Friday 20 Apr 2018 | 02:01 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Turkey

Washington's weak hand to play in Syria

With the change of administration in Washington came new clarity about US policy on Syria. The admirable, short-term aim was to defeat ISIS. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the organisation that would produce this outcome on the ground, was founded in late 2015 (the '

Erdogan’s outbursts symbolic of Turkey’s decline

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan did not mince his words after news of a US-backed Syrian Border Defence Force (SBDF) emerged. The SBDF would consolidate numerous militia groups in Northern Syria, including the predominantly Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), into a unified and

Kurds aren’t always the good guys

I have written recently about the recklessness of Kurdish leaders in staging their independence referendum. Rather than advance the Kurdish cause, it has probably set it back years, if not decades. Despite its laudable efforts against Islamic State, the Kurdish Regional Government has 

Turkey’s EU accession: A useful fiction

By any measure, the German Chancellor debate between Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz last weekend was a dispiriting, monotonous affair. On irrelevant issue after irrelevant issue, both candidates spoke around each other, barely acknowledging one another's presence and finding themselves more often

Erdogan leaves Trump empty-handed

The language at the press conference following their meeting earlier this week may have been conciliatory, but there is no masking the tensions between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two strongmen lavished praise on each another,

Turkey's democracy was already dead

In a result that surprised just about no one, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gained a 'Yes' vote in the weekend referendum, granting him sweeping new executive powers and a complete overhaul of the constitution drawn up at the birth of the Republic under Kemal Ataturk. Under the new

How Erdogan makes EU opprobrium work in his favour

The recent standoff between Turkey and several European countries shocked the world. For the first time in NATO and EU history, a member (or member candidate, in the case of the EU) state's foreign minister's plane was not allowed to land in EU territory (the Netherlands). Another Turkish

Merkel's Faustian bargain with Erdogan

Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey last week was met with wide-ranging scepticism. It was the German Chancellor’s first visit since the failed coup of July 2016, to which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded with an uncompromising offensive of suppression and violence. Having obtained the

EU-Turkey relations: A decade of reversals

After the European parliament’s overwhelming vote to freeze Turkey’s EU accession process, the European Council summit that will get underway later today in Brussels will debate relations between Turkey and the EU. For economic and strategic reasons, both the EU Council and the Turkish

Confronting Turkey: The looming challenge for the West

Turkey’s relations with its Western allies and partners, with the lone exception of Netanyahu’s Israel, are on a steep slide towards open hostility. Millions of first and second generation Turks live and work in Europe as either refugees or as guest workers and it is geographically too close not

Major political change on the horizon for Turkey

In one poorly organised show of lukewarm force, Turkey’s failed coup plotters have provided President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the catalyst for major political change.  For Erdogan, it vindicates years of conspiratorial rhetoric around the ‘deep state’, which prompted two high-profile

Reset: Why Erdogan is mending (some) fences

Economics and ethnic solidarity both played a role in the rapprochement reached between Israel and Turkey and economics is also a motivating factor in Turkey's recent overtures toward Russia. There is a reason why Turkish President Recep Erdogan refers to a 'common history and common culture'

Turkey: Erdogan poised for triumph in feud with PM

Turkey's ruling party, the AKP, announced last week that it would hold an 'extraordinary congress' on 22 May where Ahmet Davutoglu would be replaced as prime minister. The announcement follows a year of growing friction between Davutoglu and President Recip Tayyip Erdogan after the June 2015

Quick comment: Indonesian students in Egypt and Turkey

In this quick comment, the Lowy Institute's Anthony Bubalo and his co-authors, Sidney Jones and Navhat Nuraniyah from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict,  discuss their recent Lowy Institute Report that examines the effect of the current turmoil in the Middle East on Indonesian