Turkey and the Arab Spring

  • Yoko Nakamura


The wave of popular uprisings that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread to numerous countries in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011 is now commonly known as the Arab Spring. These uprisings took politicians, policymakers, intelligence agents, and scholars alike by surprise (see, for example, Bayat, 2013), thus requiring international actors to scramble for a response and to reorient their foreign policies. Turkey was not an exception. This chapter, which explores Turkey’s foreign policy during the Arab Spring, is divided into two parts. The first presents Turkey’s response to the uprisings in four countries—Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria. The second draws on these cases to discuss two debates that have emerged: (1) the seeming failure of Turkey’s ‘zero problems with neighbours’ policy and (2) charges of sectarianism against Turkey.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoko Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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