Tag Archives: Middle East

Turkey – the Economy and Relations with the Middle East and Europe


MapRegionMiddleEast+Turkey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chatham House, September 18, 2012

In Istanbul, the President of Global Relations Forum Memduh Karakullukçu talks to Fadi Hakura of Chatham House about Turkey’s economic outlook and relations with the Middle East and Europe. Podcast: http://ow.ly/1mvyZ4

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Filed under Chatham House, European Foreign Policy, European Union, Financial Crisis, Think Tank, Turkey

Three Troubling Scenarios for Turkey and Transatlantic Partners

AHIPAC is active in foreign policy issues affe...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

German Marshall Fund of the United States, September 2012

Almost two years on from the start of the Arab Spring, the situation across the Middle East and the Mediterranean continues to produce worrisome security challenges for Turkey and Ankara’s transatlantic partners. Amid these destabilizing changes, three scenarios stand out, and could prove transformative for the security environment in and around Turkey, with no less important implications for Europe and the United States. First, Syria’s civil war could drag on for as long as a decade, further destabilizing an already fragile neighborhood. Second, Iran could develop, or come close to developing, a nuclear weapon. Finally, tensions in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean could escalate from a simmer to a boil… (more) http://ow.ly/1ms0M9

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Filed under Belfer Center, European Foreign Policy, German Marshall Fund (GMFUS), Think Tank, Turkey

War in Iran may turn Caspian Sea region into arena of military operations

Iran (Persia) with Black, Caspian and Arabian ...

Iran (Persia) with Black, Caspian and Arabian seas around (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arzu Naghiyev (Trend commentator), European Geopolitical Forum, August 29, 2012

If the U.S. and Israel begin massive air attacks on Iran, Tehran can clearly respond to these actions. Border countries can be the target of some missiles, which it will use in the conflict. That is why, it is necessary to place modern radar systems in the countries bordering with Armenia and Iran, as well as along the coast of the Caspian Sea.

Of course, Azerbaijan must protect itself from Armenia and its military allies till a peace agreement is signed. Certainly, one must not rule out that Iran under the pretext of the cooperation with various countries at any time may subject the Azerbaijani territories to rocket fire or air attack… (more) http://ow.ly/1mbSTc

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Filed under European Geopolitical Forum (gpf-Europe), Think Tank

Israel, Iran, and the Military Option


Israel and Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bernard Gwertzman and  Richard N. HaassCouncil on Foreign Relations, August 28, 2012

Given that diplomacy to end Iran’s nuclear program has “come up empty,” Richard N. Haass, a veteran Middle East expert, says that he takes Israeli talk of a possible preventive attack “at face value.” He says the United States has tried to calm the Israelis, but “one of the many unknowns is whether any degree of U.S. reassurance can persuade the Israelis, given what the Israelis see as the stakes.” Overall, he says, this is a situation where there are no obvious or easy choices, and while a nuclear-armed Iran presents “a terrible outcome strategically,” a U.S. or Israeli military attack carries unforeseeable risks… (more) http://ow.ly/1maPiW

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Filed under Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), European Foreign Policy, Iran, Israel, Think Tank

Carnegie Inst: Turkey’s Syria Conundrum

By Sinan Ülgen, Carnegie Europe, August 24, 2012

Syria used to be the poster child for Ankara’s “zero problems with neighbors” policy. At the peak of their rapprochement, Turkey and Syria were holding joint cabinet meetings and talking about spearheading a common market in the Middle East. Then the Arab wave of reforms reached Damascus. The relationship turned hostile as the Syrian leadership resisted reforms and engaged in large-scale massacres to subdue the opposition.

With the support of Prime Minister Erdogan, Turkey’s foreign minister Davutoglu positioned Ankara in the vanguard of the community of nations seeking regime change in Syria. Thus Ankara gave support to the Syrian National Council and harbored the Free Syrian Army. Even when former UN secretary-general Annan’s plan for a political settlement was announced, the Turkish leadership made it clear that there could be no solution with Assad in power… (more)  http://ow.ly/1m7kOw

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Filed under Carnegie Institute, European Foreign Policy, Think Tank, Turkey

ISW: Threat And Response – Israeli Missile Defense

By Christopher HarmerInstitute for the Study of War, August 16, 2012

Today the state of Israel contends with the threat posed by state and non-state actors who possess short and medium range surface-to-surface strike capabilities.  Hezbollah and Hamas persistently launch mortar and rocket strikes from southern Lebanon and Gaza.  Simultaneously, Iran has significantly increased the quantity and quality of its medium range surface-to-surface missile inventory.  These two threat streams have encouraged a fundamental shift in Israel’s defense strategy… (more) http://ow.ly/1m0cyf

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Filed under Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Israel, Think Tank

GMFUS: Turkey and Russia in the Arab Spring: Straining Old Rifts Further?

English: A map of Arab Spring countries update...

A map of Arab Spring countries updated and reframed to reflect the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gökhan BacikGerman Marshall Fund of the United States: The Arab Spring has put stress on certain fault lines between Turkey and Russia. How these fault lines might affect future Turkish-Russian relations will also have a region-wide significance. Will Turkey be able to sustain its positive strategy towards Russia after the Arab Spring? Or can the Arab Spring cause irreparable damage to Turkish-Russian relations?… (more) http://ow.ly/1m05JB

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Filed under European Foreign Policy, Russia, Think Tank, Turkey

Carnegie Inst: Redefining Europe’s Role in Syria

By Sami Moubayed, Carnegie Institute

If the EU remains noncommittal in its approach to the conflict inWhen protests broke out against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the spring of 2011, local, regional, and international actors developed very different sets of expectations about how the crisis would unfold. The Syrian regime, for its part, believed the protests to be foreign-orchestrated and calculated that a rapprochement with the United States and the European Union would bring them to a halt… (more)  http://ow.ly/1lUz2C

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Filed under Carnegie Institute, European Foreign Policy, European Union, Think Tank

CFR: Scandinavia and the Jews

By Elliot Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, August 8, 2012

Originally published in the Weekly Standard

Scandinavia is boring. People living there apparently have little to do. And as European history teaches, when there is nothing much to do you may as well amuse yourself by attacking the Jews… (more)  http://ow.ly/1lU59l

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Filed under European Foreign Policy, Israel, Think Tank

ISW: ISW Releases New Study on Russian Naval Base in Syria

By Abigail Barnard, Institute for the Study of War, August 9, 2012

ISW Senior Naval Analyst Christopher Harmer sheds light on Russia’s naval base in Syria in his latest Backgrounder, “Russian Naval Base Tartus.”

The Syrian port of Tartus is the only naval base outside of the former Soviet Union still held by the Russian military, and the Russian government has asserted its strategic significance… (more) http://ow.ly/1lTT8K

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Filed under Defense and Military Engagement, European Foreign Policy, Institute for the Study of War (ISW), Russia, Think Tank