The Going Gets Tough: Turkey Tries to Meet the Syrian Challenge
In shaping its policy in the Arab Middle East, Turkey had worked to build a network of stable relationships with the existing regimes. Now confronted with regimes, each of which have come under popular challenges, it finds itself in a difficult situation. There is no established international mechanism that prevents the use of force by authoritarian regimes against their citizens who demand democratic reforms. Turkish responses to Tunisian and Egyptian developments were in harmony with the United States and the EU. In the Libyan and then the Syrian crisis, Turkey experienced difficulty in formulating a quick response. Syria presents a particularly complex picture. The unity and stability of Syria is critical for both Turkish and regional interests as well as those of the Western Alliance.