Turkey Program

About FDD’s Turkey Program:

Turkey, a Muslim country with a tradition of secularism, is both a NATO member and a United States ally. In recent years, however, with the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Turkey has adopted foreign policies that are increasingly at odds with the West. Meanwhile, the government grown increasingly authoritarian, with systematic crackdowns on press freedom and other human rights violations at home.

FDD’s Turkey program seeks to inform policymakers and the American public about the AKP's dangerous policies that have risked Turkish and Western security. This includes Turkey's tolerance of Islamist and even jihadist activities.  FDD seeks to help Washington manage its relationship with a troubling partner.

The program is chaired by Eric Edelman, former US ambassador to Turkey. FDD’s senior counselor John Hannah provides additional guidance. The program is staffed by senior fellow and former member of the Turkish parliament, Aykan Erdemir, vice president for research Jonathan Schanzer, and research associate Merve Tahiroglu.

FDD's Turkey Program enjoys the support and guidance from a board of advisors. These seasoned policy makers and Turkey analysts help shape our work.

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...

Analysis & Commentary

4th January 2018 – The Atlantic

The Biggest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Recent History

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...

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 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...