Erdoğan Threatens to “Open the Gates to Europe

Submitted by Elisa Cherry on Tue, 09/10/2019 - 15:31

On September 5th, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with the provincial heads of the AKP party. During the meeting, Erdoğan accused the European Union (EU) of not upholding their end of a 2016 agreement to assist Turkey in addressing the large influx of Syrian refugees over the past several years. In his statement last week, Erdoğan noted that: “We haven’t been given as much support for the refugees in our country as we expected, especially from the EU and the international community.

Security at risk: the challenges of border opening for Arbaʿīn pilgrimage

Submitted by Arthur Jennequin on Mon, 09/09/2019 - 15:06

This forthcoming October, Karbala in Iraq will host the pilgrimage of Arbaʿīn, one of the largest religious gatherings on earth that easily competes with the Ḥajj in Mecca in term of numbers. In 2018, the number of participants in Arbaʿīn has reached nearly twenty million, including two million Iranians.

Cyprus Gas Dispute: Turkish Obstinance and European Passivity


Emerging hydrocarbon discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean unravel political and economic opportunities for the region’s states. The region that is commonly known as the ‘Levantine Basin’ (figure 1) is believed to be floating around excessive amounts of gas reserves. According to an assessment carried out by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in 2010,[1] the Levantine Basin holds around 122 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas.

From Allies to Rivals: Turkey’s Dictator Standing Alone

The Justice and Development Party’s, or AKP, has lost the municipal elections of March 2019 in major Turkish cities such as Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir. In fact, the oppositions’ unity has made President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s traditional strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ harder to pull off. It certainly paved the way for a clear victor of Republican People’s Party, or CHP, candidate Ekrem Imamoğlu who overturned years of AKP governance in Istanbul, the biggest Turkish city where 15 million people reside.

Idlib: The Last Rebel Bastion under Government’s Fire

Submitted by Mohammed Sami on Mon, 08/19/2019 - 14:27

More than 10 days have passed since the Syrian Army announced the resumption of military operations against rebel factions in Idlib, the remaining rebel bastion in the north. The army’s decision followed a futile attempt to maintain a truce that lasted for five days between the contested parties amidst mutual accusations of the agreement’s violation. The agreement, which was brokered in Kazakhstan at the end of July, stipulated a ceasefire in Idlib during which Turkey and Russia would guarantee the implementation of the Sochi Deal of 2018.

Elevated Tensions in Northern Syria Push Turkey and US Back to the Negotiating Table

Submitted by Elisa Cherry on Fri, 08/09/2019 - 11:03

On August 4th, Turkey announced a new plan to launch a military operation in Kurdish controlled northern Syria, east of the Euphrates. Immediate negative responses from the Kurdish forces in the region and the United States government have since resolved. On August 7th, the United States and Turkey reached a deal that would establish a “safe zone” in the region.

BIC Summer Policy Report - Yemen in 2019: Cause, Crisis and Consequences

At the peak of the Arab Spring uprisings throughout the Middle East, protesters in Yemen called for the former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down from office. After months of protest, Saleh  agreed to hand over power to the second-incommand, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and a new constitution was to be formed under his direction in the National Dialogue Conference (NDC), which began in March of 2013.

Unrest in Southern Yemen: Military Parade and Police Stations Under Fire

Submitted by Mohammed Sami on Mon, 08/05/2019 - 14:51

Turmoil continues to undermine any future prospects of stability in Yemen. One can say that the country’s four years of ongoing conflict continue to fail in differentiating between those who are civilians and those that are not. Not even peripheral areas that are situated in remote of the contested areas have escaped the fires.

Yemen Policy Report # 5 - Yemeni Women in Peace Processes: From 2015 to Today

The role of women in Yemen has transformed throughout the conflict period. For a country that consistently suffers to uphold and promote the rights of women, there are those individuals and groups who prevail. This chapter will explore the changing roles of women in Yemen, and how the perceptions of women in peacebuilding contexts have transformed between the time of the postArab Spring peace negotiations in the National Dialogue council, into the role that women take in today’s conflict.