Aylık arşivler: Ağustos 2018

The Idlib Challenge (2)

August 27, 2018

Since the very beginning of the Syrian conflict there have been three stumbling blocks before a political settlement:

  • Breaking the deadlock over President Assad’s future;
  • Persuading the external/regional backers of Damascus and the opposition to give their support not only in words but also in deeds to a Syrian-owned political transition; and,
  • Securing a broad-based agreement on who is a “terrorist” and who is a “moderate”.

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Reklamlar

Time to Get a Grip

August 20, 2018

When President Obama’s visited Turkey in April 2009 he underlined Turkey’s “strong, vibrant, secular democracy”. Turkish-American relations appeared to have reached their peak. As Turkey started to move away from the democratic path relations started to sour not only with the US but also the EU. Then came the Syria ordeal. Turkey was at the forefront of those who were after regime change. President Obama’s decision not to enforce his redline in Syria caused resentment in Ankara because it showed that even the Obama administration, unlike Ankara, had not written off President Assad completely. Okumaya devam et

Iran Sanctions and Turkey’s Brunson Headache

August 10, 2018

The JCPOA was finalized by Iran and the P5+1 on July 14, 2015. Six days later the UN Security Council voted unanimously to endorse the agreement and “terminate” all prior UN sanctions subject to re-imposition through a snapback mechanism. High level visits to Tehran immediately started. The first to arrive was German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. He was followed by EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. These were months before the IAEA certified that Iran had fulfilled her obligations under the JCPOA and the US and the EU lifted their nuclear-related oil and financial sanctions against Iran. President Hassan Rouhani described the achievement as a “golden page” in his country’s history opening new windows for Iran’s engagement with the world. It was hoped that the deal would end decades of hostile relations between Tehran and Washington. Okumaya devam et

Turkey-US: A Mind-boggling Relationship

August 3, 2018

Washington has imposed sanctions on Turkey’s Ministers of Interior and Justice. These may be symbolic but their significance cannot be underrated. Ankara has reacted. The disarrayed opposition is clamoring for retaliation. Russia and Iran have condemned US action. Their “support” has made headlines in the Turkish media with some newspapers now drawing attention to the “religious dimension” of the dispute. Turkish currency continues to fall. Okumaya devam et