logo

Category

Turkey

Sinusoidal Tendencies – A concise history of political violence in Turkey

Turkey is in the news again. This time supposedly as a major producer of political violence once more, as opposed to the beforehand popular portrayal of a victim of such. In this blog post I will try to analytically reflect the last three decades of political violence (at least the lethal aspect of it) and how that cumulates in today’s rather dire security situation in Turkey. When counting terrorism fatalities (acco
Read More

Turkey and the Cyprus Issue

How can such a sparsely populated, small plot of land at the eastern end of the Mediterranean arrogate Turkey’s foreign policy, and even thwart its EU accession? The answer has two dimensions, one is Turkey’s problems with its immediate security orbit; the other is the EU’s internal problems in regard to Turkey. While the former is a best practice example of the application of realist theory on actual events, the lat
Read More

Went Ankara Bonkers?

Spoiler alert: no. Looking at the current security policy of Turkey, one might assume the government in Ankara went bonkers, fighting a peaceful left-wing grassroots organization that is currently devoting most of its energy to fight the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria and which was key in liberating Yazidis from mount Sinjar helping to prevent mass atrocities against innocent people. But the picture is complete
Read More

Turkeys Iran Paradox

With the talks between the P5+1 and Iran finally coming to an conclusion, a decades old mechanism to change the Middle Eastern balance of power in disadvantage of Iran is nearing its end. The losers in this bargain from a regional point of view are all powers that benefited from the United States containment policy during the last 35 years, thus practically all major Sunni actors in the region, most notably the Gulf
Read More

The Turkish Elections and its Consequences

In regard to the loss votes for the AKP one must be fair: considering that the Turkish economy is stagnating, unemployment is rising, the region is in terrible turmoil – both politically and economically – and the appeal of the AKP’s version of conservativism is waning, the party did reasonably well gaining more than 18 million, or 40.7% of the votes1. For most parts this is due to president Erdoğan’s political skill
Read More

Gezi Two Years On

When the Gezi Park protests started a little less than two years ago, no one could have anticipated the scope of the dissent. Turkey underwent an unprecedented decade of economic and societal stability and growth as well as a decade of both external and internal security unseen in modern Turkish history. Yet after eleven years of AKP leadership, millions of people in practically every major city went to the streets a
Read More

Change of Mind

Did Turkey’s foreign policy change or does it only appear so? News about Turkey’s recent support of Iraqi troops in its fight against Daesh (or ISIS) came surprising for most experts (but not all1). Not only did Turkey change its opposing stance against the government in Baghdad, it also started to actively balance the self-proclaimed caliphate. To start with, change of mind (or rather change of tactics) towards Daes
Read More

The Flaws of Turkish-Russian Relations

When Putin visited Turkey on December 1st few expected big results, except the subsequent and long overdue price reduction for Russian natural gas. It seemed that the emotionally charged common history of the countries and the fact that Turkey and Russia are somehow cornered hampers a far reaching deal. Both, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin, proofed though that they are pragmatists when it comes to economic p
Read More

No Sick Man of Europe no more

Turkey’s shifting foreign policy strategy in the light of its growing political and economic power. Turkey’s current political establishment thinks in an offensive realist way. This is not what distinguishes it from former governments though; it’s the newly gained self-awareness, domestic political leeway and most importantly increased economic resources that does. Those changes altered Turkey’s regional foreign poli
Read More

Turkey’s ISIS Crisis How the current government’s failed neighbourhood policies led to the current stalemate

When Obama on September 10 gave his speech  on the strategy outline of how to deal with the Islamic State (IS), this included the formation of a coalition in the Middle East as well as Europe. In the days after the speech US Secretary of State John Kerry travelled the respective regions to bring together all significant actors in a effort to defeat IS. Excluding Iran, with which due to still very restrained relations
Read More