Erdoğan’s Mission Impossible: Sustainable Turkish-Arab Solidarity

| July 20, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who firmly believes it is religion that should shape national friendships and enmities, has tried singlehandedly to inject love for the Arab into Turkish society. The desire to accomplish this has implications for Turkish foreign policy. Erdoğan’s grand design has crashed not only into the Arab Spring but also into Middle East realism. The Saudi-led Gulf siege of Qatar came as a complete shock: one Sunni brother had taken out the sword against another.

Another Attempt to Solve the Cyprus Problem Ends in Failure

| July 12, 2017

Another round of talks attempting to solve the Cyprus problem has ended in resounding failure. This round was described as an historic opportunity. Its collapse demonstrates the international community’s inability to settle regional disputes.

Erdogan’s “Language Revolution” Epitomizes His Anti-Western and Cultural Islamism

| July 4, 2017

In deeply polarized Turkey, words are not just words. It has been part of Erdoğan’s campaign to make Turkey more Islamic and more Turkish. In his view, this entails ridding the Turkish language of “foreign” words – but foreign, to Erdoğan, does not include Arabic.

Turkey’s Failed Grand Design for the Middle East

| June 16, 2017

The siege of Qatar is sending messages on many wavelengths, some intended for Turkey. Sadly, Erdoğan is too ideologically blind to see that Turkey is standing on the wrong corner at the wrong moment. Doha may not be the same place after the Gulf Arabs find a way out of their crisis. A less Turkey-friendly Qatar may well emerge.

Turkey: NATO’s Odd One Out

| June 9, 2017

Discounting the sincerity of Turkish President Erdoğan’s fiercely anti-western rhetoric ahead of the April 16 referendum is akin to disregarding bitter facts about once staunch NATO ally Turkey. NATO’s deepening “Turkey problem” is contained in the country’s Islamist ideology, conspicuous “un-likemindedness”, and democratic anomalies, which stand against NATO’s founding values of safeguarding freedom and the principles of democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law.

Turkey’s Indigenous Weapons Industry: A Rover with Rolls-Royce Ambitions

| May 27, 2017

Turkey has reduced its dependency on foreign arms technology in recent years to the advantage of its local industry, which is striving to design, develop, and build a rich menu of indigenous systems. Turkey’s goal in fostering this industry is to achieve self-sufficiency in weapons technology that it can then use to bolster its regional political clout. However, there are technological, financial, and political challenges standing in the way of reaching that goal.

Turkey’s Rants, Raves, and Ramifications

Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who recently won a referendum granting him sweeping new powers, has launched a sharp attack on Israel regarding the Palestinians, Gaza, and Jerusalem. It is possible that this attack was part of a Turkish effort to gain hearts and minds in Arab countries.

Turkey: Directionless and Friendless

| May 7, 2017

Optimists thought Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inflammatory, anti-Western pre-referendum rhetoric was just election talk that would disappear after the ballots were counted, but that was a vain hope. The sweeping new powers granted to Erdoğan by the constitutional amendments, and the average Turk’s persistent desire for more confrontation with Turkey’s “enemies”, will force Erdoğan to keep up the fiery language, especially ahead of crucial presidential elections in 2019.

Keeping All Cards Close to the Vest

The US’s decision to strike Syria and the results of the referendum in Turkey will have a significant impact on Israel. It will not be easy to navigate between these conflicting forces and Middle East realities, but Israel must guard its interests.

The Turkish Referendum: A Turning Point?

| April 20, 2017

The legitimacy of the recent Turkish referendum is under dispute, further polarizing an already divided Turkish society. With no effective mechanisms for conflict resolution, and headed by an authoritarian Erdoğan, Turkey is heading towards a socio-political crisis. This might include a deteriorating economy, a flight of elites, and possibly even violence. Turkish nationalism remains very strong, however, and can be enlisted to divert attention from Turkey’s domestic problems. Erdoğan might decide to use his increased power to pursue an adventurist foreign policy rooted in his Islamist and neo-Ottoman impulses.