The limits of Turkish soft power and mediation capability: a comparative case study of Turkish involvement in Syria and Somalia
Haskin, Michelle Wren (2014) The limits of Turkish soft power and mediation capability: a comparative case study of Turkish involvement in Syria and Somalia. [Thesis]
Turkey's involvement in Somalia is a shining example of its use of soft power, with Somalis themselves providing the strongest endorsement. Meanwhile, Turkey's engagement with Syria started out promising, but hopes for the regime were brutally dashed with the start of the civil war and Turkey's switch to supporting the opposition. Despite the importance of these two conflicts to Turkey's foreign policy and mediation strategy, there is a dearth of academic literature about Turkish involvement in both of these conflicts, much less a direct comparison of both. This comparative case study describes Turkey's ongoing involvement in Somalia and Syria in more detail and takes this description further by comparing these specific cases to gain insight into Turkey's overall intervention strategy, specifically focusing on mediation capabilities. Turkey's involvement in conflicts before they reach the peak of violence or after violence has subsided has been successful, as demonstrated by the Somalia case. On the other hand, when Turkey attempts to become involved during the peak of a violent conflict, as it has in Syria, it cannot utilize the soft power tools it needs for a successful intervention such as educational exchanges, infrastructure development, and economic cooperation. Suggestions for future research indicate that Turkey should more closely track its involvement in various regional conflicts in order to feed this knowledge into its wider mediation strategy.
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