Macron Claims Islam Is in “Crisis.” Erdogan Disagrees

October 27, 2020

In France, Samuel Paty was beheaded on October 16 near Paris. He was a history teacher who had shown caricatures of Prophet Muhammad to his students in a lesson on freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. Paty’s killer, Abdullakh Anzorov, is an 18-year-old of Chechen origin. He arrived in...

The Political Implications of the Hagia Sophia Reconversion

July 20, 2020

On July 10, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree reconverting the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque, thus realizing a long-cherished dream of conservative currents in Turkish society. Originally built as a cathedral by the Romans, the Hagia Sophia functioned as Istanbul’s main mosque...

What Is Erdogan’s Real Plan for Kurds?

October 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....

Who Are Turkey’s Long-Term Allies?

August 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...

Why Turkey Released Pastor Andrew Brunson

October 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. He flies home to Andrews...

Welcome to the New World of Erdogan and Trump

August 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...

The Next Balancing Act for President Erdogan

July 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....

The Role of Fear in Turkey’s Elections

June 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...

The Other Winner in Turkey’s Elections

June 22, 2018

Dogu Perincek looks set to be a winner in Turkey even if he does not make it into parliament. He’s been in and out of prison during Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule and is running against the president in the Turkish elections on June 24, with no chance of defeating him and little hope of winning...

Turkish Football Has a Message for Erdogan

June 11, 2018

Erdogan’s hope that a snap parliamentary and presidential election would easily secure him another term is in question. Electoral upsets have become the norm. The latest upheaval that swept aside the long-standing president of Fenerbahce SC, the political crown jewel of Turkish football, has...

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