ABOUT THE AUTHORS
 
 
 
Mkrtich Karapetyan
 
 
 
Mkrtich Karapetyan is born in Yerevan, Armenia, received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Oriental Studies from Yerevan State University, studied Arabic at Arabic Teaching Institute For Non - Arabic Speakers in Damascus, as well as at Higher Language Institute of Damascus University, later on entered Master's studies in Modern and Contemporary History at Tishreen University in Latakia, Syria, but did not complete the studies, since I was forced to leave Syria because of the war. In 2014 I was accepted to do PhD in the Faculty of Political Science at University of Bucharest. Middle Eastern politics and particularly Turkish-Syrian relations are my main topics of interest.
 
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Journal of Liberty and International Affairs | Vol. 4, No. 3 | January 2019
 
 
 
THE ALEVI / ALAWITE FACTOR IN TURKEY - SYRIA RELATIONS IN THE LIGHT OF THE SYRIAN CRISIS
Mkrtich Karapetyan
 
 
 
 
Abstract
 
The Syrian civil war exacerbated sectarian divisions between the Alawite-ruled Syrian government and Syria's Sunni population, straining also the relations between the Sunni majority and Alawite and Alevi minorities of the neighboring Turkey. The Alawites and Alevis of Turkey were predominantly supporting Syria's president Bashar al-Asad, while the Turkish government greatly supported the Sunni insurgents of Syria. The paper aims at examining how Alawites and Alevis have influenced the relations between Turkey and Syria in the light of the Syrian civil war, the reasons behind the sympathy of Alevis for the Syrian government and the implications that Turkey's Syria policy has had domestically. It finds that the Alevi / Alawite factor has had some restraining effects on Turkey's antagonistic policy towards Syria. In the introductory part, the article touches upon the differences and the similarities between Alevis and Alawites, then it analyzes the developments in regards Turkey's policy towards the Syrian crisis that were also reflected in Ankara's domestic policy vis-a-vis its Alevi and Alawite minorities.
 
 
Keywords
 
Turkey - Syria relations; Alevis; Alawites; Syrian crisis; sectarian policies
 
 
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