January, 2017 Turkey

 Meeting in Astana

Author: Brandon Friedman

The meeting between Iran, Turkey, and Russia in Astana, Kazakhstan on January 23-24, in advance of the next round of U.N. sponsored Geneva III meetings,[1] has been characterized as a new anti-West axis meant to marginalize the U.S. in Syria and the region.[2] Yet Moscow’s reset with Ankara is not primarily directed at the West; rather, Russia is trying to reestablish itself as Syria’s ultimate arbiter. 

Erdogan  Putin


Anna Borshchevskaya
The Turkish-Russian relationship is an unequal one, and Erdogan may not realize the extent of Putin's capacity for manipulating and abandoning temporary allies.

Turkey coup 2016

By Gareth H. Jenkins

The Turkey Analyst

Six months after the failed coup of July 15, 2016, many questions still remain unanswered. Disturbingly, most can no longer be asked. Amid the purges, imprisonments and oppression, Turkey has become a country that is devouring itself.

Politics, Turkey
Syria safe zone

Murat Yektin 

As soon as U.S. President Donald Trump said he was considering the formation of safe zones for Syrians trying to escape the six-year-old civil war, there was a reaction from Russia. 
Dimitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the U.S. had not consulted with them on the project, adding that “probably all the consequences ought to be weighed up.”

Russian-Turkish-Iranian axis


By OFRA BENGIO
Russia has fulfilled a long-held dream of reaching the warm water of the Mediterranean and is casting itself as the hegemon in the region.
Sixty years have lapsed since the Baghdad Pact which grouped together Turkey, Iran, Iraq and the West in an alliance against the Soviet Union and the concomitant Communist danger.

CYPRUS PEACE TALKS

BYMICHAEL TANCHUM 
The greatest beneficiary of a failure in Geneva would be Russia and its efforts to further expand its widening strategic footprint in the Eastern Mediterranean. 
Israel hopes to market its natural gas to Turkey, and via Turkey to the EU, but this aim may hang on the outcome of the potentially historic Cypriot peace negotiations currently underway in Geneva.

Trump  Erdoğan

Murat Yektin
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has been staging a quick tour of Africa covering three countries in four days.

Turkey anti semitism


by Burak Bekdil, The Gatestone Institute

http://www.meforum.org/6496/despite-isis-attacks-little-empathy-for-israel-in-turkey

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a good point when, a day after a terrorist attack in Istanbul killed 38 people on Dec. 10, he said that he condemned all terrorism in Turkey and expected that Turkey did the same when terror targeted Israel. "The fight against terrorism must be mutual," Netanyahu said. "It must be mutual in condemnation and in countermeasures, and this is what the State of Israel expects from all countries it is in contact with, including Turkey," Netanyahu said a day before Ankara and Jerusalem formally normalized their frozen diplomatic relations. Netanyahu's expectation was legitimate but not realistic, especially with Turkey.

Israel, Politics, Turkey
 'Lifestyle Massacre'


by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute

Last year was no doubt an annus horribilis for Turkey. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that 1,178 people were killed between July 2015 and December 2016 in Turkey's fight with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Bomb attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed another 330 lives. 

President Tayyip Erdoğan

Murat Yektin
Main opposition social democratic Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılılçdaroğlu on Jan. 24 paid a visit to the monument in memory of journalist Uğur Mumcu on the 24th anniversary of the latter’s assassination. The murder still remains unsolved, though it had been claimed by two separate organizations: The Islamic Movement and Kurdish Hezbollah.

Politics, Turkey
Ankara Trump


AUTHOR, Semih Idiz

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle and political supporters in the media continue to vent their anger at former President Barack Obama with outlandishly exaggerated claims, while expressing hope that Turkish-US ties will be much better under President Donald Trump.

Erdoganism


Tanıl Bora discusses a form of governance and ideology that is created around a single man and cult of the person under the heading ‘Erdoganism’ in his latest book
- There is a heading ‘Erdoganism’ in your book. What is Erdoganism and, were we to inquire with debate over the presidency in mind, are we entering the era of Erdoganism following Kemalism?
Erdoganism is essentially a notion that certain Western political scientists have recommended.

Politics, Turkey
Zia-Ul-Haq

BY ASIM ALI 
Turkey’s is in a downward spiral. The sweeping crackdowns and increased religious polarisation will feed resentment and hatred, which in turn will to lead to more violence and subsequently further crackdowns.

‘TURKISH STREAM’ PROJECT

 POSSIBLE SCENARIOS AND CHALLENGES

Following the cancellation of South Stream, Russia announced its plans to reroute the pipeline to Turkey, instead of Bulgaria. The new pipeline was dubbed “Turkish Stream”, with same capacity of South Stream, but less vulnerable to EU competition law. “Turkish Stream” has also experienced delays due to the crisis in Russia-Turkey relations. 

Right-wing alliance Turkey

Murat Yektin
I was recently having an informal chat with an important name from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) together with a number of colleagues. “When are you going to import the MHP?” I asked half-jokingly, referring to the current close cooperation between the AK Parti and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) over the constitutional shift to an executive presidential system, as targeted by President Tayyip Erdoğan.

Ankara Trump


AUTHOR  Semih Idiz

Turkey has increased pressure on Washington in recent weeks, as President-elect Donald Trump has been preparing to be sworn in, by openly renouncing the outgoing Obama administration and signaling to the new administration what its conditions for improved ties with the United States will be.

 Turkey's Radical Islamization

BY UZAY BULUT 

A primary school in Istanbul’s Umraniye neighborhood has recently prepared a “corner” remembering those who lost their lives during the abortive coup on July 15. A model of Sergeant Omer Halisdemir (who died that day), photos of armed soldiers describing the coup night, as well as models of tanks and people standing in front of tanks were put in the corner, with a caption that reads:

Stephen Hadley

Murat Yektin
Despite being “tested” by problems and “misperceptions,” Turkey-U.S. relations are “not irretrievable” and could be fixed under the presidency of Donald Trump, according to Stephen Hadley, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, speaking after top-level talks in Ankara on Jan. 17.

Trump and Erdogan


Posted By Patrick Cockburn 

 

As Donald Trump prepares for his inauguration, he is struggling with opposition from the US media, intelligence agencies, government apparatus, parts of the Republican Party and a significant portion of the American population. Impressive obstacles appear to prevent him exercising arbitrary power.

National security strategies


Sayed Ghoneim

During the previous decade, several Arab countries faced big challenges such as severe deterioration in economic conditions, education, health, etc. On the other hand, rates of inflation, unemployment, and corruption increased. The increase of ethnic and sectarian disputes, the gap between the ruling elite and the people, political and security constraints, and interference in the …

Turkey’s founding fathers

Murat Yektin
A debate has been triggered after Education Minister Ismet Yılmaz’s Jan. 13 announcement that a new curriculum would be open to “public suggestions” until Feb. 20.

Politics, Turkey
Turkey Islamist foreign policy


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) remain Islamist at heart. This is more apparent today in Turkey’s domestic rather than its foreign policy though. In its foreign policy, there is a clear shift toward pragmatism.

Erdogan Tough Guy


by Burak Bekdil
There was only leader who knew in which language to talk to Erdogan: Vladimir Putin. In November 2015, two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian Su-24. Ankara said that as part of the new rules of engagement, any foreign plane violating Turkish airspace would be shot down. Putin immediately downgraded diplomatic relations, announced scores of punishing economic sanctions but, more importantly, he promised that the price Turkey would have to pay would not be limited to the economy and trade.

Turkey’s Erdogan


Globe editorial: 
The Globe and Mail

Last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey demanded that the German courts prosecute an admittedly scurrilous German comedian (goats were mentioned) for the crime of lèse-majesté, that is, insulting a head of state.

Politics, Turkey
Imams spied for Ankara

Ditib, which stands for Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, is believed to have strong ties to Diyanet (Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs), a Turkish state-run religious affairs watchdog. Ditib previously denied its members were handing over information on Gulen supporters in Germany to the Turkish government.

Turkey bogged down

By SARAH EL DEEB
BEIRUT (AP) — Nearly two months into the assault, Turkey has become bogged down in an unexpectedly bloody fight to retake the Islamic State group's last stronghold in northern Syria. It has been forced to pour in troops, take the lead in the battle from its Syrian allies and reach out to Russia for aerial support.

Rex Tillerson

Murat Yektin
The first concrete words that Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan wants to hear from the Donald Trump administration, scheduled to take office on Jan. 20, came from Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, during his Jan. 11 testimony to the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee.

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım

Murat Yektin
The debate on the constitutional shift from a parliamentary system to an executive presidential system, as demanded by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, started in parliament on Jan. 9 in a highly strained atmosphere.

Politics, Turkey
Incirlik

Incirlik is routinely unavailable to American troops

by PAUL IDDON
In January 2017, Turkey announced a potential “crisis in confidence” in its relationship with the United States. The two countries have differing objectives in the wider region and disagree signifiantly regarding support for Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State.

 Erdoğan calls on Trump

Murat Yektin
One the same day as tense debates started in Turkey’s parliament for a constitutional shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system to grant him more executive power, President Tayyip Erdoğan addressed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, saying Ankara wanted to make a fresh start in its relations with its ally Washington, which have become stuck in the final years of outgoing President Barack Obama.

Turkey NATO

 Yekaterina  Chulkovskaya

Geopolitics, Turkey
Anxiety in Ankara


Ahmet S. Yayla, Ph.D. BY AHMET S. YAYLA, PH.D.
On December 19, 2016, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, was assassinated by Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, an off-duty police officer, in Ankara during an art exhibit. The assassination took place at a critical junction, as Turkey and Russia have just started to repair their broken relationship due to the earlier downing of a Russian jet fighter. Furthermore, it also coincided with historic meetings between Turkey, Russia, and Iran to create a Syrian peace treaty, where Turkey gave up almost all political and military positions regarding the Syrian crisis.

Geopolitics, Turkey
Turkey security

The terrorists are retaliating against the Turkish government for changing its strategy in Syria, a move Ankara has made largely due to Russian pressure, Gregory Copley, editor of Defense and Foreign Affairs publications, told RT.