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Erdogan Boxed In by Syria

Jan 31, 2013 | Comments Off

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Jan. 30 once again made comments comparing the Republican People’s Party (CHP) to the Syrian Baath Party. One can only assume that by uttering such a reference to Turkey’s main opposition party, Erdogan hopes the public will believe that the CHP supports Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and is, like Assad’s Baath Party, incapacitated and unconcerned about its own people

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/erdogan-turkey-lakhdar-brahimi-syria-policy-failure.html#ixzz2KEM84QZy

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Turkish Opposition Party Criticizes Kurdish Initiative

Jan 29, 2013 | Comments Off

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay told reporters in Ankara on Jan. 23 that the new peace process with Kurdish nationalists “is being handled as transparent as possible.” According to Turkey’s main opposition, however, there is nothing at all “transparent” about this process.
“No one briefed us about these talks with [imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah] Ocalan. So how could these talks be transparent?” asked Faruk Logoglu, deputy chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main political opposition. During an extensive interview with Al-Monitor on Jan. 25, Logoglu stressed that the government needs to brief the parliament if it is sincere about a transparent process.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkish-opposition-party-kurdish-initiative.html#ixzz2KELloUqW

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Is the Turkish Military Getting a Fair Trial?

Jan 28, 2013 | Comments Off

When something is complicated, and the facts are contested, people oftentimes wait quietly for clarity to emerge. To wit, Turks for the most part have remained silent since the judiciary began putting active and retired officers behind bars to await trial for suspected involvement in Ergenekon, an alleged “terrorist organization” seeking to overthrow the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The Turks’ silence is a clear sign of an impasse and possible loss of trust in the military.

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Chill to Remain in Turkey-Israel Ties

Jan 25, 2013 | Comments Off

The outcome of the Israeli elections, signaling that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will again lead the government, will probably have no effect on Israeli-Turkish relations, which are likely to remain chilly. Neither side has any political incentive to change course.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan finds himself better placed with his tough rhetorical line against Israel. However, he is attacked for actually conspiring with Jerusalem. Members of Turkey’s opposition parties sometimes accuse his Justice and Development Party (AKP) of having a secret deal with the Jewish state. They claim Erdogan’s tough rhetoric and feverish temper toward the Israeli state conceals the AKP’s true intentions. “Why did you allow NATO to build a radar station in Kurecik?” asked Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition party (CHP), for example. “If you’re really against Israel, you stop the radar operations in Kurecik. That’s for Israel’s security.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkey-israel-relations.html#ixzz2KEKpYDAe

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Turkey Seeks ‘Interdependence’ With Iraqi Kurdistan

Jan 23, 2013 | Comments Off

“Turkey’s policy is to strengthen economic interdependence with Iraqi Kurds, not to leverage them to independence,” a prominent Turkish official told Al-Monitor.
As Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to bring a closure to Turkey’s Kurdish issue once and for all, his policy also comes under the scrutiny of the neighboring countries.
Turkey has long been vexed by the aspirations for self-determination of the Kurdish people both inside its borders and in neighboring countries.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkey-iraq-kurdistan.html#ixzz2KEKN4gJw

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Whispers of Change In Turkey’s Syria Policy

Jan 22, 2013 | Comments Off

Friedrich Nietzsche said that we can only think those thoughts for which we have words. Sometimes we have words, but we do not have satisfactory explanations as to why things happen. Often, real understanding eludes us.
This is true of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s unwaveringly tough rhetoric on Syrian regime. It neither helps to end the bloodshed in the country, nor is there a real threat of a Turkish military incursion into Syria. But the question remains as to how Turkey will continue to strike a balance without falling into Assad’s quagmire as Ankara intimately engages with it.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkey-syria-policy-shift.html#ixzz2KEJl0EfH

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Turkey Angered by Petition On White House Website

Jan 21, 2013 | Comments Off

On Jan. 5, a petition appeared on the White House website calling on the government of Turkey to open its border with Armenia for refugees from Syria.
“The road from Syria to Armenia goes through Turkey, which closed its border with Armenia in 1993. It creates a big problem for Armenian refugees,” the petition reads. “Thus, we are kindly asking to call Turkey to open the land border with Armenia (at least, for refugees) without any preconditions. There shouldn’t be closed borders in the 21st century.”

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkey-armenia-genocide-obama.html#ixzz2KEIhxLGh

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Kurdish Issue Key To Erdogan’s Success

Jan 20, 2013 | Comments Off

Turkey is scheduled to hold local and presidential elections in 2014 and parliamentary elections the following year. Thus in 2013, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the freedom to take political risks in trying to find a workable solution to the Kurdish issue. If unsuccessful, Erdogan will have plenty of time before the elections to structure the public debate and blame other actors for the failure of the recently upgraded peace process. If successful, he will certainly secure another strong win at the ballot box. Devlet Bahceli, an opposition leader and chairman of the National Movement Party, estimates that Erdogan is guaranteed to take “70% of votes in the next election” if he resolves the Kurdish issue.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/turkey-region-pkk-akp.html#ixzz2Id1mdDOP

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Turkey’s Kurdish Issue: How Did We Get Here?

Jan 18, 2013 | Comments Off

While what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan actually has in mind as a solution to the Kurdish issue remains a mystery, it might be useful to review the history of the conflict.
World War I brought a painful end to the Ottoman Empire, stripping it of its dignity and leaving little in its wake except enmity and hatred among its former subjects. Reflecting on this period, Kurdish nationalists came to believe that they had missed an opportunity to carve out their own homeland. Since that time, the Kurdish issue, according to most of modern Turkey’s governments, has represented a challenge to Turkish unity.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/kurdish-issue-in-turkey.html#ixzz2Id2Ir9Oj

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Salafists Vow to Fight Until There Is ‘Islamic State in Syria’

Jan 17, 2013 | Comments Off

“Rami Youssef” is his revolutionary alias. This young man — aged 18 with dark features and a full, circular beard and shaved mustache in the tradition of the Prophet — has been in Turkey for less than a week. His elder brother said of Rami, “He wants to go back to Aleppo tomorrow and continue fighting.” Speaking to Al-Monitor on Jan. 15 via Skype from his brother’s house in Gaziantep, Rami acknowledged that he is from the al-Suddik brigade of the Ahrar al-Sham Battalions.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/01/fighter-syria-aleppo-turkey.html#ixzz2IHSwQeXs

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