Why Headscarves Matter So Much to Turkey

July 30, 2021

Many news outlets carried stories in mid-July of the Turkish government’s condemnation of a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) upholding a ban on headscarves in certain circumstances, in which an employer wishes to convey a “neutral image.” In doing so, it is weighing into the...

To Embrace Biden’s Democracy Agenda, Start With Turkey

June 23, 2021

European Union leaders are getting ready to discuss Turkey once again. The timing of the European Council meeting on June 24-25 is crucial, taking place just after the G7, NATO and EU-US summits. Following four years of discontent between Brussels and Washington, this has been an exercise in...

What Lies Behind Turkey’s Withdrawal From the Istanbul Convention?

April 06, 2021

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree in the early hours of March 20 withdrawing Turkey from the Council of Europe treaty — dubbed the Istanbul Convention — on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence. The convention sets comprehensive standards...

What Would a Biden Victory Spell for US-Turkish Relations?

October 19, 2020

In an interview for a new book from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, US President Donald Trump says: “I get along very well with Erdogan, even though you’re not supposed to because everyone says, ‘What a horrible guy.’” A lot is revealed in that statement. The key lies in the...

Discovery of Natural Gas Exposes Turkey’s Political Rifts

September 01, 2020

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement on August 21 that Turkey had discovered some 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea has exposed the acutely divided domestic political environment in the country. Whereas the pro-Erdogan camp hailed the development as an...

In an Era of Strongman Politics, Turkey Is Hard to Call

April 15, 2020

We are told we live in an era of strongmen. The narrative also runs that these strongmen stick together. From the cozy relationship between China and Russia at the UN Security Council — led by Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin — to the mutual support of the likes of Saudi Crown Prince...

It’s Time to Bury the Myth of Trump the Dealmaker

October 18, 2019

Donald Trump loves to talk about ending the endless US wars that he inherited as president. He tweets about it. He endlessly criticizes his predecessors for their martial mistakes. But like the old saw about the weather, Trump talks a whole lot about endless wars but doesn’t do...

We May Be Better Off Without a Clear Definition of Terrorism

July 23, 2019

In all likelihood, you have an ambiguous understanding of “terrorism.” The average individual can recognize an event as terrorism but, when asked to define the term, is able to offer only the most general of definitions. The reason for this is that terrorism is undefined or, more accurately,...

The Dangers of Going After the Muslim Brotherhood

May 14, 2019

Naming and shaming the Muslim Brotherhood, at considerable diplomatic and social cost and for little discernible benefit, is a policy idea that should never be allowed to see the light of day. It’s a muggy summer morning in Washington, and the United States has just named the Muslim...

Why Turkey Released Pastor Andrew Brunson

October 15, 2018

The American pastor detained for two years in Turkey was as much a symbol as he was a defendant. This was always how it was going to end. US Pastor Andrew Brunson is released, despite being sentenced to a three-year jail term in Turkey, based on time served in detention. He flies home to Andrews...

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