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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

As Turkey Goes to the Polls, Erdogan’s Belligerent Nationalism Masks Economic Problems By Ömer Taşpınar - May 3, 2018

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to call early elections on June 24 reflects his sense of urgency, bordering on panic. The reason is simple: the Turkish economy is on the verge of a currency crisis. Erdogan’s winning formula in politics has always been strong economic performance coupled with nationalism. In the absence of the former, … Continue reading “As Turkey Goes to the Polls, Erdogan’s Belligerent Nationalism Masks Economic Problems”

If America Leaves Syria, the Kurds Need a Plan B By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 23, 2018

In front of cheering crowds at a political rally, Donald Trump once again managed to shock his own administration by declaring that the US would be leaving Syria “very soon.” Trump apparently had not discussed the timing of this crucially important decision with his military and foreign policy advisors. Needless to say, his statements also … Continue reading “If America Leaves Syria, the Kurds Need a Plan B”

Turkey’s Frustration with the US in Syria Is Driving a Tactical Partnership with Moscow By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 15, 2018

Analysts who follow Turkey’s unexpected cooperation with Russia and Iran in Syria often ask whether Ankara has embarked on a new path in its foreign policy. Is Turkey’s recent partnership with Russia and Iran just a tactical plot because these two powers are the ones calling the shots in Syria, or is Ankara really looking … Continue reading “Turkey’s Frustration with the US in Syria Is Driving a Tactical Partnership with Moscow”

Turkish-Iranian Relations: Rivalry Without Hostility By Ömer Taşpınar - Apr 5, 2018

Scholars of real politik often say that countries don’t have friends, only shared interests. Given Turkey’s recent attempts at rapprochement with Iran, particularly in Syria, where the two countries are part of the Astana process led by Moscow, we might ask what drives Turkish-Iranian shared interest. The short answer is the Kurds. It is one … Continue reading “Turkish-Iranian Relations: Rivalry Without Hostility”