Examining the Impact of Turkey's Approach Vis-a-Vis Syria into Turkey's Iraq Policy

Harunoglu N. C.

DIGEST OF MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, vol.26, no.2, pp.248-277, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/dome.12119
  • Page Numbers: pp.248-277


The tension between international order and justice has long been a focus of critical attention of many scholars. Today, with the rise of the humanitarian crises, the debate is once again visible, and Turkish foreign policy is one of the most important areas of observation of this tension. Indeed, the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 paved the way for Turkey to actively engage in regional affairs. Meanwhile, the need to bring human justice into world politics makes Turkish foreign policy decision makers operate on a much more humanitarian basis. Nevertheless, active humanitarian engagement poses an important challenge to traditional Turkish foreign policy as it is mainly based on the notion of non-interference, as well as on the elementary components of international order, by raising suspicions on the intentions of the Turkish authorities. This article aims to explore the challenges Turkey has been facing since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and diagnose Turkish foreign policy vis-a-vis Iraq in the shadow of the Syrian civil war from Hedley Bull's framework of order and justice. It argues that Turkey's recent fluctuations in the Middle East could be linked to Turkey's failure to reconcile the requirements of order with those of justice and the Turkish governing party's (AKP) attempts to use justice as an important instrument to consolidate its power both in Turkey and in the Middle East.