Turkey

Can We Have Constantinople Back?

Featured image Turkey, sometimes an unsteady ally during the Cold War and in Middle Eastern affairs but an ally nonetheless, is showing increasing signs under Erdogan of tilting toward Islamism and away from the West. And that’s leaving aside the appalling scene from Erdogan’s recent visit to Washington, which featured his security goons beating up on protestors in the streets of Washington outside the Turkish embassy. Today the Wall Street Journal reports »

Mr. Erdogan goes to Washington

Featured image A little bit of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime came to Washington for Erdogan’s visit with President Trump earlier this week. In this case, a little bit is way too much, although it may be a representative sample. Tom Rogan notes that on Tuesday the Turkish Presidential Protection Department attacked peaceful protesters on American soil (video below). Making themselves feel right at home in Washington, TPPD officers launched a coordinated attack »

Should Trump have called Erdogan?

Featured image Andy McCarthy sees the constitutional changes in Turkey as having “hammered the final nail in the coffin of [that] country’s democracy.” He castigates President Trump for calling to congratulate strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan on this accomplishment. Lee Smith sees the situation differently. He contends that the closeness of the referendum on Erdogan’s changes represents “a warning that he had better address Turkish voters’ key concerns—the economy, political stability, terrorism—or else »

Erdogan’s narrow victory: What does it mean?

Featured image On Sunday, a narrow majority of Turkish voters agreed to grant sweeping powers to their president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The referendum that accomplishes this was approved by slightly more than 51 percent of the electorate, amidst allegations of fraud by Erdogan and his backers. Voters in Istanbul, Ankara, and other major cities rejected the constitutional changes proposed by Erdogan. Approval was due to voters in the countryside where, says David »

The Mysterious Terror Attack In Istanbul [Updated]

Featured image Experience has taught us to treat skeptically all early news reports of dramatic events like terrorist attacks, because such reports nearly always turn out to be wrong, at least in part. But the attack on the night club Reina in Istanbul seems particularly mysterious, especially given how many witnesses there were. It is still not entirely clear whether there was just one attacker, as the authorities maintain, or several, as »

Islamic Terrorist Assassinates Russian Ambassador [Updated]

Featured image This morning in Ankara, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was speaking at an art gallery when he was murdered by a Muslim terrorist. The terrorist shouted “Allahu akbar” and delivered a monologue about Russia’s actions in Syria. The gunman apparently agreed with Russia that its efforts are anti-terrorist. A courageous Associated Press photographer who was present shot a stunning series of photos. The gunman approaches the ambassador from behind: »

Turkey moves against our Kurdish allies; U.S. sides with Turks

Featured image This past week, Turkey entered the fight in Syria against ISIS to much ballyhoo from the mainstream media. But according to Christoper Caldwell, who quotes the German weekly Der Spiegel, “ISIS is a pretext, the Kurds are the target.” Says Caldwell, Turkey’s strategic objective is not to “crush” ISIS. It is to crush the most effective part of the anti-ISIS coalition: the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection »

Trump reignites conservative concerns about his foreign policy views

Featured image During an interview with the New York Times yesterday, Donald Trump made two controversial statements about foreign policy. First, in response to the question whether he would come to the aid of NATO allies in the Baltic, Trump said: “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is yes.” Second, Trump said he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies not to conduct purges of their political adversaries »

Coup’s next

Featured image Paul noted the attempted coup in Turkey last night. Reuters reports that forces loyal to Turkey’s government fought this morning to crush the last remnants of a military coup attempt which collapsed after crowds answered President Tayyip Erdogan’s call to take to the streets and dozens of rebels abandoned their tanks. In what appears to be a slightly more up to the minute account, the New York Times reports: “Turkey’s »

An attempted coup in Turkey

Featured image Military factions in Turkey have attempted to seize control of the country President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s Islamist president and Barack Obama’s pal, was forced to use his iPhone’s FaceTime app from an undisclosed location to broadcast messages beseeching the public to resist the coup attempt, according to the New York Times. It seems uncertain at this moment whether Erdogan will be able to retain power, but several factors may »

Does France’s election foreshadow trouble for Merkel?

Featured image As Steve noted earlier today, Marine Le Pen’s right-wing National Front (FN) has done extraordinarily well in the first round of France’s regional elections. In addition, the ruling Socialist Party has suffered a huge setback. The second and decisive round of voting will occur next Sunday, and a lot can happen between now and then. However, the Socialists have already dropped out of second-round elections in two major regions and »

Turks deny Erdogan a parliamentary majority

Featured image Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likes to say, “democracy is a train that you get off once you reach your destination.” Having been rebuffed in today’s election, Erdogan may not quite reach his destination. Erdogan sought a parliamentary super-majority to enable him to push through constitutional change that would abandon Turkey’s parliamentary system for a presidential one, with him in charge. Instead, his AKP party lost even its parliamentary majority, »

Turkey takes a dim view of Obama’s Syria policy

Featured image In an interview with Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu offers a devastating critique of President Obama’s Syria policy. Turkey, of course, has its own interests, and on some matters they diverge sharply from America’s. However, Turkey has a strong interest in (1) a stable Syria, or at least a Syria whose refugees don’t pour into Turkey by the tens of thousands, (2) a Syria »

Erdogan Unbound

Featured image Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave a speech in Istanbul yesterday that included a crazed denunciation of the West: “The only condition to overcome the crisis in the Islamic world is unity, solidarity and alliance,” he said. “Believe me, we can resolve every problem as long as we are united.” Erdogan says there is no use counting on help from the Western world. “I speak openly, foreigners love oil, gold, »

The Kobani conundrum

Featured image Turkey has finally agreed to allow Iraqi Kurdish forces to cross its border with Syria to help fight ISIS and thereby relieve the besieged town of Kobani. For weeks, Turkey had refused to allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters or weapons to cross its border in support of the Kurdish fighters defending Kobani. Why the change? The New York Times cites “international pressure.” But the pressure has been there all along. More »

Turkey finally takes military action; unfortunately, it’s against the Kurds

Featured image President Obama’s ace diplomats have been working hard to bring Turkey into the alleged coalition with which he hopes to counter ISIS. Susan Rice claimed that the U.S. at least had secured permission to use Turkish bases to launch strikes against ISIS. That claim is false, according to Turkey (which should know). Now comes word that Turkey has taken military action. Unfortunately, it has done so not against ISIS, but »

Susan Rice’s Sunday trifecta of dissembling

Featured image Sir Henry Winton once defined a diplomat as “an honest gentleman sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.” Susan Rice, by contrast, has earned the reputation of a dishonest operative sent to lie on Sunday talk shows for the good of her president. She undertook that mission in the first instance when she appeared on the Sunday shows to claim that the Benghazi attacks were a spontaneous »