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  • Author: Safak Pavey
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Four years after a wave of protest movements swept across the Middle East in 2011, the revolutionary impulses and calls for democratic regime change have been all but stamped out. The author argues that the region is increasingly divided along sectarian lines, a polarization that impedes stability, and which has produced an egregious humanitarian crisis. According to the author, the consequences of how the relationship between the principles of Islam and democracy are established will be one of the main determinants for what the future holds for the Middle East and its people.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Democracy, Arab Spring, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: In discussing the turmoil that has recently engulfed the Middle East, the author considers a parallel with Europe in the 17th century and the beginning of the Westphalian order. The author lays out his vision for the future of the region, which is predicated upon four main parameters: mutual acceptance among all the peoples of the Middle East, embracing the spirit of moderation and modernization, the quest for political stability, and economic cooperation. According to the author, regional dialogue is the first step towards building political consensus and realizing this vision.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Political stability, Modernization, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Dov S. Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: In consideration of the general instability in the Middle East – the bloody Syrian civil war and its mounting refugee crisis, the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the emergence of ISIL and ongoing fighting in Iraq, and the war in Yemen – the author argues that the geographical map of the region based on the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement is disintegrating. Furthermore, the author argues that the region’s turmoil has to some extent had a spillover effect on the three non-Arab states – Turkey, Iran, and Israel, which further adds troubles to the region. While Israel is largely an outlier, the author posits that Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia will be embroiled in the “increasingly bitter contest for dominance of the Muslim Middle East.”
  • Topic: Civil War, Imperialism, Regional Cooperation, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Hemin Hawrami
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The summer of 2014 was a fatal summer, not only for the Iraqi Kurdistan Region but also for the Middle East and the rest of the world. It witnessed the rise of one of the deadliest terrorist groups: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Kurdistan Regional Government and its Kurdish military forces, the peshmerga, have been instrumental in deterring ISIL’s further encroachment However, the author argues that the peshmerga cannot fight ISIL alone and calls upon the international community to provide unified support in the form of arms, equipment, and training. The author makes the case that this virulent terrorist group can only be destroyed through a coordinated strategy and support given by an international coalition.
  • Topic: Terrorism, Military Strategy, Violent Extremism, ISIL
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Kurdistan
  • Author: Ersan Hurmuzlu
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The Turkmens, descendents of the Oghuz confederation of Turkic-speaking nomadic tribes of the early Middle Ages, are currently scattered across the Middle East and Central Asia. Focusing on the Turkmen populations of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iran, the author delves into their situation as minority groups who are barred from political participation and from expressing their cultural identity. This plight has only been exacerbated for the Iraqi Turkmens since the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In order to overcome socio-political marginalization, the author advocates for Turkmens to unite and form linkages with other minority groups.
  • Topic: Culture, Minorities, Identities, Marginalization
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Bernard El Ghoul
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The intensification of Russia’s diplomacy in the Middle East is combined with a clearly defined objective: positioning itself as the new protector of persecuted Christians in the region. The author highlights both the ambitions of the Kremlin in the Mediterranean and the ever-growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which has become a major political actor. Moscow sees Shiite Islam as its ally in the Middle East and is increasingly aligning itself with a Shiite axis composed of Iran, Syria, and the Lebanese Hezbollah. The author examines this burgeoning Russian-Shiite alliance in light of Russia’s strategic interests in the region.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Religion, Violent Extremism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Middle East, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Lina Khatib
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Hezbollah today is Lebanon’s strongest political party. However, its military intervention in the Syrian conflict has put it at a crossroads. While the party’s domestic strength continues, largely due to the weakness of its Lebanese political opponents and to its reliance on the possession of weapons to intimidate them, Hezbollah is facing increasing challenges in Syria. The author argues that as a deal on Iran’s nuclear ambitions looms, and with it the possibility of imposed limitations on Iran’s behavior by the international community, Hezbollah – being Iran’s key client – will find its autonomy and ability to act in the domestic Lebanese sphere as well as externally reduced in the future.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Military Strategy, Violent Extremism, Hezbollah
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Syria
  • Author: Sabri Sayari
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Turkey’s Middle East policy under the AKP government – in particular, its stance on Syria and the fight against ISIL – has had a damaging effect on not only its 60-year-old alliance with the US, but also its regional standing. The author chronicles several of the government’s blunders, arguing that they ultimately stem from a “fundamental miscalculation of Turkey’s power and capacity to shape regional developments.” From the government’s misplaced confidence in Bashar al-Assad’s regime and subsequent radical reversal in its Syria policy, to its sectarian approach to the region and support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to its deteriorated relationship with Israel, the author contends that Turkey has succeeded only in further alienating itself.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, International Cooperation, Military Strategy, ISIL
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Merve Tahiroglu, Behnam Ben Taleblue
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Inheriting a legacy of imperial competition, the Turkey-Iran rivalry today manifests itself through the contest for leadership of the Arab Middle East, and Muslim hearts and minds more generally. The authors contend that Turkey and Iran’s relationship transcends the boundaries of amity or enmity that traditionally define actors in the modern Middle East state system. Rather, Ankara and Tehran have been able to successfully compartmentalize elements of their rivalry while strengthening bilateral ties and expanding areas of economic cooperation. The authors posit that the present-day Turko-Iranian relationship falls in the category of neither friend nor enemy, but rather that of frenemy.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, International Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Mojtaba Barghandan
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: The Islamic Republic of Iran entered into a new era of public diplomacy following Hassan Rouhani’s victory in the June 2013 presidential election. Iran seeks both to revitalize its soft power tools and reach out to the international community through a more moderate, tolerant, and open dialogue policy. Digital diplomacy and social media have become increasingly important to this end. The author expounds on the new administration’s social-media friendly approach to fulfilling its foreign policy goals, in addition to taking stock of the soft power initiatives undertaken by international actors, and the possible obstacles for Iran in employing these same methods.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Media, Social Media, digital culture
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East