© 2016

Rethinking Turkey-Iraq Relations

The Dilemma of Partial Cooperation


Part of the Middle East Today book series (MIET)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Mehmet Akif Kumral
    Pages 1-34
  3. Mehmet Akif Kumral
    Pages 207-225
  4. Mehmet Akif Kumral
    Pages 227-244
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 245-259

About this book


This book explores key historical episodes to understand the reasons and consequences of the enduring partiality problem in cooperation between Turkey and Iraq. Notwithstanding their mutual material interdependence and common cultural heritage, these two close neighbors have stayed far from achieving comprehensive cooperation. The author examines contextual-discursive dynamics shaping Turkey-Iraq partial cooperation around critical events, such as the Saadabad-Baghdad pacts, the Gulf War, the US Invasion, and the war against ISIS. Leading pro-government Turkish daily newspapers of the period are analyzed to highlight ambivalent ontological-rhetorical modes and ambiguous political narratives-frames that perpetuate paradoxes of partiality in Ankara’s rationalization and contextualization of cooperation with Baghdad and Erbil.


Discursive reasoning Saadabad Pact Baghdad Pact Gulf War Non-Cooperation Asia Asian history cooperation government history interdependence Iraq Middle East rhetoric war

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Middle East Technical UniversityAnkaraTurkey

About the authors

Mehmet Akif Kumral is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Gaziosmanpaşa University-Tokat and Visiting Researcher in International Relations at Middle East Technical University-Ankara, Turkey. He is the author of Hashemite Survival Strategy: The Anatomy of Peace, Security and Alliance Making in Jordan.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“In this richly detailed text, Mehmet Akıf Kumral argues that the dynamics of regional cooperation and non-cooperation are not exhausted or fully explained by looking at material factors or ideational perceptions. Concentrating on relations between Turkey and Iraq over the past century, he shows how different rhetorical deployments, and the operative ontologies that they instantiate, combine and concatenate to generate a complex pattern of partial cooperation, in which logics of identity and interest overlap in sometimes surprising ways. The book illustrates the insights to be gained by focusing on the sense that situated actors make of complex situations.” (Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, Professor of International Studies and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Learning, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC, USA)

„This book with its conceptual and methodological rigor as well as its empirical richness contributes significantly to the study of Turkey’s foreign policy. Dr. Kumral has done a superb job of explaining complexities and dilemmas of Turkey’s relations with Iraq since the 1930s.” (Meliha Benli Altunışık, Professor of International Relations, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey)

“Mehmet Akif Kumral’s work  presents a long-term treatment of Turkish-Iraqi relations that does not have a comparable approach in the extant literature. This book will have a long shelf-life, as it discusses five different important episodes since 1920s.” (Güneş Murat Tezcür, Jalal Talabani Endowed Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, University of Central Florida)