Turkey - 03

Turkey: Military High Command Reasserts its Authority: Aksakalli Reassigned

A 22 August press release by Turkey’s Ministry of Defense stated that seven high-ranking generals and admirals had resigned, generating considerable controversy. Despite successive purges and forced resignations since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, these resignations demonstrated that grievances within the military command still lingered on and could no longer be contained. Furthermore,

Turkey - 01

Turkey: Afrin Escalation: Implications for Ankara’s Gambit in Northern Syria

Turkey has been increasing military pressure on Afrin during the past week in order to accomplish two main goals. First is threatening the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara directly associates with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara has been aiming to expel the SDF and YPG from the

Turkey - 05

Turkey: Erdogan Balances Between Competing Security Factions

Divisions within the Turkish security apparatus have intensified after the failed coup attempt in July 2016, forming three main factions. They have competing priorities on Syria and Iraq, and tensions between them are spilling over into Turkey’s internal and external security conduct.

Turkey - 05

Turkey: Erdogan and the Military: Implications for Sinjar

Turkey’s controversial constitutional referendum to strengthen the presidency passed amid widely documented voter fraud on 16 April, leaving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with visibly eroded legitimacy. While much international commentary has so far interpreted the fraud as “business as usual,” believing that Erdogan can strong-arm the opposition and bureaucracy to accept the referendum result, Horizon

Turkey - 01

Turkey: Ankara Signals Sinjar Deployment

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought Sinjar to the public’s attention in late October by stating that Turkey would not allow it to turn into a “new Qandil for the PKK,” in reference to the PKK’s base in northern Iraq. Following the victory of the alliance of Kurdish factions in liberating Sinjar from the Islamic State

Turkey - 05

Turkey: Erdogan’s New Inner Circle: Rise of Nationalists

The arrests of nine senior HDP members – including the party’s two charismatic co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag – marks a new, more confrontational phase in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. Four hours after the arrests, a car bomb was detonated near the Diyarbakir police headquarters, where four of the MPs were being held. Identifying the

Turkey - 05

Turkey: Ankara’s Wider Kurdish Agenda

The 15 July failed coup attempt has been a watershed in Ankara’s policy over transnational Kurdish politics in Syria, Iraq and Turkey itself. Although the coup was expected to cripple the Turkish military by creating a significant institutional trust problem and disrupting the chain of command after more than 160 generals were detained, it appears

Turkey - 01

Turkey: Ankara’s ISIL Strategy: Impact of the Military Purges

Ankara has officially downplayed the extent of the purges that followed the failed coup on 15 July, claiming that only 1.5% of the military has been dismissed. Yet these figures require perspective: when assessed by rank, dishonorable charges at the brigadier general and rear admiral ranks is almost 50%, and 37% at the colonel level.

Turkey - 01

Turkey: Cemil Bayik and the PKK’s Strategy

The chairman of the KCK (Group of Communities in Kurdistan) and the de facto leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Cemil Bayik recently gave an interview to Firat News Agency to discuss a range of issues including 15 July coup attempt, outlook for the Kurdish peace process and PKK’s short-term strategy.
Cemil Bayik’s main