A Turkish Perspective on the Syrian Crisis and the fight against Daesh

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As the ramifications of the Syrian crisis have become increasingly relevant within Turkey’s political debate, this timely roundtable will examine the Turkish perspective on the impact of the Syrian crisis on the country’s security.

Over the past months, Turkey has more frequently discussed the crisis in Syria in the context of the flow of foreign fighters and of the activities of Daesh (the self-declared Islamic State) on both sides of the Syrian-Turkish border. Ankara perceives it has being doing its part to weaken ISIS, pointing at how the country has launched a series of operations aimed at identifying and stopping potential foreign fighters seeking to cross from Western countries into Syria to join Daesh, besides coordinating with the US-led coalition to launch bombing raids against the group’s militants in Syria. However, international partners and allies have criticised Turkish authorities for not doing enough to stop the influx of militants into Syria, and for using anti-Daesh operations as an excuse to target Kurdish groups, both in Turkey and in Syria, reducing the chances for the fight against the group to succeed. In this event, a panel of experts will provide an account of Turkey’s perspective and strategic interests in relation to the country’s role in the Syrian crisis and in the fight against Daesh.


  • Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Deputy Director for Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, Turkey
  • Professor Gülnur Aybet, Head Dean of International Relations Department / Bahçeþehir University
  • Michael Stephens, Research Fellow for Middle East studies and Head of RUSI Qatar

The panel will be moderated by Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at RUSI.

Fatma Ceren Yazgan is deputy director for security affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in where she joined in 1993. She served at the Turkish Embassies in Muscat, Kiev and Moscow as well as at the Turkish Permanent Mission to the OSCE. Ms. Yazgan has worked at bilateral political desks (EFTA countries; Americas) as well as at the Directorate for Security and Intelligence.

Prof Gülnur Aybet is Professor and Head of Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bahçeþehir University. She was founding Head of Department of International Relations at Özyeðin University in 2013-14.  She was also Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent, England in 2001-2013 and Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Nottingham, England.

In association with http://www.dailysabah.com/

To register for this event please email Sajid Ali, Event Manager on sajida@rusi.org.

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