Southeastern Europe

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Snapshot,
Aaron Stein

Turkey has long supported the terrorist group al-Nusra as a way to pressure the Assad regime. But there is no evidence to suggest that Turkey ever gave support to ISIS, once its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, split from al-Nusra in 2013.

Snapshot,
Omar G. Encarnación

After the radical-left Syriza party came to power in Greece, attention has turned to Spain's Podemos—a leftist party gaining traction in the polls—that could matter even more for European austerity policies.

Snapshot,
Mark Blyth and Cornel Ban

Just as Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon river, in spite of the warnings of the Roman Senate not to, so has Alex Tsipras, leader of the anti-austerity party, Syriza, decided to try to end austerity in Greece, in spite of Europe’s leaders saying he shouldn’t. Whether Tsipras will succeed is still unclear, but whatever happens, his victory represents a crucial turning point for Europe—a signal that time has run out on austerity policies.

Postscript,
Stathis N. Kalyvas

Talk of overturning austerity aside, Greece still needs the last 7.2 billion euro installment of the bailout to cover its financing gap. For the time being, then, the new government will need to abide by the program’s requirements—that is, the very combination of austerity and reform that Syriza has pledged to overturn. This may be enough to break the party.

Snapshot,
Nick Danforth

Erdogan recently declared that, starting immediately, Turkish students would begin studying the Ottoman language in school. But for anyone who has ever struggled to learn the notoriously difficult Ottoman language—sometimes described as a practical joke played on historians—forcing it on a generation of schoolchildren might be the quickest way for Erdogan to destroy his popularity (and the Ottoman Empire’s as well).

Snapshot,
Charles A. Nelson, Nathan A. Fox, and Charles H. Zeanah

Today, orphanages are common in many parts of the world. But a look at young people who spent their childhoods in institutions in Romania reveals just how developmentally damaging such places can be.

Snapshot,
Gunes Murat Tezcur and Sabri Ciftci

The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.

Snapshot,
Piotr Zalewski

Kurds have a right to take Turkey to task for its inaction in Kobani, just as Turks have a right to insist that Kurdish suffering in Syria does not give the PKK license to kill civilians or off-duty soldiers in Turkey.

Snapshot,
Nicholas Spiro

Fed policy is once again revealing which emerging markets have strengthened their defenses against a tightening in U.S. monetary policy and which remain vulnerable. For its part, Turkey is firmly in the latter camp.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Turkey has anticipated Assad’s downfall ever since protests first broke out in Syria in 2011. It has been disappointed at every turn, though, and now it is not only Assad who is in trouble but Turkey as well.

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