The Effect of Kurdish Variable on Turkish Foreign Policy toward Syria After 2011

Abstract

There are a set of internal and external variables that influence through various forms in shaping the foreign policies of countries. The Kurdish presence in Turkey and Syria is a clear example of this which affected the accounts, decisions, and orientations of Turkish foreign policy towards Syria, especially after 2011. Historically, in the 1980s and 1990s, when Syria supported the "PKK", which is an existential threat to Turkey and its national security, Turkey adopted a policy of strict nature towards Syria to reach the brink of war, until the matter was settled in the 1990s. After the Syrian revolution in 2011, the Kurdish variable returned to impact strongly the Turkish foreign policy towards Syria after the growing influence of both the Kurds of Syria and the "PKK", and their intent to establish an independent federal entity in Syria, which raised Turkish fears, that turned into political and military reactions, especially in northern Syria, to contain this threat.