Soner Cagaptay
Soner Cagaptay
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review
 

Latest Articles

Turkey's Kurdish Buffer

July 1, 2014  •  Foreign Affairs

If anything good comes out of the turmoil in Iraq, it will be improved ties between Turkey and the region's Kurds. Until recently, they were bitter enemies. Ankara had never been able to stomach the idea of Kurdish self-government -- in Iraq or Syria or Turkey -- and it had generally refused to give in to Turkish Kurds' demands for cultural rights. Instead, it preferred to crack down. Meanwhile, the region's Kurds had never been able to stomach Iraqi, Syrian, or Turkish rule and, taking issue with Ankara's treatment of Kurds within Turkey's borders, threw their support behind the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a violent separatist movement in Turkey.

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The Liberals in Erdoğan's Wake

April 16, 2014  •  Majalla

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan may still be the most popular leader in Turkey, but the bloom is off the rose when it comes to his image as the man changing Turkey. That brand helped Erdoğan come to power in 2002 and win successive elections with increasing majorities, but now it seems it is not enough to maintain his stream of success. His Justice and Development Party (AKP) did win the March 30 local elections, but his personal popularity is slipping: In the 2011 elections, the AKP received a total of 21 million votes; on March 30, 19.5 million voted for Erdoğan.

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Turkey's Slow-Burning Alevi Unrest

March 24, 2014  •  Asharq Al Awsat

In the past year, Turkey has been shaken by anti-government rallies in which six protestors were killed—an unusual spike in violence in a society that is otherwise increasingly non-violent. Five of these fatalities occurred during the Gezi rallies of June 2013. On March 11th, Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old teenager who had had been in coma since he was hit in the head with a gas canister during the Gezi protests passed away. Berkin's death sparked a massive round of Gezi-like demonstrations in which 2 million people took to the streets to protest the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

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#TwitterBan Is Bad for Erdogan and Turkey

March 20, 2014  •  Policy Alert

On March 20, one day after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened "to root out Twitter," Turkish users were inexplicably blocked from accessing the popular social media site. According to the New York Times, the prime minister's office issued a statement that the decision to ban Twitter was imposed due to the site's "lack of cooperation after four local courts ruled that certain content must be removed."

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Turkey's Muted Reaction to the Crimean Crisis

March 4, 2014  •  PolicyWatch

Russian troop deployment in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula is likely to trigger a reaction from Turkey. Crimea lies only 173 miles from the Anatolian coastline, across the Black Sea. It is home to a community of Turkic Tatars, who are ethnic and linguistic kin of Anatolian Turks and oppose potential Russian annexation of the peninsula. Turkey has established close ties with Ukraine, a useful buffer with the bear to the north, since that country's independence and will take issue with violation of Kiev's sovereignty.

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Soner Cagaptay's Book

Cover of Islam, Secularism, and Nationalism in Modern Turkey

Islam, Secularism, and Nationalism in Modern Turkey
Who Is a Turk?

by Soner Cagaptay
Routledge, 2006. 256 pp. $43.60
January 13, 2006

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