November, 2016 Turkey

Absurdistan


Burak Bekdil
Turkish politics is struggling harder and harder to go beyond the title of “Absurdistan.” Sadly, not even the sky is the limit.
It is no secret that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan worships the notion of the “national will,” the sanctity of elected officials and, therefore, their decisions. But he only worships the will of the Turkish nation - and only when he wins at the ballot box. 

Turkish economy


Hurriyet Daily News
The Turkish economy may collapse in a couple of years if politicians do not show the West that the economy is trust-worthy, Daron Acemoğlu, Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told the daily Hürriyet. 

Economy, Politics, Turkey
 Europe Planned Marriage Turkey


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Visiting Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in the first week of November for the opening of a mosque in a dictatorial country where there are 100,000 Muslims, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Western Europe of "intolerance that spreads like the plague."

Erdogan’s rise

Author Ali Bayramoglu
Ever since coming to power in November 2002, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won all elections he contested, almost always by increasing his popular support. In terms of achievement, however, Erdogan’s image and policies have not followed a steady trend. 

Politics, Turkey
 Turkey Iran

Burak Bekdil
A few days ago, columnist Nevşin Mengü wrote an excellent piece in this newspaper, “Iran’s Turkish question,” (HDN, Nov. 22). Ms. Mengü wrote that she was wandering around a historic caravansary outside Kashan in Iran where a young man said there was no such language as Turkish as “Turkish was a dialect of Farsi.”

TrumpTurkish Business Partner

Paul Blumenthal 
President-elect Donald Trump called his Turkish business partner a “close friend” on a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
WASHINGTON ― When President-elect Donald Trump spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Nov. 9, he mentioned one of his Turkish business partners as a “close friend” and passed on his remarks that he is “your great admirer.”


Turkish-Russian Rapprochement


F. Stephen Larrabee 

Geostrategically, the collapse of the Soviet Union removed the main rationale for the U.S.-Turkish security partnership Many Western officials worry that the strengthening of ties between Russia and Turkey signifies an increasing “eastward drift” in Turkish policy and a weakening of Turkey’s ties to the West. 

‘My Fair Lady’

Burak Bekdil
After this column argued last week that “Turkey’s identity crisis is too persistent to disappear, even after decades of soul-searching, Turkey is too Islamic to belong to Europe, too secular and non-Arab to belong to an Islamic club, too Sunni to find a seat in any Shiite Muslim club, too Turkish to find allies in a Eurasian pact, and too alien to find a meaningful African alliance,” a most dear friend wrote from London:

Politics, Turkey
 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan


In full interview with Israel's Channel 2, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks of Israel and Turkey's reconciliation, the 2010 Mavi Marmara crisis and his relations with Hamas.

Turkey economy

Uğur Gürses
Last week, when the U.S. dollar rose to a record high, the Turkish Central Bank’s foreign currency and gold reserves eroded exactly $5.5 billion. They fell back to $117.5 billion, which is the highest drop since 2009 in the foreign exchange reserves, which are released on a weekly basis.

Economy, Politics, Turkey
Turkey brain drain

Author Sibel Hurtas
The aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt has sparked a migration flurry among educated Turks amid crackdowns on media freedoms and free speech, arbitrary restrictions on property and work rights, and growing talk of a looming economic crisis and even a civil war. Many of those leaving the country are academics, expelled overnight from universities via legislative decrees, journalists out of work and under the threat of imprisonment, and members of non-Muslim minorities who feel increasingly insecure.

Politics, Turkey
Turkey's 1923 Borders

by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Last month, President Erdogan called Turkey's borders laid down under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne "the greatest injustice to be done to the country and to the nation."
Speaking at a public rally on October 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "We did not accept our borders voluntarily." He went on to say, "At the time [when the current borders were drawn] we may have agreed to it but the real mistake is to surrender to that sacrifice." What does all that mean?


Turkey what lies ahead

Nuray Mert
Que sera, sera” is how some of us are looking at current developments in Turkey: “What will be, will be.” But in our case this only refers to a feeling of uncertainity, hopelessness and despair. The future is uncertain, not only for dissidents but also for the whole country, which stands on the verge of regime change.

Politics, Turkey
Islamic-military alliance


Fatih Yaşlı in Birgün writes that the alliance between the supposed “vanguard of secularism” – the military – and political Islam, which historically was motivated by a shared desire to beat the left, has a long pedigree. The military entered into a pragmatic relationship with the political representatives of religion during the Cold War. 

Israel Turkey gas pipeline

 Meeting builds on October meeting between Israel's energy minister and Turkish counterpart
A delegation from Israel's Foreign Ministry and Department of Energy last week held a secret meeting with Turkish representatives to discuss the construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries, Israel's Army Radio reports.

 Turkey authoritarianism

Editorial
Turkey’s sad slide away from freedom is not just a tragedy for that country. It’s a warning that democracy is fragile and can be quickly undermined if a society loses the will to fight for it.

 Can Turkey and Israel Reconcile?


Pinhas Inbari
Institute for Contemporary Affairs

Turkey’s entry into Gaza has several implications: challenging Turkey’s enemies in the Middle East, Egypt and Iran; and placing Gaza’s rehabilitation in Turkey’s hands, which pulls the rug out from under Europe’s patronage.

Turkey's Islamist Leader

 FOREIGN POLICY
Eli Lake

Many people are delighted by Donald Trump's election last week. There are (some) Republicans. Some Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Alt-right online trolls and opponents of free trade. Add to this list Turkey's Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey EU membership

BURAK BEKDİL

The birth of the modern state in the Islamic world has brought with it an eternal casus belli: Should the state be based on man-made laws or divine law? That question has been at the heart of decades-long ideological wars in Muslim lands. Turkey is no exception.

Turkey negative growth rates


Author Mustafa Sonmez

Toward the end of the year, when the time comes to disclose Turkey's growth rate in the third quarter, the Turkish Statistical Institute is expected to announce the country's worst rate for the past 27 quarters. The signs are already there, growing clearer every day. In its latest report on Turkey, the International Monetary Fund has already said the year-end rate would be below 3%, a projection that is likely to be revised further downward.

Economy, Politics, Turkey
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli

Taha Akyol
Apparently, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has accepted a system that removes the “government” institution. The name of this is the presidential system.

Politics, Turkey
TURKEY FAIT ACCOMPLI IN SYRIA

AARON STEIN
Just days after the U.S. presidential election, newspapers allied with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) published stories alleging that elements of the U.S. government would conspire to prevent Donald Trump from governing. Trump, the consensus in the pro-government media held, was a better choice for Turkey: As a billionaire who is outside of the Washington mainstream, he is above influence from members of the Gulen Movement, some of whom gave money to Hillary Clinton’s super-PAC.

Erdogan-Trump honeymoon


Author Semih Idiz
Donald Trump’s election as president may have sent shock waves across the world, leaving many countries deeply concerned, but it has had the opposite effect in Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are pleased with this turn of events.

Erdogan Jockey


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Both fascism and communism exercised a large influence on the Arab "Baathist" ideology -- "resurrection" in Arabic, and which started as a nationalist, Sunni Arab movement to combat Western colonial rule and to promote modernization. In Iraq, the despotic Baathist regime survived 35 years, largely under the leadership of Saddam Hussein. 

Politics, Turkey
Mont Pelerin rendezvous


Yusuf Kanli
The Mont Pelerin rendezvous of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders was slated to be an “end game” but it turned out to be an almost “game over.” Upon request of the Greek Cypriot leaders, the deadlocked talks were suspended for one week and are scheduled to resume, this time in Geneva, on Nov. 20.

 Turkey financial strains


Author Mustafa Sonmez
Last week, Turkey’s government appointed the head of the Privatization Administration, Mehmet Bostan, as director general and board chairman of a newly established public company, the Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund, moving a step closer to the creation of a sovereign wealth fund. The plan was first brought up in late July and hastily passed through parliament the following month.

Economy, Politics, Turkey
 China Turkey


Altay Atli
ISTANBUL – Over the past year and a half, the relationship between China and Turkey has gone through serious ups and downs. In the summer of 2015, claims of a Chinese ban on Ramadan fasting in the country’s Muslim-populated Xinjiang region, which later turned out to be fabricated, snowballed in the Turkish Twittersphere, leading to anti-Chinese demonstrations, and souring the relations between the two countries.

Tayyip Erdoğan

Murat Yektin
It was an election where the American voters did not choose who they wanted more as president, but who they disliked less. Donald Trump eventually won against Hillary Clinton despite all support from the establishment and the media.

Battle for Raqqa


Author Fehim Taştekin
Following the operation launched to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria, an expedited operation code-named Wrath of the Euphrates was initiated to liberate the IS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria. Ankara has been perceptibly upset since it became known that the Raqqa operation was initiated by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces despite earlier optimistic predictions that Ankara, which was sidelined from the Mosul operation, would be in partnership with the United States at Raqqa.

 Hulusi Akar


Officials in Moscow say Russia and Turkey are resuming military cooperation and plan to hold a meeting of an intergovernmental commission before the end of 2016.

IranTurkey Iraq


by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Post
Iran and Turkey are engaged in a contest for supremacy in northern Iraq, even as the fight against Islamic State continues.

Erdogan alienates all


Author Semih Idiz

Upon assuming office in May, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim promised that he would “increase the number of Turkey’s friends and reduce the number of its enemies.” Today, however, Ankara is losing friends rapidly, especially in Europe where there are calls for sanctions against Turkey. 

Buddies

REUTERS
Mahir Zeynalov

Turkish journalist and analyst
This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
“We all saw who our friends and enemies are,” Turkish president said after the failed coup attempt. He is referring to Russia.

 US promises Turkey role in Raqqa


Author Amberin Zaman

US efforts to appease Turkey over its collaboration with Syrian Kurdish-led forces to take Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State, appeared to have yielded some progress over the weekend following an unannounced visit by Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Ankara.

 Turkey descent to autocracy


Author Ali Bayramoglu
Watching the state of affairs in Turkey, one cannot help but wonder whether the country weathered a coup attempt in July or fell victim to a successful one. This alarming question is fueled by three patterns of action the government has followed after the botched coup, using extraordinary powers made possible by its declared state of emergency.

Politics, Turkey
Turkish Posturing in Iraq


FRITZ LODGE The Newsletter

As Iraqi Army forces enter Mosul proper and anti-ISIS coalition forces encircle the city, the complex and bloody operation to safely wrest a city of approximately one million people from the grip of ISIS militants will continue to dominate headlines. However, for the region’s power players, the question of what comes after Mosul’s fall may be more important than the conduct of the campaign itself.

Erdogan laicist


Burak Bekdil
Some observers have lately been advising foreign governments not to worry too much about Turkey’s (President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s) increasingly aggressive irredentist rhetoric because it is largely targeted at domestic consumption rather than addressing the relevant foreign audience. Well, yes and no.

Turkish economy


Summary
For several years, the Turkish economy has managed to keep its balance despite teetering on the brink of major problems. In 2013, the notorious "taper tantrum" exposed Turkey as one of the Fragile Five countries that would be most affected by an expected tightening in U.S. monetary policy, and the outlook for the country appeared bleak.

Economy, Politics, Turkey
Turkey unrest

Author, Kemal Kirişci

TÜSİAD Senior Fellow - Foreign Policy, Center on the United States and EuropeDirector - The Turkey Project

 

The noose around Turkish democracy’s neck tightened further on Monday, when the police raided the offices of yet another newspaper—this time Cumhuriyet—and detained a number of its journalists on accusations of facilitating terrorist activities.

Erdogan greedy


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute
Why is Turkey's Islamist regime reviving century-old Ottoman territorial claims?
Each time in recent history that Turkey's pro-Sunni neo-Ottomans opted for assertive foreign policy in this turbulent part of the world, there were more casualties and no happy ending for any state- or non-state actor, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey.


 Turkey-Africa Economic and Business Forum


ISTANBUL

Turkish officials have expressed strong interest in boosting economic and trade relations with Africa at a key joint forum in Istanbul, where their African counterparts welcomed the call.

Turkey megaprojects


Author Mustafa Sonmez

TranslatorSibel Utku Bila

A key element in the image of success the Turkish government is trying to project is the large number of grand construction projects in the country combined with the narrative that Turkey faces challenges by adversaries who are “jealous” of its progress and resurging power.

Economy, Politics, Turkey
Erdogan delusions of grandeur


Abdel-Meguid in Ankara

While Turkey’s Erdogan is itching to have a role in the liberation of Mosul, entirely to serve his own imperial designs, not a single concerned power appears inclined to give him leave, writes Sayed 
It might have been a weekend for most people, but not for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who never rests in his selfless pursuit of the welfare of the whole of Anatolia and all Sunni peoples beyond its borders.

Politics, Turkey
Muslim democracy

Burak Bekdil
Every new day adds fresh validation to the adage that “Turkey is fun unless you have to live in it.” In one recent speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described himself as an enemy of interest rates “because interest rates are a means of abuse.”

Incirlik airbase


BY CHARLES F. WALD

As U.S.-Turkey relations cool, retaining access to the air base will require ending our dependence on it. Turkey’s Incirlik airbase has supported America’s most vital strategic needs for more than a half century, first during the Cold War and more recently in the fight against terrorists. Now, as its host country becomes less stable and less friendly to the United States, the best way to ensure continued access to this large and well-located base is to prepare to do without it.

Turkish invasion Syria


Barcin Yinanc
“We never believed it was the decision of the president to shoot down the plane. We know that outside forces were involved with that decision,” said Leonid Reshetnikov, the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS).

Pro Erdogan rally


Author Ali Bayramoglu
TranslatorSibel Utku Bila

“No issue in the Middle East can be discussed without Turkey.” So spoke Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in March 2013 as he boasted how the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had transformed Turkey from a country that “sought help from others 10 years ago” to a country that leads “an active foreign policy” and sees “the whole world” as the domain of its diplomacy.