Another "Third Way" to Narrate the Existing Alliances in the Middle East: Turkey-Qatar, Saudi Arabia-UAE, and Iran-Syria

YETİM M., Telci I. N.

JOURNAL OF BALKAN AND NEAR EASTERN STUDIES, vol.25, no.3, pp.484-505, 2023 (SSCI) identifier identifier


For some time, the three-alliance reality consisting of Turkey-Qatar, Saudi Arabia-United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran-Syria shaped the socio-political relations in the Middle East region. Therefore, tracking the principal factors behind the emergence and recent stability of these dominant alliances informs the theoretical and empiric dimensions of this study. In this context, this study displays the different motivations of the mentioned countries in these three alliances by drawing primarily on the challenging approach of May Darwich. Darwich's analysis of the alliances with the recognition of equal weight on the ideational and material forces, albeit their varying impacts on the decision-making process, and her subsequent four-case scenario enabled intriguing and required elucidation of the divergent concerns of the countries in the formation of these alliances. Accordingly, this study finds that while some countries like Iran and Syria privilege material threats over ideational ones, other allied countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia mostly concentrate on the elimination of ideational threats. Furthermore, Darwich's approach helps us to find out mainly material-first orientation of Turkey's partnership with Qatar, whereas Qatar's case implies a somewhat unique example with its equal consideration of both concerns.