Antonia Colibasanu writes: As Turkey’s dreams of joining the European Union have faded, Ankara has shifted its strategy toward the West. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest moves – a visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the announcement of a resumption of Turkish energy exploration in the area – are meant to show that he will continue to pursue his neo-Ottoman “Mavi Vatan” (Blue Homeland) doctrine.
Burak Bekdil writes: Turks are hungry for fairy tales. Any feel-good news propaganda—including Erdoğan’s “The West, including the Germans, are jealous of us!” tirade—finds millions of receptive listeners in Turkey’s postmodern marketplace of absurdity.
go to BESA Center: Give War a Chance: Turkish Leader Finesses Political Defeat (besacenter.org)
go to Defense News: Aselsan teams up with local shipyard for two new naval drones (defensenews.com)
Burak Bekdil writes for BESA Center: How sustainable will the Aegean Sea’s peaceful summer of 2021 prove to be? For Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the primary reason for peace in the Aegean has been the threat of further Western sanctions amid Turkey’s ongoing economic descent. But his election election campaign for the 2023 race could drive him back to his bullying, aggressive self in terms of regional policy to consolidate conservative and nationalist votes.
go to BESA Center: How Long Will the Aegean Sea’s Peaceful Summer Last? (besacenter.org)
Burak Bekdil writes for BESA Center: Revelations on YouTube by Turkish mob boss and Erdoğan ally Sedat Peker are rattling the Turkish government. Peker’s disclosures involve murder, rape, corruption, bribery, political assassination, drug smuggling, arms shipments to jihadists, and torture and violence committed on the government’s behalf to silence the opposition. Through Peker’s revelations, the Turkish people are witnessing the extent to which the Islamist “deep state” has exponentially flourished under Erdoğan’s rule.
go to BESA Center: Turkey’s Mobgate Reveals the Islamist Deep State (besacenter.org)
Al Jazeera writes: Authorities in the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus announced on Tuesday a partial reopening of an abandoned town for potential resettlement, drawing a strong rebuke from Greek Cypriot and international leaders including the United States.
go to Al Jazeera website: Turkey says Cyprus town of Varosha to reopen amid Greek objection | Europe News | Al Jazeera
Rahim Rahimov writes for Jamestown Foundation: During the latest session of the Council of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), on July 1, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, the participants effectively introduced the category of a CSTO “partner state” by setting the criteria and provisions for granting such a status to a third country (Paodkb.org, Duma.gov.ru, July 1). The speaker of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, declared that a number of states have already expressed interest in becoming a “partner” of the alliance. And the head of the Duma Committee on Eurasian Integration, Leonid Kalashnikov, specified inter alia Azerbaijan as a potential partner state, before backtracking slightly: “It is not customary to talk about that, though” (RIA Novosti, July 1). In May, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko said that the “doors of the CSTO are open” to Azerbaijan, with the major obstacle being the absence of diplomatic relations with Armenia, a member of the organization (Izvestia, May 24).
go to Jamestown Foundation: Russia, Turkey Compete to Entice Azerbaijan Into Their Geopolitical Plays – Jamestown
Jacob Lees Weiss writes for Jamestown Foundation: In February, indications of an incoming Turkish military operation targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Sinjar, northern Iraq led to a flurry of Iranian-backed militia activity targeting Turkey. Qais al-Khazali, leader of Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), one of the most prominent Iranian-aligned militias in Iraq, hinted that the focus of his group’s activities could switch to Turkey instead of the United States (Rudaw, March 4). Al-Khazali even urged the Iraqi government to consider cooperating with the United States militarily to counter Turkey (al-Etejah, March 30).
go to Jamestown Foundation website: Iranian-Backed Iraqi Militias Deter Turkish Intervention in Sinjar – Jamestown
Nicholas Danforth writes for Brookings: President Joe Biden has made it six months into his term without a new U.S.-Turkish crisis. Amidst simmering tensions, strategic disagreements, and so many potential flashpoints, even this comparative calm counts as an achievement.
go to Brookings website: A cool, cautious calm: US-Turkey relations six months into the Biden administration (brookings.edu)