Aylık arşivler: Ağustos 2015

Syria’s Unsustainable Conflict

31 August 2015
Efforts to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict appear to be gaining momentum. Whatever the outcome, recent diplomatic flurry can be attributed to the following:
• The completion of the Iran nuclear deal,
• ISIL’s holding its ground in Iraq and Syria despite the US-led air campaign,
• Admission by President Assad that he is facing a recruitment problem in the armed forces raising fears that the Islamic State (ISIL) may take over should the regime fall,
• Iraq’s continuing internal instability and failure to effectively combat ISIL,
• Growing ISIL- related global concern for home security,
• The humanitarian disaster in the Middle East and the prospect of an endless influx of refugees into Europe. Okumaya devam et

Turkey: Elections Again

27 August 2015

The Turkish political scene looks complicated, confusing. Analysts, columnists, pollsters are extremely busy. I believe that the current picture also offers a unique opportunity for analytical brevity.

Turkey held parliamentary elections on June 7, 2015. In the three preceding elections (2002, 2007, 2011) the electorate had given the governing Justice and Development Party (JDP) a parliamentary majority. This time the voters denied them the privilege because they wanted pull in the reins. Their unmistakable message to the JDP was the following:
“You are getting authoritarian and addicted to power. We now want you to share power with another party, preferably with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (RPP). We believe that such a grand coalition can make sure that Turkey remains a parliamentary democracy and upholds national interest rather than ideology in foreign policy.” Okumaya devam et

Termination of the Mistral Contract

17 August 2015

The French-Russian deal for the sale of two Mistral class amphibious assault ships was announced by President Sarkozy on December 24, 2010 and signed in his presence by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and French Defense Minister Alain Juppé on January 25, 2011. This was the largest defense contract concluded between a NATO member and Russia.

The date chosen to announce the deal could not have been a coincidence. It was Christmas Eve and President Sarkozy must have thought that a 1.2 billion euro contract would be welcome news to the French public and contribute to his standing as a promoter of French economic interests.

The communiqué issued by the Elysée said that Presidents Sarkozy and Medvedev were pleased with this unprecedented cooperation which reflected the two countries’ readiness and ability to develop substantial partnerships in all fields including defense and security. Okumaya devam et

2013 German Federal Election – 2015 Turkish Parliamentary Election

12 August 2015

The last German federal election was held on Sunday, September 22, 2013. The Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) led by Chancellor Merkel won nearly 42% of the vote and nearly 50% of the seats in the Bundestag (just five short of majority). However, their coalition partner Free Democrats (FDP), failed to meet the 5% vote threshold. Thus, the CDU/CSU and the main opposition party Social Democrats (SPD) started talks for a grand coalition. After five weeks of intense negotiations they reached agreement. Three party leaders signed a 185-page document on policies to be followed by the new government. The SPD then submitted this document to a vote by its members who approved it. On December 17, the Bundestag elected Angela Merkel as Chancellor and the new government was sworn in. In other words, the political process took nearly three months. Okumaya devam et

The Middle East: More Confusing Than Ever…

10 August 2015

Contrary to initial expectations the Arab Spring brought further chaos to a region already troubled by unresolved conflicts; beset by internal political, economic and social problems. But widening sectarian clashes and the emergence of ISIL have added new dimensions to a tradition of proxy wars, secret dealings and shifting alliances. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s Syria Conundrum

3 August 2015

A country’s foreign policy is shaped by its identity, sense of belonging, world outlook and geographic location. This last one is a constant; others are subject to evolution, change and definition/redefinition within the limits of reason. The task of governments is to merge these with national power into policies designed to maximize national interest. It is imperative even for major countries that the conformity of these policies to international law and rules of good conduct can be reasonably defended. All of this requires realism, calm, poise, prudence, consistency and determination. A sound foreign policy’s worst enemies are rashness and bravado. Okumaya devam et