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  • EPC | 02 Sep 2021

    The Leverages and Pitfalls of Turkey’s Taliban Overtures

    Turkey supported the United States, its NATO ally, in the war it launched in Afghanistan against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in November 2001. After the curtain came down on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in 2014, Turkey again deployed non-combat peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. Since then, Turkey maintained a non-combat force of 648 soldiers to protect and manage the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. In a meeting between presidents Erdogan and Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels in June, the two governments agreed to hand over the task of protecting and managing the airport to Turkish forces after the US withdrawal on August 31. However, the Taliban’s early and sudden control of Kabul, on August 14, and its insistence on the departure of all foreign forces by the end of August, shattered the Turkish-American arrangement. As a result, Ankara turned to negotiate with the Taliban through Qatar to keep its forces at the airport for protecting and managing it. However, the Taliban rejected this Turkish request and asked it to completely remove its forces from Afghanistan and its airport before discussing any cooperation.

  • EPC | 01 Sep 2021

    China’s Economic Influence in Turkey: Manifestations and Calculations

    Mutual political recognition in 1971 triggered trade deals between China and Turkey. However, due to the geographical distance and the relatively closed Turkish economy, the ties did not develop until 1991. Since then, Turkey has pursued a policy of foreign trade openness not accounting for the trade balance deficit. Since 2001, bilateral trade exchange has been on an upswing. After China joined the World Trade Organization in 2002, Beijing increased its investment in developing countries such as Turkey. Moreover, when China established the Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in Beijing in 2013, Chinese investments funded by the bank began to flow directly to Turkey.

  • EPC | 19 Jun 2021

    Sedat Peker's Videos and Their Implications for the Turkish Interior

    Sedat Peker is one of the leaders of the well-known nationalist mafias in Turkey. He is one of the biggest of those leaders and is well-known and prominent in Turkey. He is a Turanian nationalist who glorifies the Turkish state and considers committing any crime in the service of the “higher interests of the state” an honour he does not hesitate to pursue. In the past seven years, he appeared to support the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Erdogan, and has threatened Erdogan’s opponents on more than one occasion. Within the fierce competition that prevailed within the ruling party between the trend of the nationalist Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and the former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Erdogan, who relies on the Islamist trend, Sedat Peker aligned himself with Suleyman Soylu by virtue of nationalist tendencies. Soylu helped Sedat Peker to escape from Turkey in 2020 when he discovered that Berat Albayrak was trying to frame Sedat Peker and imprison him to get rid of him and break one of the arms of his rival Soylu within the party.

  • EPC | 11 Apr 2021

    Will Turkey Ban the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party?

    A Turkish prosecutor filed a case with the constitutional court on March 17, 2021 demanding the closure of the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), accusing it of colluding with the banned Kurdish militant movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist organization in Turkey. HDP had attempted "to destroy the inseparable unity of the Turkish state and the nation through the actions and statements of its members." The party is also accused of “not standing by Turkey and its interests on any domestic or international issue.” This case has caused a debate among political parties and movements in Turkey, especially that it comes in a difficult period of time in which the country is going through at the domestic and external levels. This step follows an escalation by the Turkish government against HDP and its members since Nov. 2016. This is indicative of a clear desire by the ruling alliance in Turkey to re-engineer the political life in the country to dismantle the alliance of the opposition, which HDP is one of its pillars. It is also a preemptive step before the upcoming parliamentary elections. This raises many questions about the future awaiting HDP in Turkey and the implications of its potential ban on the political landscape in the country.

  • Ahmed Nadhif | 15 Mar 2021

    Erdogan’s Pivot to Erbakan’s Faction: Motivations, Challenges and Prospects

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey is going through a state of disintegration in its traditional social base since 2013 in the wake of disagreement with the Gülen movement led by Fethullah Gülen. Huge segments of the Turkish conservative class started to shun AKP. In the summer of 2016, the botched coup attempt deepened this rift after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forged an alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as part of the People's Alliance. This has led to the rise of the nationalist tendencies inside AKP and policies of the Turkish regime while traditional leaders started to leave the party. However, AKP defeat in local elections in June 2019 has clearly shown this base disintegration, especially when Erdogan’s ruling party lost Istanbul mayoral elections in front of its historical rival the Republican People's Party (CHP) after 25 years of controlling this position. Since then, Erdogan has been looking for a new formula to run in the upcoming elections, whether by cementing his alliance with the nationalists or by looking for new allies. The Turkish president is also trying to restore his historical conservative base. To this end, he has been trying for some time to woo his old mentor, Necmettin Erbakan’s movement. This paper analyzes Erdogan’s tendency for rapprochement with Erbakan’s movement by clarifying its indicators, motives, and challenges facing AKP leadership to conclude this alliance, and its future consequences.

  • EPC | 26 Jan 2021

    Turkey’s Economy: Review of 2020 and Main Challenges in 2021

    ​The Turkish economy was hit by a major crisis in March 2018 and was only able to get out of it relatively at the end of 2019 after painful financial measures were taken through raising the bank interest rate and narrowing access of foreign investors and speculators to the Turkish lira, and thanks to the global financial situation that led to increased search for investment opportunities, which drove some of those investments towards Turkey. No sooner had the Turkish economy slightly recovered than it suffered a more severe blow in 2020 as a result of the recession due to the coronavirus crisis. This paper assesses the course of the Turkish economy in 2020, and tries to explore its most prominent challenges in 2021.

  • ​Ahmed Diab | 10 Nov 2020

    Turkish Expansion in the Region: Motives, Restrictions and Prospects

    Numerous indicators show that Turkey intends to continue its expansion in the region and that this expansion has become part of Turkey’s political and strategic doctrine to consolidate regional influence under the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This paper sheds light on the incentives and drivers of the Turkish trend towards increasing regional expansion, the constraints and challenges facing it, and its potential consequences and future prospects.

  • Dr. Nizar Abdul Kader | 11 Oct 2020

    The Possibility of Military Escalation between Turkey and Greece and Likely Scenarios

    Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean are at their highest in decades following Turkey’s decision to send a research vessel, the Oruç Reis, to prospect for gas and oil in maritime areas which Turkey believes fall within its exclusive economic zone, a claim disputed by both Greece and Cyprus. The roots of the crisis stretch back several years to when commercial quantities of oil and gas were first discovered in the marine areas off the coast of the two countries. Given the geographic overlap between the two, both Athens and Ankara claimed rights to those resources, which has greatly complicated the issues of sovereignty and economic rights in the exclusive economic zones claimed by both sides. Before delving into the causes of the dispute — in which Greece and Cyprus together are facing off against Turkey — and the possible outcomes, it will be useful to take a quick look at the history of relations between the three countries, which have so often been characterized by the threat of escalation and a growing sense of hostility.