Although the AKP's Iran policy is guided by a core ideological stance, Iran's Turkey policy is at core shaped by national interests.
Since Turkey's Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) formed a government in 2002, relations with Iran have undergone a dramatic transformation. It is often assumed that in this relationship, Iran acts with ideological motives, while the AKP pursues national interests in an effort to make Turkey a regional power in the Middle East. Yet, an analysis of the two countries' policies reveals that in fact the reverse is true: while the AKP's Iran policy is guided by a core ideological stance, Iran's Turkey policy is at core shaped by national interests.
© IHS (Global) Limited, Jane's Strategic Advisory Services. Reproduced with permission.
Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Alex Vatanka is a scholar at the Middle East Institute.