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

November 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?

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....

Erdogan Wants to Be Turkey’s Lone Strongman

May 22, 2018

The Turkish president may get his win next month, but when trouble comes, he'll own it. When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a presidential and parliamentary election on June 24 — jumping the gun by more than a year — the outcome seemed foreordained. After all, Turkey is...

Independence is the Last Option for the Kurds

September 24, 2017

The Kurds are unlikely to back down unless they receive an alternative deal, but this is unlikely to come from Baghdad. The year was 1639. For the first time in their history, the Kurds of present-day Iran were separated from their brethren due to a treaty signed by the Ottoman and Safavid...

Signs of Hope in the Middle East? Don’t Hold Your Breath

September 18, 2017

The optimistic view may be that the Middle East is six years into an era of political, economic and social change. Optimists see hopeful signs that the Middle East may be exiting from a dark tunnel of violence, civil war, sectarian strife and debilitating regional rivalries. The Islamic State...

Future of Kurdish Education Hangs in Uncertainty

August 17, 2017

The social, political and economic turmoil in the Kurdistan region reflects the crises in its educational system. On July 2, at a school in Iraqi Kurdistan, a 12th grade student, unable to hold it any longer, urinated himself during a baccalaureate exam. “I asked the invigilators and the...

Turkey Faces Uphill Battle to Defeat Terrorism

January 01, 2017

Internal conflicts and external interests have created the conditions for violence in Turkey. In the last 18 months or so, there have been around 30 terrorist attacks in Turkey, killing over 1,000 people. From a country that was seen as having determined the perfect balance between Islam,...

Terrorists Strike at Heart of Turkey

December 12, 2016

At a time when multiple terrorist groups are targeting Turkey, a political solution with the Kurds might be the best option. Twin bombs in Istanbul may not have targeted Besiktas JK’s stadium, but they underscore the propaganda value of attacking a soccer match for both jihadist and...