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Friday, August 26, 2016

Has Turkey Prepared for a Lengthy War in Syria?

Has Turkey Prepared for a Lengthy War in Syria?

Turkey wants to prevent a Kurdish state—but it is not the only power with political aims in Syria.

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Turkey Invasion of Syria Highlights Shifting Alliances - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Syria à la Carte: Turkish Invasion Highlights Rapidly Shifting Alliances

By Maximilian Popp and Christoph Reuter

The Turkish advance into northern Syria marks a turning point in the Syrian conflict. Its nominal target was Islamic State, but with large powers reconsidering their alliances in the region, the Kurds stand to lose the most.

One common description of chaos theory holds that the flapping of a butterfly's wings can trigger a tornado. And it could very well be that the theory is the best tool we currently have available to describe the complex situation in Syria. The butterfly wings in this case was the late July decision by the Syrian regime to recruit new tribal militia fighters in a remote northeastern province. The tornado it triggered four weeks later was threefold: the invasion of northern Syria by the Turkish army; the sudden expulsion of Islamic State from the border town of Jarabulus; and the US military suddenly finding itself on both sides of a new front in Syria -- that between the Turks and the Kurds.

More:Turkey Invasion of Syria Highlights Shifting Alliances - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Report: Berlin looks into pulling jets out of Turkey | News | DW.COM | 25.08.2016

Report: Berlin looks into pulling jets out of Turkey

Germany must find alternatives to the Incirlik Air Base and pull its soldiers and weapons from Turkey, German MP Rainer Arnold told Der Spiegel magazine. Ankara has been blocking official visits from Berlin to the base.

More:Report: Berlin looks into pulling jets out of Turkey | News | DW.COM | 25.08.2016

Constitutional Reform: A Change Turkey's Parties Can Believe In | Stratfor

Constitutional Reform: A Change Turkey's Parties Can Believe In
Analysis
August 26, 2016 | 09:15 GMT Print

Since the Republic of Turkey became a multiparty constitutional democracy in 1946, its governmental institutions have been used as tools of patronage in a highly polarized political system. The arduous process of rewriting the Turkish Constitution offers a prime opportunity for parties to co-opt Turkish political institutions to advance their agendas. Sometimes, these agendas coincide. The constitution of 1982, for instance, was in many ways drafted around various protections for the military. But in the years since its adoption, civilian political parties have rallied around the common goal of redacting those protections to keep Turkey's democratic system from descending into martial law.

More:Constitutional Reform: A Change Turkey's Parties Can Believe In | Stratfor

Erdogan takes a risk fighting on three fronts — FT.com

Erdogan takes a risk fighting on three fronts

As Biden visits Ankara, Turkey remains on a collision course with the west
David Gardner

Joe Biden, US vice-president, glad-handed his way through Ankara this week, an exercise to patch up relations with Turkey’s pugnacious president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, frayed ragged after July’s abortive coup. As if on cue, the Turkish army launched its first real incursion into Syria, seizing the Isis-held gateway town of Jarabulus on the border, and reminding Washington of Ankara’s value as a Nato ally.

More:Erdogan takes a risk fighting on three fronts — FT.com

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Turkey Won't Solve Its ISIS Problem by Invading Syria - The Atlantic

The Real Enemy Within Turkey

Erdogan launched an intervention against ISIS in Syria, while gutting his own government's ability to confront the problem at home.

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Al-Malarkey | The Economist

President Erdogan’s threat to realign towards Russia is more bark than bite
Aug 27th 2016 | ISTANBUL | From the print edition

THE presidential palace in Ankara is a 1,150-room modern fortress of stone pillars and sheet glass, completed for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2015 at an official cost of $615m. For Mr Erdogan’s supporters, it is an emblem of Turkey’s energy and will. For his opponents it represents the president’s autocratic instincts and lust for power. During the attempted coup of July 15th, mutinous fighter pilots dropped bombs near the complex. On August 24th, Joe Biden, America’s vice president, went there to apologise to Mr Erdogan for America’s failure to show more solidarity with Turkey in the coup’s aftermath.

More:Al-Malarkey | The Economist

Biden: US understands Turkey's 'feelings' about Gulen - News from Al Jazeera

Biden: US understands Turkey's 'feelings' about Gulen

VP Joe Biden says the US is cooperating with the Turkish authorities but the extradition process may take time

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Turkey’s economic resilience a worry | The National

Turkey’s economic resilience a worry

Ergin Hava, Foreign Correspondent

August 25, 2016 Updated: August 25, 2016 05:58 PM

Istanbul // On Wednesday morning, the Turkish army launched an incursion into Syrian territory led by ground forces and warplanes, triggering a new wave of political-risk driven losses in markets and the Turkish lira currency.

More:Turkey’s economic resilience a worry | The National

EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?

EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?

By Andrew Rettman
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:25

The EU has urged Turkey to clarify if it still wants to join the bloc, as relations between Ankara and Western allies deteriorate.

The EU’s enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, spoke out in Austrian newspaper Die Presse on Wednesday (24 August), saying EU concern was "justified" that Turkey had violated rule of law in its purge after the failed putsch in July.

More:EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?

EU and Turkey restart talks over migrant pact | World news | The Guardian

EU and Turkey restart talks over migrant pact

European commission due to report on whether Turkey has done enough to gain visa-free travel to Schengen zone

More:EU and Turkey restart talks over migrant pact | World news | The Guardian

The Ankara-Brussels Problem - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The Ankara-Brussels Problem
Posted by: Marc Pierini Thursday, August 25, 2016

“Brussels, you’ve got a problem,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesperson said recently. Based on facts and rule of law principles, many Europeans have a hard time understanding what the problem is, exactly, and what the way forward might be. Here is my modest attempt to arrive at a mutual understanding.

More:The Ankara-Brussels Problem - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Turkey sends more tanks to Syria, demands Kurdish fighters retreat | Reuters

Turkey sends more tanks to Syria, demands Kurdish fighters retreat

By Humeyra Pamuk and Umit Bektas | KARKAMIS, Turkey

Turkey sent more tanks into northern Syria on Thursday and demanded Kurdish militia fighters retreat within a week as it seeks to secure the border region and drive back Islamic State with its first major incursion into its neighbor.

More:Turkey sends more tanks to Syria, demands Kurdish fighters retreat | Reuters