Complex dynamics of Türkiye-Iran relations

Traditionally, Türkiye-Iran relations have been defined by a mix of competition and cooperation. Sharing a long land border and possessing a multidimensional historical depth, numerous dynamics simultaneously affect the relationship between the two countries.

Complex dynamics of Türkiye-Iran relations
Who benefits from controlled proxy conflict

Who benefits from controlled proxy conflict?

The Middle East rang in the new year with assassinations and terror attacks. Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy leader of Hamas' political bureau, was assassinated in Beirut last Tuesday. The following day, two bombings in Kirman, Iran (for which Daesh has claimed responsibility) killed 103 people. As those attacks shifted everyone’s attention to Israel, Iran and Hezbollah pledged to exact “revenge and a heavy price.”


Since the killing of Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and senior Hashd al-Shaabi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. strike at Baghdad airport, the power struggle between the United States and Iran in Iraq has transformed into a hot conflict. Washington's latest move has the potential to irreversibly up the ante in the long-standing hostilities between the two nations.

The Tehran government needs to think twice before taking any steps in domestic and foreign policies as internal turmoil has not ended yet

Regardless of what coalition forms in Iraq, the new government will face the problem of ensuring political stability, government control over non-government groups and encouraging normalization among different ethnic and sectarian elements

In Iraq's first parliamentary elections since the defeat of Daesh, which resulted in nationalist victory, Iran and the United States were the biggest losers

Turkey's balancing role in Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is considering either incorporating the KRG peshmerga into the Iraqi military or keeping it as a minor local force. It is very obvious to what extent this recession troubles the KRG, which has tried to realize self-governance since 1991. It is safe to say that the situation has traumatized the collective memory of Kurdish nationalists.

Turkey's balancing role in Iraq
After Kirkuk What's Next

After Kirkuk, What's Next?

The neo-medieval order in the Middle East creates brand new challenges for policy makers as national, sub-national and trans-national actors are involved in some of the most sophisticated conflicts simultaneously.


The Kurdish nationalists who believe that the time is right for a referendum seem unable to keep their ambitions under control

KRG leader Barzani might find it difficult to keep his seat whether the referendum takes place on Sept. 25 or not

The U.S.'s gameplan with the YPG militants, again, evidently fails to find a solution to the clashes in the region

Trump will focus his time and energy on dismantling Obama's legacy at home and abroad. The question remains whether he, who proved eager to take on the establishment, can overcome the 'institutional' obstacles in his path

Turkey is the main humanitarian actor on the ground spearheading intense shuttle diplomacy with Russia for a peaceful resolution of the Aleppo crisis

The main motive of Turkish-Russian relations is the interdependence in the economy, taking into consideration that bilateral trade between the two countries is quite high.

Turkey has no choice but to implement a counterterrorism policy capable of addressing region-wide challenges related to the de facto unification of Syria and Iraq.

What all sides need to keep in mind is that there can be no lasting defeat for Daesh and others unless Sunni Arabs are adequately represented by the national governments of Syria and Iraq.

If things get out of control, we might brace ourselves for a humanitarian intervention; and it will be in total conformity with the new power politics in the Middle East.