President Vladimir Putin is confident that Crimea's current population -- which is 60 percent ethnic Russian -- will vote to join Russia. But as presently planned, the referendum will disenfranchise more than 1 million Tartars who have a right to participate.
Declaring a desire to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Iran in combating terrorism, and driven by Turkey's evolving policy toward Syria, Erdoğan's trip highlighted Ankara and Tehran's tendency to pursue mutual interests when their paths cross.
That the AKP's third term is mired in systemic corruption is discouraging for Turkey's democracy. Even more worrisome, though, is the fact that corruption has led to an authoritarian trend in which those who refuse political obedience are profiled and discriminated against.
"What does Turkey look like from abroad?," is the most common question I've been hearing recently when I contact someone in Turkey. What can I say? Since last May, Turkey's image in the U.S. has noticeably been going somewhere we don't want to know...
Too often the political and business establishments in many countries gloss over the impact of corruption. They underestimate the scale of public anger. They fail to fully appreciate that corruption kills, it impoverishes, it robs people of their dignity, their freedom and their rights.
As hundreds of millions of people, many very poor, across most of the world obtain Internet connections, see web-based news that governments find hard to censor, even in China, so the pressures on authorities to attack graft mounts.
Kilicdaroglu has consistently bashed Erdogan on both domestic and foreign policy in the midst of a deepening gulf in Turkish society between secularists and Islamists that threatens more street violence.
As the Turkish experience shows, democracy is a messy process with a steep learning curve. It sometimes can seem like too much to ask of both governments and the governed to have patience to learn the difference between legitimate democratic opposition and rebellion; enforcement and oppression.
Did you hear the one about Obama and Kerry in a Middle East casino? They start off with lots of chips. They're playing craps, making a couple of large bets which they lose. So they take their remaining chips and head to the blackjack table.
The question now is whether Aquino -- although hailing from a privileged background, with little ideological bent, but similarly enjoying a great measure of popular support -- will go down in history as Philippines' version of Lula or Erdogan.
In an effort to make himself the leader of the Islamic Middle Eastern world, Erdogan decimated that relationship which has cost Turkey in terms of shared intelligence about hostile neighbors including Iran.