Analysis

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July 8, 2019

The purchase of a sophisticated S-400 missile defense system by NATO ally Turkey poses a challenge to U.S. law and upsets longstanding diplomatic practice. Soner Cagaptay, The Washington Institute's Beyer Family Fellow, breaks down the interconnected political and mili...

June 30, 2019

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan began his rise to the presidency as a political underdog with support from Turks who felt marginalized by the country’s secular establishment. He is now the most powerful Turkish leader in recent memory.

But a new underdog is rising. On Mar...

June 24, 2019

There was a time when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan ran laser-beam-sharp election campaigns, winning poll after poll. Not anymore. On Sunday, Erdogan’s hand-picked candidate in Istanbul’s mayoral race, Binali Yildirim, lost to Ekrem Imamoglu in a clear-cut def...

June 10, 2019

Although massive state resources have been mobilized against Imamoglu, the opposition candidate has taken up the mantle of the underdog who could challenge the status quo nationally, just as Erdogan himself did two decades ago.

In Istanbul’s mayoral race redo, polls ind...

May 7, 2019

Despite the opposition’s resilience, the president can use any number of legal, political, or foreign policy tools to ensure his candidate wins this time around, no matter the reputational costs.

On May 6, Turkey’s election board canceled the outcome of Istanbul’s March...

April 18, 2019

Since 2014, Washington has relied on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to defeat ISIS in Syria. Yet Washington’s policy of working with the YPG in Syria, where U.S. support has helped the group soar, has concurrently undermined American policy regardin...

April 16, 2019

A dramatic rift seems unavoidable unless Ankara delays the arrival of Russian missiles and Washington provides security guarantees against Moscow and the Syrian Kurds.

The U.S.-Turkey relationship is facing a crisis. This is because, unlike in the past, Ankara has no po...

April 5, 2019

We had to wait a while to be sure, but now it is clear: The ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suffered a defeat in Turkey’s key cities in the local elections that took place this past weekend. There was a time when Erdogan—whether you liked him or not—repr...

March 21, 2019

An expert on Turkish politics expresses the view that alliance pushback may be weaker than in the past, but that the purchase could devastate U.S.-Turkish ties.

This piece was originally published as part of a compilation of analysis for Carnegie's Diwan blog. Read the...

January 15, 2019

Given the numerous risks that lie ahead, it remains to be seen if Erdogan can deliver his country back to safety, let alone to greatness.

Since coming to power in 2003, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has attempted to make Turkey great again—in the mold of the Ottoman Em...

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Soner Cagaptay