Iran – Turkey Relations — American Iranian Council
differences between Iran and Turkey in modernization and if this is the case A state-organized reform programs can be observed both in Iran and Turkey. Relations between Iran and Turkey have long been defined by mutual suspicion and competition, despite a mile border that has remained. In the interwar period, national elites in Turkey and Iran were aware of the similarities After World War II the political trajectories of the two nations diverged.
Syria is just one such example of these consequences. As Western states have turned their support towards groups Turkey identifies as enemies or challengers to their government, Turkey shifted from supporting Assad, to launching its own offensives within the Syrian territory, which this paper will discuss later in greater detail.
Turkey observes that its so-called allies in Europe are turning against itnot helping the country manage the resulting risks and challenges to its own security apparatus. This obligates Turkey to seek other partners in the region sharing similar interests, even though this puts Turkey at odds with the very partners it views as having turned against it.
This development allowed Turkey to emerge as a stakeholder in the Syrian Civil War through the Astana Processbecoming involved with Russia and Iran on the future of Syria, despite the diverse agendas each country may have on the subject. Further to this collaboration, tensions are rising and relations decaying between the US and Turkey.
In Octoberan American Pastor named Andrew Brunson found himself charged with multiple counts of terrorism and imprisoned in Turkey, as a part of a nation-wide crackdown as a result of the failed coup. He was arrested with no charges against him for over one year.
In July at his trial the Turkish courts refused to release Brunson from custody, setting another trial date to 12 October The extent to which this event will impact and strain US-Turkey relations is unclear, but the responses have been grandiose.
In June, Congress blocked the sale of fighter jets to Turkey because of its regional ties and warming of relations with Russia. The US did eventually impose sanctions and the Lira has suffered greatly as a result.
Both of these events further push Turkey closer to Iran. The Kurdish question serves as an especially strong and obvious issue area for Iran and Turkey to become closer strategic security partners. Iran shares a similar concern, with 10 to 12 million Kurds within its borders, and the history of the once short-lived Kurdish state within its territory. This shared experience and concern can be the launch pad to a strong foundation of security coordination between the two nations. The Kurdish people are the largest stateless population in the world today.
Estimated at millionthey are spread over six countries in the Middle East, but have a telling history in Iraq and Turkey. At the end of WWI, the Kurds were promised partial autonomy in the Iraqi territory by the French, though seemingly not outright self determination.
Once the Treaty of Lausanne was signeddeclaring the exact borders of the modern Turkish state, Kurds within the new territory became incapable of demanding the right to self-determination in those lands.
As a result, the Allies ended their campaign for Kurdish independence. In the modern state of Turkey, the first Kurdish rebellion took place inshortly after Ataturk established a secular, Turkish government. Over the years, expressions of Kurdish origins have been oppressed by the government, including the spoken language and apparel. Inthe government even deemed it a terrorist act to establish Kurdish state.
The Turkish government has continued its oppression, which led to the insurgent branch of the PKK in This insurgent group has pillaged villages, attacked groups, murdered thousands, resulting in more oppression on the Kurdish population. Over the years, there have been sporadic moments of insurgency, but has never resulted in a large movement or a strengthening of the Iranian Kurdish community.
The Kurds in Iran have not had as many outward expressions of nationalism, due to the strength of the Iranian government and its steadfast interruption of any uprisings over the years. Turkey had a history of security ties with Iraqi Kurdistan. Inthere were 18 Turkish military bases in the autonomous region, with over soldiers, officers and intelligence staff working there. This was to the dismay of many at the time, including Iraqi members of parliament and foreign minister.
Turkey hoped to have a close relationship with officials in the region as a strategic move towards fighting the militia wing of the PKK on their territory, which the Kurdistan Regional Government KRG also opposes. This is especially important as it relates to Iraq after Daesh. The partnership between Turkey and Kurdistan will face challenges when the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government KRG in northern Iraq announced in early September that it would hold a referendum on whether its residents will declare Iraqi-Kurdish independence on 25 September The KRG stated that if the vote was successful, however, it would not result in immediate secession.
These ambitions presented a valid concern for many states in the region, considering that the territory Kurds claim as proper Kurdistan covers Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria and the threat a successful vote can pose on them all. Upon the successful vote, none of the governments from these countries recognized the vote, nor the right for a Kurdish state. Immediately following, all feared this would embolden Kurds within their borders to establish their own autonomous regions and even consider seeking statehood, effectively threatening their territorial integrity.
For example, the Kurdish administration in northern Syria decided in July to hold elections for local and regional postsindicating its interest in becoming more autonomous. They have officially stated that the region is not seeking autonomy from Damascus, however.
Leading up to the KRG referendum, on 14 September governor of Kirkuk Najm Eddine was removed from office by the Iraqi parliament as another way to put pressure on Kurds to stop their referendum. Some also speculated that the meetings between Iran and Turkey may highlight another dimension of the security relationship between them, potentially extending itself to a plan to delay or stopping the Iraqi Kurdish referendum that had been increasingly facing challenges and appeared more and more unlikely to happen.
A unified security response between Iran and Turkey sent a message to their Kurdish minorities that any sort of aspiration to statehood will not be tolerated, and will be met with force. The day before the scheduled referendum on 24 September, Iran held war games near the Iran-Iraq border near the autonomous Kurdish region.
This was an opportunity for Iran to flex its military muscle for the Kurdish independence voters to see. The referendum was successfully held on 25 September with no immediate military or security threats. The US and UK, however, preferred not to downgrade relations with the Kurdish independent government.
One example of Iran-Turkey responses immediately after the referendum was coordinated military drills between both countries and Iraq near the shared border on the Turkish side. Iraq is also making plans to reopen disused oil pipelines to Turkey that completely bypasses Iraqi Kurdish territory, in efforts to isolate the region and cost them economic power.
Iran also coordinated its own measures of isolation by detaining fuel tankers headed to Iraqi Kurdistan. In sum, the events following the referendum help demonstrate that the Kurdish question is an ideal tool to fuse the relationship between Iran and Turkey.
Some experts predict that Iran and Turkey will respond with stronger security presence in Syrian Kurdish areas in order to prevent a spillover of nationalist aspirations there. Because the Peshmerga are the strongest in the fight against Daesh, this could have proven to be damaging for the larger effort; but the interest of suppressing nationalist uprisings in Iran, Turkey and Syria was of greater priority for all.
Towards the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Turkey and Iran were on opposing sides with Iran consistently supporting Bashar al-Assad, and Turkey shifting its support, though typically against Assad. Then in it was revealed that Turkey aided Daesh economically by purchasing some of its oil supply. Now as the Syrian Civil War is beginning to wind down, with Daesh defeated and villages taken back by the government, the future of Iran-Turkey relations may be defined by the course they can set forth on the tail end of this conflict.
Assad went so far as to aiding them to obtain control over territory in northern Syriaalongside the Turkish border, further displeasing Erdogan. Assad essentially used the PYD as a tool to control the northern section of Syria by giving them the sense of government support, while Assad played his cards against Turkey.
Modernization in Turkey and Iran
The YPG took part in the coalition against Daesh with US support with the motivation to end Daesh control, though not to fight against the Assad regime. Once Daesh was defeated, the Assad regime turned its back on the YPG in latecalling the group traitors. This, however, quickly changed in January when the YPG began cooperating with Turkey, inviting them into their controlled territory. Assad wanted no Turkish meddling in Syria and shifted his stance by allowing the YPG to move around regime-controlled territory, where Iranian militias are located.
Turkey successfully captured the city of Afrin in March and has since strained relations with the Assad regime. The extent of Iranian and Turkish campaigns in Syria With military bases in Syrian territory, Turkey has some security and military leverage to contribute to an Iran-Turkey partnership, which would appeal to Iran.
In the past, Turkey has allowed the United States to use its basesin joint efforts to attack Daesh. On the same day, the countries signed a new Treaty of Friendship, as well as a Treaty of Conciliation, Judicial Settlement and Arbitration. Several regions in Turkey were visited and attempts at close friendship and cooperation between the two leaders were made.
Reza Shah Pahlavi was reportedly impressed by the republic's modernization reforms and he saw this as an example for his own country. This treaty would become known as the Treaty of Saadabad. The purpose of this agreement was to ensure security and peace in the Middle East.
A period of coldness passed after the Iranian Revolution which caused major changes in Iran and the Middle Eastern status quo.
Today Iran and Turkey closely cooperate in a wide variety of fields that range from fighting terrorismdrug traffickingand promoting stability in Iraq and Central Asia. Turkey is the same distance from both of them.
What has the international community said against Israel so far? Is this the superiority of law or the law of superiors?
However, Turkey's neutral stance with regards to the disputes between Israel and Iran has secured the maintenance of friendly bilateral relations.
Authoritarian Modernization in Turkey and Iran | IISH
Turkey's relations with Israel have deteriorated after the Gaza War —09the Gaza flotilla raid and the Israel—Gaza conflict. From toTurkey had no diplomatic relations with Israel in the ambassadorial level. Since the Arab Spring[ edit ] Iran's relations with Turkey have occasionally soured over the AKP government's active involvement in regional disputes between Shia and Sunni groups since the dawn of the Arab Spring.