Nathaniel Handy

Nathaniel Handy is a writer and academic with over ten years of experience in international print and broadcast media. He is the author of the chapter “Turkey’s Evolving Relations with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq since the Arab Spring” in Turkey’s Relations with the Middle East: Political Encounters after the Arab Spring (Isiksal & Goksel, Springer, 2018); the article “Turkey's Shifting Relations with its Middle East Neighbors During the Davutoglu Era: History, Power and Policy” (Bilgi Dergisi Journal, 2011); and he presented a paper at the British Society of Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) annual conference in 2014 on Turkish relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. He holds an MA in Middle East Studies from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.

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

Oct 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...

The Tangled Maps of Greece and Turkey

Sep 07, 2020

A person sitting at a café in the small town of Kaş, on Turkey’s southern coast, where the Taurus Mountains drop precipitously into the Mediterranean, would look out upon a blue bay and a small island. If they asked the waiter, he would tell them that the island — almost...

Turkey Takes on the UAE in Palestine

Aug 25, 2020

The news that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering suspending ties with the UAE over its deal to recognize Israel reinforces the battle lines of the Middle East. The announcement nevertheless comes as little surprise. The Palestinian cause seems destined to be eternally used by others as an instrument...

Why Making Hagia Sophia a Mosque Again Is Good News

Jul 14, 2020

The reaction to the decision by Turkish authorities to turn Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque has been illuminating. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is accused of playing religious politics. If so, he is not alone. When Pope Francis describes himself as “pained” by the news and...

Turkey Secures a Reprieve in Libya

Jun 09, 2020

The announcement on June 4 that forces of Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) had regained full control of the capital, Tripoli, could be viewed as an apparent victory for Turkish foreign policy in the eastern Mediterranean. Renegade General Khalifa Haftar is in retreat, Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries are...

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

Apr 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...

Turkey Joins the Scramble for the Middle East

Feb 19, 2020

There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of Turkish troops placing their boots on non-Turkish soil was almost unthinkable. Turkey might bomb Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in Iraq, Turkish aircraft might skirmish occasionally with Greek counterparts, but no one got their boots muddy. All that...

Turkey’s “Peace Corridor” Isn’t a New Idea

Oct 10, 2019

There is a strange irony to the latest Turkish offensive announced in northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan couched it on his Twitter feed as a move that will “preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.” Yet the creation of a “safe zone” in a swathe of...

Who Are Turkey’s Long-Term Allies?

Aug 06, 2019

It is becoming harder and harder to ascertain who exactly are Turkey’s long-term allies. On July 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened that Turkey would simply look elsewhere for fighter jets if frozen out of the US F-35 program, of which it has been an integral part. It came with...

Is Istanbul’s Vote the Start of a New Consensus Politics in Turkey?

Jul 16, 2019

Is this the beginning of the end of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, or even the end of the beginning of the end, as Al-Monitor columnist Kadri Gursel has suggested? When the previously unbeatable president pushed for a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election that his party’s candidate, ex-Prime Minister...

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