chapter  Chapter 11
19 Pages

Syria, Turkey and the Changing Power Configuration in the Middle East: An Analysis of Political, Economic and Regional Differences

WithErik L. Knudsen

Modern Turkey since its creation in the wake of the demise of the Ottoman Empire is an anomaly somewhat out of place in the Middle East. Of Turkey’s less than friendly neighbours, in the Caucasus, the Balkans and the Middle East particularly Syria has proven to be a thorn in the soft underbelly of the Turkish government since the 1950s. For alleged national security reasons the Syrian republic has also committed itself to a policy of political/diplomatic support of nations such as Greece, Iran and Armenia. After the independence of Syria was finally achieved, the future development of the Turkish and Syrian states was vastly different. The Strategic Agreement that was signed in 1996 between Israel and Turkey has a number of clauses which remain secret. The Syrians believe that Turkey’s policy of hoarding the precious water resources of the river was much to the determent and disregard of Syrian water needs.