New Book Examines Modern Relations Between Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia


A newly published book takes a timely look at the intersection of the relations between Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as U.S. influence and involvement declines in the Middle East.

Aspiring Powers, Regional Rivals: Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the new Middle East, co-authored and edited by Gönül Tol and David Dumke, was published in December, 2019, through the Middle Eastern Institute (MEI). Dumke currently serves a director of the Office of Global Perspectives and International Initiatives. Tol leads MEI’s Center for Turkish Studies.

The book examines the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey in the early 2000s under now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and how the Arab uprisings of 2010-12 shaped the administration’s Middle East policy. By 2015, Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia had allied together against an increasingly resurgent Iran and earned the collective nickname the “Sunni vanguard.”

Leadership between the three countries hold conflicting visions for the region, however, and are pursing aggressive policies to implement them. The book unpacks the relationship between the three countries and assesses the likelihood the trio will unite to address regional problems. Contributors include Hakan Özoğlu, Ph.D., professor of history and director of Middle Eastern Studies at UCF.

“This project is important in its own right, shedding light on the changing Middle East in a new era. But it is also important for UCF. MEI is a well-known and highly respected entity. Our partnership with MEI allows our faculty to engage with top regional experts and gives us a platform to reach broader audiences in the foreign policy-making realm,” said Dumke. For instance, Hakan Özoğlu, Ph.D., Professor of History and Director of Middle Eastern Studies at UCF, contributed a chapter to the book.


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