least the London-based daily, Sharq al-Awsat , whose main precondition was that there should be Western approval beforehand. This seems to suit Israel, too. It has been argued that:.

Although Israel sees advantages in a reduced Iranian influence in Syria, it also sees a bleak future in a post-Assad Syria where Islamist groups might take centre stage. Amidst this uncertainty, the more pro-Western wing of the Turkish government went along with us initiatives. Thus, despite its pretensions to regional leadership, Turkey failed to articulate a coherent position of its own. Turkey did not lead, but followed.

Overall, the Islamic Turkish press has been much warmer to the idea of intervention in Syria than in Libya, and for the worst of reasons. In addition to the sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist forces in Syria, heavily targeted historically by the Baath regime, there is an identification with Syrian Sunnis against the Shia neither of which had prevented the akp from developing close ties with Assad.

But rather than staying above these rifts, Turkey got further bogged down in its own complex ethnic and sectarian set-up, as the political turmoil moved closer to its borders.

Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)
Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey) Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further? (On Turkey)

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