By Halil Gürhanlı

April 7, 2016

With the refugee deal with EU, the regime in Turkey earns the silence of its European critics as the country proceeds towards complete authoritarianism. The EU leaders get to have their cake and eat it too, outsourcing gate-keeping while maintaining the moral upper-hand.  However, this is a joint “achievement” gained at the expense of millions of Syrian refugees. It tarnishes EU’s status as a normative power. Meanwhile, Turkey is also a loser, as it will not be politically and financially compensated for carrying the refugee burden.


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By Halil Gürhanlı (vol. 7, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)

The Turkish government continues to refuse to grant Syrians who have taken shelter in Turkey refugee status in line with international principles. The Temporary Protection Directive, adopted on October 22, 2014, provides a comparatively more solid legal status for ‘temporarily protected’ Syrians, but it still falls short of granting the refugees their rights in legal terms. The new legislation effectively accords unlimited freedom to the government agencies to decide over the lives and future of two million Syrian refugees. This effectively means that the refugees will have to dance to the Turkish government’s tune if they wish to remain at a relatively safe distance from the horrors of civil war.

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By Jesper Åkesson (vol. 7, no. 15 of the Turkey Analyst) 

The regions of Turkey that border Syria need external support, both from the Turkish government and from the international community, as these parts of the country have come to bear a disproportionally large burden of the refugees fleeing Syria. Public services need to be expanded and ways need to be found to stimulate the local economy. Ultimately, the Syrian civil war will continue to negatively affect Turkey until its resolution – but measures can and should be taken to alleviate the pressure on those hardest hit by this crisis, lest tensions grow further among locals and refugees in Turkey.


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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "The Rise and Rise of the Turkish Right", The New York Times, April 8, 2019

Analysis Halil Karaveli "The Myth of Erdogan's Power"Foreign Policy, August 29, 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell, A Road to Understanding in Syria? The U.S. and TurkeyThe American Interest, June 2018

Op-ed Halil Karaveli "Erdogan Wins Reelection"Foreign Affairs, June 25, 2018

Article Halil Karaveli "Will the Kurdish Question Secure Erdogan's Re-election?", Turkey Analyst, June 18, 2018

Research Article Svante E. Cornell "Erbakan, Kisakürek, and the Mainstreaming of Extremism in Turkey", Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, June 2018

Analysis Svante E. Cornell "The U.S. and Turkey: Past the Point of No Return?"The American Interest, February 1, 2018

Op-ed Svante E. Cornell "Erdogan's Turkey: the Role of a Little Known Islamic Poet", Breaking Defense, January 2, 2018

Research Article Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy"Cairo Review of Global Affairs, January 2, 2018


The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.


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