Lines of Fire

The real question is not who will win, but whether a civil war can be averted between the lines of fire now being laid down, between Kurds and Turks, Alevis and Sunnis, and ISIS-inspired Turks and the rest of Turkish society.

The Turkish Complex: Bigman, Hero, Traitor, State

My new piece in The National Interest is an analysis of Turkish current events, seen from a slightly more anthropological angle than usual. I identify repeating themes and patterns that underlie Turkish society and politics.

What is Huda-Par?

Armed fighting has broken out again in southeast Turkey between the Kurdish PKK and Huda-Par, resulting in two deaths. Given that the AKP government is supposed to be negotiating peace with the PKK, we may well ask who or what is Huda-Par, which appears to be a far-right Islamist organization, one of many armed factions of various stripes that make up the Turkish fringe. But they’re more than that and evidence of another dangerous game being played blind in Ankara.

Analysis and Summary: Turkey at a Tipping Point

The December 2014 edition of Current History has a collection of articles on the Middle East by prominent scholars that give excellent analyses and updates for different countries in the region. Here’s my take on Turkey.

Islamic State Member Threatens Istanbul

One IS member threatens on camera that if the apostate Turkish government doesn’t turn the Euphrates water back on, which Turkey has blocked with its dam, IS will come to Istanbul and turn it on from there. He is quite explicit that this is a threat. Hello, Ankara?

The New Old Nationalist Extremism

This very creepy AKP election ad was recently rejected for use by the Higher Election Board because it misuses the Turkish flag. But the imagery itself is amazingly evocative in the worst possible way.

What Ban?

Rumor is (based on vehement pre-emptive denials by the people involved) that videos will soon be leaked that show PM Erdogan asking whether it is permissible in Islam for him to order the killing of a politician.

Option Three: To Hell In A Handbasket

PM Erdogan is ripping apart the fabric of society and fanning the blood-lust that has so many times dragged Turkey down the path of sectarian violence.

It’s Out!

Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks is out in Turkish translation, Müslüman Milliyetçiliği ve Yeni Türkler

Ergenekon Endgame

The shocker was the life sentence just given to General Ilker Basbug, who led the military between 2008 and 2010. He has been accused of leading a terrorist gang. The general has rejected all the charges against him and says it is farcical to accuse a military official appointed to his position by the state with terrorism against the state he is serving.