Turkey & Qatar’s Support for Extremist Groups
President Trump made clear in Sunday’s Riyadh speech that America stands by countries willing to fight Islamist extremism. A welcome opportunity to revisit our relationship with two ostensible allies, Turkey and Qatar. Both host significant American military bases and Turkey is a NATO member, yet for too long they have been American partners in name while providing material support to extremist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nusra front. President Trump’s serious intent to confront Islamic terrorism means he must redefine the terms of our alliances with Turkey and Qatar. The United States can no longer allow them to have it both ways.
Last week, President Trump met at the White House with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Though the two disagree on Syria’s Kurds – America arms them against ISIS, Turkey considers them terrorists – and though Turkey turned against ISIS only very belatedly, it is still viewed as a key coalition partner. Indeed, since 2015 Turkey has allowed Washington to use its base at Incirlik near the Syrian border as part of this fight. Simultaneously, Qatar hosts U.S. forces and the strategically important Combined Air and Space Operations Center at Al Udeid airbase, from which the United States directs coalition air operations against ISIS.
Engulfed in the Gulf: Erdoğan and the Qatar Crisis
The Gulf crisis over Qatar is once again catapulting Turkey into the politics of the Middle East, for which it is woefully unprepared. After a brief attempt at neutrality, Ankara […]
Myths and Mysteries: Six months on from Turkey’s Curious Coup
Six months after the failed coup of July 15, 2016, many questions still remain unanswered. Disturbingly, most can no longer be asked. Amid the purges, imprisonments and oppression, Turkey has […]
Turkey is Expecting a Restart with the U.S.
The Kurdish question has, once again, complicated Turkish-American relations. The rhetoric of anti-Americanism remains useful to whip up and mobilize nationalist opinion. Yet, Erdoğan’s Islamists are not any aspiring anti-imperialists. […]
Assassination in Ankara: Russia, NATO, and Turkey’s Violent Politics
On December 19, Mevlut Mert Altintas, a Turkish police officer, assassinated Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey. His action was apparently meant as retribution for Russian bombings in eastern Aleppo, […]
Turkey’s Proposed Constitutional Changes and Erdoğan’s Forever War
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 […]
The “Logic” of Turkey’s Repression
What is the logic behind the arrests of Kurdish politicians and of liberal and leftist journalists in Turkey? From the perspective of the Turkish regime, in the wake of the […]