Erdogan’s Attacks on His Old Ally Could Backfire

For Foreign Policy ISTANBUL — Parting ways with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not been easy for former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Since being forced to resign his post in 2016, Davutoglu has occasionally waded into the public sphere to offer careful criticism of Erdogan’s one-man rule that is threatening Turkey’s democracy. But over the last few months, Davutoglu has opposed Erdogan more forcefully, culminating in his public plans to form a new opposition party—an announcement that could mean a death blow to his…Continue Reading “Erdogan’s Attacks on His Old Ally Could Backfire”

For Foreign Policy ISTANBUL — In the run-up to Turkey’s ongoing operation against Kurdish nationalist forces in northern Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presided over a sweeping crackdown on Kurdish mayors in Turkey, justified by the same impetus: connections to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. In Turkey, support for the PKK, which Ankara and Washington consider a terrorist group, has long been grounds for dismissal or imprisonment. But what exactly constitutes support is subject to the state’s discretion, and the line is by…Continue Reading “Turkey’s Crackdown on Kurdish Mayors Could Backfire”

The Hunted: Tracking Uzbekistan’s long arm

For Foreign Policy: Uzbekistan’s president has jailed, tortured, and murdered his opponents at home. Now, he’s hiring hit men to track down and kill dissidents abroad. ISTANBUL — A cold drizzle fell on Istanbul on the morning of Dec. 10, 2014, as Abdullah Bukhari made his way to teach his students at a madrasa nestled amid apartment blocks and hardware stores in the Zeytinburnu neighborhood. A white prayer cap on his head, Bukhari made two crucial departures from his daily routine, according to one of…Continue Reading “The Hunted: Tracking Uzbekistan’s long arm”

For Foreign Policy: In a wide-ranging counter-terrorism speech in May, President Barack Obama indicated that he would be scaling back the war that the United States has engaged in since 9/11. And he said the targeted killing program that has become a major component of this war is aimed at “al Qaeda and its associated forces,” and “specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America,” using a legal standard put forth in the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force to justify the strikes. The President…Continue Reading “Mission creep? The scope of Obama’s drone war”