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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

An Obsession with Islam Blinds the West to Real Problems in the Middle East By Ömer Taşpınar - Mar 10, 2019

From Donald Trump’s alarmist speech in 2017 in Poland, where he declared “every last inch of Western civilization is worth defending with your life,” to his more recent fear mongering about “Middle Easterners” hiding in the Latin American caravan and who were about to “invade” the United States, one thing is constant in the American … Continue reading “An Obsession with Islam Blinds the West to Real Problems in the Middle East”

Turkey’s Islamist Policy Remains Intact – After Accidentally Extraditing a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood By Ömer Taşpınar - Mar 3, 2019

How should we interpret the fact that a member of the Muslim Brotherhood was recently extradited from Istanbul to Cairo? Is the Turkish government finally changing its policy of support for the Islamist movement? The short answer is no.   But, before we get too far ahead, what actually happened? Mohamed Abdelhafez Ahmed Hussein, a … Continue reading “Turkey’s Islamist Policy Remains Intact – After Accidentally Extraditing a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood”

What Erdogan’s ‘Turkish Gaullism’ Means to the Middle East and the West  By Ömer Taşpınar - Feb 11, 2019

Samuel Huntington still cast a long shadow over modern Turkey. And that is unfortunate. The late Harvard professor once characterized the country as “torn” between East and West. And so according to the Huntington binary worldview of civilizational confrontation, the current Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a dangerous Islamist determined to overhaul the secularist … Continue reading “What Erdogan’s ‘Turkish Gaullism’ Means to the Middle East and the West “

Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Plan Pushes Turkey Closer to Russia By Ömer Taşpınar - Jan 20, 2019

When Donald Trump declared last month that American forces in Syria would return home immediately, Turkey was one of the few countries to cheer. Some in Ankara even declared “victory.” For after all, America’s main partners on the ground against ISIS have been Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists linked to the Kurdish Workers’ Party … Continue reading “Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Plan Pushes Turkey Closer to Russia”

America’s Troop Departure from Syria Can Improve Turkish-Kurdish Relations By Ömer Taşpınar - Jan 8, 2019

Has America used the Kurds in Syria only now to dump them? Observers who believe in moral debt, rather than the cold logic of realpolitik, understandably are concerned about the implications for the Kurds of an immediate US withdrawal from Syria. After having served as boots on the ground for the military effort against ISIS, the Kurds – so the thinking … Continue reading “America’s Troop Departure from Syria Can Improve Turkish-Kurdish Relations”