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

Dec 05, 2019

In a recent interview with The Economist, French President Emmanuel Macron shocked fellow NATO allies by calling the organization “brain dead.” His words, described as “astonishingly candid,” received a harsh rebuke from Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as well as from Turkey’s...

Turkey’s Plan in Syria: Squash Dreams of Kurdish Autonomy
Nov 12, 2019

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

What Is Erdogan’s Real Plan for Kurds?
Oct 31, 2019

What Is Erdogan's Real Plan for Kurds?

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game
Oct 29, 2019

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

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,...

Turkey’s New Role in the Middle East Divides the Arab World

Turkey’s New Role in the Middle East Divides the Arab World

Jul 12, 2019

When Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) ascended to power in 2002, Ankara’s foreign policy in the Middle East was extremely different from what it is today. From the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 until the beginning of this century, the ideology and stances of Mustafa...

A Delicate Balance of Power in Syria’s Last Opposition Stronghold

A Delicate Balance of Power in Syria’s Last Opposition Stronghold

Jun 24, 2019

The politics of Idlib are extremely complicated, particularly with respect to outside powers that have vested interests in the outcome of the fight for the province. The delicate balance of power in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib appears unsustainable and, to say the least, it is...

Election Losses Are Good News for Turkey’s Ruling AKP

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...

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