Spotlight on Geopolitics

Archives for Turkey

That the EU’s democracies are in crisis, courtesy of the global financial markets and the troika, is by now clear to all. These threats to democracy, however, are external. A more dangerous challenge to parliamentary democracy in countries like France and now Turkey comes from within the system itself. In these two countries, the opposition… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Hedging one’s bets

At the periphery of the European Union, two candidates for membership are trying to hedge their geopolitical bets. Turkey, the largest of the two, is a long-standing NATO member but has also gained recently ” dialogue partner “status within SCO (Shanghai Co-operation Organization) , which includes China, Russia and four of the “five stans”. While… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

The implosion of the Soviet Union has in many ways adversely affected the stability of the Central Asian republics like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan. Since 1991, a loose alliance of 11 former Soviet republics, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), was formed in order to preserve, at least in part, the Soviet-era heritage in… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Over the last two weeks, Turkish diplomacy went all out to capitalise on the country’s increasing international clout. President Abdullah Gul has made a 4-day visit to Germany, Turkey’s main European partner, whereas premier Erdogan has made a highly publicised visit to Egypt and has recently met with President Obama in New York to discuss… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

When it comes to geopolitics, few major shifts are more important than the emergence of an Islamic democracy in Turkey. Long resisted by the Turkish military and its western allies, the accession to power of Erdogan’s AKP party in 2002 has provoked major changes for the better in Turkey’s economic performance, institutional architecture and foreign… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Assad family’s Syria has been credited by an Arab expert, wrongly I believe, with being the political model emulated by the likes of Hosni Mubarak, Saddam Hussein or Ali Saleh. The same expert calls the Arab countries led by presidents-for-life and by their offspring “monarchic republics”. Whilst the label is appropriate, the political model for… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

Egypt: Ex Oriente Lux

After almost one week of tribulations, the European Commission has officially announced that it will put together aid packages to help smooth Tunisia’s and Egypt’s transition to democracy. The United States and Israel are still claiming that sticking with the “devil you know” could prove a better option, in spite of evidence to the contrary… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi

“Erdogan Buries Ataturk”

This is the title used by Istanbul-based “Zaman” to announce Mr. Erdogan’s victory in the constitutional referendum which took place on September 12. At first glance, the headline appears an exaggeration. In truth, the Turkish premier’s success does herald the demise of Kemalism and its legacy. The governing AKP party won the referendum by a… » read more

Posted by Florian Pantazi