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.

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...

Election Losses Are Good News for Turkey’s Ruling AKP

Apr 03, 2019

While the opposition hails the beginning of the end for Turkey’s ruling party, local election setbacks might actually be a blessing in disguise. Just when you thought the ship was steadying, last weekend brought another tumultuous moment in Turkish politics. Local and mayoral elections that once again pitted a government-led...

Why the US Is Still Losing Turkey

Jan 15, 2019

Reliably narrow definitions of national self-interest continue to drive Turkey and the US further apart. There’s one thing Turkey and the US can definitely agree on these days: Unreliability is now the bedrock of their relationship. It’s perhaps not surprising when the two powers are led by notably unpredictable men...

Why Erdogan Had to Act on Khashoggi Killing

Oct 24, 2018

The Khashoggi affair played right into Turkey’s hands in the wider struggle for control of the Middle East. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is once again back, center stage. The question this time is what he is doing there. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has all the hallmarks...

Why Turkey Released Pastor Andrew Brunson

Oct 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....

Why Idlib Matters to Turkey

Sep 18, 2018

The final rebel-held province brings into focus all the pressures on Turkey in the Syrian Civil War. “Protection comes firstly from God, and after that it’s up to the Turks,” Mohammad al-Youssef, a 33-year-old resident of the village of al-Surman, southeast of Idlib city, Syria, was quoted as saying by...

Welcome to the New World of Erdogan and Trump

Aug 14, 2018

Recent ruptures in US-Turkish relations are part of a new populist presidential politics, not a major geopolitical realignment. “We are for every kind of cooperation to eat the grapes. But we will never give the opportunity to those whose aim is to beat the grape grower.” So said Turkish President...

The Next Balancing Act for President Erdogan

Jul 12, 2018

The new presidential term offers Erdogan room for consolidation, but also the need to contain his allies. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inauguration on July 9 was a little different. Not in terms of personnel, since he has been president of Turkey for four years already, but in terms of substance. This...

The Role of Fear in Turkey’s Elections

Jun 23, 2018

Never mind who’s afraid of President Erdogan — what about his supporters’ fear of life without him? When Turks go to the polls on June 24 — only a little over a year since the controversial referendum that paved the way for a new presidential system of government — the question of fear...

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