January 23, 2023
Although not yet officially announced, it appears that Türkiye will hold presidential and parliamentary elections on May 14, 2023. President Erdoğan is running for a third term and the group of six opposition parties known as the “table of six”, still has to agree on a candidate for president. To use two popular phrases used to define the changing global order, Türkiye is also at an “inflection point” or at a “defining moment”. Because in these elections, the people of Türkiye will judge the two decades of the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) increasingly authoritarian rule. And the world would judge them accordingly since these elections are the last exit for democracy, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, and accountability.
Okumaya devam et →
October 10, 2022
Almost five years ago I said that the alliance between Türkiye and the US which, despite ups and downs had stood the test of time, was under considerable strain, and the so-called “telephone diplomacy” which did not allow for an in-depth exchange of views raised more questions than it resolved. This was the time when President Trump, despite having sent the most discourteous letter in the history of modern diplomacy to his Turkish counterpart, was still Ankara’s only “friend” in Washington.
Okumaya devam et →
November 1, 2021
A month ago, I concluded a post with the following: “Presidents Biden and Erdogan may meet in Rome, but a genuine reset in Turkish-American relations remains mission impossible in the short term. The Biden-Erdogan meeting would focus more on containing the rising cost of our differences than give-and-take. No matter what is said publicly, and one should not expect much, it will not end mutual frustration…”
Okumaya devam et →
October 9, 2020
As the US braces for November 3 presidential election, countries remain divided in their expectations. Europe having enjoyed excellent relations with the Obama White House no doubt wishes to see Mr. Biden there. Because, although this would not be a replica of the Obama White House there would be parallels. The same goes for Iran, whereas Gulf states have been getting along extremely well with Mr. Trump. Israel would probably prefer a Trump victory but move on regardless of who is in the White House, happy with the balance sheet of the past four years.
Okumaya devam et →
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 →
April 25, 2019
President Hassan Rouhani had called the JCPOA a “golden page” in his country’s history, opening a new chapter in Iran’s engagement with the world. It was hoped that the deal would end decades of hostile relations between Tehran and Washington.
With President Trump that “golden page” has unfortunately turned into a fond memory. With the IAEA regularly reporting that Iran is abiding by its commitments under the JCPOA, the P4+Germany and the international community, with the exception of Israel and US’ Gulf allies, still support the deal. Washington’s reneging on its commitments under the JCPOA will no doubt lead to questions regarding the consistency of US foreign policy. But equally if not more important will be dealing with Mr. Trump’s threat that “anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States”, despite the fact that these new sanctions are not endorsed by the UN. Okumaya devam et →
March 11, 2019
At the beginning of the Syrian conflict Russia and Turkey were on diametrically opposite sides. Russia was supporting the regime, the Turkish government the opposition. Nonetheless, Turkish-Russian relations remained on track.
On November 24, 2015 a stunning development changed the picture. Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 military plane for having violated Turkish airspace for 17 seconds. This was no “accident”. It was a tragic “incident”. Okumaya devam et →
January 29, 2018
On May 16, 2017 Presidents Erdogan and Trump had talks in Washington. A few days before the visit I had said:
“…neither Ankara nor Washington can afford a too rocky relationship with too many ups and downs. They need one another and a reasonably steady relationship. So, the uneasy, unhappy alliance will continue.” (*)
I may have been over-optimistic. At present, the two capitals can’t agree even on the gist of a phone call between the presidents. Okumaya devam et →
January 15, 2018
On December 28, 2017, the Turkish Embassy in Washington issued a statement which welcomed the decision of the U.S. to resume regular visa procedures by lifting the restrictions applied to Turkish citizens and said that in accordance with the principle of reciprocity, restrictions on visa services applied to American citizens had been lifted simultaneously. This was supposed to be good news for a turbulent relationship. Not quite… Okumaya devam et →
January 9, 2017
In early April 2009 Mr. Obama visited Ankara on his first trip abroad as US President. His address to the Turkish Parliament was full of praise for Turkey’s “strong, vibrant, secular democracy”. In May 2013, Prime Minister Erdogan visited Washington. Remarks made by the two leaders at their joint press conference reflected nothing but a cordial and strong relationship. Four years later, we have a different picture (1). Okumaya devam et →