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The ISN Quiz: The Geopolitics of Turkey

Its pipeline power has made it a country to watch. How well do you know Turkey, the subject of this week’s Special Report? Test your knowledge in this week’s ISN Quiz.

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ISN Weekly Theme: Turkey at the Crossroads

Atatürk's deathbed at Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, courtesy of Serdar Gurbuz/flickr

This week the ISN explores the geopolitical implications of Turkey’s strategic location at the intersection of civilizations. For the first time since its Ottoman glory days, the country appears poised to capitalize on its position at the crossroads of East and West.

In this week’s Special Report:

  • An Analysis by Philip McCrum examines Turkey’s rising geopolitical prowess on the regional and international stage.
  • A Podcast interview with Dr Ali Tekin explores the political gravitas Turkey has gained through its status as a pipeline thoroughfare.
  • Security Watch stories about a brewing military coup scandal, energy pipeline politics, regional relations and much more on Turkish current affairs.
  • Publications housed in our Digital Library, including a recent Atlantic Community paper on how the US and EU are “Seizing Opportunities from Turkey’s Growing Influence”.
  • Primary Resources, like the full text of Ataturk’s speech on the tenth anniversary of the Turkish republic.
  • Links to relevant websites, among them the Central European Journal of International and Security Studies’ analysis of “Turkey’s Strategic Imperatives (2010-2012)”.
  • Our IR Directory with relevant organizations, including the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Cyprus: A Mediterranean Symptom

UN Buffer Zone - Ledra, Cyprus / Photo: Jpatokal, Wikipedia


The division of Cyprus embodies most of the challenges that the Mediterranean region is facing today.

In 1974, following the Greek coup attempt, the Turks invaded the island and now occupy the northern part – called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – which is recognized only by Turkey.

Since that time, the frozen conflict over Cyprus has been a sticking point for both the EU and Turkey: the EU for having one of its member states occupied by a foreign country; and Turkey for having its EU accession hopes slowed down.

Cyprus represents a divided region, divided between a Muslim and a Christian community; between an aging side looking for comfort and a youthful one looking for opportunities; between a peaceful Europe with a high GDP and a conflicting Arab world that struggles to adapt to globalization.

It is also divided by a physical wall, the Green Line, which until 2003, was not possible to cross.
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Where Is Turkey Going?

Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan, courtesy of the United Nations/flickr

Prime Minister of Turkey Erdogan, courtesy of the United Nations/flickr

Political relations between Turkey and its neighbors have significantly changed. We can distinguish six major shifts in Turkish foreign policy within the last three months that could be considered historic:
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Turkey’s Deep State Re-Visited: “The Case of the Century”

This January, Gareth Jenkins shared his observations on the Turkish “Deep State” in a prolific ISN Security Watch article. Not only did he shed light on the history of “Ergenokon,” a clandestine ultra-Kemalist guerilla organization with obscure links to NATO’s covert stay-behind network “Gladio,” but also raised a momentous question: Is the Turkish military, hitherto the staunch and “ultimate guardian of the traditional interpretation of secularism in Turkey,” discrediting itself with its more than likely involvement in planning a coup d’état, thus losing ground to Erdoğan’s Islamist AKP in the struggle over the future of Turkish secularism?

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's mausoleum / Photo: carolinebeatriz/flickr

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s mausoleum / Photo: carolinebeatriz/flickr

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