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  • Author: Rodi Hevian
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article examines the current political landscape of the Kurdish region in Syria, the role the Kurds have played in the ongoing Syrian civil war, and intra-Kurdish relations.
  • Topic: International Affairs
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Kurdistan
  • Author: Rodi Hevian
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: As Kurdistan is divided and the Kurdish people are not united geographically, they are split among numerous political parties and institutions in several different countries. They follow different leaders in each region of Kurdistan. After World War I, the Kurds created national organizations and institutions to further their cause. These included the Society for the Rise of Kurdistan (Kurt Teali Cemiyeti), established in 1918 in Istanbul; the Free Kurdistan Movement in 1923 in Diyarbekir; and Xoybun in 1927 in Lebanon. The goal of these organizations was to lead Kurdish rebellions against the Ottoman Empire and later, against Turkish state. Yet all of these organizations failed to achieve their goals and vanished from the public sphere in the following years.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Igor Delanoe
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Russian interests in the Eastern Mediterranean have been highlighted both by the country's diplomatic and naval activity related to the Syrian crisis as well as by its stance on economic and energy issues in Cyprus. During the 2000s, Moscow's influence on the island has steadily increased, making Cyprus a new Russian foothold in the Eastern Mediterranean. While Moscow's ties with Nicosia have served Russia's Mediterranean energy interests, they have also revived tensions with Turkey. In the context of the ongoing Syrian crisis, the Kremlin's growing involvement in Cyprus sheds new light on the Russia-Cyprus partnership.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Moscow, Syria
  • Author: Aylin Ünver Noi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article addresses the approaches of Turkey, Iran, Syria, and Iraq in dealing with the Kurdish issue, with a special focus on historical background. In addition, the article discusses how this issue affects relations among the aforementioned countries and whether cooperation on this issue is possible. The article also examines how the Arab Spring has impacted the Kurds and the attitudes of these countries toward the Kurdish issue.
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article is a short analysis of how Turkey changed under AKP rule so that the regime no longer wished to have an alignment with Israel but, on the contrary, needed to treat Israel as an enemy. In order to understand the initial reasons behind the creation of the Turkish-Israeli alliance, one must also recognize why that alignment came to an end. The cause was not within the partnership itself nor was it due to the 2008/2009 Gaza War or the 2010 flotilla events; rather this resulted from the Turkish government's changing goals and identity. The “Arab Spring” has pushed forward this transformation in Turkey's rulers while also showing that the new strategy does not work. What factors brought the two countries together? There were many, and they were well-rooted in the Kemalist republic, which began in the 1920s and is perhaps now coming to an end. The list below explains the aspect that created close cooperation and how this changed, thus leading to a collapse in the relationship.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Israel
  • Author: Stephen Blank, Younkyoo Kim
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Since the early 1990s, Turkey and Russia's strategic outlooks have gradually been converging. The two countries have incrementally shed their mutual apprehensions and started a comprehensive and multifaceted cooperation. Turkish–Russian interaction in the Middle East, Caucasus, and Mediterranean reveals that there might be limits to the future expansion of their partnership.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Caucasus, Middle East
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article traces the emergence of the modern national identities of Azerbaijanis and Armenians back to the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In doing so, it emphasizes the ways national identities were shaped by Azerbaijani and Armenian intellectual elites, reflecting their historical heritage of being parts of Turkish, Persian, and Russian empires. Accordingly, the evolution of mutual perceptions of Azerbaijanis and Armenians vis-à-vis their imperial neighbors–and vice versa–is highlighted. The article focuses on the period of the second half of the nineteenth century until 1920/1921, when following a two-year intermezzo of independent states in the South Caucasus, both Armenia and Azerbaijan were effectively incorporated into the emerging Soviet Union.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Persia
  • Author: Sinan Ciddi
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article considers the reasons for and the overall impact of holding a national referendum in Turkey on September 12, 2010, for a series of constitutional amendments passed by the governing AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi or Justice and Development Party). Although the measures were publically accepted with nearly 58 percent approval, the prospects for the drafting of a new constitution based on political consensus to replace the military-created 1982 document remain weak. While the opposition parties and the judiciary perceive the reforms as a government initiative to politicize the judiciary, the AKP is focused on taming a politically motivated “juristocracy.”
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: James Leigh, Predrag Vukovic
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Cyprus is located at the juncture of the world island (Eurasia) with Africa. It is on the sea lane of the great maritime highway connecting the Mediterranean Sea through two sea gates–the Suez and Bab al-Mandab–with the Indian Ocean. From there, it links to two other sea gates. These are the Strait of Hormuz, leading to the Persian Gulf, and the Strait of Malacca, connecting to the Pacific. Due to its geostrategic location, throughout its history, external powers have attempted to project their influence over the island.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article explores the policies of Turkey and Iran toward the Armenian-Azerbaijani war over Nagorno-Karabakh during the 1991-1994 period. It identifies Azerbaijan as a key nation in the region, one rich in oil and natural gas and with which both the Turks and Persians historically shared language, culture, and religion. As the cornerstone of the post-Soviet policies of both regional powers in the South Caucasus, Azerbaijan was crucial for Ankara and Tehran as they sought to safeguard their presence in this strategic crossroads linking Europe and Asia. Against this backdrop, the Karabakh policies of Turkey and Iran were formulated.
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey, Asia, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Author: Sinan Ciddi, Berk Essen
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: This article analyzes Turkey's June 12, 2011, general elections, focusing on the three parties and the predominantly pro-Kurdish independents. Although the incumbent Justice and Development Party won by a sizeable majority, it gained fewer seats in comparison to its 2002 and 2007 electoral performances. The Republican People's Party maintained its position as the main opposition party, with noticeable increases in its voting shares both regionally and locally. The pro-nationalist Nationalist Action Party was the only party to lose seats in parliament. Last, the Kurdish independents increased both their parliamentary representation and their share of electoral spoils. Though the government maintained an overall parliamentary majority, its desire to enact constitutional changes and/or implement a presidential system will be constrained and dependent on support from the remaining parties in parliament.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Gareth Jenkins
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: Since it was launched in June 2007, the Ergenekon investigation has become the largest and most controversial case in recent Turkish history, resulting in over 300 people being charged with a membership of what is described as a clandestine terrorist organization seeking to destabilize the country's Islamist government. In the parallel Sledgehammer investigation, 195 members of the fiercely secularist Turkish military stand accused of plotting a coup in 2003. Yet not only is the evidence in both cases deeply flawed, there are also increasing indications that much of it has been fabricated.
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The gap between dominant Western perceptions of the Middle East and the region's reality is dangerously wide. While the “Arab Spring” is celebrated as an advance for moderation and democracy, in fact the advance is going to revolutionary Islamists. Developments in Turkey and Egypt especially threaten to plunge the Middle East back into an era of conflict, instability, and the worst threats to Western interests in decades.
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Emil Souleimanov, Josef KRAUS, Kamil Pikal
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Middle East Review of International Affairs
  • Institution: Global Research in International Affairs Center, Interdisciplinary Center
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country of multiple nationalities. Ethnic Persians account for approximately half of the total population. The remainder of the population consists of members of various ethnic groups of Turkic, Iranian, and Semitic origin, generally concentrated in a particular area. The exact number of these individual minorities and even of the Persian majority is unknown, since population censuses in Iran do not determine nationalities, but rather religious affiliation alone.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey