In the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Turkish minister of foreign affairs and now prime minister, vowed that Turkey would be the “game setter” of the Middle East. Today, such notions of grandeur seem outrageous. After the bombing of a military convoy in Ankara on February 17, which the Turkish government blamed on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, Davutoglu stated that the latest Kurdish territorial gains in Syria against Islamic rebels such as al Nusra Front—what Turkey calls “moderate” rebels—represent a threat to the “survival of the state” of Turkey. Ankara has apparently felt this way for a while. Since last year, the Turkish army has turned the Kurdish cities in Turkey’s southeast into war zones in its effort to dislodge Kurdish militants who have barricaded themselves in these areas. More recently, Turkey has even started firing on Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
Turkey’s Russia Affair
Turkey’s deepening partnership with Russia needs to be situated within a larger context. Turkey is moving closer toward Russia at a time when the West is beset by considerable turmoil. […]
Turkey’s election reveals the durability of nationalism
Suat Kiniklioglu was formerly deputy chairman of external affairs for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) before parting ways in 2012. He is a senior fellow at the Institute for Security & […]
Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdoğan’s Re-election?
The Kurdish question may serve President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, helping to secure his re-election. The election campaign has demonstrated that Erdoğan no longer energizes the masses; after fifteen years in […]
The U.S. Should Go Around Erdogan to Engage Turkey
Following recent clashes at the Gaza-Israel border, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has broken his tenuous two-year cease-fire with Israel and returned to spewing invective at the Jewish state. But […]
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 […]
Turkey & Qatar’s Support for Extremist Groups
For a long time both Qatar and Turkey have been U.S. partners in name, but provide material support to extremist groups at the same time.