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Analysis & Commentary - Merve Tahiroglu

Merve Tahiroglu's Latest

6th March 2018 – The Weekly Standard

Erdogan’s Rising Islamist Militarism

Eric S. Edelman, Merve Tahiroglu

The 6-year-old child who cried in front of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become a global sensation. Erdogan spotted the weeping girl wearing a military uniform during an address at his party’s congress last week, brought her onto the stage, and told her that if she died as a martyr, her coffin would be covered with the Turkish flag she held in her pocket. more...

14th February 2018 – The Hill

Handling Turkey’s Erdogan: What Washington can learn from Russia

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Russian President Vladimir Putin knows to handle his fellow authoritarian leaders; he relentlessly applies leverage to extract concessions. This is a lesson that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should bear in mind when he meets his Turkish counterpart this week. more...

13th February 2018 – Quoted by Hollie McKay - Fox News

Hundreds of young Turkish children jailed alongside their moms as part of a post-coup crackdown

Merve Tahiroglu

It was a snowy January morning in Istanbul last year when Ayse, a 32-year-old primary school teacher and mother of two, kissed the kids goodbye at school and headed home. more...

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...

9th February 2018 – C-SPAN

C-SPAN

Merve Tahiroglu, Jonathan Schanzer

C-SPAN covered FDD's event, the Syrian Impasse: America Between Turkey and the Kurds, moderated by Merve Tahiroglu. more...

24th January 2018 – Quoted by Agence France Presse

Turkish attack highlights Syrian Kurds’ isolation

Merve Tahiroglu

After Turkey assaulted a relatively peaceful Kurdish enclave of northern Syria, regional leaders fear the world will abandon them even though they provided the ground troops who beat the Islamic State group. more...

24th January 2018 – Quoted by The National

Afrin offensive: Hundreds of thousands of Syria civilians at risk

Merve Tahiroglu

Hundreds of thousands of civilians were reported to be at risk on Wednesday as the Turkish president vowed to widen Ankara's incursion into northern Syria beyond the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin. more...

19th January 2018 – VOA Persia

VOA Persia

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu, Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer

FDD's Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer, Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu discuss the greatest sanctions evasion scheme in recent history on VOA Persia. 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...

3rd January 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Landmark NY Trial Proves Turkish Government Complicity in Iran’s Sanctions-Busting

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Today, a federal jury in the Southern District of New York returned a guilty verdict in a landmark case focused on Turkish efforts to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. The jury found Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla guilty on five of six counts, including sanctions evasion, bank fraud, and obstructing the actions of the U.S. Treasury. In November, gold trader Reza Zarrab, the ringleader of the Turkish scheme, pled guilty to similar charges and chose to cooperate with prosecutors. more...

12th November 2017 – Qutoed by Thomas Seibert - The Arab Weekly

As Turkey and US agree to disagree, Erdogan heads east

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey and the United States have failed to iron out differences in key ar­eas of their relationship, including a visa dispute, during high-level talks that put a spotlight on tensions between An­kara and the West. more...

9th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkey’s Premier Visits Washington

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is in Washington this week in a bid to mend his country’s flailing ties with the U.S. His trip follows the worst crisis in Turkish-American relations in decades, whereby both sides suspended visa services for each other’s citizens. It also comes three weeks before the start of a high-profile trial in New York of a Turkish-Iranian gold trader and four Turkish officials, who stand accused of evading U.S. sanctions against Tehran. more...

8th November 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Kurd Your Enthusiasm

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

On October 16, the world woke to footage of the Iraqi army barreling toward Kirkuk, several hundred miles north of Baghdad. Their mission was to reclaim the city, but not from jihadists; rather, they planned to win it back from the Kurds. Three years ago, as the Islamic State (ISIS) tore into Iraq, the country’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) fought back against the fundamentalists and captured Kirkuk for itself. more...

11th October 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Worst Crisis in Decades for Turkey and U.S.

Merve Tahiroglu

The U.S. and Turkey suspended visa services for each other’s citizens this weekend. The crisis represents the most serious deterioration of bilateral ties in the last half-century – since the U.S. arms embargo against Turkey after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the 1970s. more...

9th October 2017 – Quoted by Patrick Goodenough - CNS News

American Pastor Begins Second Year in Turkish Prison Despite Pressure From Trump, Pence

Merve Tahiroglu

American Pastor Andrew Brunson has begun a second year behind bars in Turkey, with no sign that the Islamist government is inclined to heed U.S. calls for his release. more...

6th October 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Diplomatic Spat Erupts Between Ankara and U.S. Over Arrest

Merve Tahiroglu

A controversy erupted this week between Washington and Ankara over Turkey’s arrest of a U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul. The employee, a Turkish national identified only by the initials M.T., was arrested on charges of espionage and attempts to “destroy” the constitutional order and Turkey’s government. more...

5th October 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Fearing an Independent Kurdistan, Erdogan Travels to Tehran

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Iran on Wednesday for meetings with the country’s supreme leader, president, and other regime officials. more...

21st September 2017 – The Washington Post

Why is Turkey so disjointed over the Iraqi Kurds?

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Iraq’s Kurds are preparing to hold their referendum on independence on Sept. 25, and in Turkey anxieties are high. Ankara, headed by the iron-fisted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, officially opposes the plebiscite. The Turkish government has long feared Kurdish independence outside its borders lest it provoke similar aspirations within them. more...

1st September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkish Public Lender Joins Erdogan’s Washington Lobbying Spree

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey’s second-largest public lender Halkbank has reportedly signed a $1.5-million deal with Ballard Partners, a U.S. lobbying firm that already represents the Turkish government. more...

25th August 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran and Turkey Agree on Opposing Kurdish Independence, but Not Much More

Merve Tahiroglu, Amir Toumaj

Last week, Iran’s top military commander Major General Mohammad Bagheri made an unprecedented appearance in Ankara, where he met with top Turkish officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan is expected to visit Tehran in the upcoming weeks. Bagheri’s visit came as Iraqi Kurds prepare to hold a controversial referendum for independence on September 25, which is opposed by all neighboring states as well as Washington. more...