• Policy Analysis
    TurkeySecurity and Defense

    Drumbeats of Turkey’s Next Military Invasion of Syria

    Oct 20, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish officials continue to repeat their warning that a military operation in northern Syria may be imminent, blaming both Washington and Moscow for not fulf…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Relentless Bid for Afghanistan

    Aug 31, 2021Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Taliban’s astonishing seizure of all of Afghanistan dashed the Turkish government’s earlier hope to take charge of Kabul Airport. Turkey’s President Recep …

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyUS Foreign Policy

    The Path to Armenian Genocide Recognition: A Lesson for Palestine Activists?

    The century-old struggle by the Armenian American community for US recognition that the large-scale massacres and deportations of their people in the Ottoman E…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkish-Egyptian Reconciliation Efforts Echo a Shifting Regional Order

    Mar 26, 2021Daniel Brumberg

    Over the past month, Turkey has taken steps to restore diplomatic relations with Egypt. That President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has spearheaded this effort is para…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyUS Foreign Policy

    What Awaits US-Turkey Relations in the Biden Era?

    Dec 9, 2020Mustafa Gurbuz

    A few weeks before the November elections, a video clip of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden went viral in Turkey and caused a stir inside the Turkish gove…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian-Turkish-Iranian Cross-Purposes on Syria’s Future

    Sep 8, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    On August 24, the United Nations-sponsored Syrian Constitutional Committee meetings reconvened in Geneva. UN Envoy Geir Peterson, the chair of the meeting, dec…

  • Policy Analysis
    TurkeyRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Activist Regional Policies Are a Double-Edged Sword

    Gregory Aftandilian explains that although Turkey has scored points in the Arab world with its support for the Palestinians, its activist posture and intervent…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaUS Foreign Policy

    By Sanctioning Turkey’s Role in Libya, Trump Emboldens Erdoğan in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Jul 10, 2020Joe Macaron

    Evaluating the Trump Administration's policy toward Libya, Joe Macaron writes that from giving a green light to Haftar to march toward Tripoli to endorsing Tur…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russian-Turkish Tensions in Syria May Help Mend the US-Turkish Divide

    Mar 20, 2020Daniel Brumberg

    Daniel Brumberg studies the intricacies of Turkey's involvement in Syria and accommodation with Russia as it simultaneously hopes to enlist the assistance of t…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Egypt-Turkey Strained Relations: Implications for Regional Security

    Mar 18, 2020Khalil Al-Anani

    Egyptian-Turkish tensions over influence, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Gulf region have increased regional insecurity and require de-escalation an…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Complications for Turkey in Idlib

    Mar 17, 2020Mustafa Gurbuz

    Ankara’s options in Idlib are extremely limited as it must enforce moderation on the part of the extremists as well as address the refugee crisis.

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Idlib Developments Usher in a New Phase in Syria’s War

    Mar 6, 2020Radwan Ziadeh Imad K. Harb Marwan Kabalan Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian civil war entered a new phase when Bashar al-Assad’s regime began an assault on the northwestern Idlib province, eliciting a Turkish response. ACW a…

  • From our Affiliates
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Three scenarios for the battle for Idlib

    Feb 19, 2020Marwan Kabalan

    Major decisions have to be made by Turkey, Russia, and the United States in the coming weeks that may determine the next phase of the Syrian conflict.

  • From our Affiliates
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey’s Growing Role in Libya: Motives, Background, and Responses

    Jan 9, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    There are fears that external interventions in Libya may prolong its conflict and threaten the future and territorial integrity of the country. Read this analy…

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Is Turkey Playing with Fire in Libya?

    Jan 6, 2020Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish troops aim to buttress Libya's Government of National Accord, but escalating tensions in the Mediterranean may actually harm both Ankara and Tripoli.

  • Policy Analysis
    LibyaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Libya-Turkey Memorandum of Understanding: Local and Regional Repercussions

    Jan 2, 2020Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    The signing of the Libyan-Turkish memorandum of understanding on maritime sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean has coincided with increased tensions both w…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LebanonRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    America First or America Alone?

    Nov 20, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery is skeptical about the Trump Administration’s commitment to multilateral efforts to defeat the Islamic State and secure the Arabian Gulf whil…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    TurkeyUS Foreign Policy

    President Erdoğan Comes to Washington

    Nov 13, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery posits that despite congressional opposition to his visit to the White House, Turkish President Erdoğan was sure to find a warm welcome from …

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Russia’s Gains in Syria Could Be a Blessing in Disguise

    Nov 6, 2019Joe Macaron

    Joe Macaron argues that while Russia may fill the vacuum left by the withdrawal of American troops from the Turkish-Syrian border, it could have challenges dea…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    The Russia-Turkey Deal for Syria Will Go Nowhere

    Nov 5, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Mustafa Gurbuz analyzes the problems in implementing the initial phase of the latest Turkish-Russian agreement in Syria, concluding they indicate that the deal…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Trump’s Decision on Northeastern Syria Still Reverberates

    Oct 23, 2019Imad K. Harb

    President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria is still a subject of serious discussions in Washington because of its impact on American credibility in the …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Turkish Military Operation in Northeastern Syria: Scope, Aims and Reactions

    Oct 17, 2019Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS)

    Turkey seems to be in a hurry to achieve its operational goals before pressure increases to bring the operation to an end or in order to pre-empt any operation…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congress Eyes Sanctions after Turkey’s Incursion into Syria

    Oct 17, 2019Marcus Montgomery

    Marcus Montgomery discusses how the US Congress aims to levy even harsher sanctions to force Turkey to cease its operation and withdraw from northeastern Syria…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    How Turkey’s ‘Peace Spring’ changed the dynamics of Syria’s war

    Oct 15, 2019Marwan Kabalan

    Turkey's military action on Syria will have consequences far beyond the 'safe zone' it is trying to establish.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Confusion in Turkey’s Regional Foreign Policy

    Oct 8, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkish foreign policy choices in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia are plagued with contradictions that may lead to self-defeating outcomes.

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Safe Zone Agreement in Northern Syria Improves Turkey’s Position

    On August 4, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened a military operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria. His declared objective was to…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantJustice, Equality, and Human Rights

    Turkey’s Nativist Turn against Syrian Refugees and Other Arabs

    Jul 23, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    The key drivers that fuel the recent nativist sentiment in Turkey are the worsening economy and the politicization of the refugee issue by divisive election ca…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    A US-Turkish Agreement Remains a Challenge in Northeastern Syria

    Jun 26, 2019Joe Macaron

    US officials may be rushing a deal with Turkey in northeastern Syria that could lead to a Turkish-Kurdish confrontation and stall the American withdrawal from …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey after the Heated Municipal Elections: Key Takeaways

    Apr 8, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    The results of the municipal elections in Turkey have surprised many including the ruling AKP, which called them a “coup” and demanded a recount in Istanbul an…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqSecurity and Defense

    The United States and the Turkish-Kurdish Conundrum in Northern Syria

    Jan 11, 2019Mustafa Gurbuz

    Future US-Turkey relations depend on Ankara’s demands in northern Syria regarding the Kurds and how its relationship with Moscow develops.

  • Policy Analysis
    Saudi ArabiaDemocracy and Governance

    The Aftermath of the Khashoggi Murder: Freedom of the Press in 2018

    Dec 21, 2018Tamara Kharroub

    The rise of populism and anti-globalism has contributed to erosion of the international rights system, with governments moving away from accountability and tra…

  • Policy Analysis
    SyriaConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Will the Istanbul Summit Offer Hope for Syria?

    Nov 1, 2018Joe Macaron

    The Istanbul summit on Syria was the first serious attempt in years to advance a viable Syrian political process; but obstacles remain, including American-Russ…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Sochi Agreement on Idlib Tests Russian-Turkish Relations

    Oct 19, 2018Joe Macaron

    The irregularities in implementing the Sochi Agreement regarding Idlib will put Russian-Turkish relations to the test and may doom the Idlib ceasefire.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantInternational Law

    Murder at the Consulate: The Questions that Occupy Us

    Oct 19, 2018Azmi Bishara

    Many have raised questions about the logic behind murdering Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate, but what kind of leader makes such a criminal yet foolish decisio…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantUS Foreign Policy

    The Trump Administration’s Grandstand on Idlib

    Sep 7, 2018Joe Macaron

    As Russia and the Syrian regime gear up for the Idlib offensive, the United States is giving Moscow a free hand short of using chemical weapons.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Battle for Idlib: Three Scenarios

    Sep 5, 2018Marwan Kabalan

    After using de-escalation zones to take over one rebel-held area after the other, Russia has its eyes now on Idlib.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Ticking Time Bomb of Northern Syria

    Aug 15, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Assad regime’s coming Idlib offensive will cause serious troubles and endanger the US security structure in northern Syria.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantDemocracy and Governance

    Turkey’s New Regime under Erdoğan: Implications for the Arab World

    Jul 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    In the new order in Turkey, Erdoğan’s increasing dependence on Turkish nationalists will be a significant factor in shaping the country’s foreign policy in Syr…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Between Idealism and Realpolitik: Erdoğan’s Quest for Palestine

    Apr 26, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s active policy for Palestine enables Ankara to strengthen its ties to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas simultaneously and thus to bolster its role a…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Looming Threat of Kurdish-Arab Strife in Northern Syria

    Apr 9, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The latest developments in northern Syria signal a clear threat of rising Arab-Kurdish tensions that could boil over if local, regional, and international play…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Challenge to Arab Interests in the Horn of Africa

    Feb 22, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s policies and many activities around the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa have added complications to the already complex strategic picture of the Middle…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    The War of Others on Syria’s Soil

    Feb 20, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    The late diplomat, politician, and publisher of the influential Lebanese daily An-Nahar, Ghassan Tueni, characterized the 15-year Lebanese civil war as “a war …

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantSecurity and Defense

    The Battle of Afrin and the Future of the Free Syrian Army

    Feb 2, 2018Radwan Ziadeh

    Low levels of mutual confidence between Washington and Ankara have subjected the American-Turkish strategic relationship to unwarranted dangers and challenges.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkey’s Kurdish Conundrum in Syria

    Jan 24, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    As Turkey conducts its military operations against Syrian Kurdish militiamen ostensibly to secure its border with Syria, it finds itself needing to reconcile d…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqDemocracy and Governance

    Unsettling Times for Iraqi Kurdistan

    Jan 10, 2018Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Sulaymaniyah protests last December have revealed a deep split in Iraqi Kurdistan. By pitting Sulaymaniyah against Irbil, Baghdad aims to capitalize on the…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantReligion; Political Islam

    The Many Angles of Turkey’s Fight for Jerusalem

    Dec 28, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey’s championing of the cause of Jerusalem is genuine but also serves its interest in restoring its relations with the Arab countries and increasing its so…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantEnergy and Economics

    Turkey’s Policy toward a Fractured Libya

    Dec 12, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey is interested in being on good terms with all Libyan factions but is caught up in the complex relations between Libya’s political forces and their regio…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Ankara’s Ambiguous Policy toward a Divided GCC

    Oct 30, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    As a key player in the GCC crisis, Turkey has tried to support Qatar while avoiding potential deterioration in Ankara-GCC relations, which would result in nega…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    The Challenges of Turkey’s Operation in Syria’s Idlib

    Oct 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey is concerned about who controls neighboring Idlib Province in Syria but is equally interested in thwarting the Syrian Kurds’ plans for autonomy south of…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    Does Turkey Really Want to Punish Iraqi Kurdistan?

    Oct 3, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey may feel that it has to impose punitive measures against Iraqi Kurdistan over the referendum but countervailing Turkish domestic political conditions ma…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    IranMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending September 8, 2017

    The Senate moves closer to deciding on a State Department budget; Kuwaiti delegation canvasses Washington; Nikki Haley takes aim at Iran deal; and Trump’s trav…

  • Policy Analysis
    IranConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Is the Turkey-Iran Rapprochement Durable in Iraq and Syria?

    Aug 24, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Given the historical nature of the Turkish-Iranian rivalry, a durable rapprochement between Turkey and Iran requires assurances about the future of the Kurds a…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkey’s Hard Choices in Syria and Iraq

    Jul 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Turkey finds itself in a strained position in post-Islamic State Syria and Iraq. It lacks leverage with Russia, the United States, and Iran and fears Kurdish a…

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Congressional Update – Week Ending July 14, 2017

    Jul 14, 2017Marcus Montgomery

    The House eyes funding for the Departments of Defense and State; the Tunisian Prime Minister visits Washington; Qatar decries the humanitarian costs of the Gul…

  • Policy Analysis
    IraqIdentity Politics and Sectarianization

    The Independence Referendum: A Pyrrhic Victory for Barzani

    Jul 10, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Kurdish decision to hold a referendum on independence from Iraq may bring happiness to the Kurds but will come at a heavy price for the Kurdish leadership.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantRegional Relations and Geopolitics

    Turkey and the Gulf Crisis: Erdoğan’s Most Difficult Game

    Jun 19, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Ankara’s policy toward the Gulf crisis is shaped by economic and strategic concerns as well as fear that the same allegations against Qatar could be directed t…

  • Policy Analysis
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Turkish-Egyptian Relations: Nowhere to Go but Up

    May 30, 2017Charles W. Dunne

    Egypt and Turkey, both staunch US allies, have found themselves locked in a war of words—and worse—for nearly four years since the overthrow of President Moham…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Beyond the Trump-Erdoğan Meeting: The Rise of Eurasianists and Turkey’s Syria Policy

    May 23, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    A structural change in Turkey’s political system is gradually forcing serious changes in the country’s foreign policy toward Syria, the Gulf countries, Russia,…

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    The Precariousness of the De-Escalation Zones in Syria

    May 10, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Confusion engulfs the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria as Russia advocates for them and the Syrian opposition expresses doubt about their efficacy.

  • Policy Analysis
    LevantMigrants, Refugees, and IDPs

    Will Erdogan’s Victory Usher Dramatic Changes in Turkish Foreign Policy?

    Apr 25, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    Since becoming Turkey’s president in July 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has pursued a protracted campaign to win constitutional changes that would grant him more …

  • Washington Policy Weekly
    EgyptConflicts and Conflict Resolution

    Congressional Update – Week Ending April 7, 2017

    Apr 7, 2017ACW’s Research & Analysis Unit

    I. Congressional ScheduleThe House has adjourned for the two-week Easter recess and will reconvene on Tuesday, April 25. The Senate is expected to adjourn toda…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkey-Europe Tensions: Where are They Headed?

    Mar 21, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The escalation of tensions between Turkish and Dutch authorities seems to have played well in domestic political calculations in Turkey and the Netherlands. Tu…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkey-Iran Relations: A Sectarian Future?

    Mar 8, 2017Mustafa Gurbuz

    The Syrian war and ensuing crisis in Iraq have put Turkey and Iran in an unprecedented sectarian rivalry. Competition over Iraqi Kurdistan will be a major test…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkish-Iraqi Relations: Old Trends and Future Possibilities

    Relations between Iraq and Turkey have been cordial and cautious since Iraq became independent of Ottoman suzerainty after WWI, when British forces invaded and…

  • Policy Analysis

    Turkey at “the Gate” of Victory at Al-Bab: What’s Next?

    Jan 12, 2017

    The New Year’s Eve attack in Istanbul represents a significant change in relations between Turkey and the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL). Althoug…

  • Policy Analysis

    After Aleppo: The Political and Regional Implications of the New Middle East “Troika”

    Dec 28, 2016Joe Macaron

    Since August 2016, new regional power dynamics have been emerging in the wars in Syria. The trend has manifested itself in the fall of Aleppo and the December …

  • Policy Analysis

    Sidelining Asad: Questioning the Future of Russian-Iranian-Turkish Convergence in Syria

    Dec 27, 2016Imad K. Harb

    The battle of Aleppo has finally been decided in favor of the Syrian regime and its Russian, Iranian, and militia cohorts. But for all intents and purposes, th…

  • Policy Analysis

    What is Next for Turkey after the Fall of Aleppo?

    Dec 15, 2016

    After the fall of Aleppo, Turkey’s capacity to maneuver in the region will suffer tremendously. Indeed, the fall of Aleppo has increased tensions among Syrian …

  • Policy Analysis

    Biden in Ankara enticing Erdogan to weigh his options

    Aug 24, 2016Joe Macaron

    Vice President Joe Biden visited Ankara on August 24 to salvage the remnants of US interests in Turkey. The July 15 military coup attempt left President Recep …

  • Policy Analysis

    The Week that Cut Turkey’s Ambitions Down to Size

    Jul 7, 2016Yousef Munayyer

    Although signs of policy adjustment have been in the works for several months, the events of June 2016 were an emphatic marker of a shift in Turkey’s foreign p…