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Re-adapting to Changing Middle Eastern Politics: The Modification in  Turkey’s Actor Perception and Turkey-Free Syrian Army (FSA) Relations

Mustafa Yetim and Tamer Kaşıkcı


This article investigates the current modification in Turkey’s actor perception according to the Middle East’s changing dynamics. Clarifying the shift in Turkish foreign policy under the Justice and Development Party (JDP) and the emergent structural realities in the Middle East as a result of increasing agency of the violent non-state actors (VNSAs) in the aftermath of several Arab revolutions, the current article scrutinizes the adaption of Turkish foreign policy to these regional realities. In this context, to prove Turkey’s active orientation toward the recent regional environment, its exceptional engagement with one of the important VNSAs, namely the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or Syrian National Army (SNA), has been empirically examined. Within this background, the current resurrection of the VNSAs in the Middle East and regional-global actors’ reactions to this reality will also be analyzed. Afterward, Turkey’s unique and swift compliance with this reality and the consequent modification of its actor perception will be explored.

Keywords: Turkey, Free Syrian Army (FSA), Violent Non-State Actors, Arab revolutions

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pp. 193–209