Tag Archives: Turkey

Is Turkey Giving Up on EU Membership?

BARIN KAYAOĞLU

23 September 2013

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You know Turkey’s hopes of joining the European Union (EU) are in trouble when the state minister whose job is to get the country into the European club begins to have second thoughts about his mission. You may also know that Turkey’s influence in the Middle East would diminish if Ankara does not move forward with its EU bid.

The recent remarks of the Turkish minister for EU affairs Egemen Bagis, who declared that his country will probably not become a member of the prestigious European club, is the first time that a high-ranking member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is admitting how Turkey may never enter the EU. This acknowledgement can have serious repercussions about Turkish influence in the Middle East.

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Barın Kayaoğlu is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. He was recently a Smith Richardson Foundation fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (Barın Kayaoğlu).

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Turkey’s AKP Mobilizes Twitter Army for Elections

BARIN KAYAOĞLU

18 September 2013

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If last summer’s Gezi Park protests in Turkey proved anything, it was the power of social media, especially Twitter. While mainstream media outlets kept quiet after the mass protests broke out on May 31, Twitter users reported live from the demonstrations with texts, pictures, and videos. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose harsh rhetoric added fuel to the Gezi fire, called Twitter “a scourge.”

Part of the reason why the prime minister lashed out against the social media network was because his party could not respond to protesting Twitter users effectively. It looks like Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has learned from its shortcomings.

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Barın Kayaoğlu is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. He was recently a Smith Richardson Foundation fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (Barın Kayaoğlu).

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Five Lessons from Turkey’s 1998 Standoff With Syria

BARIN KAYAOĞLU

6 September 2013

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It tends to be forgotten, but in the fall of 1998 Turkey and Syria almost went to war.

Today, Ankara’s enthusiasm for possible US airstrikes against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad makes one realize how Turkey’s Syrian odyssey has come full circle since that fateful fall of 1998. Even as US military action against Syria is becoming more likely, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu are disappointed that their Western and Middle Eastern allies are unwilling to use all means necessary to quickly topple the Assad regime. Five lessons from the 1998 episode and its aftermath could help Ankara devise policies more in tune with its national interests in Syria.

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Barın Kayaoğlu, a visiting fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University, is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (BarınKayaoğlu.com).

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Erdoğan’s Anti-Israel Remarks Reflect Broader Anti-Semitism in Turkey

BARIN KAYAOĞLU

22 August 2013

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A famous Turkic figure blasts Jews and Israel for their pernicious influence around the world. Americans respond in shock. Those who know the story are (somewhat nervously) giggling because they’ve seen it before. Our hero is not Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, but Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who just blamed Israel for orchestrating the 3 July coup in Egypt.

[To read the rest of the post, click here.]

Barın Kayaoğlu, a visiting fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University, is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (BarınKayaoğlu.com).

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After Gezi, Is Turkey’s AKP Correcting Course?

BARIN KAYAOĞLU

13 August 2013

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Reports of the political demise of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the aftermath of the Gezi Park protests were exaggerated. In fact, the findings of a think-tank headed by an AKP deputy hint that not only is the ruling party alive and well, it may actually be undergoing a “course correction.” This correction, in turn, could have profound implications for next year’s local and presidential elections in Turkey.

[To read the rest of the post, click here.]

Barın Kayaoğlu, a visiting fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University, is finishing his doctorate in history at the University of Virginia. You can follow him on Twitter (@barinkayaoglu) and Facebook (BarınKayaoğlu.com).

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