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Middle East in Transformation: Role of Turkey, and Place of Armenians

Middle East is currently in the stage of change, yet the final image of the region is hardly predictable now. After the Arab spring, Islamic forces will enter political arena, with U.S. increasing involvement in regional developments. There are some signs that all the recent changes will lead to the Islamists' success. Egypt is the first example of this. The West is trying to redirect the current situation to an outcome that will be favorable to its interests. Turkey is active in the region as well. Ankara is trying to influence developments, especially in Syria. Therefore, a tense political struggle between various political forces is taking place in the Middle East. There are three types of force: pro-Islamic, pro-Western and Turkish.

Role of Turkey

Turkey will intensify presence in Middle East. By approving NATO radar deployment, Ankara struck a deal with Washington, in exchange being allowed to strengthen its presence in Middle East. On the one hand, Turkey as a NATO member is still playing for the Western team. On the other hand, present-day Turkey is headed by Recep Erdogan and has its own objectives in the Middle East, trying to balance them and NATO interests. But Ankaras interests are the priority for it. The authorities of Turkey have established close ties with pro-Islamic forces fighting Assads regime in Syria. Therefore, Turkey is playing its own role in the region, relying on its own abilities. Turkey is trying to revive lost structures of the Ottoman Empire, which included Arab countries and peoples. Turkey is the only country in the world that is supporting the antigovernment protests in Syria. All these Arab countries, passing through a transition period, have to use Turkeys help and forget about preferences and dislikes of an historical nature.

I think it can only be an indirect invasion of the Turkish army to Syria, and sanctions by NATO are needless. Turkey is warning about the establishment of a sanitary cordon at the Syrian border, and maybe this cordon will be moved to Syrian territory. It will be an indirect occupation. Erdogan threatens Assad with overthrowing the regime, but Turkey does not intend to do it by force, it will use the Syrian opposition. However, there is a sensible circumstance. Syria owns major stocks of chemical weapons, which were developed in case Israel attacks Syria with a nuclear weapon. If the situation in Syria continues to worsen, the question will arise: what should they do with this chemical weapon arsenal? I think Turkey can launch its army to prevent radical Islamist groups from taking the arsenal, thus, Turkish troops will be launched into Syria only with this aim.

Thus, when we speak of Davutoglus zero problems with neighbors idea, we can immediately assert that no such thing really exists. In reality, the Turkish press and public think that this policy has failed, because Turkey actually does not have zero problems with neighbors, but has zero neighbors without problems. Turkeys relations with Israel, Syria, Cyprus and considering that, with the whole EU testify to that. Turkish-Armenian relations have also regressed recently. Therefore, it is obvious that Turkeys relations with neighbors do not really correspond to zero problems slogan and it is logical that they just want to get rid of that. Today we are also witnessing the collapse of the Israeli-Turkish strategic union, which was established and motivated by the USA. Israeli politicians are using the fact of the Armenian genocide as a response to the hard Turkish position. This could lead to Israeli and Armenian organizations coming closer together, not only in Turkey, but also in the US. However, despite the political environment, every Jew has a stereotype that history saw one fact of genocide only - the Holocaust. Thus, if a bill on recognition of the Armenian genocide appears in the Knesset, which is doubtful, Israeli deputies will consider not only the political side of the issue, but also the moral and psychological aspects of the Holocaust's unique character.

Place of Armenians
It is true that Armenia is a part of the region. However, our country has different political and cultural traditions; at the same time, it is involved in the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Considering this fact, the developments in Arab countries will not touch Armenia. On the other hand, because of the recent revolutions, the position of the Armenian Diaspora has worsened in these countries. The new authorities of Egypt do not prevent Muslims from attacking Egyptian Copts. The ruling regime of Bashar Assad provided Armenians with favorable living conditions in Syria. Now it is difficult to say what will happen after the overthrow of the regime.