The US and EU sanctions Both the EU and the US are contemplating new sanctions following the Cyprus-drilling conflict and the purchase of the S-400. Erdogan seems defiant on both counts and further sanctions seem equally unavoidable. Turkey’s armed forces have been planning a major offensive in Northern Syria against the US-backed Kurdish Protection Units (YPG), in defiance of US and EU warnings for possible conflict escalation. A sense of urgency has been added to Erdogan’s preparatory works to invade Syria as Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E have responded positively to US calls to send troops to areas held by the YPG. Russia is tacitly encouraging further cracks in relations with the West by allowing Erdogan a certain range of freedom in Syria, against the
The backstage role of Schroeder. President Erdogan seems intent to further expand the impact zone of the S-400 deal – testing the tolerance of his partners in NATO and the EU. Both are contemplating sanctions which seem too lenient to bite yet indicate a path that has no worst-case scenario beyond the realm of the possibility. Volkswagen’s investments in Turkey, with the heavy lobbying of the key Kremlin asset ex-Chancellor Schroeder, inevitably will face huge and potentially escalating tough-to-mitigate political risks. No immediate collapse foreseen – slowly evolving strategic shift To start with – the nature and the timeline of the risk evolve in time. Although no immediate collapse in Turkey is foreseen as part of Erdogan’s departure from Kemal Ataturk’s European and part of the West identity, the
This is the key line Russian President Putin used at the plenary session of the International Arctic Forum, which was instantly relayed by all Russian media, mainly by TASS, Russia Today and Sputnik. There is nothing new in this vintage Russian propaganda, which is echoed by pro-Russian politicians in the EU – Russian gas is indispensable and the cheapest gas in the world, while US-sourced LNG is expensive and inferior in quality. EU budgets, he asserts further, will have to compensate European consumers for the price difference between US LNG and pipeline gas from Russia. Even if one sets aside the basic fact that the budgets of EU countries and that of the Russian state are profoundly different in structure, the EU legal and regulatory bases make it
As Turkey slides closer and closer to the economic precipice, it is worth remembering Erdogan’s promises of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire as the ultimate goal of his rule. By 2023, the hundredth year anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey, Erdogan claimed, would have recaptured the economic power and world-wide reach of the Ottoman Empire in its glory days. Needless to say, this has never been anything but a baseless phantasy, but half of the Turks and many other Muslims believed it to the extent of following Erdogan blindly. It is worth, therefore, revisiting the history of the empire to find out that for most of its existence the Ottoman Empire was a historical anachronism with such glaring systemic weaknesses that it only
“We now need to start the construction of this pipeline in the Black Sea, but we cannot do that until we have Bulgaria’s permission”, said Vladimir Putin on December 1, 2014. “I think it’s clear to everyone that it would be ridiculous to start the construction in the sea, reach the Bulgarian shore and stop. So we are forced to reconsider our participation in this project”, continued president of Russia. It is worth noting that uncertainty about the point of entry has not stopped Mr. Putin from launching the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline. “There are still several questions we need to coordinate: the entry point, the route on Turkish territory and environmental security”, he said to president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone from
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New Bulgariaanalytica Series on Islam, Sharia and Islamism This is the first of a series of articles to be published in bulgariaanalytica.org that will attempt to throw light on the connection between Islam, sharia and radical Islam, which is still not well understood. To Erdogan. other Islamists and quite a few people on the other side, there is only one kind of Islam and to try to distinguish between the various types that have existed historically and continue to do so today, is, at best, a waste of time. This is completely wrong. To have a chance to overcome the curse that is Islamism for our civilization and for the Muslims themselves, we need to be able to understand what makes them tick. This is a small attempt
On the deceitful political reality. The nationalists, a.k.a. patriots, pursue a “double bottom” policy line at a critical junction for national security. There is no shortage of fighters for Islam. The nominal choice is between siding with the Turkish ethnic party, DPS, or joining the Erdogan loyalists?! The narrative goes that it is fine for the leader of GERB to befriend the Turkish president, while the ethnic Turks and their parties in Bulgaria are a liability when it comes to national security and opposing him?! One of the cornerstones of the ruling coalition before coming to power was the commitment to shut down the channels of influence of Erdogan’s regime through the funding of institutions of Islam in Bulgaria. The results of the last presidential vote