Turks denied their increasingly autocratic regime the ability to rule by decree earlier this Summer. But a do-over election, following a brutal anti-Kurd and anti-opposition media campaign, shows that President Erdogan and his allies will stop at nothing to win, even if it means killing democracy along with Turks and Kurds who cross the majority party.
ANKARA -- Erdogan has divided the country on ethnic, sectarian and lifestyle levels in an unprecedented manner. Traumatized by the terror attack, Turkey will first need to facilitate free and fair elections, then form a coalition government and then go about rehabilitating the country's deep divisions. Rooting out domestic ISIS cells must be a priority. The alternative is the Pakistanization of Turkey. We cannot afford to let this happen.
ISTANBUL -- To grasp Erdoğan's seemingly contradictory stance towards Putin requires some knowledge of the system of crony capitalism which has sprung up and flourished -- particularly in the energy and construction sectors -- in both Turkey and Russia. Aware that Turkey will emerge the loser in any confrontation with Russia, Erdoğan and the AKP have pragmatically accepted Russia's geopolitical superiority, while seeking to reap the maximum financial gain in the process.
In 1997, the movie Wag the Dog told the tale of an American President who created a fictitious war against Albania to distract from domestic scandals, ensuring reelection. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan must have seen it, as he's following the same script against the Kurds in order to boost his party's flagging fortunes. But will it work?
JERUSALEM -- Even at this early stage, it is apparent that the agreement has empowered Iran regionally. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite regime lavished praise on the agreement, rightly recognizing that enhanced international legitimacy and financial resources will enable Shia Iran to provide greater backing. Assad's other major regional ally, Lebanon's Hezbollah (which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization), also supports the deal. Vladimir Putin's Russia is also happy to have received U.S. assistance, however indirectly, in strengthening Assad's hold on power.