Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: Turkey

May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

May be time to accentuate the positives in Egypt, Turkey

Last month I wrote about The Economist’s timely debate about how democracy is doing these days. For the final tally of the public vote, 69 percent agreed with me that concerns about the health of democracy are not overblown. Two chief concerns are Egypt and Turkey. In an op-ed last week for “Christian Science Monitor,” […]

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The Legacy of The Ottoman Empire: Conflict, Colonies and Peter O’Toole

The Legacy of The Ottoman Empire: Conflict, Colonies and Peter O’Toole

The recent death of actor Peter O’Toole has renewed some interest in the real life character portrayed in his greatest role, that of T.E Lawrence in the film Lawrence of Arabia. O’Toole not only looked like a virtual double of T.E. Lawrence, but the film about how the Middle East had developed into its modern […]

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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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Turkey’s Test of Wills

Turkey’s Test of Wills

In recent months, Turkey—more specifically, Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan and his Justice and Development party (AKP)—has been the center of controversy and the subject of passionate debates. The other side of this political controversy is the spiritual leader of the Hizmet or Gulen Movement, Fethullah Gulen. However, as with all matters political; things are […]

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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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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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Art as Politics

Art as Politics

It is not often that a rug becomes caught in the crosshairs of foreign policy and cast away from artistic appreciation, yet the 1920s Armenian orphan rug that was planned for display in December at the Smithsonian Museum suffers just this fate. Bound by the common thread of their identity as children and survivors of […]

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The paucity of hope

The paucity of hope

Nothing seems to be safe in Egypt these days.  Political opponents of the military leadership are the chief targets for the attacks, attacks that include live fire from security forces. They are not alone: The seething rampages have spread to Christian churches, the media, foreigners, those held in custody, and even to the corpses waiting […]

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The Politics of Political Islam

The Politics of Political Islam

I don’t know who deserves the attribution as far as the coining is concerned, I only know—like the terms Islamism, sharia, and jihad — so-called political Islam is a loaded term that stirs storms of controversy. Despite that baggage, it is the prevalent concept that defines all political parties and movements with Islamic references. This […]

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The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

The Humanitarian Toll of the Syrian Crisis

Syria long ago became a source of a steady trickle of bad news but recent reports coming from several UN agencies working in Syria highlight just how dire the humanitarian situation there has become. First up is a new report from the World Food Programme and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization that found as […]

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Syria: The Growing Proxy War in the Middle East

Syria: The Growing Proxy War in the Middle East

By Tyler Hooper On Thursday, June 13, the White House announced that it will now provide military weapons and supplies to Syrian rebels. The announcement came with claims by the Obama administration that they have found evidence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime using chemical weapons against rebel forces, which is strictly prohibited by international […]

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Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

Turkey’s Turmoil : The Fight for Democracy in Gezi Park

What began as a peaceful sit-in to save a downtown park in Istanbul has erupted into a conflict between the forces of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan’s government and liberal reformers. On Monday, June 17, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinic announced Turkey “will resort to calling on the military to contain these protests.” If one […]

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Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

Demonstrations denote divided Turkey

In a country where two continents meet and empires have risen and fallen for millenia, Turkey continues to struggle with its contrasts. A predominantly Muslim country with a secular government, a growing economy increasingly influenced by capitalism but with a recent rise in conservative tendencies. Last weekend protesters took to the streets, accusing the government […]

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Nagorno-Karabakh: Expect Status Quo in 2013-14

Nagorno-Karabakh: Expect Status Quo in 2013-14

Two decades of international community administered talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijani territory, have failed to reach a resolution. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s petro-dollar aided exponential increase in defence expenditure amid pitched rabble-rousing and frequent sniper skirmishes in the region has led many to fear that the disputed landlocked mountainous […]

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