Independent and cutting-edge analysis on Turkey and its neighborhood

The Clash of Turkish and Armenian Narratives

The Clash of Turkish and Armenian Narratives

The debates and tensions that very often characterize the interactions between the Turkish and Armenian peoples do not easily fit into frameworks adopted by studies of international affairs. One problem is that of identifying specific actors: states, diasporas, community-level and international organizations, religious bodies, individuals, broader regional or global players and trends. A second problem is identifying what is at stake: moral, ethical, or religious principles, core hard power...

Nareg Seferian | 21 July 2017

Four Steps to an EU-Turkey Reset

Four Steps to an EU-Turkey Reset

In this piece, our Advisory Board member, Ambassador Marc Pierini, lays out four steps that the EU and Turkey should contemplate in order to enhance their relationship in the short- and medium- term: (1) Modernize the EU-Turkey Customs Union, (2) Deepen the partnership on asylum and refugees, (3) Implement key EU programs to support Turkey’s modernization, and (4) Pursue dialogues in areas of mutual interest, including counterterrorism. A window of opportunity exists, but progress will...

Marc Pierini | 05 July 2017

"Arab NATO" Must not be Exploited to Isolate Turkey in the East Med

On his first foreign trip as US President, Donald Trump has recently concluded visits to Saudi Arabia and Israel that herald a new formation in the strategic architecture of the Middle East, a broad coalition of regional actors engaged in coordinated action to oppose the expansion of Iranian hegemony. However, Turkey’s position in this coalition remains unclear. In addition to Turkey’s significant bilateral trade and energy relationship with Iran, Ankara will be wary of the roles...

Micha'el Tanchum | 24 May 2017

How the Political Center in Europe Found its Voice Again

How the Political Center in Europe Found its Voice Again

One stormy evening, during his campaign to become president of Austria, Alexander Van der Bellen calmly stood on a podium somewhere in Vienna and tried to answer the question of what is wrong with the European Union. "The problem is not that there is too much Europe, as you often hear. The problem is the opposite: there is not enough Europe. Every member state must approve every decision in Brussels. Since politicians are elected nationally, they withold approval if it doesn’t...

Caroline de Gruyter | 15 May 2017

Sino-Saudi Red Sea Alignment Presents Opportunity for Turkey-China Cooperation

Sino-Saudi Red Sea Alignment Presents Opportunity for Turkey-China Cooperation

Beyond the 65 billion dollars of economic deals signed between Riyadh and Beijing, last month’s much heralded visit by King Salman of Saudi Arabia to China confirmed the nascent strategic partnership developing between China and Saudi Arabia as Beijing seeks to secure the commercial sea routes along China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR).  While Turkey currently plays a marginal role in China’s MSR, the advance in Sino-Saudi strategic cooperation presents an...

Micha'el Tanchum | 07 April 2017

Russia and Turkey: Competitive Partners

Russia and Turkey: Competitive Partners

On 10 March 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, a visit later hailed by Russia as a concrete demonstration of the successful normalization of Russian-Turkish relations. Evidently, the parties have overcome the grave crisis triggered in November 2015 after the downing of a Russian jet by the Turkish Air force. After an official apology made by Ankara in June 2016, both parties have engaged in a pragmatic “reboot” of their partnership,...

Igor Delanoe | 05 April 2017

Challenges Facing Ukraine in 2017

Challenges Facing Ukraine in 2017

It is no wonder that Ukraine remains high on the global security agenda. Located in the very center of Europe, Ukraine is critical for the stability of the central Europe and Black Sea basin. Ukraine is facing numerous challenges, both external and internal, which is why it is so important to keep an eye on it. Political stability has always been a troubling issue in Ukraine. Previous times of stability were merely temporary and not a result of political consensus, but rather a conservation...

Kateryna Kruk | 06 February 2017

What Awaits Britain After Brexit?

What Awaits Britain After Brexit?

The Brexit vote came as a great shock to the British government, which was totally unprepared for the result. Neither United Kingdom Treasury nor Foreign Office politicians and civil servants had prepared a “Plan B” in the event of a Brexit vote. The decision to call a referendum was a reckless political gamble by Prime Minister Cameron, designed to satisfy sections of his own party, and not taken in the interests of the nation as a whole. The outcome, a vote to exit the EU, will...

Ann Pettifor | 22 July 2016

The Many Foreign Policy Fallouts of Brexit

The Many Foreign Policy Fallouts of Brexit

As the British government and the European Council are working hard to figure out the way forward after the Leave camp won the referendum, it is not too early to look at the many likely fallouts of a Brexit in the foreign policy field, if and when the UK actually leaves the EU. One can think of many negative consequences but perhaps some positive effects too (with some wisdom and luck). As an unfortunate coincidence, 28 June was the day the European Council of heads of state and government...

Marc Pierini | 30 June 2016

Post-Election Analysis of the Greek Cypriot Parliamentary Elections of 22 May 2016

Post-Election Analysis of the Greek Cypriot Parliamentary Elections of 22 May 2016

The recent parliamentary election on 22 May 2016 was expected to deliver surprises for a host of reasons, but what came about was a total redrafting of the political map in the Greek Cypriot community with all resultant repercussions promising to reverberate for some time to come. On the front of electoral jousting still coming, are two further elections – municipal elections in December 2016 in 26 weeks from now, and the critical presidential elections in February 2018. ...

Georgios Stavri & Ljljana Jakovlevic | 30 June 2016

The 22 May 2016 Parliamentary Elections In Cyprus: The Most Disparate Political Picture In Years!

The 22 May 2016 Parliamentary Elections In Cyprus: The Most Disparate Political Picture In Years!

Elections have always been a popular political event in the Greek Cypriot community, especially in the years after the tragic events of 1974 that forced the partition of the island state. Due to the fact that the Greek Cypriot governmental system is a presidential democracy where, unfortunately, the president wields excessive powers of rule, presidential elections have historically been more popular than parliamentary elections.  Absentee voting has been almost negligible, especially given...

Georgios Stavri & Ljljana Jakovlevic | 08 June 2016

An East European-Turkish Pact Against Russian Neo-Imperialism

An East European-Turkish Pact Against Russian Neo-Imperialism

An interim solution for Ukraine’s and Georgia’s current security problem, until they become members of the EU and NATO, could be the revival of an old inter-war Polish idea about an alliance of Central and South East European states located between Scandinavia in the north and Asia minor in the south, and between Germany in the west and Russia in the east. As long the EU and NATO are not ready to expand further east, these countries could ally themselves in a so-called...

Andreas Umland | 22 April 2016

Can Terror-Stricken Turkey be the EU’s Security Bulwark?

Can Terror-Stricken Turkey be the EU’s Security Bulwark?

European leaders, embroiled in a migrant crisis for over a year, are desperately seeking a deal with Turkey to help keep their Union secure. With thousands of refugees, and potential terrorists, streaming in daily, Europe appears willing to pay a high cost to earn Ankara’s cooperation to stem the flow. But Europe’s vision of Turkey as a security bulwark against threats from the Middle East rests on the presumption that EU candidate Turkey will remain stable itself. In reality, Turkey...

Aykan Erdemir & Merve Tahiroglu | 25 March 2016

Face to Face with Illusions and Realities

Face to Face with Illusions and Realities

On the occasion of the International Peace Congress organized in Paris in 1849, in his speech entitled “A Day Will Come,” Victor Hugo had spoken of a period when Europe would be known as the "United States of Europe" and where in his words: “You France, you Russia, you Italy, you England, you Germany, you all, nations of the continent, without losing your distinct qualities and your glorious individuality, will be merged closely within a superior unit and you will...

Gül Günver Turan | 11 February 2016

Prospects of Delivering Israeli Gas to the Turkish Market

Prospects of Delivering Israeli Gas to the Turkish Market

After a five-year diplomatic rift, Turkey and Israel are working to restore ties. On 16 December 2015, the two reached a preliminary agreement to re-establish full diplomatic relations, which were cut off in 2010 after an Israeli naval raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship seeking to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.[1] The deal entails the reinstatement of ambassadors, compensations for the flotilla victims’ families, and removal of all legal claims against Israeli...

Akhmed Gumbatov | 26 January 2016

Turkey’s Foreign Policy Conundrum with Russia: What is to be Done?

Turkey’s Foreign Policy Conundrum with Russia: What is to be Done?

Turkey’s foreign policy in 2016 will continue to revolve around the Syrian quagmire. On the one hand, Turkey wishes to influence the talks between the Syrian state and the Syrian opposition which will be launched in order to prepare the framework for a transitional period in the country. On the other hand, Turkey will have to look for ways to normalize its relations with Russia, which began to deteriorate when Russia became more actively involved in Syria. These issues present two sides of...

Ünal Çeviköz | 06 January 2016

Turkey and Israel: On the Way Back to Normal

Turkey and Israel: On the Way Back to Normal

In a significant development that will enhance the security posture of each country, Turkey and Israel now appear close to concluding an agreement that would allow normalization of relations, including the return of ambassadors. On December 14th, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated that the entire Middle East region would benefit from improvement of relations between Israel and Turkey.[1] Following this, multiple media outlets reported on December 17th that Turkey and Israel had agreed to...

Brenda Shaffer | 25 December 2015

Testing Times in Turkey’s Relations with Russia

Testing Times in Turkey’s Relations with Russia

The first week of October 2015 was marked by escalating tensions between Turkey and Russia; two countries which, particularly in the last decade, have developed closer ties due to increasing trade, commerce, and tourism. Russian Su-30s crossed over from Syria into Turkish airspace at least twice, as it has been reported in the media. Both of the airspace violations took place along the Turkish-Syrian border; the first incursion took place on October 3rd and the second on the 5th. Since the...

Ünal Çeviköz | 13 October 2015

Greece Goes to the Polls Again: What’s Next?

Greece Goes to the Polls Again:  What’s Next?

On 12 July 2015, the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the ruling SYRIZA party crossed their own Rubicon. The signature of a third bailout program – known in Greece as the third Memorandum – signaled yet another realignment in Greek politics by blurring the erstwhile distinction between (cautious) supporters of Troika-led reform and its vociferous opponents. SYRIZA’s leadership blinked when the prospect of Grexit became very real and following the imposition of capital...

Dimitris Tsarouhas | 07 September 2015

To Counter Iran, Ankara Must Accommodate the Kurds

To Counter Iran, Ankara Must Accommodate the Kurds

The agreement between the P5+1 and Iran is a game changer that weakens Turkey’s strategic position in Syria and Iraq. In response to Iran’s strengthened hand, Turkey has two options with the forces that exist on the ground in this region: a grand bargain with the Kurds or managing a coalition of rival Islamic and non-Islamic militias that have no intrinsic loyalty to Turkey. The AKP government responded to the Iran deal by opting for the second choice. This is a strategic mistake. ...

Micha'el Tanchum | 18 August 2015

Supreme Sensibilities: How Iran’s Khamenei Defines the Deal

Supreme Sensibilities: How Iran’s Khamenei Defines the Deal

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)[1] is slated to provide Iran with sanctions relief, unfrozen assets, and a return to the international banking system. Most important, should the Islamic Republic implement and fully comply with the agreement, it will also have a pathway towards the legalization of its nuclear program. In his Eid sermon last month designating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, however, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei barely touched on those prospects. Rather, the...

Behnam Ben Taleblu | 04 August 2015

Calling Yemen a Proxy War is an Oversimplification

Calling Yemen a Proxy War is an Oversimplification

The operation formerly known as “Decisive Storm,” later re-branded “Renewal of Hope,” has been described as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. By extension, the conflict is interpreted as manifesting latent Sunni/Shiite sectarian tensions. The Houthis are Zaydi Shiite, and the assumption follows that Iran has furthered its bid for regional hegemony through its Shiite proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and now Yemen. Whereas Saudi Arabia, with the help of its...

Annelle Sheline | 12 June 2015

Is Turkey Being Drawn into Another Sectarian Conflict in the MENA Region?

Is Turkey Being Drawn into Another Sectarian Conflict in the MENA Region?

What does the convergence of Saudi Arabia’s and Turkey’s Syria and Yemen policies mean for Turkey? Recently, news surfaced regarding two potential avenues of cooperation between the Kingdom and Turkey: the possible provision of Turkish logistical support to the Saudis in their clash against the Houthis in Yemen and high-level talks between the two nations on increased cooperation to oust the Assad regime in Syria. After the non-success of Davutoğlu’s “zero problems with...

Rachel Webb | 12 May 2015

TPQ Genel Yayın Yönetmeni Diba Nigar Göksel ile Söyleşi

TPQ Genel Yayın Yönetmeni Diba Nigar Göksel ile Söyleşi

TPQ yazı işleri sorumlusu Erkut Emcioğlu 28 Temmuz 2013 tarihinde genel yayın yönetmenimiz Nigar Göksel ile bir söyleşi gerçekleştirdi. Göksel'in geçmişini, yürüttüğü araştırmaları ve TPQ'nun oluşum ve gelişim sürecini ele aldığı bu söyleşi, ayrıca Göksel'in Türk iç siyaseti ve Türkiye'nin Avrupa ve komşuları ile olan ilişkileri hakkındaki yorumlarını da içeriyor. Söyleşinin tam...

Erkut Emcioğlu | 30 April 2014

From the Desk of the Editor Over the last couple of years, Turkey has weathered multiples storms in close succession: two general elections that took place in a polarized political climate, an escalation of the Turkey-PKK conflict, a crisis with Russia, the 2016 failed coup attempt followed by state of emergency measures, and the continued threat of terrorist attacks. The aftermath of the constitutional referendum in April...
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