March, 2017 Turkey

Turkey looks depressing


Murat Yektin  
All I’m going to do is list a number of recent developments reported in the Turkish media over the past couple of days. I’ll start with the most recent case demonstrating the state that Turkey is in:

Politics, Turkey
Weak MHP support to AKP

Murat Yektin
Weaker than expected support from within the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for the executive presidency system in the April 16 referendum is turning the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AK Parti) eyes back to Kurdish votes, recent developments in the campaign suggest.

Politics, Turkey
Turkey Russian-Kurdish deal


AUTHOR Fehim Taştekin TRANSLATOR Timur Göksel

Turkey’s plans to expand its Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria and isolate Kurdish forces in the region appear to be backfiring.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan


By Burak Bekdil
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 431, March 22, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The rising tide of an aggressive blend of nationalism and Islamism might be prompting Ankara to pursue its own WMDs, and its preference appears to be long-range missiles. 

 Final Raqqa assault


AUTHOR Fehim Taştekin TRANSLATOR Timur Göksel

It sounded dramatic: The leaders of 50 Syrian Arab tribes met in Sanliurfa, Turkey, and announced they would set up the Army of Al-Jazirah and Euphrates Tribes to end Russian and Iranian occupation of Syria and cleanse the Euphrates and Al Jazeera areas of the Islamic State (IS), the Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party/Kurdistan Workers Party (PYD/PKK), Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Erdogan Route

 

By Altay Atli
As the diplomatic squabble between Turkey and the Netherlands continues to fester, concerns are raised about whether — and to what extent — the tensions will harm bilateral relations, particularly in economics where the two countries have robust trade and investment connections.

Qatar Turkey

Author Metin Gurcan

Turkey has been expanding its relations with Gulf Cooperation Council members, particularly Qatar. Turkey-Qatar relations have gained significant momentum during the past three months, led by the personal actions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who address each other as "brother." This interesting development calls for a closer look.

Erdogan EU

 FINIAN CUNNINGHAM 
The extraordinary war of words erupting between Turkey and the European Union is pushing already strained relations to breaking point. Ankara has banned all Dutch diplomats from its territory after the Netherlands banished Turkish ministers from holding political rallies, while deploying heavy-handed policing to break up the rallies.

Europe's Turkish Awakening

by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute

Dutch police contain a riot that broke out in Rotterdam on March 11 when pro-Erdogan crowds violently protested the Dutch government's refusal of entry to Turkish government ministers.
Turkey, officially, is a candidate for full membership in the European Union. It is also negotiating with Brussels a deal that would allow millions of Turks to travel to Europe without visa. 

Russia, Turkey,  Israel


BY MICAH HALPERN 
Israel and Russia need to keep on good terms to make certain the region does not spiral into crisis. Russian President Vladimir Putin is a world-class master when it comes to getting what he wants. He leaves nothing to chance.

Turkey Still a Democracy?

BY DAVID KENNER

An upcoming referendum and a vicious war of words with Europe could end up making Erdogan more powerful — and isolated — than ever.
ANKARA, Turkey — In a half-destroyed temple overlooking the Turkish capital, there is a carved inscription of a text known as “The Deeds of the Divine Augustus.” It is the most complete surviving version of the funerary inscription of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. 

Politics, Turkey
 Europe's 'Turkish Awakening'

by Burak Bekdil
Europe looks united in not allowing Erdogan to export Turkey's sometimes even violent political polarization into the Old Continent. Erdogan clearly rejected Merkel's mention of "Islamist terror" on grounds that "the expression saddens Muslims because Islam and terror cannot coexist".

 Russian Defense Architecture NATO Turkey

By Burak Bekdil 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 424

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Turkey, a NATO ally, may be on the brink of purchasing an air defense system from Russia. If the Turks place that weaponry on their soil, they will no longer have access to the NATO satellite signals critical for that very defense system to be useful. 

Netherlands Turkey


Barcin Yinanc

It goes without saying that every Western diplomatic mission in Turkey must have reviewed security measures around their compounds - not only after intensified threats from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) but also after the failed July 15 coup, which saw a rise in anti–Western feelings here.

Don't travel to Turkey this summer

TEMPTING prices, sunshine beaches and alluring exchange rates will see Britons booking in their thousands to travel to Turkey this summer - something terror experts are claiming would be a MASSIVE mistake.

TURKEY'S ERDOGAN


BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN 
Over the weekend Holland stunned Turkey by preventing rallies over a proposed referendum, drawing fierce rebuke from Ankara.

Holland is a “Nazi remnant,” according Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was prevented from flying to Rotterdam to give a speech, and Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was deported to Germany.

Turkish courtroom


Ahmed al-Burai
Turkey's armed forces are reportedly unhappy with the AKP's post-coup purge. But if they are planning a coup, Erdogan is ready
On 25 February, the flagship Turkish newspaper Hurriyet published a controversial article with the headline "Unease at the military headquarters", implying serious discontent among the country's armed forces.

Military, Politics, Turkey
Turkish military


Author Ali Bayramoglu, TranslatorTimur Göksel

No one can question the centrality of civilian-military relations in Turkey’s political life. Early in the last century, a military republic assumed the legacy of a military empire. In the 93 years since, Turkey has experienced four military coups and three abortive attempts. For a third of that time, Turkey was under martial law, and until 2000, practically lived under military tutelage.

Military, Politics, Turkey
 Erdoğan’s Forever War

 The turkey analyst,By: Gareth H. Jenkins

The package of proposed amendments to the Turkish constitution that were announced on December 10 foresee the gradual concentration of even more power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, leading to the introduction of a full presidential system in November 2019. Yet recent events have shown that the more power Erdoğan exercises, the worse the situation in Turkey becomes.

End of Turkey’s European History

Fabrizio Tassinari
Danish Institute for International Studies

BERLIN—The accusation by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that Germany perseveres in “Nazi practices,” after a Turkish minister was forbidden from campaigning in Germany, is the latest instance in the perennially tense bilateral relation between Turkey and Europe. 

July 15 coup

Ertugrul Ozkok
In an indictment into the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), three statements taken from the Second Chief of General Staff Yaşar Güler being regarded as a “victim” have been included. His first statement was taken on July 19, 2016 and its content was published on papers.

 Erdogan An Illusionary Sultan

This is the fourth and last in a series of articles based in part on eyewitness accounts about the rapidly deteriorating socio-political conditions in Turkey and what the future may hold for the country. The first, second and third articles are available here: First, Second, Third.

Military summit on Syria

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report 

EXCLUSIVE: For the first time ever, the top soldiers of the United States, Russia and Turkey are holding a secret meeting in the Turkish town of Antalya for an urgent two-day effort to avert a clash between their three armies, which stand ominously face to face in northern Syria.
(See DEBKAfile’s exclusive disclosure on March 6)

John McCain in Syria

By Whitney Webb

Just a matter of days after John McCain’s “unusual” trip to Syria and Turkey, the Turkish government has cut off water supplies from the Euphrates River into northern Syria, violating international conventions on water rights.

Cyprus talks

Barcin Yinanc
The window of opportunity to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem is closing – unless some players step in and stick their hands in to keep the window from closing completely. One interesting player could be Israel. A Cyprus peace deal would speed up Israel’s project to provide gas to Turkey, the new Israeli ambassador to Ankara said last week.

President Erdogan


by Erik Kindel
Eight months after Turkey's government weathered a potentially destabilizing coup, allegations continue to swirl concerning who was actually behind the surprising increase in violence. In an unsubstantiated leak to Aldrimer.no, "Senior NATO sources" currently believe the coup was staged by President Erdogan himself.

Turkish Army in Syria

If Russia and the Syrian army have anything to say about it

by PAUL IDDON
Fresh from its victory over Islamic State militants in Al Bab in northwest Syria, Turkey is reiterating its longstanding threat to attack the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in Manbij to the east.

 Erdogan's constitutional coup


By STEVEN BLOCKMANS AND SINEM YILMAZ

Last year's failed military coup of July 15, which left 241 dead and 2,196 wounded, has become a turning point in Turkey’s political history.
The three-month state of emergency, declared by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath, has been extended to 12 months.

Politics, Turkey
Kurdistan

Verda Ozer
Will an independent Kurdistan be built in northern Iraq? This question has long hung over our heads. However, in his op-ed for the Washington Post on Feb. 22, Bilal Wahab suggested that this is the wrong question. “How many Kurdistans will be formed? This is the right question to be asked from now on,” he wrote.

Turkey’s misstep in Manbij


Turkish move blocked by Syrian forces

SUMMARY
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest threat complicates Pentagon planning to oust the Islamic State from its so-called capital; United States provides intelligence for Iraqi strike in Syria.

 Euphrates Shield

Murat Yektin
Turkey started its military operation into Syria on Aug. 24, 2016, following a suicide attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), or DEASH with its Arabic initials, that killed 59 civilians in the border city of Gaziantep on Aug. 20.

Erdogan Exploits Islam


This is the third in a series of articles based in part on eyewitness accounts about the rapidly deteriorating socio-political conditions in Turkey and what the future may hold for the country. The first and second articles are available here: First, Second.

Politics, Turkey
Justice Palace Istanbul


The botched coup attempt that rattled Turkey on July 15, 2016, marked a double setback for the country’s democracy. As the academic Vahap Coskun succinctly described it, the failed putsch “was an insurrection against the democratic order by a group that had infiltrated the state. 

 Turkey coup defendants


As the first major trials of military personnel accused of involvement in the failed July coup get underway, many people are eager to learn exactly what happened that night.

Politics, Turkey