Foreign Policy Blogs

Turkey

Fazıl Say Case: A New Low for Turkey’s Democracy

Fazıl Say Case: A New Low for Turkey’s Democracy

An Istanbul Court found Fazıl Say (pronounced as Sai), an internationally-renowned Turkish pianist and composer, guilty over “insulting religious values” over messages Say posted in his Twitter last year. Condemned by European Union, Amnesty International, PEN and others, Say’s case came to a rather disturbing finale with the court sentencing him to a ten-month suspended […]

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Turkey’s Jailed Officers

Turkey’s Jailed Officers

Turkey’s Jailed Officers A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on Turkey’s record number of jailed journalists, citing a number of reports and statements by rights groups and international organizations that have criticized the country for arresting journalists over alleged terrorism charges. Just to make things clear for our readers, the journalists and rights activists are not […]

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Turkey’s Press Freedom Crisis

Turkey’s Press Freedom Crisis

Turkey’s poor press freedom record contradicts its main strategic goal to establish the country as a regional power and the leader of the Muslim world. The state of press freedom in Turkey has recently been in the spotlight, particularly after Reporters Without Borders declared the country as “the world’s biggest prison for journalists” last December. […]

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U.S. Embassy Bombing in Ankara: Why? Why now?

U.S. Embassy Bombing in Ankara: Why? Why now?

On February 1, U.S. Embassy in Ankara – in a calm, residential and business neighborhood — was bombed. At the time of writing this, police statements indicate that it is believed to be a suicide attack and the attacker(s) detonated the bomb inside the security checkpoint bunker, killing at least one security guard. Growing up […]

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The Kurdish Issue in Turkey: An Interview with Selahattin Demirtas

The Kurdish Issue in Turkey: An Interview with Selahattin Demirtas

  At thirty-nine years old, Selahattin Demirtas is the Chairman of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Turkish parliament. He has held this position since January 2010 and was first elected to parliament in 2007 as the MP for the Kurdish majority city of Diyarbakir, after which he joined the now-defunct Democratic Society Party […]

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If Western Leaders Weren’t Worried About Turkey Before, They Should Be Now

If Western Leaders Weren’t Worried About Turkey Before, They Should Be Now

Over the decades the opportunistic Turkey has dictated its Middle Eastern relations based on shifts in the regional balance of power. In the early 1990s up until around 2006, Turkey was finely enmeshed in Western sentiments and policies. But beginning in 2006 it recognized a leadership vacuum in the Middle East and began attempting to […]

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A Re-do almost a century later

A Re-do almost a century later

The possible Balkanization of Syria is an increasingly likely prospect – at least for the short-term – and could provide a historic counterpoint in the Middle East to what the West did to carve up the region almost a century ago. With the Ottoman Empire defeated after World War I, the triumphant Allies sought to ensure their […]

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Turkey’s Cross Border Attacks with Syria Highlight Lack of Western Support

Turkey’s Cross Border Attacks with Syria Highlight Lack of Western Support

                                        Wednesday’s mishap by Syrian forces, which saw a mortar shell land in the Turkish town of Akcakale, killing five, has put international attention firmly on the Syrian crisis. For months analysts and diplomats have warned […]

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Turkish politics by the numbers

Turkish politics by the numbers

Recently, a Turkish public opinion survey, conducted by MetroPoll was published, showing important shifts in the public perception of the government and politics. Conducted through 14-19 September 2012, in 27 cities, surveying 1275 respondents, the poll indicates serious shifts in public perception in the last three months. Those who believe ”Turkey is headed towards the right […]

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Syria Crisis Exposes Turkey’s Declining Democracy

Syria Crisis Exposes Turkey’s Declining Democracy

The Syrian crisis has put Turkey’s influence over regional issues to a bitter test. Ankara’s response has failed to stop the escalating violence and now also exposes the growing democracy deficit in Turkey. Turkish-Syrian relations were once the showcase of Ankara’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy. Trade between the two countries tripled in the space […]

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Kidnapped Turkish deputy: Why CHP, why Tunceli, why now?

Kidnapped Turkish deputy: Why CHP, why Tunceli, why now?

I have recently concluded an e-mail interview with the Southeast European Times on the kidnapped Turkish deputy; Mr. Hüseyin Aygün of the Republican People’s Party – CHP. Here is the full version of the interview: ————— August 14, 2012 What happens to the ones that are being kidnapped by PKK?  PKK doesn’t have a monolithic […]

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Kurdish Militants Kidnap Turkish Deputy

Kurdish Militants Kidnap Turkish Deputy

According to Turkish news agency NTV, the Kurdish militant group PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) has kidnapped a member of the parliament; this appeared as ‘breaking news’ in many other Turkish media outlets just about half an hour ago and the story in unfolding as I’m writing this post. According to news sources, Turkey’s opposition Republican […]

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Turkey Retires Generals Jailed on Coup Charges

Turkey Retires Generals Jailed on Coup Charges

The decision is made during the meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAS) which convenes biannually to discuss the military’s agenda and the promotions in the military’s upper echelons. According to Hürriyet Daily News, some of the arrested generals and admirals have been awaiting promotion since their promotions were previously put on hold in 2011’s […]

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The Plight of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

The Plight of Syrian Refugees in Turkey

While Turkey argues that it has the capacity to address the increasing flow of Syrian refugees, several refugee advocacy groups have criticized Turkey’s policies and have called on Ankara to adhere to its obligations under international law. As the international community is struggling to find a solution to end the violence in Syria, the humanitarian […]

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Turkey to produce ICBMs

Turkey to produce ICBMs

Acting on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s directives for the production of long-range missile with 2500km (1553 miles) range, Turkey’s Defense Industry Executive Committee has formally announced its decision to commence design and production work for an ICBM. According to Turkish NTV and Zaman news agencies, sources in the Ministry of Defense have indicated that industry agencies had […]

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