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Institutionalisation of Political Parties: Comparative Cases. Edited by Robert Harmel and Lars G. Svasand

The Role of Emotions and Worldviews in Turkish Crisis Management: The Case of Syria

Helin Sari Ertem

Zehra Gürsoy
Yıldız Technical University

This paper examines how the Syrian civil war has gradually turned into a new foreign policy crisis in Turkey especially after the spread of the Arab Spring to Syria. While trying to present the historical background of this crisis, the paper analyzes the Turkish government’s approach to the issue and its way of decision making in the last three years. The paper argues that, despite the traditional Turkish foreign policy approach that has often been in harmony with the necessities of realpolitik, Turkish government’s policy towards the Syrian civil war has actually reflected an excessively idealist approach, where emotions, accompanied with sectarian inclinations, played a significant role. Choosing Turkey’s latest foreign policy crisis with Syria as case study, the paper aims to scrutinize the ruling AKP’s [Justice and Development Party] crisis management and decision making strategies where the psychological background and worldviews of the political actors are highly influential.
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