Key Points

Since its intervention in Syria, the U.S. has invested significantly in establishing and supporting an effective partner on the ground. The SDF has been key to accomplishing U.S. objectives against IS and is best positioned to help secure America’s long-term interests in Syria. The U.S. response to Turkish saber rattling should reflect the value of this partnership and make clear that Washington will protect its SDF partners from Turkish attacks east of the Euphrates.

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As the AKP’s tradition of remembering Alevi voters immediately before challenging elections continues, the Alevi electorate is unlikely to fall for a trick that they have seen one too many times. Polls show that only a handful of Alevis vote for Erdogan’s AKP. The latest overtures will once again fail to coopt a staunchly pro-secular religious minority.

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The full story of Khashoggi’s death must come out. And Turkey clearly has an important role to play in that process. But that does not mean that the world’s top jailer of journalists should get a free pass.

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Erdogan would still like to reap the rewards from continued economic ties with Israel. But his anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli vitriol, which is amplified by government-funded and controlled media, have interfered with trade relations, as with the natural gas pipeline. Turkish-Israeli cooperation will remain stunted and tactical at best. For anything deeper, both countries will likely have to wait for a post-Erdogan era.

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Parliamentary elections will be held in Moldova in February 2019. Pro-European Union parties see the vote as crucial for continued momentum following an Association Agreement in 2016. Recent mayoral elections in Chisinau, however, may be a bad omen for transparency and court interference. Russia has stated zero tolerance for more “color revolutions,” as their actions in Ukraine have shown. For Erdoğan, keeping the status quo in Moldova, i.e., weak institutions and rule of law, is more favorable than EU accession. A poor and corrupt Moldova will allow Russia and Turkey to continue to play power politics not only in the EU’s backyard but also with the minorities at home. Such machinations may doom the tiny Gagauz to be pawns in Putin and Erdoğan’s greater regional ambitions for territorial and spiritual domination.

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Events

EVENT: Results of Erdogan's Snap Election Gambit: Implications for U.S.-Turkey Relations

June 27, 2018 | 11:45

Projects