Document Type : Original Article
Assistant Professor of Political Geography, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran
Full Professor of Political Geography, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran
PhD Student of Military Geography, Imam Hossein University, Tehran, Iran
In recent years, the speed of events, changes, and competitions has accelerated in West Asia. Meanwhile, the challenge between Iran and Turkey is one of the most important competitions which undoubtedly plays an important role in determining the future of the region, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean. With the power growth of Turkey in different aspects and its growing interference in the region especially in the Eastern Mediterranean such as Syria’s crisis has also accelerated the current transitions. Furthermore, consequences of increase in the regional power of Turkey on Iran’s national interests are so important from the security perspective which obviously represents the contrast and the confrontation of these two countries. In this article we are to examine security consequences and the impact of Turkey's regional power growth from 2002 to 2014 on Iran’s interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
By a descriptive-analytic approach as well as field research (using questionnaire), we have investigated the consequences of Turkey’s regional power increase on Iran’s interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The findings of this paper show that, all in all, under the AKP rule, Turkey has had a general increase in interior and exterior power and policy as well as economic and cultural power during 2002-2014. Meanwhile, in this period, the officials of the country have paid more attention to West Asia and tried to pose as an influential regional power. Moreover, the findings indicate that in recent years Turkey has paid special attention to the Eastern Mediterranean where Iran's national interests are absolutely vital and crucial. However, despite the fact that by 2014 Turkey has had considerable accomplishments on a large number of internal and external political, economic, cultural factors, from 2014 onwards, it has adopted an irresponsible and unconstructive approach in the role of a regional power in the context of violent conflicts and crises, and has become a source of insecurity and instability in the region. So, it gradually faces serious problems due to the mistakes in the dynamics of domestic and foreign policy. Intense security atmosphere in the country because of such mistakes has led Turkey to insecurity and instability.
Analysis of the data is as follows: The respondents' response to items 67 to 72 to evaluate the role of Islamic Republic of Iran in the East Mediterranean shows that 62% of respondents believe that the increase in Turkey's regional power in Eastern Mediterranean has weakened Iran's power pattern. In contrast, 26% believe that such an increase in Turkey's power has not undermined Iran's position. Their response to items 73 to 75 to assess Iran's influence in the Eastern Mediterranean shows that 64% of respondents believe that Turkey's power increase in Eastern Mediterranean has reduced Iran's influence. In contrast, 25% of them believe that such an increase has not led to a decrease in Iran's influence. The respondents' response to items 76 to 80 to evaluate the role of Iran in the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of the balance of power in the region shows that 75% of them believe that Turkey's rising power in the region has resulted in the detriment of the power balance of Iran, on the other hand, 15% don't believe in such an outcome. Their response to items 81 to 87 to assess Iran's role in the Eastern Mediterranean with respect to security arrangements in the region indicates that 65% of respondents believe that increase in Turkey's regional power has weakened Iran's position. On the contrary, 24% don't believe in such an idea.
The results of this research showed that Turkey's regional power increase in the Eastern Mediterranean from 2002 to 2014 has led to important security consequences against Iran such as a weakening pattern, decreasing in the influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, changing the balance of power, and changing Iran’s security preferences.