US Opinion and Commentary

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Why the West Should Worry About Turkey

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 3:50 pm (UTC-4)
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Erdogan’s unwillingness to accept a legitimate, democratic election result, and his desire to politicize an office that is nominally non-partisan — the presidency — are just two of many signs that he is tightening his grip on power.

Turkey’s Erdogan: A Mixed Blessing?

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 2:34 pm (UTC-4)
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Turkey is often viewed by the West as an island of stability in a sea of turmoil. For the United States, there is no question that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a leader it needs badly to help stave off more tumult, and maybe even deliver a decisive blow against the Islamic State. On Sunday, Erdogan’s ruling party regained its majority in parliamentary elections, sparked by a hung parliament in June’s general elections. Not content to give up 13 years of AKP rule, critics say Erdogan stoked a nationalistic atmosphere that led his party to victory. And there is ample evidence that Erdogan has become ever more repressive of Turkey’s democratic institutions. As one blog put it: “Dealing with Erdogan is now, for his Western partners, much like holding a wolf by the ears: risky, but the alternative seems much worse.”

In Turkey Vote, a Window on Common Identity

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 8:16 am (UTC-4)
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For all their divisiveness, elections are a window on a country’s ability to form a civic identity, one that rises above creed, tribe, race, or ethnicity…. Turkey is now the place to watch in this global trend toward binding a particular people along shared principles of governance.

Key US Allies Israel and Turkey Face Tough Challenges

Posted October 13th, 2015 at 9:55 am (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin As the Middle East continues a downward spiral, two important U.S. allies that had seemed relatively stable – Israel and Turkey — are both confronting significant new violence.   In Israel, a spasm of Arab attacks — and Israeli retaliation — is prompting fears of a third intifada. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu […]

Why Turkey Voted Against Authoritarianism

Posted June 11th, 2015 at 9:18 am (UTC-4)
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In a turnout of more than 86 percent, voters denied President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the majority he wanted to rewrite the constitution and give himself more executive authority. The result affirmed the stabilizing power of democracy and the wisdom of an informed electorate.

A Victory for Democracy in Turkey

Posted June 8th, 2015 at 1:04 pm (UTC-4)
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By Barbara Slavin His name was not on the ballot. But Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Turkey were all about President Recep Tayib Erdogan and the results revealed growing disenchantment with his authoritarian, divisive rule. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its majority in parliament and with it, Erdogan’s bid to revise the constitution to […]