Turkish-Saudi relations within the context of internal and regional dynamics during the 1990s and the 2000s

Cengiz, Sinem
This thesis aims to analyze Turkish-Saudi relations with covering the impact of the domestic, regional and international developments on relations during the 1990s and the 2000s. The bilateral relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two heavyweights in the Middle East, are based on mutual respect. Due to the different political considerations and Turkey’s security orientated foreign policy, the relations between the two countries were limited during the 1990s. However, the internal transformations in the two countries and the developments in regional and international level changed the course of the relations during the 2000s. On the Turkish side, the coming to power of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in 2002 with a new discourse towards the Middle East has been important. On the Saudi side, King Abdullah’s coming to power in the kingdom in 2005 has paved the way for the two countries to come closer. The official visits from both sides and several agreements signed between two countries further developed the relations. The problematic issues in the Middle East, such as the Palestinian issue, Syrian conflict, Iranian nuclear threat, instability in Iraq and common security concerns pushed the two countries towards further cooperation. This thesis not only examines the transformation in Turkish and Saudi foreign policy but also looks at the main drivers of the relationship between two countries. This study argues that a combination of regional and international factors pushed two countries towards cooperation when it came to the developments regarding the balance of power in the region. Yet, the thesis also finds out that domestic factors can act as a limiting force on this cooperation especially if the nature of the regional developments is related to ideology rather than the balance of power.
Citation Formats
S. Cengiz, “Turkish-Saudi relations within the context of internal and regional dynamics during the 1990s and the 2000s,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2015.