Skip to main content

Turkey shifts toward Iran on Syria

Turkey is resetting its relations with Iran, including over Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) helps Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to stand during a news conference in Ankara November 1, 2013. Turkey and Iran said on Friday they had common concerns about the increasingly sectarian nature of Syria's civil war, signalling a thaw in a key Middle Eastern relationship strained by stark differences over the conflict. Davutoglu expressed his appreciation to Zarif at the start of the news conference for travelling to Turkey despite suffering from b
Read in 

TEHRAN, Iran — What’s going on between Iran and Turkey? Questions are being raised by allies before enemies. The two neighboring, former Islamic empires were thought to be parting with many of their differences over the Syrian crisis, which both regard as a foreign policy priority. Day after day there are indications that Ankara and Iran are heading slowly but surely toward strategic relations, which could result in the countries signing what a source in Tehran described as a “strategic cooperation treaty.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected in Tehran within two weeks. Meanwhile, both countries’ foreign ministers exchanged visits within a short time period; Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Turkey on Jan. 4, while Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was in Tehran a week earlier. As these words are written, Iranian Undersecretary for Arab and African Affairs Hussein Amir Abdulahyan is in Ankara to meet his counterpart. These meetings reflect a high level of coordination between Iran and Turkey. Yet some will ask, what about their differences over Syria?

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.