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...

The US Will Need Turkey to Counter Russia

February 01, 2021

When it comes to the already abysmal Turkish-American relations, Joe Biden’s presidency is being viewed as an ominous train wreck waiting to happen. The president-elect has previously signaled that his administration would “tame” Turkey for policies Ankara has pursued...

Washington’s Sanctions on Turkey Are Another Gift to Putin

December 18, 2020

The latest sanctions against Turkey introduced by Washington on December 13 were invoked under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a US federal law that imposes economic sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The act came into effect in August 2017. This is the first...

Why Populists at the Helm Are Bad for the Economy

November 05, 2020

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a man on a mission. The goal: to make Turkey great again. Making Turkey great again, I guess, means wiping history clean of a series of humiliations, from the ignominious decline of the Ottoman Empire, dismissed as the “sick man upon the Bosporus” in the late 1800s, to...

What Would a Biden Victory Spell for US-Turkish Relations?

October 19, 2020

In an interview for a new book from Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, US President Donald Trump says: “I get along very well with Erdogan, even though you’re not supposed to because everyone says, ‘What a horrible guy.’” A lot is revealed in that statement. The key lies in the...

Discovery of Natural Gas Exposes Turkey’s Political Rifts

September 01, 2020

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s announcement on August 21 that Turkey had discovered some 320 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the Black Sea has exposed the acutely divided domestic political environment in the country. Whereas the pro-Erdogan camp hailed the development as an...

The Paradoxical State of Turkish Politics

March 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...

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....

The Art of the Back-Pedal

October 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...

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

October 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...

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