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...

The Role Turkey Can Play in Afghanistan

July 13, 2021

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused waves at the NATO summit in June, announcing that Turkey would continue to protect Kabul airport following the complete NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan. Kabul airport is Afghanistan’s principal air connection to the outside world, and it is vital...

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...

Democracy Is Down but Not Out

June 04, 2021

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian dictator, snatches a dissident from midair. Military strongman Assimi Goita launches another coup in Mali. Benjamin Netanyahu escalates a military conflict to save his own political skin in Israel. In the United States, the Republican Party launches a...

Why Is Somalia’s Political Crisis So Difficult to Solve?

May 24, 2021

There seems to be no end in sight for the political crisis in Somalia. On February 8, the mandate of President Muhammad Abdullahi Muhammad, commonly known as Farmajo, expired without a date set for either parliamentary or presidential elections. The protests called by the opposition Council of the...

The Good Old Days: Nostalgia’s Political Appeal

May 21, 2021

Donald Trump is gone, yet his specter continues to haunt American politics. The UK is no longer part of the European Union, yet Brexit continues to provoke emotions on both sides of the Channel. Both Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election and the outcome of the Brexit referendum of...

Iraq’s Militias Send a Warning to Turkey

April 28, 2021

On April 14, a Turkish military base in Bashiqa, some 20 kilometers northeast of Mosul in northern Iraq, was a target of a missile strike that killed a Turkish soldier. The attack happened on the same day that an explosives-laden drone targeted Erbil International Airport in the Kurdistan Region...

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...

Turkey Doubles Down on Hard Power

March 30, 2021

A few years ago, the very notion of Turkish foreign military interventions would have seemed extraordinary. The Turkish republic has been, for most of its history, determinedly introspective. Until the 20th century, it was largely disengaged from its immediate neighborhood, favoring ties with the...

Is Turkey’s Ruling Alliance on the Attack or the Defensive?

February 16, 2021

Since January 4, Istanbul’s prestigious and politically liberal Bogazici University has been gripped by student unrest. The protests were initially provoked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to appoint a member of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) as rector. The...

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