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Turkey's search for a third party role in Arab-Israeli conflicts: A neutral facilitator or a principal power mediator?

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2010-11-01
Altunışık, Meliha
Cuhadar, Esra
This paper examines Turkey’s increasing involvement in the Israeli–Syrian and Israeli–Palestinian conflicts as a third party in the last decade. The paper first discusses the underlying reasons and motivations behind the change inTurkish foreign policy. Inthis section we answer the following question: While the traditional Turkish policy in the Middle East was nonintervention, what factors contributed to this recent change? We discuss these as systemic factors and domestic factors. In the second section of the paper we summarize the theoretical literature on third party intervention and mediation especially focusing on strategies, modes, activities, and tactics used. This section lays the background for the following section which classifies the various Turkish third party strategies and activities in the Israeli–Syrian and Israeli–Palestinian conflicts so far. In the final section we focus on the challenges to this new Turkish role from Turkish, Israeli, and Arab perspectives. We also discuss the crises between Israel and Turkey in the last year and how they constitute a barrier to Turkey acting in an effective third party role.