Tag Archives: Syria

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

A Conversation on Iran with Israeli Brigadier Gen. Eliezer Hemeli

(en) Locator map that shows both Israel and Ir...

Locator map that shows both Israel and Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By , Foreign Policy Association, August 31, 2012

(The following was taken by FPA from Jspace.com.  The article was written by Jspace Foreign Affairs Correspondent, Rob Lattin, who also blogs about Israeli and Middle Eastern foreign policy for Foreign Policy Blogs.)

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Israeli Brigadier General (res.) Eliezer Hemeli, who spent a large portion of his life on the battlefield in Lebanon and Syria. I asked him a few questions on his views toward the Iranian nuclear dilemma. Over the last year Israeli leadership, both political and military, have been divided on how best to handle Iran. Major figures such as the previous military chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former defense minister and military chief of staff Shaul Mofaz, and the previous head of Mossad Meir Dagan have all expressed concern over the way the current Israeli administration is handling things. General Hemeli generally agrees with the aforementioned leaders, and told me that while war might be necessary, there are other non-violent ways at this point to force Iran to comply… (more) http://ow.ly/1memwh

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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

Turkey’s Syrian Gamble: Enter the Kurds

By Amberin ZamanGerman Marshall Fund of the United States, August 24, 2012

The car bomb explosion that rocked the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep on August 20, killing nine people including three children, has sharpened debate as to whether Turkey’s support for Syrian rebels is boomeranging in the form of greater separatist violence at home… (more) http://ow.ly/1m7eGQ

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Filed under German Marshall Fund (GMFUS), Think Tank, Turkey

Carnegie Inst: Turkey and Russia

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish P...

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Dmitri TreninCarnegie Institute, August 17, 2012

Moscow and Ankara take vastly different views of the developments in Syria. Yet, the Russian government and the Kremlin-friendly media only rarely chide Turkey for the position it has taken on Syria. At the height of the battle in Damascus, Prime Minister Erdogan traveled to Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin. It is clear that Moscow considers Ankara not only an economic partner, but also a key regional player, and is prepared to work with it. Thus, an interesting relationship is emerging, one which may impact on a range of countries that once used to be part of either the Ottoman or Russian/Soviet empires, or both… (more) http://ow.ly/1m0L6B

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

GPF Europe: Turkish, Iranian presidents discuss Syrian crisis

European Geopolitical Forum: Turkish President Abdullah Gul held a bilateral meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of an emergency summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation in Mecca, Saudi ArabiaAnadolu Agency reported… (more) http://ow.ly/1lZZvc

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Hurriyet: The paradox of Turkish foreign policy

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hurriyet, August 13, 2012

The Turkish media naturally highlighted U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s flattering remarks concerning Turkey’s role in Syria and her promise of support against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) after her recent visit to Turkey. But in fact she used very cautious language, and also emphasized the U.S.’s concern about post-al-Assad Syria and “extremists” such as al-Qaeda, as well as the PKK. 

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Filed under Defense and Military Engagement, European Foreign Policy, Turkey

FPA: Syria: Sarkozy’s comeback?

FPA: Syria: Sarkozy’s comeback? – He simply could not resist. The addiction of power won over his pledge; … http://ow.ly/1lV0kr

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Filed under European Foreign Policy, European Union, Foreign Policy Association (FPA), France, Think Tank

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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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