Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Turkey

How NATO is failing the EU

The untrained observer could be forgiven for believing that NATO is still acting as a military and political organization dedicated to protecting the security of its members. Enlarging the organization with a less-than-significant member (militarily speaking) like Montenegro cannot, however, obscure NATO’s huge failure to adapt to today’s radically changed geopolitical and strategic landscape. Headed… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The downing of a Russian jet over Syria by the Turkish military brings to a sad conclusion a hitherto promising international relations agenda, whose author was none other than Ahmet Davutoglu, the current Turkish prime minister. Only a few years ago, Davutoglu as Turkey’s foreign minister advanced a “zero problems with the neighbours” diplomatic agenda.… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The fact that the EU is undergoing its most profound existential crisis ever is by now an open secret. The Greek debt crisis had produced a North-South divide in Europe, whereas the migrant crisis has prompted a rebellion against the EU leadership from Eastern bloc members. Nowadays, NATO itself is contributing to the existing divisions… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Saturday’s horrific terrorist attack in Ankara where more than 100 people lost their lives brings to mind similar gruesome deeds, from New York in 2001 or London in 2007. The similarities between these events, unfortunately, end with the casualties. In Turkey, the opposition -in a rather desperate bid to thwart Erdogan’s party’s re-election chances- took… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

A few days ago while seeing the hundreds of refugees from the Middle East flock on Greek ferries, buses, taxis and trains in their drive north to the Macedonian border, I recalled a 20-page seminar paper I was required to write on the question of frontiers at Sciences po Toulouse. The year was 2010, just… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Turkey has today announced its budget for 2015. Total spending is estimated at 225 billion dollars, whereas revenue is expected to be around 216 billion USD, leaving a deficit of only 9 billion USD. The biggest items on its expenditure list are health and education, with 38 billion dollars earmarked for each, which is a… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan has officially invited Turkey to become a member of the new Eurasian Union during a 2-day conference on the 4th and 5th of June 2014 which took place in the Turkish seaside resort of Bodrum. ( I have alluded to this opportunity in my previous post.) In extending the invitation,… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The recently-signed Eurasian Union agreement between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan in Astana has brought into being the world’s newest trade bloc, as envisaged by President Putin since 2010. The current size of the bloc is rather small, as it includes only about 170 million consumers. If, however, the Eurasian Union is destined to be the… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The landslide success of Erdogan’s party, the AKP, and Vladimir Putin’s skyrocketing domestic popularity in the wake of the Crimean crisis are golden opportunities for a rethink of Western officialdom’s policies towards Turkey and Russia. Unlike my counterparts in Washington, I prefer to label the Turkish and Russian political systems as “alternative democracies”. Sure, on… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi