GIS Dossier: How Turkey scored big in the gas pipeline game
Sitting at the intersection of important energy transfer routes, Turkey is an active participant in the high-stakes pipeline game between the European Union, Russia and the Caspian region energy producers. Ankara has increased its geopolitical heft and secured earnings from gas transit fees but at the price of making Turkey more dependent on Russia. This has important implications for Europe.
The perpetual war
The truce brokered by Turkey and Russia in northwestern Syria has prevented a slaughter of the remnants of the Syrian opposition forces and scores of hapless civilians. This highlights the pragmatic attitudes of the two powers that have assumed key roles in the Syria conflict. The danger of a larger war remains, however, as long as Iran’s designs in Syria threaten Israel.
Iran’s rapprochement with Azerbaijan opens dangerous dynamics
The relentless rise of Iran is also making itself felt in the South Caucasus, a region ridden by border conflicts and great-power rivalry. The inroad is Azerbaijan. The small but oil-rich Caspian Sea state with a border issue with a neighbor is being intensely courted by Tehran and Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Israel, too, cultivates its relations with Baku. Russia’s traditional policy in its backyard – divide and rule, and sell weapons to all – may backfire under such circumstances.
GIS Dossier: Turkey and the Middle East
Ankara is still groping for the right policy mix in dealing with complex challenges to Turkey’s vital interests in the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. A paradigm change, however, diverting its geopolitical attention away from Europe and NATO and toward its historic neighborhood, is already evident.
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.
Turkey has the right to protect its national interests
Turkey is a regional power, a direct neighbor of Middle Eastern states and their historic trading and political partner. The West continues to ignore its national interests only at the risk of its own security.
GIS Dossier: Europe’s migration impasse
The steady flow of migrants from the Middle East and Africa suddenly exploded in 2015 into the greatest crisis of its kind in Europe since World War II. How this happened and what the EU and national governments ought to do about it is examined in this survey of work by GIS experts.
Opinion: ‘Values’-driven policies, Europe’s road to isolation
Much of the instability and risk in the global environment can be traced to Western nations’ tendency to judge their rivals, but also allies and partners, through the prism of so-called Western values. The United States is powerful, self-sustained and geographically isolated enough to get away with it for a while, but European nations face grave danger if they continue to try to substitute pragmatic give-and-take policies with arrogance and moralistic lectures.
Early returns suggest that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has prevailed in the referendum on giving him sweeping new powers, even if this mandate may not be a strong one at this point. The European Union should tread carefully: rather than try to marginalize the leader of Turkey, it should find ways to cooperate with a critically needed ally for Europe and NATO.
New kingmakers: Putin or Erdogan?
Evidence that Russia tried to manipulate the outcome of the United States presidential elections is flimsy. It is increasingly clear, though, that EU leaders themselves are manipulating their electorates with gross anti-Turkey populism as they try to cling to power.