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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

Erdogan’s Predicament: Can Populism Survive the Pandemic? By Ömer Taşpınar - May 6, 2020

Populist leaders like Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan are by nature insecure creatures. They govern by demonizing their political rivals and their worst nightmare is to end up in opposition. Given their tenuous relationship with the rule of law, losing power often means losing their freedom, and sometimes much more. They have an insatiable yearning for … Continue reading “Erdogan’s Predicament: Can Populism Survive the Pandemic?”

Erdogan Has Recovered from His Humiliation Over Idlib – But Only Because the Russians Allowed It By Ömer Taşpınar - Mar 9, 2020

It has been a tough month for Turkey’s strong man president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s military incursion into Idlib, the last Syrian province still under opposition control, has gone horribly wrong. Air strikes by the Syrian army have killed 34 Turkish servicemen in an attack that obviously had Russia’s backing. Vladimir Putin’s message to Erdogan … Continue reading “Erdogan Has Recovered from His Humiliation Over Idlib – But Only Because the Russians Allowed It”

Syria Is Straining the Marriage of Convenience Between Turkey and Russia  By Ömer Taşpınar - Feb 24, 2020

The problems between Turkey and the United States are well known. But lately, the real tension involving Ankara is on the Turkish-Russian front. This marriage of convenience between the two countries is being sorely tested by Syria and the particularly thorny issue of Idlib, the last stronghold of Syrian rebels.  Yet Idlib is only the … Continue reading “Syria Is Straining the Marriage of Convenience Between Turkey and Russia “

A New ‘Great Game’ Is About to Begin in the Horn of Africa By Ömer Taşpınar - Feb 23, 2020

A quick look at the map shows why the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea have been so important historically. The Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Ottoman, French and British empires understood the geostrategic stakes. The region was critical for global maritime trade even before the Suez Canal made it possible to sail between the Mediterranean … Continue reading “A New ‘Great Game’ Is About to Begin in the Horn of Africa”