Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a brief press conference at the Cotroceni presidential palace in Bucharest, Romania, April 1, 2015 (AP photo by Vadim Ghirda).

On June 7, Turkish citizens will head to the polls to elect representatives for the Grand National Assembly. Although Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is certain to retain its parliamentary majority, the outcome of this important election will likely determine the future of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Since 2011, Erdogan, echoed by the party’s manifesto, has argued that Turkey must change its political system to create what AKP supporters refer to as the “New Turkey.” To do so, Erdogan has called for the drafting of a new constitution that includes a strengthened presidential system imbued with few […]

Newly elected northern Cypriot President Mustafa Akinci speaks to his supporters, April 26, 2015 (AP photo by Petros Karadjias).

Mustafa Akinci was sworn in as president of northern Cyprus yesterday, after overwhelmingly defeating right-wing incumbent President Dervis Eroglu, 60.5 percent to 40.5 percent, in Sunday’s election. Though Eroglu, who has been in office since 2010, had just barely finished atop the first-round voting a week before, the leftist Akinci and the two other leading candidates, who all focused their campaigns on change and cleaner politics, together received 70 percent of the vote. The second round became, in effect, a referendum between those content with the conservative status quo, including a hard line in peace talks on Cyprus’ reunification, and […]

Fighters of the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) walk in the damaged streets of Sinjar, Iraq, Jan. 29, 2015 (AP photo by Bram Janssen).

The Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government, have exchanged harsh words in recent weeks over who has control over the strategically imporant city of Sinjar in northern Iraq. In an email interview, Jordi Tejel, a research professor in the international history department of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, discussed intra-Kurdish tensions. WPR: How has the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS) affected relations between the KRG and the PKK—and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian affliliate of […]