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Omer Taspinar

Ömer Taşpınar is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of national-security strategy at the National Defense University in Washington. He is the author of two books: “Political Islam and Kurdish Nationalism in Turkey” and “Winning Turkey: How America, Europe and Turkey can Revive a Fading Partnership” (with Philip Gordon). His research focuses on the Middle East, Europe, Muslim minorities in the West, radicalization and the global political economy. He is a frequent commentator for major Turkish, American, European and Middle Eastern news outlets.

Articles By Omer Taspinar

The Sultan and the Tsar: Turkey’s Flirtation with Russia Has a Long History By Ömer Taşpınar - Aug 16, 2019

Anyone wanting to understand Ankara’s current military and political engagements with Moscow needs to pay attention to two factors: Turkey’s frustrations with the West and the historic drivers of Turkish-Russian friendship. While the former is well documented, the latter is seldom analyzed. The conventional narrative about the history between Russia and Turkey is one of … Continue reading “The Sultan and the Tsar: Turkey’s Flirtation with Russia Has a Long History”

It’s Time for Damage Control if Turkey’s Relationship with the US Is to Be Saved By Ömer Taşpınar - Jul 21, 2019

Despite repeated warnings from Washington, Ankara has started receiving shipment of a Russian air defense system. All eyes now are on Donald Trump. On Tuesday, as expected, he stopped sales of the advanced F-35 stealth jet fighters to Ankara. Still, the Turkish government hopes the US president will use his power of veto to prevent Congress from … Continue reading “It’s Time for Damage Control if Turkey’s Relationship with the US Is to Be Saved”

Erdogan’s Fumble in Istanbul Puts the 2023 Presidential Election in Play By Ömer Taşpınar - Jun 30, 2019

One thing worse than losing an election is losing the same vote twice – and the second time around with an even wider margin. This is what Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, succeeded in doing on Sunday night, as results confirmed that the opposition candidate and new darling of Turkish … Continue reading “Erdogan’s Fumble in Istanbul Puts the 2023 Presidential Election in Play”

The  ‘Chinese Model’ Distracts Turkish Admirers from the Absence of Democratic Governance By Ömer Taşpınar - Jun 19, 2019

This month’s 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre is an opportunity to consider what the “Chinese model” has come to represent for its admirers in Turkey and, indeed, the wider Middle East, and to remind ourselves of its dangers. Of course, despite the global retreat of liberal democracy – including, perhaps most significantly, in parts … Continue reading “The  ‘Chinese Model’ Distracts Turkish Admirers from the Absence of Democratic Governance”

In the Istanbul Elections, Erdogan’s Alliance with the Deep State Defines Turkey’s Future By Ömer Taşpınar - May 26, 2019

Most observers of Turkish politics understandably are obsessed with the political power that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accumulated over the past 16 years. They focus exclusively on him and his autocratic tendencies. But this fixation creates a false idea that overstates Erdogan’s reach at the expense of the real driver behind Turkish politics: the … Continue reading “In the Istanbul Elections, Erdogan’s Alliance with the Deep State Defines Turkey’s Future”