Zero Solutions: Challenges Mount for Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, rear left, on Victory Day in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center right, and Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, rear left, on Victory Day in Ankara, Turkey, Aug. 30, 2014 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s shift from the prime ministership to the presidency symbolizes a deeper shift for Turkey. While Erdogan has made progress towards peace with the Kurdish minority at home, he faces criticism for an increasingly autocratic ruling style. At the same time, Turkey’s relations both with its neighbors in the Middle East and with major powers such as the United States are under strain. This report covers Turkey’s domestic politics and foreign affairs, drawing on articles from the past year.

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Domestic Politics

After Election Victory, Turkey’s Erdogan Unlikely to Change Ways
By Frida Ghitis
Aug. 14, 2014

Turkey’s Schizophrenic Opposition Unlikely to Defeat Erdogan and Unified AKP
By Aaron Stein
July 18, 2014

No Longer Invincible, Turkey’s Erdogan Plans His Next Move
By Yigal Schleifer
March 19, 2014

Will Catalog of Conspiracies Save Turkey’s Erdogan?
By Frida Ghitis
March 20, 2014

Turkey’s Rule of Law Eroding as Erdogan, Courts Clash
By Maria Savel
April 15, 2014

Politics as Usual: The Battle for the Turkish Judiciary
By Michael Koplow
Jan. 14, 2014

How Erdogan is Losing Turkey
By Frida Ghitis
Jan. 9, 2014

Turkey’s Constitution Should Seek to Protect Rights First
Interview with Aslan Amani
Sept. 6, 2013

Protests a Needed Tonic for Turkey’s Democracy
By Bayram Balci
June 28, 2013

The Kurdish Initiative

Erdogan’s Kurdish Electoral Gamble Will Reverberate in Turkey and Iraq
By Hannes Cerny
April 3, 2014

Turkish Protests, Syria Crisis Will Boost Turkey-PKK Peace Process
By Bayram Balci
July 29, 2013

Current Turkey-PKK Tensions Endanger Peace Talks
Interview with Michael M. Gunter
June 13, 2014

Syrian War Stirs Up Kurdish Anxiety in Turkey and Iraq
By Frida Ghitis
Aug. 15, 2013

Regional Relations

Turkey-Iran Relations Reach Low Ebb Over Syria War
By Shashank Joshi
Aug. 19, 2013

Turkey, Iran Compartmentalize Ties to Sidestep Differences
By Aaron Stein
June 11, 2014

Turkey Positions Itself as Regional Energy Player
Interview with Gareth Winrow
June 9, 2014

In Iraq, Turkey Seeks to Mend Ties With Baghdad Without Alienating Kurds
By Yigal Schleifer
Nov. 11, 2013

Turkey and Israel, Still No Happy Ending
By Frida Ghitis
Aug. 1, 2013

Turkey on the Global Stage

Turkey’s Russia Policy Put to the Test by Ukraine Crisis
By Richard Weitz
March 18, 2014

Under Montreux Convention, Turkey Controls Black Sea Access in Wartime
Interview with James Kraska
March 10, 2014

Turkey’s Domestic Troubles Causing Tensions With U.S.
By Richard Weitz
Feb. 4, 2014

Money, Not Realignment, Drives China-Turkey Missile Defense Deal
By Richard Weitz
Nov. 5, 2013

Turkey’s Diplomatic Advances in Balkans Stalled by Domestic Difficulties
By Matteo Tacconi
Sept. 25, 2013

Mutual Economic Interests Drive Warming India-Turkey Ties
By Saurav Jha
Aug. 13, 2013

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