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Turkey’s Vainglorious Referendum

Turkey’s Vainglorious Referendum

Originally published under the title “The Other Islamic State: Erdogan’s Vision for Turkey.” This Sunday, millions of Turks will vote to endorse or reject constitutional amendments passed in January by Turkey’s parliament. An opinion piece published by the German news agency Deutsche Welle explains that the “crucial” amendments “give all the power to one person, […]

Erdogan’s War on the West

In 2005, the Turkish prime minister at the time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with his Spanish counterpart, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, became the co-chairs of a United Nations-sponsored global effort that went by the fancy name “Alliance of Civilizations.” Twelve years later, Zapatero is a retired politician, the Western world faces different flavors of Islamist-to-jihadist […]

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Turkey jails German journalist on trumped-up charges

Wasn’t Merkel’s appeasement supposed to prevent trouble from the Caliphate? Appeasement didn’t work for Chamberlain (she should know that), and it won’t work now. In a statement, Merkel called the court’s decision “bitter and disappointing.” Her response is what is “bitter and disappointing.” Cowed by the caliph. This was President Obama’s “most trusted,” “favorite” ally. […]

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For Islamists, Freedom is a One-Way Street

Originally published under the title “Extremist Muslims’ One-Way Street.” President Donald Trump’s executive order of January 27, 2017, temporarily limiting entry from seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for 90 days, until vetting procedures can be put in place — has caused international controversy, sparking protests both in […]

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Turkey’s Record-breaking Academic Purge

Originally published under the title “Turkey: Record-Breaking Purge in Academia.” A Turkish university these days, expanding on historian Shelby Foote’s famous quip, is “just a group of buildings gathered around a library,” a mosque, and classrooms cleansed of unwanted scholars. The “Great Turkish Purge” launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, autocratic government in the […]

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Erdogan’s Grab for Absolute Power

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s one-man show goes on; he may soon progress from effectively having absolute authority to actually having absolute authority. He would apparently like to put an official seal on his increasingly autocratic regime. If a simple majority of Turks vote “yes” in a national referendum on proposed constitutional amendments in April, […]

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Two Bullies, Putin and Erdoğan, Try Friendship

Originally published under the title “Erdogan Cosies Up to Putin as Turkey Makes Trouble.” The assassination on Dec. 19 in Ankara of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, raises some major geopolitical issues: Will this act of violence break relations between the two countries, isolate Turkey, or – counterintuitively – improve their ties? And […]

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Turkey’s Slide into Authoritarianism

On the evening of July 15, 2016, the inhabitants of Ankara and Istanbul left their dinner tables in panic and rushed to their windows and balconies. What they saw was shocking and surreal, if not apocalyptic: tanks closing the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul[1] and encircling the parliament;[2] rival F-16 raids against government and coup forces;[3] […]

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Turkey’s Slide into Authoritarianism

On the evening of July 15, 2016, the inhabitants of Ankara and Istanbul left their dinner tables in panic and rushed to their windows and balconies. What they saw was shocking and surreal, if not apocalyptic: tanks closing the Bosphorus bridge in Istanbul[1] and encircling the parliament;[2] rival F-16 raids against government and coup forces;[3] […]

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Turkey Weighs Freedom for Child Rapists

Originally published under the title “Turkey: Child Rapists to Go Free, Journalists Not?” Turkey, officially, is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists. But its ruling Islamist party has drafted a bill that would release about 3,000 men who married children, including men who raped them. Public uproar has only convinced the ruling conservative Muslim lawmakers […]

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