Erdogan Tweets!

In spite of calling Twitter one of the greatest menaces to society, it seems that PM Erdogan and President Gul partake liberally of that evil themselves.

Egypt and Turkey: Illiberal Democrats, Undemocratic Liberals, and the Third Way?

Ömer Taşpınar has written an insightful essay examining what Egyptians are debating about Turkey and what the Turkish media are saying about Morsi and the Egyptian coup. The Turks, not surprisingly, “talk Turkey through Egypt” — just replace Mohammed Morsi with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.  Not surprisingly, the pro-Morsi camp in Turkey is mostly AKP supporters. But the crux of […]

Reset: Erdogan and Egypt

The Turkish public’s new expectations are in part a result of AKP’s success — a new, global economy, an expanding middle class, better educated youth. Instead of applauding them, it appears the the government is afraid of them. Gezi protesters are not coup-loving Tahrir Square denizens. Yet. Maybe never.

Getting Around the Censors

China’s censors blocked searches for “big yellow duck” in an attempt to foil creative ways people have come up with to commemorate the 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square. The photo reimages the tanks facing down a man. The Wall Street Journal discusses other creative takes on Tiananmen on its anniversary, including an Angry […]

What Did the Gezi Uprisings Mean?

What did the Gezi Uprisings mean? What are the issues?

Is The Syrian War Really Sectarian?

The take-away is that Syria’s war is not a sectarian war, and that western visions of a new post-Assad government under the leadership of the gangs of ‘secular’ and ‘jihadi’ militants, assuming they could tell them apart at this point, is not a formula that would be accepted by Syrians who see themselves as “caught between two devils”. Bringing down the regime (rather than the narrower goal of replacing Assad) is more likely to lead to a failed Syrian state run by jihadist mobs somewhat in the mould of Somalia, rather than a stable, liberal, rebel-led government. It didn’t work in Iraq or Libya, why would we expect it to work in Syria?

An Inside Look at Syria’s Refugees Across the Region

There are 324,770 official Syrian refugees in Turkey (Turkish government estimates are 400,000). 17 out of 23 of the region’s refugee camps are in Turkey, which has decided to halt construction of any new camps. The main issues are cross-border attacks by pro-regime forces (as witnessed recently in Reyhanli where two car bombs killed at least 51 […]

Innovation in Power Supply: The Power Ship

I thought this was very innovative and worth noting: a floating electricity-generating power plant, a “power ship” that can be parked by any shore and used to generate part of that country’s electricity needs. There is currently a Turkish “power ship”, the Fatmagül Sultan, parked off Beirut that is producing 188 MW of electricity daily, the […]

What Would The Turkish-Kurdish Peace Deal Mean For The Region?

In YaleGlobal,  Mohammed Ayoob writes that the new deal for peace between Turkey’s government and PKK rebels to end more than thirty years of hostilities also has implications for the wider region, especially Iraq, Syria, and Iran. If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can convince the various political factions in Turkey to go along with the […]

Singing in Kurdish And Other Good Tidings

There’s so much good news in a row that it’s giving me vertigo. First, the Turkish government and the PKK call for an end to their long, vicious war. Then Israel makes up with Turkey by apologizing for the Mavi Marmara incident. And now, oh the irony, the Turkish government has kindly offered the financially ruined […]