By Svante Cornell
June 29, 2017
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 threw in its lot with Doha, condemning the sanctions imposed by a Saudi-led coalition and accelerated its deployment of troops to a new base in Qatar. This decision risks upsetting President Erdoğan's tenuous rapprochement with Saudi Arabia, and reflects the continued ideological prism guiding Turkish foreign policy. But it also reflects a concern with regime security. At least in part, Erdoğan's embrace of Qatar reflects a belief that the same forces that supported the overthrow of Egypt's Muhammad Morsi welcomed the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey and now seek regime change in Doha. If so, Turkey's stance is unlikely to change, indicating a standoff may in the making.
by Halil Karaveli
June 22, 2017
With his call for justice, which is a concept and a call that resonates among vast swathes of the population, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has positioned himself as the tribune of all those – the victims themselves and their families – who have suffered from the successive purges of the AKP regime. Although his call for “justice for all” suffers from a lack of credibility, since it does not include the Kurds, it may nonetheless prove to be the potentially most effective weapon so far against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s authoritarianism.
by Gareth H. Jenkins
June 1, 2017
The Turkish constitutional referendum of April 16, 2017 dealt yet another blow to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s already faltering claim to democratic legitimacy. Not only did both the referendum and campaign that preceded it fall short of democratic norms but the Turkish authorities’ refusal to investigate the numerous reports of fraud and apparent irregularities suggests that the regime no longer feels the need to maintain even the semblance of the rule of law.