The recent coup attempt in Turkey would not have ended democracy in the country, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has undermined whatever democratic progress Turkey has made in the early 2000s, there was no democracy for Turkey to lose.
While Egypt’s military leaders demonstrated unity of purpose when they overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, the officers involved in the recent coup attempt in Turkey were proven weak and divided, writes CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Key differences in the political role and public support of the Egyptian and Turkish militaries explain why one successfully overthrow an elected government and the other failed to.
Major tests lie ahead for Turkey's relations with the United States and European Union as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan can be expected to consolidate power following a coup attempt, says expert Kemal Kirisci.
Security in Turkey has deteriorated in recent years as the country’s leadership seeks to influence conflicts around its borders, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Turkish policies toward Syria, the Kurds, Iraq, and the fight against the self-declared Islamic State has contributed to the rise of terrorism in Turkey, including the attack on the Istanbul airport.
Turkey was selected to host the World Humanitarian Summit in recognition of its generous foreign assistance and refugee policies, but it comes as the country pursues increasingly illiberal policies, says expert Kemal Kirişci.
Among Syrian refugees in Turkey, marriage is sometimes seen as the best option to keep daughters fed, alive and safe, by parents overwhelmed by life’s perils and its costs — but 15-year-old Asma has other plans.
Turkey has chosen not to play a constructive role in combating extremism and resolving the Syrian conflict, argues CFR’s Steven A. Cook. Instead, Ankara has gone after securing its own interests, that of securing the power of the ruling party and undermining Syria’s Kurds.
The Turkish authorities have blamed the self-declared Islamic State for the attack on a peace rally in Ankara that took the lives of more than 100 people, though others in Turkey are not so sure. Critics of the dominant Justice and Development Party (A.K.P.), and some victims say the violence is more likely the work of either the government itself or the so-called deep state, designed to destabilize Turkey in a way that undermines Kurdish political goals and the A.K.P.’s efforts to transform Turkish politics.
Kurds have become critical players amid domestic upheaval and political changes throughout the Middle East. Explore the history of the Kurdish people and why some Kurds may be on the verge of achieving their century-old quest for independence.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »