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 »

The sources of Obama’s tragic Syria policy

Featured image Caroline Glick presents a powerful indictment of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. Perhaps the most damning part of her indictment pertains to Syria, where Obama’s impotence in the face of Assad’s crossing of a “red line” by engaging in chemical warfare represents a national embarrassment and humanitarian disaster. President Obama’s impotence stems from his well-justified fear that intervening against Assad would bring radical Islamists to power. But according to Glick, »

Obama’s pal Erdogan blames Israel for the ouster of Morsi

Featured image Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims that Israel was behind the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. Who knew that Israel could cause hundreds of thousands of Egyptians to take to the streets on its behalf and cause the Egyptian army to do its bidding? Erdogan is too responsible to make this sort of allegation without proof. “We have a document in our hands,” he assured a gathering »

Explicating Erdogan

Featured image Rod Nordland’s New York Times story reporting that Egypt’s security forces killed 36 Islamists in their custody on Sunday also carries a quote from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Nordland notes that Erdogan had given “a blistering speech in support of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “likened Egypt’s military leader, General Sisi, to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria” on Saturday. Nordland then offers this quote from Erdogan’s Saturday speech: “There »

Obama’s pal Erdoğan makes racially derogatory remark

Featured image President Obama has listed Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdoğan as one of the five world leaders with whom he has the closest personal ties. The basis for this bonding is not clear. As Michael Rubin points out, on a policy level Erdoğan has worked to undercut sanctions against Iran and has embraced groups like Hamas and Hezbollah designated by the U.S. government as terrorists. On a personal level, he is »

The view from Istanbul

Featured image Claire Berlinski has a front row seat for the protests unfolding in Istanbul (and elsewhere in Turkey) in recent days. The protests continued yesterday as thousands took to the streets of Istanbul’s Taksim Square today to call out the Erdogan government. Claire covers recent events in a diaristic format in “The Gezi diaries: Can we still call Turkey civilized?” She notes her perspective on the protests in her opening: “I’ve »

As IRS scandal deepens, Obama fetes anti-democracy pal

Featured image I don’t contend that President Obama was involved in the decision to target conservative groups for harassment by the IRS. So far, there is no evidence that would support that contention. I do contend, however, that Obama has little appreciation for the democratic process, including the right to dissent from his agenda without suffering for it. In my view, he regards democracy and dissent as hindrances to the march of »

Suicide of the West: Special edition

Featured image We turn the floor over to Andrew McCarthy: My column last weekend dealt with the travesty of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, under great pressure from President Obama, for Israel’s self-defense against Turkey-based jihadists who attempted to break its lawful blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. Netanyahu not only apologized but added to the humiliation by agreeing to Erdogan’s demand that Israel compensate the “victims” of the »

So, how’s that apology to Turkey working out?

Featured image Not well, according to Israel’s new Minister of Economy and Trade Naftali Bennett, who should know. Bennett had this to say on his official facebook page: It seems that since [Netanyahu’s] apology, Erdogan is doing everything to make Israel regret it. He is running a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israeli-Turkish relations. For example, Erdogan has announced that he intends to visit Gaza, and has stated that »

Yes, Israel apologized to Turkey

Featured image Barry Rubin argues that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu did not really apologize to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara incident. He reasons that Netanyahu did not meet the demands Erdogan set forth for an apology. I’m a fan of Rubin’s work, but in this case his argument rests on a fallacy. The fact that Netanyahu’s statement doesn’t met Erdogan’s specifications doesn’t prevent it from being an apology. Rubin acknowledges that the »