The Pause

October 18, 2019

Yesterday, Turkey and the US agreed that the Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the safe zone within 120 hours. They also concurred that the operation would be halted upon completion of the withdrawal. The announcement of the agreement was followed immediately by a discussion in the US as to whose “victory” it was.

While this discussion is very much related to the political chaos in Washington, it also says something about the state of relations between Turkey and the US. Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

Turkey’s Incursion in Syria

October 14, 2019

Tomorrow, it will be a week since the launching of “Operation Peace Spring”. International reaction to the operation is negative to say the least. One can count on the fingers of one hand the number of countries which appear to support the incursion. Unfortunately, the operation has shown yet again that Turkish government’s much touted “precious loneliness” is nothing but self-defeating isolation. Okumaya devam et

Sinking Deeper into the Syrian Quagmire

October 8, 2019

Turkey’s participation in the regime change project in Syria was a huge foreign and security policy mistake. Yes, there were many other countries which took part but none of them shared a 910-kilometer border with Syria. The choice Turkey had to make did not call for profound strategic/political/economic/diplomatic analysis. Refraining from intervention was the dictate of simple logic: a good neighbor would lend a hose to extinguish a burning house next door. Unfortunately for Turkey, the ruling Justice and Development Party prioritized ideology over national interest. Okumaya devam et

The Attack on Saudi Arabia’s Oil Facilities

October 7, 2019

Following the September 14 attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s major oil facilities, country’s leadership blamed Iran. US Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.  There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He later said this was an act of war. President Trump, after his “locked and loaded” tweet, said it looked like Iran was behind attack but he did not want to go to war. On September 20, Washington announced new sanctions on Iran’s national bank and the country’s sovereign wealth fund. Three days later the leaders of France, Germany and the UK issued a joint statement saying, “It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details.” (*) Okumaya devam et

74th UNGA: A Sad Day for Democracy

September 26, 2019

What attracts global attention at UNGA’s annual plenary sessions is the first week of general debate since it serves as a top forum for leaders to address the world. Tuesday, September 24 was the first day of general debate for 74th UNGA. As leaders waited for their turn to take the rostrum, expectations regarding a Rouhani-Trump meeting were dashed. Moreover, all attention soon turned to a looming impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the judgement of the UK Supreme Court regarding PM Johnson’s suspension of parliament. Everything else took a back seat. Okumaya devam et

Never a Day of Peace

September 24, 2019

With the release by Iran of Stena Tempero on Monday, the tanker dispute between Iran and the UK reached its easily predictable conclusion. But the Middle East just can’t offer its peoples a chance to breathe a sigh of relief. Thus, the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities once again put the region and the world on edge. In assigning responsibility, Washington and Riyadh point towards Tehran, the latter denies all charges. Okumaya devam et

Chaos Reigns as the 74th UNGA Opens

September 16, 2019

The 74th regular Session of the UN General Assembly opens tomorrow in the wake of the drone attacks which knocked out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s oil output raising the risk of further regional confrontation. It will close on December 16 after thirteen weeks. World’s attention will focus on New York only during the week of “General Debate” which starts on September 24 because that is when world leaders are there to address the UNGA and hold their bilateral and group meetings. The rest will be business as usual. Okumaya devam et