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Author: Prof. Ilter Turan (Prof. Ilter Turan)

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European defense dreams

Recent plans put forth by Joseph Borrell, the European Union (EU) foreign minister, calling for the development of a 5000-strong, rapid-deployment European defense force, is another indicator of the Union’s aspirations to develop military capabilities and to be a powerful autonomous actor in the security domain. A similar aspiration led to a decision in 2007...

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From personal to institutionalized relations

Although more than a week has lapsed since the Turkish President Erdogan and his American counterpart, President Biden met on the fringes of the G-20 Summit in Rome, debate continues to rage as regards what transpired at the meeting. It has become somewhat established by now that Turkey’s public statements about what happens at international...

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Turkey’s airport gambit in Afghanistan

Even as the Taliban government in Afghanistan struggles to take shape, plans to re-open the international airport in Kabul are already in motion. Turkey is still vying to play a central role in that process, as well as the future operation of the airport. As of writing, a Qatari technical team was on the ground...

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The time has come to think again

After weeks of trying to persuade the Taliban that Turkey should command the security of Kabul airport, the Erdogan government appears to have relented and ordered the evacuation of the Turkish military contingent. Presidential Advisor Ibrahim Kalin has intimated that Turkey still hopes to offer its services to operate the airport. Whether the Taliban government...

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Taliban rising

In a stunning moment in world history, the Taliban rolled into the Afghan capital, Kabul, on August 15 and took control of Afghanistan with barely a shot fired, more than two weeks before U.S. forces were expected to complete their withdrawal from their longest ever war. Scenes from that day have been compared to the...

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Saving face, but at what cost?

For a lot of Afghanistan watchers, last week was a whirlwind of emotions. In rapid succession, the Taliban conquered one city after another, primarily in the north of the country. Since the U.S. signed its so-called peace deal with the insurgent group, Afghanistan has experienced more violence, and more bloodshed, than at virtually any point...

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The last fort of Arab spring is falling!

In 2011, when Muhamad Bouazizi, a struggling vegetable seller in Tunis, set himself on fire and triggered convulsions that are still being felt to this day, some believed it would be the beginning of the reshaping of the Middle East. At first, that certainly looked to be the case. Egypt’s strongman, Hosni Mubarak, was ousted...

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Does He Who Pays Call the Shots?

The debate over Medyascope’s foreign funding continues to rage in Turkey, fueled by the rather twisted logic that a media organization receiving foreign funding must be a propaganda tool. The question of the benefits of outside funding for Turkish organizations, whether media or others, is of course valid, but answering it requires a little more...

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Another migration crisis?

The image of a family stranded at Istanbul airport last week brought home the building crisis of Afghan refugees. The family of 16 found itself trapped in the transit zone of the airport after its members failed to produce visas for Turkey or to an onward destination. But they also refused to return to Afghanistan,...

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Turkey’s Afghanistan gambit

Events are hurtling forward at a startling pace in Afghanistan. The U.S. withdrawal is well ahead of schedule. Taliban offensives have been so successful that even the Taliban themselves have been surprised and somewhat overwhelmed by the new territories they now control. Meanwhile, Turkey is still in negotiations to take over security at Kabul International...

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