Turkey’s foreign policy orientation in the water context and the Orontes basin
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CitationKibaroglu A., & Sumer, V. (2015) “Turkey’s foreign policy orientation in the water context and the Orontes basin,” In: R. Ballabio, F.G. Comair, M. Scalet, M. Scoullos (eds.) Science diplomacy and trans-boundary water management. The Orontes River case,” UNESCO, Venice, Italy, ISBN: 9789230000172
This chapter will basically aim at understanding, explaining and analyzing the foreign policy orientation of Turkey in the transboundary waters context. Turkey’s state practices include a rich history of treaty practices, as well as political statements and actions which culminated in regional water governance trends displaying consensus, but in most cases disagreements. The chapter will analyze how harmonizationwiththeEuropeanUnion(EU)hashadimpactsonthetransboundary water policy discourses and practices in Turkey, and how these changes have been reflected in the country’s relations with its neighbors in the Middle East. The Orontes River Basin is presented as a case-study with its geographical features and hydro-political history. In this context, transboundary water politics in the Orontes will be examined with its entrenched complexities. The chapter will focus on the divergent views of Syria and Turkey over the Orontes, the cooperation initiatives taken in the last decade, specifically the proposed “Friendship Dam” project which came to a standstill after the civil war in Syria and consequent deterioration of relations between Turkey and Syria. The chapter will also briefly present the need for a reappraisal of the transboundary water management practices in the basin so that they would favor greater participation of stakeholders which have traditionally been excluded in the region, such as women.