Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent speeches and media remarks have been marked by an increasingly radical rhetoric. Among mainstream political leaders in Turkey today, Erdogan is by far and away the most hard-line and polarizing orator.
Radical anti-Western antagonism and paranoia, based on an extremist melange of Turkish nationalism and Islamism, have increasingly infused his speeches. The most striking example of this troubling metamorphosis was the speech he made during a ceremony held March 16 in the presidential palace to award “state honor medals” to army veterans and families of fallen soldiers. Continue reading
Many observers are correct in noting that the Middle East is undergoing yet another seismic shift – that the Russian-brokered destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, a US-Iranian rapprochement, the diminished strategic value of Saudi Arabia and Israel, and a US withdrawal from Afghanistan will all contribute to changing regional dynamics considerably.
But what is this new direction? Where will it come from, who will lead it, what will define it? Continue reading