Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

Inheriting a legacy of imperial competition, the Turkey-Iran rivalry today manifests itself through the contest for leadership of the Arab Middle East, and Muslim hearts and minds more generally. The authors contend that Turkey and Iran’s relationship transcends the boundaries of amity or enmity that traditionally define actors in the modern Middle East state system. Rather, Ankara and Tehran have been able to successfully compartmentalize elements of their rivalry while strengthening bilateral ties and expanding areas of economic cooperation. The authors posit that the present-day Turko-Iranian relationship falls in the category of neither friend nor enemy, but rather that of frenemy.

CONTRIBUTOR
Merve Tahiroğlu & Behnam Ben Taleblu
Merve Tahiroğlu & Behnam Ben Taleblu Merve Tahiroğlu is a Research Associate focusing on Turkey at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). Behnam Ben Taleblu is an Iran Research Analyst at FDD. Both are based in Washington, DC.
From the Desk of the Editor Since the founding of the Turkish Republic, competing conceptions of Turkish identity have existed. Among many examples, the role of Islam has been contested, Kurdish and Turkish nationalisms have clashed, and various identity-based movements have ebbed and flowed, shaping political cleavages. National identity contestation has also spilled over into Turkey’s relationship with its Western...
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