Foreign Policy Blogs

Turkey

The Rise of the Iron Will

The Rise of the Iron Will

On Sunday, for the first time ever, more than 41 million voters in Turkey went to polling stations to elect their president by popular vote. Despite turnout being low, with some suspecting the holiday season might be the reason, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan handily beat both of his rivals with 52 percent of the vote.

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Obama administration to Turkey: Reopen Halki Seminary

Obama administration to Turkey: Reopen Halki Seminary

In an annual report released by the Department of State this week, the Obama administration has yet again pressed Turkey to live up to its commitment as a democracy to ensure religious freedom, citing the need to reopen an Eastern Orthodox seminary that’s been closed for decades. Turkey is a “tier 2” country according to the U.S. Commission on International […]

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A Candid Discussion with Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute

A Candid Discussion with Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute

Soner Cagaptay is the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Dr. Cagaptay has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals as well as key American and Turkish media outlets. He writes regularly as a columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s oldest and […]

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Turkish Dissident Journalist: “Erdogan Behaves Like a Sultan”

Turkish Dissident Journalist: “Erdogan Behaves Like a Sultan”

Recently, over 300 Turkish citizens were killed after a mine exploded and caught on fire. In the wake of this disaster, there have been massive protests in Turkey calling upon Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign. They view him to be personally responsible for the disaster. As a result, Erdogan’s government has begun […]

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Freedom House: The Turkish Press is No Longer Free

Freedom House: The Turkish Press is No Longer Free

Freedom House has recently noted that the Turkish press has entered into the not free category and that there has been a gradual decline in freedom of the press within the Turkish republic. Erdogan and his government are outraged, yet offer no counter proof. Hurriyet Daily News reported this week that Turkish Prime Minister Recep […]

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Erdogan stays in control – for now

Erdogan stays in control – for now

In September 2011, on the heels of the Arab Spring upheaval, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, visited Cairo. In the shadow of the chaos of the Arab Spring, he took the opportunity to point out that “the Turkish state is in its core a state of freedoms and secularism.” Two and a half […]

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Were the Ottomans the “good” imperialists?

Were the Ottomans the “good” imperialists?

In an article entitled “In Defense of Empire” published on March 19, chief geopolitical analyst at Stratfor and national correspondent for the Atlantic Robert Kaplan argues we ought to bring back a form of American “imperialism.” Imperialism, he argues, is both misunderstood and an effective governing tool. While I don’t intend to focus on the […]

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Turkish Jewish Association in Israel: The Turkey Crisis Won’t Affect Israel

Turkish Jewish Association in Israel: The Turkey Crisis Won’t Affect Israel

  In the wake of the scandal that broke out in Turkey recently, when it was reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan allegedly instructed his son to hide large sums of cash, demonstrations similar to the Gezi Park protests have broken out throughout the country, demanding Erdogan’s resignation. However, Rafael Sadi, the spokesman […]

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Fed Taper Injects U.S. Economics into Turkish Politics

Fed Taper Injects U.S. Economics into Turkish Politics

    The Turkish Central Bank raised interest rates drastically on January 28, re-setting the one-week bank lending rate at 10 percent, up from 4.5 percent, and hiking its rate on overnight lending to banks from 7.75 percent to 12 percent.   The move has ramifications for America’s influence in the world.  In Turkish politics, […]

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Europe Keeps “Talking Turkey”; Is Turkey Listening?

Europe Keeps “Talking Turkey”; Is Turkey Listening?

  The tables have turned in Turkey’s relationship to Europe over the past decade. That is fitting. Both Turkey and Europe have changed dramatically in those ensuing years, both economically and politically. The potential for Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU) was long seen as a measure of Europe’s acceptance of a Muslim nation […]

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Erdogan Losing Control

Erdogan Losing Control

The corruption scandal rocking Turkey shows no signs of abatement. Already dozens of high ranking officials and their close associates have either resigned, been jailed, or brought into questioning. The New York Times reports that even Erdogan’s own son appears to have been summoned for questioning. In the ensuing counteroffensive launched by the Erdogan administration […]

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Erdogan Strikes Back

Erdogan Strikes Back

Last month, a massive corruption scandal rocked Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s political legitimacy. Believed to have been initiated by the Fethullah Gulen, a politically active cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania, a police operation arrested over 50 police chiefs, prominent politicians’ relatives, and other supporters of the Erdogan administration. Yesterday, according to the New York Times, the […]

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On Christmas and “Holy Wisdom”: Orthodoxy in Turkey

On Christmas and “Holy Wisdom”: Orthodoxy in Turkey

January 7 marks Christmas Day for Julian Calendar-abiding Orthodox Christians (Eastern and Armenian) and Turkey’s EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has taken the opportunity to wish Turkey’s dwindling Christian population a merry Christmas. Hurriyet Daily News reports: Anatolia has always been a country of tolerance and home to different beliefs and cultures throughout history, Çavuşoğlu said in a […]

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Erdogan’s Base Shaken in Massive Corruption Probe

Erdogan’s Base Shaken in Massive Corruption Probe

The BBC reports that approximately 52 people, including five police chiefs and three sons of cabinet ministers were arrested yesterday for their alleged involvement in a bribery scandal. The operation is believed to be a part a larger political offensive led by Fethullah Gulen, a prominent Turkish Muslim leader currently living in exile in the U.S., and […]

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Turkey Protests Rock Erdogan’s Government

Turkey Protests Rock Erdogan’s Government

Dear Readers, You’ve probably heard of or seen the massive protests in Turkey. Started out as a small protest in a public park called Gezi Parki located in Taksim district, the protests have reportedly spread to at least 15 Turkish cities. Ankara and Izmir saw massive crowds gathering at dawn on June 1st. I won’t […]

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