Southeastern Europe

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Snapshot,
Michael J. Koplow

The official view from Ankara might be sunny -- yet the clouds massing on the country’s border presage a domestic hurricane.

Snapshot,
Soner Cagaptay

Davutoglu’s foreign policy has dangerously exposed Turkey to regional threats, which will probably preoccupy him as he takes over the prime ministership.

Snapshot,
Elmira Bayrasli

In an election, coming in third place is rarely cause for celebration. But for Selahattin Demirtas, the charismatic and telegenic 41-year-old politician who ran in Turkey’s August 10 presidential election, it was. Nearly ten percent of Turkish voters cast their ballots for Demirtas, a Kurd.

Snapshot,
Claire Sadar and Brent E. Sasley

Given his imperious attitude, Erdogan is often compared to Ataturk. But Erdogan has something Ataturk did not, namely the near-complete loyalty of his party, which provides a ready mechanism for setting policy. In that, another Turkish political figure offers an even better point of comparison: Turgut Ozal.

Snapshot,
Halil Karaveli

Erdogan will likely win this weekend's presidential election. But the foundations of his power are unstable. His policies will eventually put him at odds with some of his most important backers: Istanbul-based big business and the religiously conservative business community in Turkey’s heartland, Anatolia. Indeed, they already have.

Snapshot,
Soner Cagaptay

From Turkey’s perspective, Kurdish autonomy is starting to look like a good thing. The portions of northern Iraq and Syria that are under Kurdish control are stable and peaceful -- a perfect bulwark against threats such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). And that is why Turkey has been on good behavior with the Iraqi Kurds, is working on its relations with the Syrian Kurds, and might finally be breaking the impasse with the Kurds in its own territory.

Snapshot,
Edward P. Joseph and Janusz Bugajski

To help contain Russia, Washington must use its influence to break the stalemate within Europe over NATO and EU expansion in the Balkans.

Response,
Erik Meyersson and Dani Rodrik

Turkey’s authoritarian turn is typically portrayed as a recent one, following on the heels of what are commonly described as significant democratic reforms in the last decade under Erdogan. With the latest turnaround blamed squarely on Erdogan, it is a relatively short jump from there to optimism about democracy’s prospects after him. But that view is incorrect.

Snapshot,
Akin Unver

From the Turkish perspective, Russia’s invasion of Crimea fits a 340-year pattern, in which Russian domination of the Black Sea is a precursor to aggression in the eastern Mediterranean. No wonder, then, that Turkey is suddenly feeling rather vulnerable.

Snapshot,
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith

The turmoil unfolding in Ukraine provides the people of Ukraine with an opportunity to make their country a better place, but only if their leaders follow democratization's best practices. For the West, helping Ukraine become a functional democracy is also the best defense against Russian meddling.

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