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.

The Salafi Switcheroo

It appears certain that Turkey has provided military and medical assistance to ISIS (now Islamic State or IS) fighters in the past couple of years, allowing them refuge in and easy transit through Turkey to Syria. The Turkish IHH organization played a prominent role in this.

Islamic State in Turkey

The biggest danger to the region — including Turkey — and arguably the world at the moment is not Russia’s expansionism or the Israel-Gaza conflagration, but Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant).

The Poor and The Disconnected

Turkey’s Development Ministry issued a new report on the distribution of poverty across Turkey. 16% of population is poor, defined as a 4-member family living under $2125 a month.

Hizmet versus AKP: Everything You Want To Know

I highly recommend Reuben Silverman’s blog (here) for an incredibly detailed account of the issues and events surrounding the corruption investigations and their larger context — the history of Hizmet versus AKP jostling.

Erdogan to Step Down as PM. And Then?

The AKP’s executive board, in a meeting chaired by PM Erdogan, has decided not to extend the term limit for prime minister from three to four terms. This means that Erdogan will likely run for president in August.

Local Elections 2014 Roundup

Overall AKP 46% – CHP 28% (with 80% of the vote counted).

Dog Fight

Many familiar tropes, phrases, and accusations that I’m sure many people had hoped that Turkey had left in the past. It’s a haunting — nasty ghosts of regimes and eras past rising to scare the willies out of the present.

Turkish Hizbullah Is Back In New Sheep’s Clothing

Turkish Hizbullah is back — in a new guise as a political party, Huda-Par. Hizbullah (not related to Lebanon’s Hezbullah) has been around for a few decades, wreaking havoc of one kind or another.

It’s Out!

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