Topic:

Turkey

Erdoğan vs. the Free Press

| April 27, 2018

The takeover of Turkey’s largest independent media group by an Erdoğan crony was not unexpected given the troubles and systematic state harassment suffered by the Dogan Media Company over the past decade. After the takeover, the opposition media will be limited to one large-circulation daily, a couple of small, left-wing newspapers, and a number of small digital platforms, with the third group now facing new pressure from the government.

The Islamization of Turkey

| April 22, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is focusing his Islamization policy on the education system in his bid to raise a “pious generation”. “Jihad” has become a frequent reference in the Turkish regime’s rhetoric, while Syrians in the country and in areas controlled by Turkish troops in northern Syria are eating off the same plate. The international community should act to stop a “Turkish bin Laden” in the making and al-Qaeda-like authoritarian rule.

Turkey’s Syrian Battleground

| March 21, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been the main beneficiary of a newfound feeling of glory among Turkey’s increasingly nationalistic masses. The main loser is the YGP, which has sought to consolidate control over Kurdish areas of Syria in the hopes of forging an autonomous state. But in the Syrian war theater, alliances are fragile and complex. Russia has given Turkey a limited free hand in its engagement in northern Syria, mainly in order to deepen Turkish-US and Turkish-NATO divisions. But Russia is not Turkey’s strategic ally.

A Perilous Tango for Four in the Eastern Med

| March 11, 2018

The Eastern Mediterranean has entered a new period of high volatility, with Israel and Greece in the eye of the storm. Both countries are facing an upgraded strategic challenge from Turkey and Iran. This is not simply an interstate problem but a broader crisis that will influence the future geostrategic physiognomy of the Eastern Med.

Turkey and Iran’s Skin-Deep Friendship

| February 13, 2018

Like most moments in the passionate Turkish-Persian relationship, incidents of Muslim-to-Muslim fraternity are misleading. For the mullahs in Tehran, Turkey remains too western, too treacherous, and too Sunni. For the neo-Ottomans in Ankara, Iran remains too discreetly hostile, too ambitious, too untrustworthy, and too Shiite.

The Limits of Erdoğan’s “Nation”

| January 25, 2018

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent strategy of allying with the far right and his turn to nationalism are limited by the Sunni sectarian nature of his politics. A closer examination of the failure of his Alevi reform initiative of 2009-2010 reveals the structural obstacles Turkish Islamists encounter in their attempts to reach beyond the Sunni community to coopt Turkey’s Alevi electorate. In a similar manner, Erdoğan’s nationalist policies will continue to exclude Alevis, entrench sectarianism further, and expose the limits of belonging to his Sunni “nation.”

DEBATE: What Are the Implications of the Russian-Turkish Rapprochement?

| January 21, 2018

Q: In the aftermath of the failed coup d’état of July 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is embarking on an attempt to improve Ankara’s relations with non-Western countries to avoid international isolation. The Russian-Turkish rapprochement is a characteristic example. As the EU and the US criticize Erdoğan for his domestic and foreign policy choices, he regularly meets with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to discuss new patterns of cooperation. BESA join the debate by asking the experts: What are the implications of the Russian-Turkish rapprochement?

Trump’s Security Strategy: Its Messages for Turkey

| January 7, 2018

US President Donald Trump’s recently unveiled National Security Strategy paper does not specifically mention Turkey. Some Turks think this is good, as any mention would likely have been negative. But some think it is bad for Turkish interests because the absence of a mention highlights Turkey’s diminishing political clout in its region. Regardless, the strategy paper has messages for Ankara on several wavelengths.

Political Economy in the Name of Erdoğan

| December 18, 2017

The failed coup attempt against President Erdoğan shook Turkish society and accelerated Erdoğan’s concentration of power. The Turkish economy also suffered a shock, with the lira dropping in value, a flight of foreign investment, and an increase in inflation. The tension between Ankara and the West continues to mount, adding to the country’s economic uncertainty. In anticipation of the 2019 elections, the opposition parties hope the economic issue will adversely affect the Justice and Development Party. However, Turkey’s domestic consumption and growing exports have produced a challenging but stable economic picture that should benefit Erdoğan.

Why Does the Average Turk Love Erdoğan?

| December 10, 2017

A quick glance at Turkey’s facts and figures helps to explain why the Turks love their leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. There are striking parallels between the political sociology of the average Turkish voter and Erdoğan’s Islamist worldview. In a way, Erdoğan is what the average Turk sees when he looks in the mirror.