Turbulence in Mideast

The history of the Middle East in the post-colonial era has been one of wars and conflicts with long-standing regional antagonisms and rivalries that show no signs of abating.

By (Samaoen Osman, by email)

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Published: Wed 29 Oct 2014, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:19 AM

The answers to the challenge that wars and conflicts pose cannot emerge from unilateral approaches, but through processes of wider consultation and cooperation among regional and international actors.

Turkey is now neighbouring two broken and dysfunctional states, Syria and Iraq, which have failed to provide good governance to their people and enabled radicalised forces to become major determinants of regional politics.

As Turkey contends with the challenges that its neighbours pose, one cannot fail to notice that tensions are rising externally between Turkey and the international community, and domestically between the
Turkish government and its Kurdish population.

Worse still, Turkey has not engaged very effectively in dialogue with influential local, regional and international stakeholders who can shape the region in ways consonant with Turkish national interests.

Proxy antagonism between Turkey and Iran in Syria and political tensions arising from differences between Turkey
and the US over how the Syrian civil war should be addressed have clearly weakened the prospect of cooperation or
mutual trust between these major players.

The other stakeholders have failed just as badly in communicating effectively and sharing a common vision for the future. Instead, they have consistently resorted to unilateral approaches and in many instances to a zero-sum understanding of Middle Eastern affairs.

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