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Turkey’s Foreign and Security Policy Quandary

July 16, 2019

On July 5, The Atlantic published an article by Thomas Wright, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. The title was “Trump Couldn’t Ignore the Contradictions of His Foreign Policy Any Longer”. (*)

The article provides interesting insight on the evolution of President Trump’s foreign policy. What attracted my attention more than anything else was the very first paragraph: Okumaya devam et

Reklamlar

Dangers of Overreach

July 10, 2019

Seven years ago, Ankara was partnering with Western countries and some Gulf states for regime change in Syria. Leaders of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) were claiming that this was going to be accomplished within months if not weeks. Seven years later, those partners none of which shared a 910-kilometer border with Syria are no longer with us. Yes, the U.S. is still there but now we are on very different paths. Despite our failing economy, JDP leaders proudly announce that so far Turkey has spent 40 billion dollars for the four million Syrian refugees in Turkey. This is only the tip of the iceberg if one were to look at the political/economic/security losses we incurred as a result of our involvement in the conflict. Okumaya devam et

U.S. Policy Toward North Korea and Iran

July 3, 2019

On April 27, 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crossed the line that has divided the Korean Peninsula for the last 65 years, for a historic summit with President Moon Jae-in. The two leaders signed the three-page “Panmunjom Declaration,” which mentioned the ushering in of a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, alleviating military tension and establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. The declaration also confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” However, this was the last item coming after other measures to ensure the normalization of relations between the two Koreas.

The two leaders also had one-to-one chats. Okumaya devam et

Deal of the Century First Episode: Disappointment

June 28, 2019

On June 22, the White House released the first of a two-part Middle East peace plan, “the deal of the century”. Three days later, in Bahrain, President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner presented the administration’s vision of a new prosperity for the Middle East, if peace could be achieved. As for the political dimension, all he said was: “We’ll get to the political plan when we are ready to get to the political plan. However, today is not about the political issues.” Okumaya devam et

A Sigh of Relief for Now

June 23, 2019

Everybody knew this was a landmark election, the last exit on the road authoritarian rule. And finally, the people of Turkey, for a multitude of reasons including their disapproval of the annulment of the March 31 Istanbul mayoral election said, “enough is enough” to the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP). With a failing economy, extreme polarization, a chain of foreign and security policy disasters, government’s only hope of winning the rerun was JDP supporters restating their devotion to President Erdoğan and even that didn’t work. Okumaya devam et

Time to Launch “Operation Enduring Diplomacy”

 

June 18, 2019

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Washington holds Iran responsible. Iran denies the charge. While some observers draw attention to the possible role of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in the attacks, others draw attention to Washington hawks’ desire to build a case for more pressure or action against Tehran.  Iran has announced that on June 27 it will exceed a limit on enriched uranium set by the JCPOA. Washington is sending more troops to the Middle East. Okumaya devam et

Turkey’s S400s/F35s Conundrum

June 14, 2019

The last episode of the S400 missiles/F35 fighters controversy has taken Turkey-US relations to unprecedented lows. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart. For some, this was an “ultimatum”.  Ankara’s earlier proposal to Washington was forming a “working group”. It now says the language of the letter is incompatible with the spirit of alliance between two NATO members. The huge gap between the “ultimatum” and the “working group proposal” is worrisome to say the least. In the meantime, Russia is making one announcement after the other saying the S400s will be delivered before the end of July. Only a week before the rerun of the Istanbul municipal election Turkish media keeps condemning the “ultimatum”. Anti-Americanism is on the rise. Okumaya devam et