Understanding Erdogan’s Appeal

Sami Hamdi #TheOtherNarrative, Middle East/North Africa

A ‘firebrand’, ‘polarising’, ‘increasingly authoritarian’, and an ‘arrogant self-indulgent man pretending to be a Sultan’. These are some of the criticisms levied at Turkish president Receb Tayyeb Erdogan who has dominated the Turkish political scene since 2003, winning successive elections with his AK Parti, revamping the Turkish economy, overseeing a period of genuine prosperity, and has expanded Turkey’s international prowess. …

Turkey Snap Elections 2018: What you need to know

Insights Insights

  What you need to know about the snap Turkish elections   Attempts have been made to encourage former President Abdullah Gul to run against President Erdogan. The aim behind these attempts is to split the Islamist vote. Although Gul appears to have rejected the opportunity to run, his silence has been noted by AK Parti supporters as a sign …

What is Turkey doing in Serbia?

Sami Hamdi Balkans

Erdogan’s visit to Serbia late in 2017 was received with much pomp. The Serbians were clearly happy to receive him and the Turks were just as pleased with the warm bilateral relations reflected in agreements that will see a significant increase in trade. So what brings about this rapprochement between two historic rivals? And what drives Erdogan to risk the …

Trump’s Jerusalem declaration is a result of a golden opportunity

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

The Middle East peace process has been the bane of many US presidents. Each comes in with their own ‘unique’ approach, navigating the lobbying of AIPAC, Israel’s constant tantrums, the relentless fervour of Hamas, and the inconsistency of Fatah. The problem in and of itself is not complex. Israel is an occupying force on Palestinian territory. What complicates the issue …

What prevents a Turkey-Saudi alliance?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

It makes sense. Both wanted Assad out. Both committed funds, military training and logistics to the various armed movements that sprung from the Syrian revolution to topple the government. Both hosted Syrian opposition parties and both publicly denounced Assad and lobbied the West for greater support for the Syrian revolution. Both are sensitive to Iran and have the power to …

Why Liberals Are Not Taken Seriously On Erdogan

Selim Yaman #TheOtherNarrative

Turkey’s referendum caught sweeping international media attention. However, despite the extensive anti-Erdogan rhetoric, Turkish citizens voted to change their system to a Presidential one.   While many liberals lamented this development, the referendum spoke volumes as to the disconnect between mainstream liberal media and wider public opinion in Turkey.   Below is a hypothetical guide which Liberals appear to follow …

Erdogan and Syria: Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t

Sami Hamdi #TheOtherNarrative

Recently, there have been growing criticisms of Erdogan’s policy over Syria, with many accusing him of simply not doing enough. Yet, upon reflection of Turkey’s options in Syria, it begs the question as to what exactly Erdogan should do. Here is how many Turks imagine the considerations taking place in Ankara. Should Turkey: 1) Provide air strikes, clearing the way for …

Russian Ambassador killed in Ankara: The implications

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

In an extraordinary development, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrei Karlov, has  been shot dead whilst giving a speech at an art gallery. The shooter is reported to have shouted “this is for Aleppo”. The shooting comes as tensions simmer between Turkey and Russia over events in Syria, with President Erdogan having to perform a tactical ‘retreat’ earlier this year …

Why Erdogan lambasted Iraq’s Abadi

Sami Hamdi Iraq, Middle East/North Africa, Turkey

Erdogan had harsh words for Iraqi Prime Minsiter Haider al-Abadi. On the diplomatic front, the Turkish President may well have transgressed on Iraq’s sovereignty and there are legitimate question marks over the presence of Turkish troops on Iraqi soil. However, in the wider context, Erdogan has simply described the current status quo, and called out the Iraqi demands for what they …