Aylık arşivler: Mart 2015

Arab States Trying to Overcome Disarray

30 March 2015

On 26 March 2015, Saudi Arabia supported by the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar started air strikes against the Houthis who in addition to Yemen’s capital Sana had also captured the country’s second largest city Aden forcing the deposed but still struggling President Hadi to flee. It was reported that Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt and Pakistan were also taking part in the operations. According to the Egyptian state news agency, Egypt’s support could involve ground forces. The US and Turkey also announced their support. Okumaya devam et

Turkish Foreign Policy in a Blind Alley

25 March 2015

It was only a decade ago that Turkey, in recognition of its commitment to continuing political and economic reform, was given green light to start accession negotiations with the EU. Peoples of the region were following the process with envy. It was less than a decade ago that Turkey was playing a facilitator role between Syria and Israel. Our relations with neighbors were characterized by a determination to open new avenues of cooperation reflecting shared interest. It was in 2004 that a consortium led by a Turkish company won the contract to build the third terminal of the Cairo airport. The terminal was opened at the end of 2008 and doubled airport’s passenger capacity. In April 2009 Turkey became the first country to host President Obama on a bilateral visit. Okumaya devam et

Ukraine: An Uncertain Cease-fire and Quasi Stability…

20 March 2015

It has been more than a month since Presidents Putin, Poroshenko, Hollande and Chancellor Merkel issued the “Declaration of Minsk in Support of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements” and reiterated their belief that there is no alternative to a peaceful solution. The failure to declare an “immediate” cease-fire was not a good sign. President Poroshenko later revealed that the Ukrainian side had proposed this but the separatists insisted on a sixty hour lead-in period. It must have been clear to everyone around the table that what the separatists wanted was a window of opportunity to capture Debaltseve which they accomplished. Okumaya devam et

Syria Conflict Enters Its Fifth Year

17 March 2015

During the past four years of internal strife more than two hundred thousand Syrians lost their lives. Almost half the population is either internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries. Homes and infrastructure are in ruins. “Islamic State of Iraq (ISI)” founded in October 2006 has turned into ISIL extending its reach to Syria. The UN has been a bystander. The region remains as divided as ever. The problem is no longer just the Syrian conflict but also proxy wars in Libya and Yemen. Nobody would admit a mistake but this is a disaster situation. Okumaya devam et

Turkish-Israeli Relations: Deadlock Continues…

13 March 2015
Israel will hold elections on 17 March and Turkey on 7 June 2015. So this may be a good time to look at the relationship.

Turkey and Israel enjoyed good relations for decades. For a long time, this was a negative element in the myriad of complexities which have historically characterized Arab countries’ ambivalent attitude towards Turkey. Gradually, however, they saw that Turkish-Israeli cooperation was not directed against their interests. Nevertheless, it gave them an excuse to criticize Turkey whenever the need arose.

With Justice and Development Party (JDP/AKP) in power in Turkey in 2002, an element of uncertainty was introduced into this relationship. Israel was concerned about JDP’s Islamic roots and the importance it attached to the Palestinian question. Ankara was not pleased with reports of Israel’s support to Iraqi Kurds following the US invasion. However, the relationship continued without a major disturbance until the “one minute” incident at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 30 January 2009 where Prime Minister Erdogan, in the presence of President Shimon Peres, denounced Israel for its attitude towards the Palestinians. This marked the beginning of the downturn. Okumaya devam et