To understand the current situation in the Middle East one needs to dig deeper than the events of 2011; the short blooming Arab Spring grew from complex strata. This issue of Turkish Review looks back to the history of the nation-state in the Middle East, as well as forward to its future, with a series of opinion pieces from analysts and academics.
Asst. Prof. Louis Fishman (Brooklyn College, CUNY) examines the origins of today’s strife in the creation, exploitation and politicization of divisions during the region’s colonial period. Meanwhile, Riad Al-Khouri, senior economist at DEA Inc., explores the “unfinished geostrategic business” in the former Ottoman territories and their implication in state formation and destruction in the region -- and what this means for Turkey today.
Staying in more recent times, Dr. Rola El-Husseini of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC) compares militaryIslamist relations in Algeria, Turkey and Egypt, looking at the tense modus vivendi between the two and the consequences when one seizes the upper hand.
Cultural mediator Ahmad al-Rousan and Assoc. Prof. Nabil Al-Tikriti (University of Mary Washington) examine the impact of the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts on Europe’s refugee crisis -- and the role to be played by Turkey. Staying on Turkey’s role in the Middle East, International Crisis Group Director of Communications and Outreach Hugh Pope’s talk at the March Talking TR event in İstanbul, “Turkey’s MENA Manners” is also included in this issue.
Moving to Departments: Two Views features discussions on developments in the region with experts Andrew Hammond of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and Dr. El-Husseini of MEMEAC. Meanwhile the Last Word is with Prof. Ehud R. Toledano of Tel Aviv University, who speaks to Turkish Review about nation-states in the modern Middle East. In addition, Think Tank Tracker reviews reports on Iraq and asks whether a roadmap for the troubled state’s future exists.
Last, but not least, the photo pullout this issue is dedicated to commemoration events of two centennials in April 2015: the ceremonies to mark 100 years since the Battle of Gallipoli, on Turkey’s Aegean coast, and those that took place across the country (most prominently in İstanbul) on the 100th anniversary of the Meds Yeghern.