The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which came to power in 2002, has increasingly been using aid as an instrument of foreign policy, including in the Arab world. This increased with the Arab uprisings and has peaked with the ongoing civil war in Syria, reaching $2 billion in 2012. Despite substantial changes in the amount and geographical coverage of aid after the 'Arab Spring', there are also substantive continuities in Turkey's aid policy. The AKP has been focused on security and stability, and on consolidating power among new regimes. The direction of aid has thus followed that of regional foreign policy, and the government's interests have been given an ideational framing through notions of historical and cultural affinity and responsibility.