Kadri Gursel is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor's Turkey Pulse and has written a column for the Turkish daily Milliyet since 2007. He focuses primarily on Turkish foreign policy, international affairs and Turkey’s Kurdish question, as well as Turkey’s evolving political Islam. He joined the Milliyet publishing group in 1997 as vice editor-in-chief of a newly launched weekly news magazine, Artı-Haber, and was Milliyet’s foreign news editor from 1999 until 2008. Gursel was also a correspondent for Agence France-Presse between 1993 and 1997, and in 1995 was kidnapped by the PKK, an experience he recounted in his book Dağdakiler (Those of the Mountains), published in 1996. He is also chairman of the Turkish National Committee of the International Press Institute.
The abduction of two Syrian archbishops by armed men on their way to Aleppo while returning from Turkey should be a warning to Ankara that it needs to review its security policies, writes Kadri Gursel.
Turkey's legal Kurdish political party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), suggests it will oppose a constitutional amendment that would introduce an “oppressive and authoritarian presidential regime.”
Although Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan insists that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) should withdraw from Turkey without their weapons, this is not likely to happen, writes Kadri Gursel.
Turkey, both to protect itself from the potential negative consequences of regionalization of the Kurdish issue and to remove the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as a threat, had no choice but to seek peace with its own Kurds, writes Kadri Gursel.
Kadri Gursel writes on the three men who are critical to Turkey’s future: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan; Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned head of the Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK]; and Fethullah Gulen, exiled head of the Gulen Sunni movement.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s negotiations with Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), are not just over a peace agreement; they have implications for the future of the Turkish presidency, writes Kadri Gursel.
Kadri Gursel writes on how the letters of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned head of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), signal both a first step in building confidence and the difficulties to achieving a final agreement.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's approach to the presidential system concentrates power in the hands of one person, eliminating the checks and balances necessary for institutions to pursue their duties, writes Kadri Gursel.
Kadri Gursel writes that by criminalizing any press article that seems sympathetic to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), the Turkish government worsens its image as a leading violator of press freedom.
Kadri Gursel writes that the current talks between the Turkish government and Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), cannot disentangle the problem of PKK terrorism from a political solution to Turkey's Kurdish issue.
Kadri Gursel speculates on whether the murders of three PKK activists in Paris might be linked to the recent peace initiative between Ankara and the PKK, and the "regionalization" of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Kadri Gursel writes that whether the Turkish government’s intention is to stall for time with Ocalan to secure another violence-free election period or whether it is truly an intention to solve the Kurdish issue, the task of the AKP is a formidable one.
The differences between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul are becoming more interesting, writes Kadri Gürsel, who calls their rivalry and possible 2014 presidential contest essentially personal.
The meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Qatar under the auspices of the Arab League (but at the behest of the United States) reveals how badly Turkey's custom-tailored Syrian National Council has failed, Kadri Gursel reports.
After months of diplomatic pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Turkey has now adopted something closer to a conventional military strategy in a bid to force a power transfer in Damascus, writes Kadri Gursel. He argues that Ankara’s high-risk strategy could bring all-out war to Turkey if handled incorrectly.
With thousands of refugees fleeing Syria into neighboring Turkey, the residents of Hatay, close to the border, have been flooded with displaced people. Kadri Gursel examines the media reporting on the refugee situation there and critiques the emphasis on sect by some parts of the press.
Turkey is watching nervously as Kurds in northern Syria exert control over Kurdish-majority towns, writes Kadri Gursel. Turkey should not fear a "Lebanonized" Syria divided along ethnic lines, but instead should fear an independent Kurdistan that surrounds its southeastern border.
The recent bombshell interview with Bashar al-Assad published in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet has raised the ire of the Turkish government. Kadri Gursel denounces the government’s reaction as absurd, writing that for the interview to be mistaken as propaganda is telling of the Turkish press’ habits of self-censorship.
Syria claims that Turkey violated its airspace this week, which is why Syria shot down its spy plane over the Mediterranean sea, writes Kadri Gursel. But there are still many burning questions left unanswered, which suggest Ankara was engaging in dangerous maneuvers amid an explosive political atmosphere.
Not so long ago, Syria’s nationalist regime dreamed of a “‘Greater Syria”’ embracing its Lebanese neighbor to the sSouth, writes Kadri Gursel. But if no international coalition intervenes in Syria to protect the rights of minorities, Syria may rapidly turn into a “‘Greater Lebanon”’ divided along sectarian lines, she warns.
According to Kadri Gursel, President Sarkozy has accomplished three things with France’s new bill concerning the Armenian Genocide: He has scored domestic political points, prioritized his political ambitions ahead of France’s relations with Turkey, and challenged any future Turkish bid to join the EU. Turkey should react prudently, he cautions.
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