Ross Wilson

  • Erdoğan Victory Will Extend Turkey’s Polarization, Tension with US

    Turkish Opposition Fails to Coalesce Around a Message and a Leader



    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s widely-expected election to the presidency of Turkey won’t herald major changes in Turkey’s domestic or foreign policies, or in US-Turkish relations – at least in the short term.

    Polarization, an increasingly predominant characteristic of Turkey’s politics for at least seven years, continues. A presidential campaign that could have been uniting but seemed more divisive than anything else, contributed greatly to this. Indeed, Erdoğan seemed to relish the politics of division; it certainly was a political winner for him.

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  • Turkey’s Erdoğan Claims an Election Victory: Is He Right?

    Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed a victory in Sunday’s municipal elections, in which his Justice and Development Party (AKP) appeared to have won the largest share of the nationwide vote for mayors and local government councils. 

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  • Wilson on US-Turkish Relations after Scandal

    Eurasia Center Director Ross Wilson discusses the recent political crisis’ implications on US-Turkish relations, Syria, and the upcoming Turkish elections with Voice of America Turkish service (video in Turkish):

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  • A Corruption Investigation Arrests Turkey's Political Calm

    The sweeping anti-corruption arrests carried out this week by Turkish law enforcement authorities and the government's stern response in sacking a wide range of police commanders mark the biggest political crisis in Turkey since 2007 and signal a further intensification of conflict and turmoil as the country looks at a series of elections in 2014-15. Those detained on December 17-18 include the sons of three government ministers, an Istanbul district mayor, senior staff at the environment and economy ministries, and several business figures. Formal charges have not been filed, but press reports allege those detained were involved in bribery, rigged state tenders, forgery, and smuggling.
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  • Three Reasons Turks Chose Chinese Missiles

    After long deliberation, Turkey announced September 26 its selection of China’s FD-2000 air and missile defense system over competitors from the United States (Patriot), Europe (SAMP/T), and Russia (S-400).
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  • Eurasia Center Hosts Rumsfeld Fellows

    On October 31, 2013, the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center had the pleasure of hosting the fall 2013 Rumsfeld Fellows class in our beautiful new offices. These accomplished and transatlantically minded men and women spoke with Ambassadors Ross Wilson and John E. Herbst about evolving US Foreign Policy toward the region.
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  • Ergekenon--the Movie

    Turkey’s long-running case against alleged plotters to overthrow the government reached another milestone on August 5 when an Istanbul court handed down sentences in the so-called Ergenekon affair.  The results were astounding. According to lists published in the Turkish media, recapped below, the court handed out 22 life sentences plus 1267 years, 11 months, and 15 days to some 84 individuals convicted in the main Ergenekon case earlier this year.  One of the sentenced, a retired Turkish Army captain convicted of playing a particularly central role in the affair, received two life terms plus 117 years. 

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  • Turkey-Syria-Kurdish Fronts Heat Up

    Reports that Turkish F-16s will fly reconnaissance flights along the Syrian frontier highlight rising alarm over border security and suggest a further internationalization of the civil war in Syria with implications for it, Turkey, and the region's Kurds.
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  • Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey Proceed Slowly on Energy Cooperation

    Overshadowed by the Syrian civil war, rising violence in Iraq, and recent turmoil in Turkey, another problem is simmering in the Middle East.  Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recently reported that a long-mooted new oil pipeline to Turkey should be completed within months.  By making possible oil not controlled by the Iraqi central government, this new pipeline and what it represents pose risks for Erbil’s relationship with Baghdad and for Turkey and its ties with both the KRG and the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.  They also pose a test for Washington, which has repeatedly urged the factions in Iraq to agree on a nationwide hydrocarbon law and development scheme and weighed in with the Turks and Kurds to delay unilateral steps that would prejudge that effort and be seen as disregarding Baghdad.  The parties seem likely to continue to tread in a largely careful manner, and their dance may go on for some time before it reaches a conclusion. 
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  • Turkey: Calm Returns – but Calm Before What?

    Turkey Gezi Park

    Tomorrow’s headlines could be different, but Istanbul seems to calming after the protests and violence that have wracked the city since late May.  Looking back, what took place is significant and in many respects unprecedented. 


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