The Paradoxical State of Turkish Politics

Mar 03, 2020

Recent developments in Turkish politics have left many baffled. More and more Kurdish parents in southeast Turkey are now rising up against the secessionist the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its political wing, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), to reclaim their children the PKK...

Turkey Joins the Scramble for the Middle East
Feb 19, 2020

Turkey Joins the Scramble for the Middle East

Will 2020 Be Another Victory Year for Trump and Brexit?
Feb 03, 2020

Will 2020 Be Another Victory Year for Trump and Brexit?

Has Macron Given NATO a Much Needed Wake-Up Call?
Dec 05, 2019

Has Macron Given NATO a Much Needed Wake-Up Call?

Turkey’s Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy

Turkey's Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy

Nov 12, 2019

As the Arab Spring morphed into a bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, there was an opportunity for the country’s Kurdish movement to establish, develop and consolidate an autonomous administration. Kurds in Syria have been under long-time oppression by the government of both Hafez al-Assad and...

What Is Erdogan’s Real Plan for Kurds?

What Is Erdogan's Real Plan for Kurds?

Oct 31, 2019

In a recent interview with Turkish state broadcaster TRT World, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made clear his ambition for Ankara’s military offensive against Kurds in northern Syria. In an almost two-hour program on October 24, he explained his plan for demographic change in the Kurdish region....

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

Oct 29, 2019

On October 22, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a seven-hour summit in the resort town of Sochi to discuss Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria. Many experts and journalists are portraying the agreed deal as a success for Ankara and Moscow...

The Art of the Back-Pedal

The Art of the Back-Pedal

Oct 25, 2019

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip...

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

Oct 25, 2019

The sad tragedy of US President Donald Trump’s precipitous decision to suddenly abandon the Kurds of northern Syria is that it may have been inevitable. Turkey had long warned the Americans that it viscerally opposed its partnership with the People’s Protection Units (YGP) — a Syrian Kurdish...

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

Oct 23, 2019

The Americans call the five-day halt to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria a ceasefire, while the Turks prefer to call it a pause. The Kurds call the incursion something else. For them, and for American soldiers who fought with them in the war against the Islamic State (IS), as well...

Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency

Trump’s Undeclared State of Emergency

Oct 11, 2019

Donald Trump’s public appeal to China last week to help with uncovering dirt on the Biden family was both a brazen flouting of the law and (it pains me to say) an astute political tactic. “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad...

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

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...

Who Are Turkey’s Long-Term Allies?

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?

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,...

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