By Reuben Silverman
January 31, 2022
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has served in his post longer than any other member of the president’s current cabinet. In fact, first appointed in 2014, he has now served in the position longer than any other Turkish politician in the past seventy years. Yet, despite this long involvement, Çavuşoğlu himself is seldom discussed. There are no grand ideas associated with him as there were with his predecessor Ahmet Davutoğlu (2009-2014). Were he to be replaced in a cabinet reshuffle tomorrow, it is unlikely that he would establish a party of his own as Ali Babacan (2007-09) and Davutoğlu have both done. Nonetheless, like his predecessors, Çavuşoğlu embodies his era. Thinking about his time in office can help us reflect on the past decade of AKP foreign policy.
By Barçın Yinanç
January 17, 2022
While it was fear of Russia that prevented the Central Asian countries from showing an interest in the Middle Corridor, it is ironically the same Russian factor that has today led to the reinvigoration of this alternative to the Northern Corridor. However, crucially, the future of the Middle Corridor depends on European interest and particularly on the European Union revising its attitude toward Turkey that has been spearheading the project for more than a decade and that is indispensable to its realization. European decision makers must recognize that they need to join hands with Turkey to make the Middle Corridor come to fruition.
By Halil Karaveli
January 12, 2022
The political destruction of Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu is ultimately meant to demonstrate that the alliance, supported by the Kurdish political movement, which carried him to victory in 2019, is not going to be allowed to repeat its success at the national level. In theory, the removal of İmamoğlu from office will enable the mainstream opposition to turn the presidential election into a referendum about popular sovereignty. However, to succeed it would have to convince voters in Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van that it is as sensitive about their sovereignty as it is about that of the electorate in Istanbul. This is unlikely as the right-wing nationalist Good party of the main opposition alliance resists democratic openings to the Kurds. The division between rigid statist-nationalism and popular democracy runs through the ruling alliance of the AKP and the MHP as well. To tip the balance in favor of popular democracy, Turkey needs a rearrangement of political alliances.