Foreign Policy Blogs

Turkey

Year in Review—Middle East

Irrespective of one’s ideological affiliations, 2011 was an inconvenient year for the Middle East, to put it mildly. The speed at which Arab Spring brought about change has been baffling to most of us and inevitably prepared us for more drastic changes to come. Now let’s take a look at the most significant changes that […]

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Turkish Foreign Policy and the Arab Spring (The Agenda with Steve Paikin)

Turkish Foreign Policy and the Arab Spring (The Agenda with Steve Paikin)

Dear followers of the FPA blog, I recently participated in a panel discussion on Turkey’s ‘new’ foreign policy in the Middle East and the Arab Spring, for ‘The Agenda with Steve Paikin’. Also featuring Henri Barkey, Janice Stein, Atif Kuburski and Howard Eissenstat, the full video (55 minutes) of the program can be accessed via […]

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Turkey: Year in Review

Turkey: Year in Review

Summary of Turkish foreign policy in 2011 2011 was in many ways a milestone in modern Turkish history. First, the Arab Spring not only shook the Western influence in the region, it also ended the post-colonial period in the Middle East, marked by authoritarian-suppressive regimes, which in their way mirrored and reflected their perception of […]

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The Turkish military by the numbers

The Turkish military by the numbers

Today, the Turkish General Staff issued personnel figures for the Turkish Armed Forces. According to several newspapers including Radikal, this is the first time the General Staff has released such a detailed personnel report. It shows that 1% of the Turkish population is currently in the military or in military-related civil service. 

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On Turkish Foreign Policy and the Middle East (Interview)

On Turkish Foreign Policy and the Middle East (Interview)

Dear followers of FPA’s Middle East blog, News.Az, a leading online news source of the Caucasus recently conducted an online interview with me – here you can find the full version of the interview: —————————————————————————————– Turkey is a new leader of the Muslim world in the Middle East. Are you satisfied with the Turkish policy […]

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Regional Relations Matter

Regional Relations Matter

Almost immediately following the release of Gilad Shalit rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza resumed.  Over the last couple of weeks, it has begun to feel like a major scuffle between Israel, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad is on the horizon.  Sunday night at the Jewish General Assembly in Denver, Colorado, I had the opportunity […]

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Turkey’s ‘Kurdish initiative’: What went wrong? (Or did it?)

Turkey’s ‘Kurdish initiative’: What went wrong? (Or did it?)

Officials said about 10,000 Turkish infantry and special forces punched into northern Iraq on Oct. 19 in an effort to destroy bases of the Kurdish Workers Party. They said the operation was in response to a PKK strike in southeastern Turkey in which at least 26 soldiers were killed. In order to understand this last […]

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Can Turkey attack Syria?

Can Turkey attack Syria?

Once the shining example of Turkey’s ‘strategic depth’, the Assad regime, as a result of its repression of Syrian dissent, has moved from a ‘zero-problems’ policy to a ‘tough love’ policy in Turkey’s foreign policy outlook. During his September speech in New York, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan emphasized Turkey’s changing view towards the […]

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Beyond a Turkish-Greek problem

Beyond a Turkish-Greek problem

A Turkish oil and gas research ship is exploring off southern Cyprus in an area near the exploration rig operated by U.S. independent Noble Energy Inc., a Turkish foreign ministry official said, in a further escalation of a conflict over drilling rights. Turkish officials said Tuesday the research vessel Piri Reis started its search under […]

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Turkey Begins Stage Two Of Its Push for Middle East Realignment

Turkey Begins Stage Two Of Its Push for Middle East Realignment

  My last article theorized about the timing and reasoning behind Turkey’s complete reversal of policy towards Israel. In it, I stated that severing its relationship with Israel was stage one of its race towards regional dominance.  I predicted that stage two would likely be the strengthening of ties with other Muslim nations in the […]

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Why Now?: An Alternative Understanding of the Timing and Reasoning Behind Turkey’s Israel Sabotage

Why Now?:  An Alternative Understanding of the Timing and Reasoning Behind Turkey’s Israel Sabotage

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey would be downgrading its diplomatic relations with Israel and cutting all military ties with the state.  A few days after the announcement, he stated that there would also be an increase in Turkish ships patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean to ensure the safety of maritime navigation, implying […]

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Turkey and the Syrian Kurds

Turkey and the Syrian Kurds

While all eyes are on a likely Turkish land incursion against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, Turkey faces the prospect of another security and ideological challenge in the Kurdish hinterland across its border, this time in Syria. Syria’s 1.8 million Kurds (10% of the population) have arguably been the most quiescent of […]

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Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Naval Buildup in the Eastern Mediterranean

According to Turkish daily Sabah, Turkey’s new strategic focus is shifting from the Aegean towards East Mediterranean. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had indicated earlier that Turkey would take steps towards ensuring freedom of navigation in Eastern Mediterranean, as a reaction to the Palmer report. In the following days it is expected that the Turkish Navy […]

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Turkey Solidifies Key Role in Libya

Turkey Solidifies Key Role in Libya

Turkey’s policy in Libya raises questions of how patient it will be with neighbor Syria. In an effort to show Turkey’s leading role in Libya, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolgu arrived in Benghazi, Tuesday (August 23rd), to meet with the leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC), becoming the first foreign minister to visit Libya […]

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Bibi Staying Cool

Bibi Staying Cool

Addressing his cabinet yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu said that Israel does not want a war in Gaza.  One of Netanyahu’s aides said, “There’s a sensitive situation in the Middle East, which is one big boiling pot; there’s the international arena; [and] there’s the Palestinian move in the United Nations in September… On […]

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