Turkey’s Relations with Iran in the Post-Cold War Era
This chapter argues that Turkey's policy towards Iran has become hostage to the worldview of Turkey's governing elite, one that has demonstrated itself to be increasingly unable to successfully cope with political change on domestic, regional, and international levels. The Turkish military elite has expressed its view that the banned Refah Party and some other Islamic groupings, in collaboration with the Iranian mullahs, wish to combine Turkey and Iran into one Islamic state. Another prominent issue on the agenda of Turkish foreign policy towards Iran has to do with the competition that exists between the two countries for influence in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In general, the Caspian region has gradually been gaining in importance with respect to both regional and international politics. Another issue that has had considerable relevance to Turco-Iranian relations is the Middle East peace process and, more specifically, the increasing level of relations between Turkey and Israel.