Analysis & Commentary


19th April 2016 - Interviewed by The Cipher Brief

Turkey: An Unreliable Ally?

Aykan Erdemir

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...

19th April 2016 - Quoted by Matt Piotrowski - The Fuse

Oil Sits At Center Of Next President’s Foreign Policy Challenges

Clifford D. May, Mark Dubowitz, Aykan Erdemir

With international events happening at a quick pace and relationships with allies and enemies in flux, the next president will have a long list of foreign policy challenges, with major oil-producing countries as top concerns. Speakers at this week’s Foundation for Defense of Democracies...

15th April 2016 - Quoted by Isobel Finkel - Bloomberg

Erdogan Sees Evil in `Lord of the Rings’ Where Others See Good

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lawyers are about to come face to face with “The Lord of the Rings.” Six months ago, family doctor Bilgin Ciftci lost his job for posting photographs online that appeared to liken Erdogan to Gollum, one of the most infamous creatures from...

14th April 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

‘Relax, they are our friends’: One quote shows why Turkey’s ISIS problem is only going to get worse

Jonathan Schanzer

In a recent interview with The Guardian, a former ISIS fighter described how easy it was for him to cross Turkey's notoriously porous border into Syria to join the Islamic State.

12th April 2016 - Quoted by Burak Bekdil - Gatestone Insitute

Turkey’s Circus in Washington

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasing Third-Worldish authoritarianism is taking new turns: it is now visible outside Turkey.

12th April 2016 - Quoted by Mosaic Magazine

Turkey Must Tackle Its Anti-Semitism Problem If It Wishes to Reconcile with Israel

Aykan Erdemir

Ankara has been making efforts at repairing its relationship with Jerusalem, and simultaneously at displaying a more benevolent attitude toward Turkish Jewry.

8th April 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Ankara’s Path to Moscow May Run through Jerusalem

David Daoud, Merve Tahiroglu

As Turkey and Israel negotiate a long-awaited rapprochement, senior Israeli security sources have reportedly complained that Ankara is seeking reconciliation primarily to gain “leverage” over Russia.

8th April 2016 - Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Turkey’s Erdogan uses military coup buzz to expand powers, curb dissent

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey's military leaders, in the face of rising speculation at home and abroad, took the extraordinary step last week of denying plans for a coup. But with domestic turmoil, a rising terrorist threat, chaos in the region and a history of military interventions in Ankara, the denials haven't...

7th April 2016 - The Times of Israel

Real Rapprochement with Israel Requires Turkey to Tackle Anti-Semitism

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish and Israeli negotiators are having talks at an undisclosed location in pursuit of a reconciliation agreement to resume normalized relations.

5th April 2016 - Quoted by Efe Kerem Sozeri - The Daily Dot

How the Internet’s highest-profile prosecutor sits at the center of Turkish corruption

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who became famous online as the prosecutor who convicted Ross Ulbricht as the kingpin behind infamous Dark Net market Silk Road, earned a quarter million Turkish followers on Twitter last week after he publicly announced the arrest of Reza Zarrab, the central...

1st April 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

Turkey’s relationship with the US is reaching its breaking point

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Washington, DC, to attend President Barack Obama's final nuclear summit has been anything but smooth.

30th March 2016 - Quoted by Farhad Mirza - Equal Times

Turkey Doesn’t Want To Join Europe – It Wants To Undermine It

Aykan Erdemir

On 18 March 2016, the European Union (EU) struck a controversial deal with Turkey, aiming to stem the flow of refugees fleeing across the Aegean Sea. According to the deal, any refugee arriving on the shores of Greece can now be deported back to Turkey if their claim is rejected.

30th March 2016 - Quoted by Tracy Wilkinson - The Los Angeles Times

How Turkey’s president went from Washington darling to ‘toxic asset’

Aykan Erdemir

Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once were the darlings of Washington, the cherished ally and a strategic barrier between Europe and the turmoil in the Middle East.

30th March 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Erdogan’s Washington Visit Overshadowed by Sanction-Buster’s Arrest

Merve Tahiroglu, Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Washington for a five-day trip geared around the White House’s two-day nuclear security summit on Thursday and Friday.

29th March 2016 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

Turkey’s President Erdogan visits Washington amid policy rifts

Aykan Erdemir

When Turkish President Recep Erdogan comes to Washington this week, he'll open an Islamic cultural center in Lanham, Md., attend the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit and meet with Vice President Joe Biden.

29th March 2016 - The Wall Street Journal

Erdogan’s Tactics in Turkey–and Challenges in Washington

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is coming to Washington this week officially to attend a nuclear summit, but his larger agenda involves repairing Turkey’s international image and improving relations with the West.

29th March 2016 - The New York Times

Turkey Has Been Reckless, Repressive and Unreliable

Jonathan Schanzer

When then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last visited Washington in 2013, he received the full “valued ally” treatment, including an appearance with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

26th March 2016 - Quoted by Binoy Kampmark - Disident Voice

Finalising Cruelty: The EU-Turkey Agreement on Refugees

Aykan Erdemir

It seemed a foregone conclusion, but here it was, a ghastly cuddling show between Turkish officials and Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.

25th March 2016 - Turkish Policy Quarterly

Can Terror-Stricken Turkey Be The EU’s Security Bulwark?

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

European leaders, embroiled in a migrant crisis for over a year, are desperately seeking a deal with Turkey to help keep their Union secure.

24th March 2016 - Quoted by Fehim Tastekin - Al Monitor

Is corruption suspect’s US arrest bad news for Erdogan?

Aykan Erdemir

The March 19 arrest of Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab in Florida came as a bombshell to Ankara politics. Zarrab allegedly was the key figure running a money-transfer network in 2010-2015 that was designed to evade US sanctions against Iran.

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Aykan Erdemir

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