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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  ‘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”

Turkish Capitalism’s ‘Original Sin’ and Its Roots in the Armenian Genocide  By Ömer Taşpınar - May 12, 2019

When it comes to Turkey’s problem with democracy today, what happened to the Armenian and Greek populations of Anatolia a century ago might seem irrelevant. Yet the very opposite is true. Turkey will never become a true liberal democracy – one dedicated to the proposition that every citizen deserves equal protection – unless it comes … Continue reading “Turkish Capitalism’s ‘Original Sin’ and Its Roots in the Armenian Genocide “

Israel and Turkey Share the Same Pathology: the Meltdown of the Left By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 18, 2019

Recent elections in Turkey and Israel have proved once again that these two countries have much more in common than one might immediately suppose. At first sight, the elections produced different results for Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Benjamin Netanyahu. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 52 percent of the overall vote in Turkey’s local elections … Continue reading “Israel and Turkey Share the Same Pathology: the Meltdown of the Left”

Turkey’s Democracy Wakes Up as Erdogan’s Invincibility Wavers By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 4, 2019

The most fundamental question in Turkish politics – since the country entered an unprecedented phase of civilian autocracy after the Gezi park protests in 2013 – is an existential one about democracy: do elections matter? More precisely, would President Recep Tayyip Erdogan surrender power because of election results? At a time when Turkey seems to … Continue reading “Turkey’s Democracy Wakes Up as Erdogan’s Invincibility Wavers”