Big moves in the Middle East often seek to take advantage of a favourable political climate in Washington. And there has rarely been as favourable time in Washington for some Middle East leaders as under the Trump administration. But in pro-US capitals across the region, leaders are no doubt bracing
The novel coronavirus Covid-19 dominates not only the media headlines in Europe but the everyday life of just about anybody. In the federalist European Union, it is still up to the individual states, often also their parts – Bundesländer, Départements, Provincie, or whatever they are called –
The Syrian conflict has once again shown just how complicated it can be, along with the ramifications if one side seeks too much change to the status quo.
Syrian government forces, with Russian assistance, have been waging a months-long campaign to capture key parts of rebel-controlled Idlib
Even by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s standards, the diplomacy – if you can call it that – on show at his meeting with US President Donald Trump last Wednesday was brazen.
US Republicans and pundits alike were rightly baffled by the warm reception offered to the Turkish strongman,
There is a reason the Kurds say they have “no friend but the mountains”. Time and again human rights atrocities have been perpetrated against them, and they are not strategically important enough for any country to take their side.
News of death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
On 9 October, Turkey launched a military operation, code-named Operation Peace Spring, against US-allied Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria. Ankara described the goal as creating a “safe zone” along the Turkish-Syrian border, 480 kilometres long and 32 kilometres deep, stretching from the
Pity MIKTA. Not so long ago, Canberra had high hopes for this obscure grouping of countries – Mexico, Indonesia, (South) Korea, Turkey, and Australia. Former foreign minister Julie Bishop was a particular fan of this caucus of middle powers within the G20, a gathering separate from the
The alleged extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi, and the international condemnation that followed, reflects not only rivalry in the Middle East, but also greater anxiety about the direction of liberal democracy and the international rule of law more broadly.
Last week, US President Donald
Horror stories have trickled out of China’s Xinjiang province for years. Now research points to a flood of human suffering and disturbing human rights abuses. Yet with threats of China’s economic retribution, many countries have been reluctant to voice concern against Beijing. With
Hours before the Thursday’s decision by the Central Bank of Turkey to raise its benchmark rate 625 basis points to 24%, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched into one of what is now a trademark tirade against higher rates. He denounced interest rates as “a tool of
Actors not invested in the Western liberal order are enjoying a period of resurgence. While analysts chase meaning in US President Donald Trump’s many erratic policies, there are some threads of consistency, including his affection for strongmen and his scepticism about the existing economic
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has been ousted only six days into his term, and protests have been voluntarily suspended while the National Assembly decides on his successor.
But political uncertainty in Armenia jeopardises a fragile ceasefire with Azerbaijan over an
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 '
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
The much anticipated 19th Party Congress has come to a close in China after a week of painstakingly constructed public displays of Chinese Communist Party successes, goals, and virtues. Held every five years, the event offers rare insight into the intentions of the Chinese leadership and the future
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
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
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,
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
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
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
In this quick comment, Russian scholar Matthew Dal Santo looks at how Russia-Turkey relations have changed in the last 12 months and why the shooting death of Russia's ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov in Ankara is unlikely to derail the budding rapprochement.
Photo by Mustafa Kurt/Anadolu
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
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
Mohammed — not his real name — is a Syrian opposed to Syrian President Bashar Assad. In 2013, he fled to Turkey with his young family. A little over a week ago, he among the first out in Istanbul streets, waving the Turkish flag in support of President Recep Erdogan in the wake of the
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
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'
Terror has once again struck in Turkey. Tuesday's coordinated attack by three suicide gunmen at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport killed 44 people and injured around 240. It was the latest in a string of terror attack in Turkey in the past year, and a worrying demonstration of the country's deepening
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
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
In this Lowy Institute Report, Lowy Institute Deputy Director, Anthony Bubalo, together with Sidney Jones and Nava Nuraniyah from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta examine the effect of the current turmoil in the Middle East on Indonesian students studying in Egypt and
The EU-Turkey deal has been widely criticised for being potentially illegal and immoral as well as unworkable. Others have pointed to the grubbiness of the negotiations and the willingness of the EU to compromise its values in order to secure a deal with Turkey in an attempt to stem what are