Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Saudi Arabia’s key role in the Middle East
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder has upset the Middle East’s geopolitical balance in two dimensions: the three-sided rivalry between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and stable monarchies in the region. For the Saudis, the crisis poses an unexpected opportunity to improve governance. For the West, it presents a choice between triggering chaos and a possible radical takeover, or helping the kingdom make a difficult transition.
Turkey’s energy foreign policy at a crossroads
Energy cooperation between Turkey and Russia has ramped up in recent years. If it grows any closer, it could threaten EU interests, especially the key Southern Gas Corridor project. But Turkey's own interests are also at risk if its dependence on Russian gas supplies grows. The question is whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will prioritize diversification – and therefore cooperation with the EU and Azerbaijan – or placating his domestic political allies.
Opinion: Africa and foreign influence
Europe has a mixed history when it comes to its involvement in Africa. In recent years, it has mostly abandoned its interests there, leaving a vacuum that is being filled by China, Russia and Turkey. European policy toward Africa currently is shortsighted, mainly aiming to address the migration crisis. But Europe has an opportunity to form a long-term mutually beneficial partnership there – and teaming up with Turkey could benefit all sides.
Before leaping at the opportunity to question the results of Sunday's election in Turkey, politicians and media in Europe and the United States would do well to consider the basis of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal. Until Western leaders take into account Turkey's emerging regional role and interests, they cannot hope to have any influence on its politics.
GIS Dossier: Syria, Round 2
As Islamic State and jihadist rebels head for defeat in Syria’s civil war, the conflict is becoming more internationalized. Turkey has intervened military in the north against the Kurds, the U.S. has bombed Russian military contractors, and a rocket-propelled chess game between Israel on one side and Iran and Hezbollah on the other is heating up. If the key players aren’t careful, Round 2 in Syria could be a regional conflagration.
Turkey and the West – distant yet inseparable
Turkey’s growing estrangement from the West stems from its domestic and regional ambitions, as well as from a feeling of being unwanted in the European Union. There is also a deeper undercurrent, present since the founding of the Turkish Republic, that questions the Kemalist strategy of a radical alignment with Europe. Even so, a total break with its Western partners is not on the cards.
Turkey, Iran and the potential for peace in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted a summit in Ankara with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on April 4. The focus of the meeting was Syria. The move showed how Turkey is renewing efforts to overcome past rivalries and improve relations with its neighbors to solve one of the biggest threats to its interests. If these three regional powers can manage to use realpolitik, there may be hope for a resolution to the Syria conflict – at least in the short term.
GIS Dossier: Turkey and Europe
Europe can no longer take Turkey for granted or ignore its vital interests. Many in the West are rightfully displeased with the weakening of important institutions that the country has seen under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but realpolitik dictates cooperation in mutual interest. Europe and Turkey are in urgent need of each other in an increasingly unstable world.
Opinion: Turkey changing the dynamics in the Horn of Africa
Late last year, Turkey secured the lease of an island on Sudan’s Red Sea coast. The location of this ancient port – situated on one of the world’s most important trade arteries – will put Ankara in a position to exercise much greater influence from the Nile to the Persian Gulf. The Turks scored this success because they took a broad strategic view, which must now be reconciled with their obsessively narrow focus on a single issue – the Kurds – in their immediate neighborhood.