OPINION -- Donald Trump as president displays weakness toward those he envies as strong foreign leaders, while he acts like a bully toward leaders he considers less powerful than himself.  Those contrasting natures were on full display last Wednesday. At the same time Trump was offering unwarranted concessions to Turkish ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Earlier in the week, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi, Russia, where the two leaders negotiated the contours of a post-American Syria. While Moscow is one of the clear winners of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, there ...

  Bottom Line Up Front On May 5 the Turkish Foreign Minister said his country would accept delivery of Russian S-400 missiles. The prospect of a NATO member purchasing advanced Russian missile systems, specifically designed to shoot down NATO planes, is creating serious tensions within the decades-long alliance. There is ...

  Bottom Line Up Front Turkey’s ruling AKP party is asking for a full recount in the mayoral election in Istanbul, making accusations of ‘wide-spread crimes.’ Defeats for the AKP in the nation-wide elections demonstrate that despite Erdogan’s attempt to consolidate power, there remains a very credible political opposition across ...

  Bottom Line Up Front The U.S. will likely maintain an enduring military presence in Syria for years, in an extremely complex operating environment. Washington sees its force posture as necessary to check the expansion of Iranian influence, yet others, like Turkey, Russia, and the Assad regime, view the situation ...

Iran hasn’t been the only target of U.S. sanctions in the past week.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered retaliatory sanctions again two unnamed U.S. officials after the U.S. ordered sanctions against two Turkish ministers last week.  That action came in response to Turkey’s refusal to release North Carolina pastor ...

On Sunday, the U.S. embassy announced the suspension of Turkish visa applications for the U.S., stating that “recent events…have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. mission facilities and personnel.” In retaliation, the Turkish government suspended its own ...

On Sunday, the U.S. embassy announced the suspension of Turkish visa applications for the U.S., stating that “recent events…have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of the government of Turkey to the security of U.S. mission facilities and personnel.” In retaliation, the Turkish government suspended its own ...

Relations between Turkey and the United States have hit a new low point with tit-for-tat visa suspensions after the arrest of a U.S. embassy employee. "The last time bilateral ties between the two countries hit a crisis point like this would be late 1970s, in the aftermath of the Cyprus ...

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington last week to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite budding tensions over the Trump administration’s decision to arm the Kurdish YPG (Peoples’ Protection Units) militia in Syria, which Erdogan considers to be a terrorist organization, the meeting largely went off without a ...

Turkey has a checkered history with democracy. Since adopting a multiparty parliamentary system, the country has suffered periodic military coups – including a failed putsch last July – designed to reassert the control of traditionalist military and political elites. Now, Turkey faces a new attempt to consolidate power, but not ...

Speaking at a rally in Istanbul on March 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further escalated his ongoing fight with Europe: “Have you [Europeans] not burned and destroyed my mosques? You are fascists, fascists!” Erdogan’s creation of alt-facts, wholesale targeting of all Europeans as “fascists,” and bare knuckles fight with European countries, initially appear ...

Turks went to the polls on Sunday and voted “Yes” in Turkey’s constitutional referendum by a margin of just over 51 percent to nearly 49 percent.   Turkey’s three largest cities, Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, all voted “No.” Major opposition parties have contested the validity of the results, citing concerns that ...

Speaking at a rally in Istanbul on March 26, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan further escalated his ongoing fight with Europe: “Have you [Europeans] not burned and destroyed my mosques? You are fascists, fascists!” Erdogan’s creation of alt-facts, wholesale targeting of all Europeans as “fascists,” and bare knuckles fight with ...

On April 16, Turkey will hold a constitutional referendum, which if passed, promises to transform the country’s governing system. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stands to gain expansive new executive powers - powers that critics say will create a de facto dictatorship in Turkey. For his part, Erdogan has branded ...

Editor’s Note: Over the coming days, The Cipher Brief presents some of our most incisive coverage on key issues of 2016 and a look ahead at what is yet to come in 2017. 2016 has been a year of fundamental change for Turkey. In Syria, the threat of ISIS and ...

The attempted military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is perhaps the most important political event in Turkey of the past 16 years, and has fundamentally changed the country's internal politics and external priorities. Ambassador James Jeffrey's article, written for The Cipher Brief on July 19, explores some of ...

Twelve people have been detained in connection with the New Year’s night club gun attack in Istanbul that left 39 people dead. Islamic State has claimed responsibility, although it offered no further details. A manhunt is underway for the lone gunman, who is still on the run. The attack comes ...

Over the past month, the exchange of words between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi has reached a bitter crescendo. Focused primarily on the Turkish military base at Bashiqa in northern Iraq, which Abadi says is an unsanctioned violation of Iraqi territory, the diplomatic ...

The Mosul operation, launched on October 17, has once again highlighted the complicated nature of Turkey’s involvement in the fight against the Islamic State (IS). Ahead of the offensive, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made repeated appeals for Turkish troops to partake in the operation, warning against the liberation of ...

As Iraqi Army forces enter Mosul proper and anti-ISIS coalition forces encircle the city, the complex and bloody operation to safely wrest a city of approximately one million people from the grip of ISIS militants will continue to dominate headlines. However, for the region’s power players, the question of what ...

President Barack Obama and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan met this weekend for the first time since the July 15 failed coup attempt. “This is the first opportunity that I’ve had to meet face to face with President Erdogan since the terrible attempted coup,” Obama said during their meeting ...

One week after the failed military coup took place in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken significant steps to consolidate his power, firing thousands of government employees from many different sectors. To better understand Erdogan’s actions and how they are viewed by the Turkish public, The Cipher Brief’s Fritz ...

In a conversation with The Cipher Brief, Soner Cagaptay, the Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says he finds it “incredibly worrisome” that the failed military coup in Turkey could be the beginning of civil strife in that nation. The Cipher Brief: ...

As Turkey continues to face a deteriorating security environment, The Cipher Brief sat down with Aykan Erdemir, a former member of the Turkish parliament and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, to discuss Turkey’s political direction. According to Erdemir, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken ...

CIPHER SNAPSHOT: Turkey is a critical country for U.S. interests. Recent developments in Turkey’s domestic politics, economic outlook, and foreign policy have significant ramifications for U.S. stakeholders. Domestic Politics Turkey’s parliamentary elections in June yielded surprising results when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), headed by President Recep Tayyip ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Mr. Khush Chosky, Vice President for Turkey and Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to get his thoughts on the U.S.-Turkey economic relationship. The Cipher Brief: How would you characterize the current state of the U.S.-Turkish economic relationship, and where do you see ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Mr. Sinan Ulgen, founder and managing partner of Istanbul Economics and a visiting  scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, to talk about the current security environment in Turkey and its implications for Western businesses. The Cipher Brief: How do you see the political crisis in ...

There is a profound change in regional geopolitics in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. The societal demands for change in Arab countries led to the overthrow of several long-term authoritarian leaders and initially created an optimistic view of the future. However, the situation deteriorated, with state failures, the ...