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Turkey's global strategy: Turkey and Syria

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In October 1998 war clouds were gathering over the Syrian-Turkish border. Turkey, in the middle of a gruelling campaign against the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) in its eastern territories, accused Syria of supporting the Kurdish rebels, not least by hosting PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in Damascus. This was the latest incident in a long history of uneasy relations between two neighbours who have held a catalogue of territorial, ideological, political and resource-related grievances that remained unsettled since each state’s creation. Indeed, in fi fty years of independence, no Syrian head of state had ever visited the Turkish capital, Ankara. Now, with the dispatch of 10,000 Turkish troops to the border and Turkish President Suleyman Demeriel’s declaration that Hafez al-Assad, his Syrian counterpart, must face consequences for his support of the PKK, escalation to confl ict appeared inevitable. Yet rather than falling into the abyss, Assad relented. Ocalan was expelled, Syrian support for the PKK ended, and Turkey and Syria quickly signed the Adana accords on 20th October, which marked the beginning of an unexpected new chapter in the previously antagonistic relations between the two neighbours.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43498/1/Turkey%27s%20Global%20Strategy_Turkey%20and%20Syria%28lsero%29.pdf

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