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


The continuing game in the geopolitics of energy

With last week’s announcement that a somewhat substantial deposit of natural gas has been discovered in the Black Sea off the Turkish coast, Turkey formally enters the energy resource game. It has, of course, pursued its dream of energy independence for a long time but with the ongoing struggle with Greece and Cyprus over energy...


Should Turkey worry about a Biden presidency?

If there’s one thing that needs little emphasis, it is that when a senior U.S. politician says something, the world generally listens and reacts. This was again demonstrated last week after a leaked video appeared to show Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden calling for the ouster of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish media and...


Is Cemil Bayik dead?

Rumors of the demise of Cemil Bayik, the putative head of the PKK’s military wing, ricocheted around Turkish and Kurdish media last week. As of writing, the death, reportedly in a Turkish drone strike in the mountains of northern Iraq, remains unconfirmed. Rival rumors that it was another high ranking figure along with some Iraqi...


Intrigue in Syria

Strange things are afoot in northern Syria. According to U.S. media reports, a previously unknown U.S. oil company with no exploration experience but deep connections in the U.S. military, has somehow secured a deal with Kurdish authorities who control the region with American backing, to begin drilling and refining operations in the oil-rich Deir Ez-zor...


The geopolitics of energy

Something is amiss in the recent flare up between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The two have, of course tangled before but the skirmishes which began on July 12 and have continued off and on since mark a departure from the usual tensions over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Our chief political scientist suggests an answer to what is...


Can the U.S. save the Uighurs?

Tensions between the U.S. and China are rapidly intensifying. With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging America’s south and west, President Donald Trump is turning to his favorite pastime – scapegoating – to distract from his government’s failures. After months of trying to lay blame for the spread of the virus at China’s doorstep, Trump has now...


When means and ends don’t meet

It’s a dizzying geopolitical landscape: Relations with Russia are deteriorating but relations with the U.S. appear to be on the mend. A few short months ago it was the reverse – it seemed like the Russians were Turkey’s friend and the Americans its enemy. Globally, geopolitical seas are roiling and while it sometimes seems like...


Who is better for Turkey: Trump or Biden?

For Donald Trump, the past couple of weeks have proven a statistical nightmare. By virtually every measure, he is destined to lose the presidential election scheduled for November. In Turkey, the dire projections have elicited some handwringing among those who believe losing Trump as an ally will hurt Turkey’s interests. They point to evidence from...


Water: The next global crisis

One of the key lessons we’ve learned from the coronavirus pandemic is that the world is ill-prepared for persistent and slow-moving global crises. We do well with intense, momentary emergencies like an earthquake or a tsunami – we come together, mobilize resources and cooperate across continents. But crises that require sustained cooperation and planning lay...

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