Tag Archives: Syrian conflict

Turkey Needs to Pivot to Diplomacy

June 22, 2020 Ataturk was the hero of our War of Independence, the founder of the Republic and Turkey’s greatest ever reformer. His motto was, “peace at home, peace in the world”. Suffice to say, we no longer have peace … Continue reading

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The Syrian Quagmire

May 18, 2020 Syria’s relations with Moscow have traditionally been close and steady. Russia operated a military base in Tartus for more than four decades. In the mid-1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. Secretary of State Warren … Continue reading

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The Idlib Problem Still with Us

April 27, 2020 Coronavirus is seen as the greatest global challenge of modern times. Because, the death toll in some countries has reached tens of thousands. Just as important is the shock of unpreparedness, helplessness and vulnerability of a technologically … Continue reading

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Sailing in Uncharted Waters

April 7, 2020 The Arab Spring threw the Middle East in chaos. Then came the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s annexation of Crimea. As the Syrian conflict moved up on the international agenda the former receded. Despite on and off official … Continue reading

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Front Lines of the Battle Against Covid-19

March 27, 2020 “Operation Enduring Freedom”, “Operation Resolute Support”, “Operation New Dawn”, “Operation Unified Protector”, “Operation Decisive Storm”, to name a few, were recent decades’ ambitiously titled military interventions seeking to achieve narrow ends. Although diplomacy and multilateralism were sidelined, … Continue reading

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Idlib Ceasefire: Only a Respite

March 8, 2020 On March 6, Presidents of Russia and Turkey met in Moscow. In remarks to the press before their meeting, President Putin said the situation in Idlib has deteriorated so much that the two leaders needed to have … Continue reading

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An Ultimatum That Boomeranged

(Co-authored with Yusuf Buluç)[i] The people of Turkey held their breath on the eve of the deadline set in the ultimatum  President Erdoğan served on the Syrian regime promising severe military punishment if  its forces  were not to withdraw to … Continue reading

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Turkey’s Narrowing Horizons

February 27, 2020 In the fall of 1966, I took a series of exams to join the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Among other things, we were asked to comment on a widely used metaphor, “Turkey is a bridge between East and … Continue reading

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Idlib: Raising the Stakes to What End?

(Co-authored with Yusuf Buluç)[i] February 20, 2020 Ten days ago, President Putin had a telephone conversation with President Erdogan at Turkish side’s initiative. A statement by the Kremlin said that the two leaders noted the importance of the full implementation … Continue reading

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Idlib Problem Reaching Boiling Point

February 6, 2020 The agreement reached in May 2017 by Russia, Iran and Turkey in Astana called for the cessation of hostilities between rebel groups and regime forces in four “de-escalation” zones in the mainly opposition-held areas of Syria with … Continue reading

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