The Latest - Turkey

Turkey Latest

13th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Tillerson Goes to Turkey amid Sanctions Talk in Washington

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Turkey on Thursday amidst a breakdown of trust between the U.S. and its longtime NATO ally. Analysts are warning about “a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces” in northern Syria. In Washington, lawmakers are calling for sanctions on Turkey with an ever-louder voice. more...

10th February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

US terror designations expose 3 international facilitators for Islamic State

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department has further exposed the Islamic State's international network by designating three facilitators as terrorists. The men have operated in the Philippines, Somalia, Turkey and elsewhere. One of them operates a business in Turkey that has acquired drone components for the so-called caliphate. more...

25th January 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: US Treasury Department reveals new details about the Taliban’s network

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury's identifying information locates five of the six -- including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group's military commission -- inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda. more...

17th January 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast: Busted! Iran, Turkey and the Largest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Modern History

Clifford D. May, Jonathan Schanzer, Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

It was likely the largest sanctions-evasion scheme in modern history, involving top state officials from both Ankara and Tehran. more...

10th January 2018 – Quoted by Nick Ashdown - Ahval News

What is behind Erdoğan’s strong support for Tehran?

Behnam Ben Taleblu

As the largest anti-government protests in Iran in nearly a decade wind down, its neighbour Turkey has voiced support for the Iranian government. more...

7th January 2018 – Quoted by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

In tactical turnaround, Erdogan rediscovers ‘old friends’ in Europe

Aykan Erdemir

Just a few months ago, Turk­ish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compared Euro­pean leaders to Nazis and condemned them as Islamo­phobes but when he recently talked about his EU colleagues, Erdogan referred to them as his “old friends.” more...

4th January 2018 – Quoted by Erica Pandey - Axios

U.S. conviction of Turkish banker stirs tensions between nations

Jonathan Schanzer

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a Turkish banker, has been found guilty of bank fraud and conspiracy due to his involvement in a plot to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Atilla's conviction in New York has spurred anger in Ankara, with Turkey's foreign ministry accusing the U.S, of "unprecedented intervention in Turkey's domestic affairs," per BBC News. more...

4th January 2018 – The Atlantic

The Biggest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Recent History

Jonathan Schanzer

Yesterday, Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty in a Manhattan courtroom for a range of financial crimes. more...

15th December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Long Island woman allegedly used Bitcoin to fund ISIS

Thomas Joscelyn

Zoobia Shahnaz allegedly defrauded financial institutions as part of a scheme to fund the Islamic State. She is also accused of seeking to join the so-called caliphate this past summer. Shahnaz was stopped for questioning at JFK International Airport on July 31, but not arrested until this week. more...

6th December 2017 – Quoted by Bill Powell - Newsweek

Why The Trump Team May Be Worried About A Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Case

Aykan Erdemir

Over nearly six years, Zarrab had smuggled up to $1 billion of gold into Iran in exchange for cash, violating sanctions against Tehran, which the U.S. put in place in response to the country’s nuclear program. Zarrab had also arranged to sell Iranian oil and gas (another sanctions violation) using phony invoices to legitimize the deals under a legal U.N. oil for food program. more...

5th December 2017 – Quoted by Matthew R.J. Brodsky - The Weekly Standard

With Syria Strikes, Israel Atempts to Send a Message to Trump and Putin

Tony Badran

When it comes to Syria, Israel has a message and the government hopes a wider audience is listening. It was delivered in the form of two strikes inside Syria over the last week. By itself, an Israeli strike inside Syria is nothing extraordinary. more...

5th December 2017 – Quoted by CAMERA

The Hill Omits Turkey’s Support for Hamas

Jonathan Schanzer

A Hill dispatch about Turkey threatening to cut ties with Israel, omitted key information about Ankara’s support for Hamas, a U.S.-designated terror group committed to the Jewish state’s destruction ("Turkey: Recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli Capital Would Be 'Red Line' for Muslims," Dec. 5, 2017). more...

5th December 2017 – Quoted by Jamie McIntyre - The Washington Examiner

Can the US-Turkey marriage be saved?

Jonathan Schanzer

The United States and Turkey, nominally close NATO allies, are looking more and more like an old, bickering married couple who can’t agree on much of anything, but are putting on a brave face for the sake of the children. more...

28th November 2017 – Quoted by Ayla Jean Yackley - Al-Monitor

Turkey’s Alevis on edge after homes vandalized

Aykan Erdemir

Members of the Alevi religious community are on edge after vandals targeted several homes in eastern Turkey, recalling earlier violence against the country’s largest minority and rousing fears that a surge in nationalism is stoking ethnic tensions. more...

25th November 2017 – Quoted by Dave Clark - Agence France Presse

Turkey support key as US seeks to hold on in Syria

Aykan Erdemir

The Islamic State group may be on the run from its last bastion in Syria but the United States is gearing up for a longer stay in the country. more...

20th November 2017 – Quoted by Chuck Ross - The Daily Caller

CNN’s Turkish Media Problem

Aykan Erdemir

To survive as a major news outlet in Turkey these days, TV networks and newspapers must stay on the good side of the NATO nation’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his ruling Justice & Development Party. more...

19th November 2017 – Quoted by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

Russia emerges as major partner for Turkey’s Syria policy

Aykan Erdemir

- In a sign of an emerging alli­ance two years after Turkish- Russian relations plunged into crisis, Ankara is banking on Moscow to help Turkey reach its main goals regarding the conflict in Syria. more...

18th November 2017 – Quoted by Ahval News

Turkey supported both sides of the Syrian conflict, analyst says

Turkey provided money and arms for anti-Assad militants in Syria, while also helping Iran, Assad’s backer, to evade U.S. sanctions, BuzzFeed quoted a foreign politics expert as saying. more...

18th November 2017 – Quoted by Ahval News

Turkey supported both sides of the Syrian conflict, analyst says

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey provided money and arms for anti-Assad militants in Syria, while also helping Iran, Assad’s backer, to evade U.S. sanctions, BuzzFeed quoted a foreign politics expert as saying. more...

17th November 2017 – Quoted by Mitch Prothero - BuzzFeed

Danger For Turkey’s Erdogan Grows From New York Money Laundering Case

Aykan Erdemir

From 2011 to 2013, even as Turkish officials were declaring their financial and military support for the anti-Assad rebels in Syria, top officials closely linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were helping the Syrian regime’s then most powerful backer, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, launder money and evade sanctions, according to multiple filings made by U.S. prosecutors in a case scheduled to go to trial later this month in New York City. more...


Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Aykan Erdemir

Senior Fellow


Merve Tahiroglu

Research Analyst


7th April 2017 - 12:00 PM

The ‘New Turkey’ and its Discontents

On April 16, Turkey will hold a historic referendum to determine the future of its democracy. After 14 years in power, Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hopes to cement his one-man rule and shield himself from political and legal challenges. But Erdogan’s hold on power is not a certainty. Following widespread domestic protests, embarrassing graft probes, and last summer’s failed coup attempt, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP)-led government is now perceived by many to be increasingly corrupt and authoritarian.

21st July 2016 - 12:00 PM

After the Failed Coup: Prospects for Turkish Stability and the U.S.-Turkey Alliance

In light of this weekend's failed coup attempt and the ongoing instability in Turkey, FDD hosted a timely lunch conversation on Thursday, July 21 at 12:00pm with director of the Wilson Center's Middle East Program Henri Barkey; former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman; former Turkish MP Aykan Erdemir;  and founding director of The Middle East Institute’s Center for Turkish Studies Gönül Tol. The conversation was moderated by John Hannah.