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  • 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: 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: Melek El Nimer
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Lebanon has been hosting refugees for over half a century. While the Palestinian refugees have been present since 1948, the recently incoming one million Syrian refugees have only exacerbated the already unstable assistance the country provides for refugees. One of the most devastating consequences of this is the lack of proper education and academic opportunities for the youth. The author’s organization, Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP), aims to tackle this issue through providing a holistic education for underserved children, youth, and women across the country. In what follows, the author presents an overview of the situation of the target beneficiaries and how the ULYP helps them meet the challenge of building a better future for themselves, their communities, and Lebanon at large.
  • Topic: Education, Refugee Issues, Youth, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Gabriel Mitchell
  • Publication Date: 06-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Turkish Policy Quarterly
  • Institution: ARI Movement
  • Abstract: Most analysts consider Davutogˆlu’s “zero problems with neighbors” strategy a failure, and typically cite Turkey’s decision to lend its support to religious conservative movements like the Muslim Brotherhood during the Arab Spring as a primary example. However, the failures of the last few years must also be understood within the framework of a larger narrative where Turkey has insisted on functioning as an intermediary between Israel and Syria, and the United States and Iran. These episodes, during which Turkey overstepped the boundaries of its influence, revealed the limitations of Turkish foreign policy and foreshadowed its regional decline.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Diplomacy, Mediation
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Syria