Turkey in 2007

With 70 million people of a variety of ethnic groups and religions, eight international borders and a growing economy, Turkey is a real up and comer in both the region and the world. Yet, smack in the center of the Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus, all notoriously violent regions, it is in a vulnerable and yet strategically important position.

Readers know that I’ve developed quite a liking to Turkey over the years (despite a similarly strong liking for the Kurds) based on reading and especially travel throughout the country. As time goes on, I’ll be focusing more and more on Turkish issues and regional issues involving Turkey. Therefore, as the year comes to a close, I’d like to take a look back at developments in Turkey.

This year has seen many challenges to Turkey and 2008 will surely be no exception. Stay tuned for a discussion of the coming year.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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One Response to Turkey in 2007

  1. Bahadir Koc says:

    To follow Turkey and the region around it, plus US foreign policy, try TurcoPundit – http://turcopundit.blogspot.com/

    Some of the important items on Turkey’s agenda:

    Kurdish problem – This can be a turning-point year with which major openings and tough decisions. “Liberal at home, hawkish across the border”. How will PKK respond?

    New constitution – How will it be written, what will be in it, how much support will it get?

    Economy. It shows some signs of under-repair. The new microeconomic reforms, will they suffice?

    Kirkuk referandum. Will it be postponed again? If not what would be the Turkish reaction?

    Europe. Accession no longer dominates the agenda in Turkey. Any change in 2008?

    Civil-military relations. PKK provided a pretext for some kind of make up btw govt and the military. Will it survive in 2008, or is it just a short-term cease-fire? Basbug will succeed Buyukanit.

    Fethullah Gulen. Will he return? How much power does his movement accumulate?

    Gul & Erdogan. Any crack in the relationship? Possible but not likely?

    Turkish media. Dogan’s hegemony declining?

    U.S. Turkish relations. Seems to be recovering. But is it?

    TurcoPundit – http://turcopundit.blogspot.com

    A daily compilation of news and analysis on Turkey,
    U.S. foreign Policy, Middle East and Beyond

    “… fantastic …. an outstanding and unique service,
    not just for those who follow Turkey closely, but
    those who follow international trends
    and ideas. … selection of material is some of the
    best anywhere …. coverage of the Turkish press and
    Turkish issues is truly unsurpassed …. outstanding
    and intelligent service”

    Graham Fuller, former vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council