The Limits of an anti-Iran Alliance in the Middle East

RAMAZAN KILINÇ, 14 FEBRUARY 2019 In January 2019, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a Middle East tour with the goal of forming an alliance that could contain Iran in the region. He vowed to “expel every last Iranian boot” from Syria and decrease Iran’s role in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen. For observers of […]

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A Century of Western Meddling in the Middle East: A Backgrounder

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 18 JANUARY 2019 Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Egypt and gave a speech at American University in Cairo. Secretary Pompeo criticized President Obama’s foreign policy in the region by referring to his famous speech, “A New Beginning,” given in Cairo after he became the president in 2009. He blamed Obama of retreating American presence […]

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Muslims Should Reclaim Religion from the State

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 23 NOVEMBER 2018 On October 19, Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca and the highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia, delivered a sermon and declared the Saudi crown prince Muhammad bin Salman as a renewer of religion whom all Muslims should obey. This move was in reaction to the […]

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Why Do Former Victims Become New Oppressors?

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 14 NOVEMBER 2018 On 12 November 2018, the Amnesty International withdrew its most prestigious human rights prize from Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s chief of government, accusing her of perpetuating human rights abuses against the Rohingya Muslim minority. In the past, Suu Kyi was put on house arrest for several years by the military regime […]

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Turkish Islamism 2.0: Hegemonic, Nationalist, and Populist

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 30 AUGUST 2016, BERKLEY FORUM If it had succeeded, the July 15 coup would have turned Turkey into a military authoritarian regime. It might have even led Turkey into a spiral of violent political instability for several years to come. The failure of the coup saved Turkey from a possible military authoritarianism and […]

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Turkey: from Conservative Democracy to Popular Authoritarianism

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 5 DECEMBER 2015, OPEN DEMOCRACY On Sunday, November 1, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) regained its majority in the parliament, winning the 49 percent of the votes. The party secured 317 seats in a 550-member parliament to continue its single-party government for another term, after losing it in the June 7 elections. Despite […]

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Muslims Maintain Unique Identities within our American Mosaic

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 1 NOVEMBER 2015, OMAHA WORLD HERALD The writer is an assistant professor of political science and director of the Islamic Studies Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Are Muslims part of the American mosaic? This question requires us to address a dilemma for many American Muslims: searching for purity in one’s faith […]

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What Happened to the “Turkish Model”?

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 24 MARCH 2014, OPEN DEMOCRACY Turkey blocked Twitter late at night on March 20. This was a culmination of a series of authoritarian moves since last summer. In summer 2013, the government harshly responded to the popular protests that grew after a group of people organised demonstrations to prevent Istanbul city government from […]

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Secularism, Nationalism and Religious Minorities in Turkey

RAMAZAN KILINÇ 3 MAY 2012, SIGHTINGS, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO In a recent New York Times article Susanne Güsten described the difficulties that Syriac Christians faced throughout the history of Republican Turkey. This story reflects the traumatic consequences of the nation-building process that modern Turkey has experienced since the 1920s and 1930s. The Turkish official national […]

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