Turkey's foreign policy in the Balkans promotes a neo-Ottoman agenda, aimed at expanding its influence in former territories of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey exports Islamism under the guise of cultural cooperation. It also seeks economic advantage, using business as leverage to consolidate its national interests.
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?
As story after story emerges about the potential game changing 2015 election in Turkey, one party is virtually being ignored. But it has a good chance of playing the spoiler for the ambitions of the ruling AKP and its autocratic President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And it's a party once led by a former Erdogan all
The recently -- and Putinesquely -- elected President Erdoğan likes to refer to his state as the "new Turkey," just as Atatürk and his Nazi admirers did. That by itself may not mean much, but the label signifies the same: a Turkey that radically breaks with what was before. Erdoğan can run and scream all he wants; he is Atatürk's kid.
The protestors galvanized by Alsan's murder have been calling for tougher sentencing for perpetrators. In addition to these important steps, moving forward it will also be critical to have access to official data which provides an accurate account of the number of violent crimes committed against women.
The AKP does not aspire to be a model for the Islamic world; it aspires to be its leader -- a duty which includes safeguarding the interests of the nearly 20 million Muslims living in Europe. In Erdoğan's view, it is the EU which must accommodate itself to Turkey, not vice versa. Erdoğan is saying to the West: If you want my help in the Middle East, then we'll play by my rules.
For the past two weeks Turkey has been experiencing what could best be described as a movement somewhere on the spectrum between "Occupy Wall Street" and the "Arab Spring." But it will not result in a popular revolution of the government, nor will it be remembered for achieving anything but attention.