Why is Erdogan risking so much for Istanbul’s mayoralty?

It had almost an immediate cost in cash. Worse, the Europeans expressed worry, the Turkish opposition screamed electoral theft, and the Americans - well, the Americans have yet to take a firm position, but don't be surprised when Washington suddenly discovers its democratic scruples when it serves U.S. interest. The decision by Turkey's electoral board, … Continue reading Why is Erdogan risking so much for Istanbul’s mayoralty?

Turkey’s Coup Signals A Generational Shift to Islamism

On Friday, a faction of the Turkish military tried to overthrow presidential strongman Recep Erdogan, leader of the Justice and Development Party and increasingly the man of Turkish politics.  They failed; first, they didn't kill or capture Erdogan in the opening moments of the coup, then they failed to shut off the Internet and media so … Continue reading Turkey’s Coup Signals A Generational Shift to Islamism

Turkey, Neo-Ottomans, and The Cycle of History (Or: When Picking Starting Territories for Empires, Anatolia Ain’t Half Bad)

Much of the world's attention has been focused recently on the relatively insignificant town of Kobane.  Kobane is hardly worth getting upset about; Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus are all far more central to the events in Syria.  And yet here we are, all watching the street-to-street fighting in a place we'd probably not even considering getting … Continue reading Turkey, Neo-Ottomans, and The Cycle of History (Or: When Picking Starting Territories for Empires, Anatolia Ain’t Half Bad)