The Syrian refugee challenge and Turkey's quest for normative power in the Middle East

Oktav Ö. Z. , Celikaksoy A.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol.70, no.3, pp.408-420, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0020702015584305
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.408-420


This article examines the Syrian refugee challenge as a case study in order to understand the inherent contradictions evident in Turkey's efforts to exert normative power in the Middle East. The article is divided into two sections. The first part examines how Turkey has attempted to transform itself from a country that has in the past been accused by elements in the West of lacking [the] standards of [a] civilization into a candidate for full European Union (EU) membership. The second part assesses the three main challenges to Ankara's efforts as they are revealed through its response to the Syrian refugee crisis.