In Depth: Middle East and Turkey

20 Jun 2017

Turkey, Home to 2.9 Million Syrian Refugees

UN Ambassador Niki Haley has advocated a new approach to aid millions of refugees worldwide, but particularly Syrian refugees in Turkey.
31 Dec 2014

Democracy: Four Reasons to Be Optimistic in 2015

2014 was a bleak year for the development of democracy around the world, but history has shown we are often blind to the democratic possibilities unfolding amidst the turmoil.
27 Oct 2013

Forced Exodus: Christians in the Middle East

In Syria and other parts of the Middle East, militant Islamists have launched a purge of Arab Christians from cities and towns where they have flourished since the dawn of Christianity.
31 Oct 2014

A Sad State of Affairs: The Kerry Record

The secretary of state’s one-sided, wrong-headed, and ill-fated attempt to negotiate an Israel-Hamas deal this summer should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his track record.
1 Jan 2011

Menace à trois: Alliances with Iran and Turkey? Please.

In Reset, former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer argues for shaking up our traditional ties in the Mideast—and getting more friendly with Turkey and Iran. James Kirchick explains why it shouldn't happen—and never would, anyway.
28 Oct 2013

Dispatch from Syria: Can Rebels Learn to Govern?

Whether helping to run refugee camps or debating political models, some Syrians in rebel-held areas are testing what shape a post-Assad government might take in theory and in practice.
9 Oct 2012

Turkey Strikes Back

Turkey responded to attacks from Syria last week with reprisal shelling and expanded war powers for Prime Minister Erdogan, but Ankara’s moves are also a response to what it perceives as an escalating Kurdish threat.
1 Jan 2011

Power Play: Turkey's Bid to Trump Iran

The flotilla incident last spring was just an opener: Turkey has big plans for its own role in a tumultuous Middle East—and they don't have much to do with helping Tehran, much less the West.
29 Apr 2013

The Game Changer: Syria, Iran, and Kurdish Independence

The shifting fortunes of Middle Eastern politics have delivered Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan and the country’s Kurds to the brink of a lasting settlement.
1 Jul 2010

Northern Exposure: Kurdistan After the Withdrawal

Just what will become of the Kurds after America leaves Iraq?
27 Feb 2013

Erdogan’s Grand Vision: Rise and Decline

Prime Minister Erdogan’s aspirations to restore Turkey’s national glory and to unify the Islamic world have been unhinged by rebellion in Syria and the region’s ferocious rivalries and inflexible dogma.
1 Dec 2011

Uncontained: Obama’s Confused Iran Policy

Is Washington’s plan to “contain” Iran too little too late?
29 Apr 2012

Defying a Dictator: Meet the Free Syrian Army

Despite limited weaponry, inadequate training, and weak central authority, Syria’s insurgent rebel groups seem authentic and determined. Will the West help them topple Assad?
31 Oct 2012

The Kurds’ Evolving Strategy: The Struggle Goes Political in Turkey

While Turkey fights the Kurdish rebels with weapons and in court, the Kurdish guerrillas have added a new weapon to their arsenal—a savvy political capacity with domestic and international reach.
1 Jul 2010

Smile and Smile: Turkey's Feel-Good Foreign Policy

What do you get when a country uses emotional truth rather than factual evidence to gauge reality? For starters, have you seen any of the headlines from Turkey this year?
1 Mar 2009

Turkish Delight: A Sour Delicacy

Turkey poses particular problems for the foreigner attempting to make sense of it. Istanbul, especially, appears to be quite Western, and in many ways it is. This seduces the observer into thinking it is more intelligible than it is.
5 Jan 2017

Turkey Goes Off the Rails

The New Year’s massacre on an Istanbul nightclub was the first time ISIS admitted directly calling for an attack in Turkey. Instead of rallying for unity against fear, Erdogan is blaming the West.
1 Dec 2016

Erdogan in a Corner After Blunders and Bluster

Turkey’s President Erdogan has tried to maneuver away from the West, seeking closer ties with NATO foes. But unlike Vladimir Putin, Erdogan is all posture and no gains.
2 Mar 2011

Israel the Model

imitate the country they’ve been brought up to hate. They don’t have ...

18 Jul 2011

How do you pay for a busy refugee year? Cuts, cuts, cuts.

where more than 3.6 million of the country’s 45 million people are still displaced from the country’s decades-long conflict. Many of these people ...

2 Jan 2005

Who’s Stingy?

of these countries are only a miniscule fraction of the populations of Iran and Saudi ...

11 Jan 2006

NATO’s Internal Cold War

where two enemy NATO countries (how’s that for irony?) face each other ...

27 Oct 2005

Rogue States

Turkish Cypriot half is a rogue state recognized by only one single country ...

23 Apr 2008

To the Middle East of Europe

a reason why the violent fracturing in countries like Lebanon and Iraq ...

25 Aug 2011

The Muslim Brotherhood Wants to Regulate Foreign Tourists

Michael J. Totten's blog Egyptian journalist Mohamed abd al-Raouf told me the entire tourism industry in his country is likely to resist the Muslim Brotherhood​ because Islamism in anything but its weakest ...

14 Aug 2011

Turkey Threatens Assad Again

Turkey’s AKP government wants to make the country a regional mini-superpower ...

29 Aug 2013

A Refugee's Forecast for Syria

With one brother dead and another in jail, Mohammad al-Shammary has experienced the brutality of the Syrian war. A refugee now, he shares his thoughts on justice and the Assad regime.
31 May 2010

The Mood in Israel Now

who run this country could not figure out a way to out-smart a bunch ...

22 Feb 2010

Turkey's Day of Reckoning

countries wanted all along: That is, to put some distance between Damascus ...

12 Jun 2013

Why the Turks are Turning on Erdoğan

not just in Istanbul but throughout the country. I have no idea where it’s ...

6 Dec 2012

Interviewed by Lee Smith

happened. Even Romanians I spoke to—and Romania is a Western country that’s ...

5 Sep 2011

Turkey Escalates its Row with Israel

diplomats out of the country by Wednesday and Ergogan is talking about taking ...

15 Aug 2011

Syrian Diplomats are Spying on Syrian Dissidents…in the United States

Michael J. Totten's blog I have a Syrian friend here in Oregon who has refused to discuss the political situation in his home country in public for the eight years I have known him. He left Syria (illegally) ...

4 Jul 2012

Chasing Demons from the Middle East to the Balkans

Ethnic divisions and tensions take on different forms across the world. What is universal, however, is our obligation to not stand by while sectarian slaughter wipes out millions.
17 Jul 2012

Back to Iraq

in a brick and stone building that was older than our own country while a man ...

3 Jun 2012

On the Turkish-Syrian Border

“For Libya, you had the no-fly zone for the whole country. You don’t need ...

14 Feb 2006

The Dream City of the Kurds

back, the Kurds finally had the nerve to build their dream country ...

4 Jun 2010

Dumbing Up

at the scapegoat du jour . Personally, I’d love to know how a country that got ...

2 Mar 2010

It Looks Just Like a Castle

the film was also a hit in 14 other countries, including Germany. The way ...

8 Apr 2006

Back to Iraq – Part One

( Gelibolu in Turkish) isn’t the most interesting place in the country ...

6 Jun 2010

Iran Threatens War in the Mediterranean

country toward the Sunni Muslim world of which it’s a part; he’s also ...

26 Aug 2010

What’s Up with Turkey

Michael J. Totten's blog I’m not even close to being an expert on Turkey or what’s going on there. I know enough, however, to know I don’t like it — and that’s a shame because I like what I’ve seen of the country ...

1 Jul 2010

The Future of Turkey and Israel

the two countries. Should the current Israeli government fall, the relations ...

27 May 2008

Home Again

States has existed as a country. Al Qaeda and like-minded fanatics insist ...

20 Feb 2007

Back to Iraq — Revisited

that in any Middle Eastern country). They seem no more religiously strict than ...

25 Dec 2005

A Magnificent City

promise and more. It is not just “the Muslim country that works.” It’s ...

30 Oct 2005

Internet Hell

Michael J. Totten's blog Call me crazy, but I figured that going from the Middle East to a European Union country would improve my Internet situation. It didn’t. Cyprus is Internet hell. Internet access here ...

2 Jun 2010

The Truth, Belatedly, Puts its Boots On

and average citizens in democratic countries become convinced that Israel indeed ...

10 Mar 2010

Between Niqab and Naked

in Islamic countries, I find it hard to leap to the defense of Western-style ...

30 Dec 2010

The Mirage of Moderate Islamism

As the Carnegie Endowment’s Amr Hamzawy put it a few years back: “in most countries ...