The Great Debate

Turkey’s Erdogan fights for his throne by battling Kurds – but will voters buy it?

By Andrew Finkel
August 23, 2015
Members of YDG-H, youth wing of outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, sit next to their weapons in Silvan, near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey

Masked members of YDG-H, youth wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), sit next to their weapons in Silvan, near the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, August 17, 2015. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

The U.S. picked the wrong ally in the fight against Islamic State

By Blaise Misztal
August 4, 2015
Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives his speech at the National People's Congress (NPC) in Algiers

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the National People’s Congress in Algiers, June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

Syrian refugees have nowhere to go, are never at home

By Shashank Iyer
August 3, 2015
A Syrian refugee woman carries her belongings as she crosses into Turkey at Akcakale border gate in Sanliurfa province, Turkey

A Syrian refugee woman carries her belongings as she crosses into Turkey at Akcakale border gate in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, June 15, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkey joined the fight against Islamic State, but not for the reasons you think

By Neil Quilliam and Jonathan Friedman
July 28, 2015
Turkish Air Force AS-532AL Cougar helicopter takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey

A Turkish Air Force AS-532AL Cougar helicopter takes off from Incirlik airbase in the southern city of Adana, Turkey, July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Elected autocrats help the media learn its place

By John Lloyd
June 12, 2015
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's Presidential Palace complex is pictured in Ankara, Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s Presidential Palace complex is pictured in Ankara, Turkey, May 28, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Erdogan loses his chance to become Turkey’s Vladimir Putin

By Andrew Finkel
June 8, 2015
Turkish President Erdogan looks on after arriving at Esenboga Airport in Ankara

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan looks on after arriving at Esenboga Airport, in Ankara, Turkey, June 8, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Why do European Muslim girls look to Islamic State for marriage material?

By Barbara F. Walter
March 4, 2015
Handout CCTV image shows British teenage girl Amira Abase walking through security at Gatwick airport before boarding a flight to Turkey


Left to right: Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase, Shamima Begun. The British teenagers walk through security at Gatwick airport before boarding a flight to Turkey, Feb. 17, 2015. REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/Handout via Reuters

From democrat to autocrat: NATO ally turns back on group’s ideals

By Andrew Finkel
December 22, 2014

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Police stage a dawn raid on a large-circulation newspaper armed with warrants to take the editor-in-chief into custody. There can be no image quite so potent of a government that has lost its democratic legitimacy or one that has something to hide. It’s happened in Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe, and Somaliland. Last Sunday, it happened in Turkey.

Seven unlikely events in the fight against Islamic State, and their likely outcomes

By Aki Peritz and Tara Maller
November 17, 2014

Shi'ite fighters, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), take part in field training in the desert in the province of Najaf

It’s easy to get depressed about the Middle East these days. The bloodshed continues unabated in Syria. Islamic State advances across Iraq, sacking towns and slaughtering innocents. Millions are refugees. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seems well ensconced in Damascus, on track to outlasting President Barack Obama in office.

It’s no love match, but divorce is not an option for U.S. and Turkey

By Andrew Finkel
November 10, 2014

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan listens to U.S. President Obama during joint news conference at the White House in Washington

Recent events in Kobani are a lesson in how relationships between nations can grow dysfunctional.