A Turkish perspective on the Syrian Crisis and the fight against Daesh

Ds Centre for Policy Studies organized a panel session on both international and national security problems caused by the crisis in Syria in collaboration with Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

The growing extremism on the basis of sectarian dimension across the world lure thousands of young people from several countries including the most developed and least developed ones as the militant movements have found safe havens in war-torn countries like Syria following the Arab Spring that euphorically swept across the region. In adverse, the growing threat, posed by the militant groups like Al-Qaida, Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) through recruiting ‘foreign fighters’ from both the regional and international actors have brought about the questions of ‘why people join the militant groups Lebanon-based Shiite group Hezbollah’ ‘what governments can do to preclude their citizens from flowing,’ ‘how the war-torn countries cause border troubles for neighboring countries like Turkey,’ ‘how the regional governments can cooperate,’ and ‘what non-governmental organizations contribute the efforts of the government.’ 


Since the influx of foreign fighters to several different and warring groups which is considered as an international security problem has been posing a national threat to Turkey, DS Centre organized a joint event with Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) to question the reasons of this trending issue and possible solutions through cooperation among the international community.


The panelists of the invitation-only, off the record event, Professor Gülnur Aybet, Fatma Ceren Yazgan and Micheal Stephens, discussed regional developments, focusing on growing radicalism in the region and the fight against DAESH. The panelists also touched on the relations between Turkey, Syrian Kurds and the PKK, as well as security issues, the fight against DAESH and the flow of foreign fighters. The discussion was moderated by the director of International Security Studies at RUSI, Raffaello Pantucci.



Panelists' Biography


    ▪       Fatma Ceren Yazgan, Deputy Director for Security Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ankara, Turkey

    ▪       Professor Gülnur Aybet, Head Dean of International Relations Department / Bahçeþehir University

    ▪       Michael Stephens, Research Fellow for Middle East studies and Head of RUSI Qatar



Fatma Ceren Yazgan is deputy director for security affairs at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in where she joined in 1993. She served at the Turkish Embassies in Muscat, Kiev and Moscow as well as at the Turkish Permanent Mission to the OSCE. Ms. Yazgan has worked at bilateral political desks (EFTA countries; Americas) as well as at the Directorate for Security and Intelligence.


Prof Gülnur Aybet is Professor and Head of Department of Political Science and International Relations at Bahçeþehir University. She was founding Head of Department of International Relations at Özyeðin University in 2013-14.  She was also Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Kent, England in 2001-2013 and Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Nottingham, England.


Partner Institute:


The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is an independent think tank engaged in cutting edge defence and security research. A unique institution, founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, RUSI embodies nearly two centuries of forward thinking, free discussion and careful reflection on defence and security matters.