The article starts by stressing the distinctive features of Turkish-Iranian relations. It argues that in order to understand the different stages in Turkish-Iranian relations one needs to define the fine line between competition and rivalry, which are usually used interchangeably. It explains the common concerns that united and fostered cooperation between Turkey and Iran as well as the differences that persisted after the US invasion of Iraq. Delineating under what sort of conditions Turkey emerged as a competitor in Iraq, it evaluates the main instruments Ankara and Tehran employed in their efforts to affect the future of that country. In an effort to explain why this competition heightened, carrying the risk of transforming the two countries' relationship to a rivalry, it elaborates on both countries' approaches and concerns vis-à-vis Syria and the role of the US in shaping the two countries' interactions.
As an example see, Soner Cagaptay, “Turkish-Iranian Rivalry Redux,” Hurriyet Daily News , October 11, 2011, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-iranian-rivalry-redux.aspx?pageID=449&nID=7422&NewsCatID=424.
S. Gulden Ayman, “Turkiye-Iran İliskilerinde Kimlik, Guvenlik, Isbirligi ve Rekabet,” Faruk Sönmezoglu, Nurcan Özgür Baklacioglu Ozlem Terzi der., 21 inci Yüzyilda Turk Dis Politikasi Analizi, Istanbul, Der, 2012, 547–591.
For the balance of threat theory see Stephen M. Walt, “Alliance Formation and the Balance of World Power,” International Security 9:4 (Spring, 1985), 3–43.
Karl Deutsch and J. David Singer define stability at system level as “the probability that the system retains all of its essential characteristics; that no single nation becomes dominant; that most of its members continue to survive; and that large-scale war does not occur.” See, Karl W. Deutsch and J. David Singer, “Multipolar Power Systems and International Stability,” World Politics 16:3 (1964), 390–406 at 390–391.
In 1635, Sultan Murad IV invaded Revan, Erivan and Baghdad. As Iran demanded peace, in Kasr-i Sirin a treaty was signed. According to the Treaty, Baghdad, Bedre, Hassan, Hanikin, Mendeli, Derne and Sermenel would be given to the Ottomans, while Derbe, Azerbaycan and Revan were left to Iran. This treaty had been invalid until 1722 and after the war ended in 1747, it started to be used again.
Gokhan Cetinsaya, “Essential Friends and Natural Enemies: The Historic Roots of Turkish-Iranian Relations,” Middle East Review of International Affairs 7:3 (September 2003), 116–132.
For Kurdish Rebellions see, Ugur Umit Ungor, The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913–1950 , (Oxford University Press, 2011).
Michael M. Gunter, “Turkey and Iran Face off in Kurdistan,” Middle East Quarterly (March 1998), 33–40.
For more information about pan-Islamism, see Jacob M. Landau, The Politics of Pan-Islam: Ideology and Organization (Clarendon Press, 1990).
Afshin Marashi, “Performing the Nation: The Shah's Official Visit to Kemalist Turkey, June to July 1934,” in Stephanie Cronin, ed., The Making of Modern Iran (London: Routledge, 2003), 99–119.
For Iran's policy of supporting and inciting Islamic terrorist activity in Turkey in the early 1990s see, Cumhuriyet, June 23–24, 1993.
Gokhan Cetinsaya, “Cumhuriyet Donemi Turkiye-Iran Iliskileri,” in Mehmet Tuncel, ed., Ortadogu'daki Guc Savaslari: Hedef Neden Iran? (Istanbul: Etkilesim Yayinlari, 2008), 166.
Gareth Jenkins, Occasional Allies, Enduring Rivals: Turkey's Relations with Iran , Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Silk Road Studies Program, (May 2012), 16.
Philip Robbins, “Turkish Foreign Policy Under Erbakan,” Survival 39:2 (1997), 82–100.
Henri J. Barkey, Turkey and Iraq, The Perils (and Prospects) of Proximity , United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Special Report, No. 141 (July 2005), 4–7.
Nihat Ali Ozcan and Ozgur Ozdamar, “Iran's Nuclear Program and Future of U.S.-Iranian Relations,” Middle East Policy 16:1 (2009), 101–117.
For a more detailed discussion on the topic, see S. Gulden Ayman, “Iranian Nuclear Crisis and Turkey,” Quaderni di Relazioni Internazionali, Semestrale dell'Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionali (ISPI), No. 12 (April 2010), 85–98; S. Gulden Ayman, “An Analysis of Turkish Mediation in the Middle East in an Era of Turmoil,” Dis Politika—Foreign Policy 40th Anniversary Issue , XXXVII:3–4 (2011), 7–25.
For a detailed analysis of the Iranian view of Iraq, see Kayhan Barzegar, “Iran's Foreign Policy in Post-invasion Iraq,” Middle East Policy XV:4 (Winter 2008), 47–58.
See “Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan to Further Expand Trade Cooperation,” Fars News , June 10, 2013, http://english2.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9203180902; and “Iran, Iraq's Kurdistan Region Start Direct Flight,” ICCIMA, Fars News, March 16, 2013, http://en.iccim.ir/news/iccima-news-bulletin/iran-economy-bulletin/item/6656-iran-iraqs-kurdistan-region-start-direct-fights.html.
Abdullah Bozkurt, “Turkey and Hydrocarbons in Iraq,” Today's Zaman , January 14, 2013, http://www.todayszaman.com/columnists/abdullah-bozkurt-304033-turkey-and-hydrocarbons-in-iraq.html.
Henri J. Barkey, Turkey's New Engagement in Iraq Embracing Iraqi Kurdistan , United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Special Report No. 237 (May 2010).
Kenneth M. Pollack, Testimony: “Prospects for Increased Iranian Influence in Iraq,” Brookings , November 15, 2011, http://www.brookings.edu/research/testimony/2011/11/15-iran-iraq-pollack.
Lale Kemal, “Erdogan to Obama: You left Iraq in Iran's hands,” Today's Zaman , March 21, 2012, http://www.todayszaman.com/columnists/lale-kemal-274942-erdogan-to-obama-you-left-iraq-in-irans-hands.html.
“Remarks by the President and First Lady on the End of the War in Iraq,” The White House, December 14, 2013, www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/14/remarks-president-and-first-lady-end-war-iraq.
Ramzy Mardini, “Iraq's Post-Withdrawal Crisis,” Update 1, December 15–19, 2011, Institute for the Study of War, December 19, 2011, http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/iraqs-post-withdrawal-crisis-update-1-december-15-19-2011.
John Calabrese, “Turkey and Iran: Limits of a Stable Relationship,” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 25:1 (May, 1998), 75–94, 90–93.
S. Gulden Ayman, “Regional Aspirations and Limits of Power-Turkish-Iranian Relations in the New Middle East,” Etudes Helléniques/Hellenic Studies , Special Issue, Turkey in Search of Regional Hegemony in the Eastern Mediterranean (Spring 2012), 85–115.
Jonathan Andrews, “Kurdistan to Increase Oil Production Fivefold,” The Report Company , September 19, 2013, http://www.the-report.net/iraq/kurdistan-region-sep2013/668-oil-kurdistan-to-increase-oil-production-fivefold.
Turkey's state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) has been active in Iraq since 1994 and won contracts for the development of the Badra and Missan Oil Fields in 2009 and gas development contracts for the Siba and Mansuriya gas fields in 2010. In 2010, Turkey and Iraq renewed the duration of this oil pipeline deal for another 15 years.
“Turkey Hits Back at Iraq in Kirkuk Visit Controversy,” Today's Zaman , August 3, 2012, http://www.todayszaman.com/news-288541-turkey-hits-back-at-iraq-in-kirkuk-visit-controversy.html.
Samir Yousif, “The Near East: Reflections on Possible Geopolitical Futures,” Open Democracy , January 14, 2013, http://www.opendemocracy.net/samir-yousif/near-east-reflections-on-possible-geopolitical-futures.
“Turkey Shot Down Syrian Helicopter at Border, Deputy PM Says,” Hurriyet Daily News , September 26, 2013, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-shot-down-syrian-helicopter-at-border-deputy-pm-says.aspx?pageID=238&nID=54538&NewsCatID=352.
Joe Parkinson, Nour Malas and Ayla Albayrak, “A Violent Year in the Life of the Syria-Turkey Border,” The Wall Street Journal , November 20, 2013, http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303661404579179760868678206.
Ofra Bengio, “A Kurdish Awakening in Iran,” Haaretz , October 26, 2012, http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/a-kurdish-awakening-in-iran.premium-1.472442.
Fayez Sarah, “Iraq and Iran Aligned on Syria,” Al Monitor, The Pulse of the Middle East , November 9, 2012, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/11/iraq-steps-into-irans-line-on-syria-policy.html.
“Iran Resumes Exporting Goods to Iraqi Kurdistan,” Payvand Iran News, IRNA , March 26, 2013, http://www.payvand.com/news/13/mar/1190.html.
Reza Kahlili, “Iran Warns Turkey to Butt Out of Syria,” FoxNews.com , July 25, 2011, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/07/25/iran-warns-turkey-to-butt-out-syria/.
“Bülent Arinc'tan Iran'a Elestiri,” TRT Haber , February 6, 2013, http://www.trthaber.com/haber/gundem/bulent-arincin-elestirdigi-iki-ulke-27306.html.
Kemal, “Erdoǧan to Obama: You left Iraq in Iran's Hands.”
Joshua Kucera, “Turkey Dismisses Iranian Threat Against NATO Missile Shield,” Eurasianet , December 13, 2011, http://www.eurasianet.org/node/64686.
Siamak Kakayi, “Deployment of NATO Patriot Missiles in Turkey, a Declaration of War on Syria,” Tehran Times , December 28, 2012, http://tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/52-guests/104463-deployment-of-nato-patriot-missiles-in-turkey-a-declaration-of-war-on-syria.
Michael Gunter, “Reopening Turkey's Closed Kurdish Opening?,” Middle East Policy Council 20:2 (Summer 2013), 88–98.
Kadri Gürsel, “Turkey's Kurdish Peace Initiative Linked to Syria,” Al Monitor, The Pulse of the Middle East , March 18, 2013, http://www.almonitor.com/pulse/fa/contents/articles/opinion/2013/03/erdogan-peace-imrali-process-ocalan-kurdish-issue.html. See also, Bill Park “Turkey's Multiple Kurdish Dilemmas—Syria, Iraq and at Home; How They Are Related, and Where They Might Lead,” ORSAM, Ortadogu Etutleri 5:1 (July 2013), 41–63, www.orsam.org.tr/en/enUploads/Article/Files/201396_makale2.pdf.
Oray Egin, “The Game Changer: Syria, Iran, and Kurdish Independence,” World Affairs , May/June 2013, http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/article/game-changer-syria-iran-and-kurdish-independence.
Bayram Sinkaya, “Iran Cautious of Turkey's Kurdish Approach,” Al Monitor, The Pulse of the Middle East , March 20, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2013/03/iran-cautious-turkey-kurds.html.
Joanna Paraszczuk, “Iran Feature: Kurdish Movement PJAK Threatens President Rouhani with a ‘Second Syria’,” EAWorldView , August 19, http://eaworldview.com/2013/08/iran-today-kurdish-pjak-leader-threatens-rouhani/.
“Syrian Refugees in Turkish Camps Reach 200,000,” World Bulletin , November 20, 2013, http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=123301.
Edward N. Luttwak, “In Syria, America Loses if Either Side Wins,” The New York Times , August 24, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/in-syria-america-loses-if-either-side-wins.html?_r=0.
Oytun Orhan, “Turkey Should Consider a Political Solution in Syria,” Al Monitor, The Pulse of the Middle East , March 8, 2013, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/tr/contents/articles/politics/2013/03/turkey-syria-solution.html.