Ethnicity, Religion and Foreign Policy: Turkish-Syrian Relations Since the 1980s

Yasemin Akbaba, Gettysburg College


In recent years, religious movements have been increasingly challenging the modernist and secularist ideas formerly dominant globally as well as shaping the foreign policies of states. Especially in the last decade, pro-religious political parties made significant electoral advances in various countries, including the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Particularly since the end of the Cold War, ethnic and religious issues have become important parts of public debate and policy and were argued to be prominent in shaping bilateral relations between Turkey and Syria. [excerpt]