Saban Kardas

Saban Kardas works as Assistant Professor of International Relations at the TOBB, Economy and Technology University in Ankara, Turkey.

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Articles by Saban Kardas

Turkey Is Drawn into Iraqi Affairs

The developments in Iraqi domestic politics, coupled with their regional implications, continue to drag Turkey deeper into Middle Eastern affairs, while its involvement in the Syrian conflict already occupies a

Turkey-Turkmenistan Ties Flourish in Economic Realm

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov’s visit to Turkey on February 28-March 1, highlighted the evolving nature of the two countries’ bilateral relations, built around flourishing economic ties. Berdimuhammedov’s first foreign trip

Turkey Confronts Syria Imbroglio

The failure of a recent UN Security Council resolution that sought to calm Syria has once again highlighted the dilemmas Turkey has faced in its efforts to end the humanitarian

Turkey Works to Prevent Sectarian Rift in Iraq

As Turkey struggles to avert crises involving its neighbors Syria and Iran, Iraq has emerged as yet another issue that needs immediate attention from Turkish diplomacy. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri

A Reality Check On US-Turkish Relations

US Vice President, Joe Biden, paid a working visit to Turkey, which provided an opportunity for a reality check of the current condition of US-Turkish bilateral relations. In addition to

US-Turkish Security Cooperation Deepens

The US-Turkish bilateral relationship is entering a new period of cooperation. While part of the positive mood characterizing the relationship is attributable to the US-Turkish coordinated action in the context

Turkey Clears the Way For Azerbaijani Gas Transfers

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev have co-chaired the first meeting of the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Turkey’s Aegean city of Izmir. The

Turkey Coordinates Its Syria Policy With the US

The Syrian army’s violent campaign against the uprising, despite the onset of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, invited ever escalating criticism from Turkey and the international community. While previously

Turkey Recalibres Its Policy On Libya

Turkey has hosted an important meeting, which marked the drastic transformation its policy on Libya has undergone. Although Turkey initially expressed strong opposition to military intervention against the Gaddafi regime,

Syrian Uprising Tests Turkey’s Middle East Policy

Turkey still remains occupied with the popular uprising in the Middle East and North Africa. Although some critics argued that Turkey reacted rather late to support the pro-democratic demonstrations in

Erdogan’s Moscow Visit Produces Mixed Results

On March 15, Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by a large delegation of businessmen and cabinet members, travelled to Moscow. Though on balance it produced mixed results, the

Turkey Diverges From Western Position On Libya

Turkey has pursued a policy over the popular uprising in Libya reflecting the unique ties it had developed with this country. More importantly, Turkey’s position in the ongoing debate concerning

Turkish-Iranian Economic Ties Flourish

Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, paid a four-day state visit to Iran starting on February 13, to discuss ways to further bilateral cooperation. The sheer frequency of such high level mutual

Turkey Strengthens Nuclear Cooperation with Russia

Turkish Energy Minister, Taner Yildiz, welcomed the recent progress in Turkey’s first nuclear power plant project that will be built by Russia and underscored Ankara’s determination to develop nuclear energy

Turkey Tries to Engage Mongolia, Despite Dim Prospects

Turkey and Mongolia held their sixth Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting in Ulaanbaatar on October 26. Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc, headed the Turkish delegation, and Mongolia’s Environment and Tourism

Kurdish Question Dominates Turkish Politics

Having received unequivocal backing from voters in the constitutional referendum, the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) has moved to address Turkey’s structural problems, most notably the Kurdish question, through

Turkey Bolsters Ties With Turkic States

Turkey hosted the tenth summit of Turkic-speaking countries in Istanbul on September 16. The Istanbul summit, bringing together Turkish, Kazakh, Azeri, Kyrgyz and Turkmen leaders, took steps towards furthering institutionalizing

Turkish-Israeli Relations Deteriorate Further

Turkish-Israeli relations continue to worsen, despite attempts to heal the divisions caused by the flotilla crisis. Ankara has asked Tel Aviv to issue an official apology for the killing of

Turkey Unleashes New Energy Strategy Plan

The Turkish energy ministry announced the strategic energy plan for 2010-2014, which seeks to accomplish several objectives: boosting supply security and Turkey’s influence in regional and global energy markets, protecting

Turkey Signs Nuclear Deal with South Korea

During the Turkish-Korean joint business forum, held in Turkey on March 10, a protocol was signed to cooperate on Turkey’s second planned nuclear power plant. During the signing ceremony, Prime

Erdogan Fosters Nuclear Cooperation with Russia

The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by several of his ministers, including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, recently visited Moscow. Carrying a busy portfolio,

Nazarbayev Supports the Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev paid an official visit to Turkey on October 21-24, as the guest of his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul. In addition to his meeting with Gul, Nazarbayev

Russia Joins the Samsun-Ceyhan Pipeline

On October 19, Turkey, Italy and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding on the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline (SCP). Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, the Italian Economic Development Minister Claudio Scajola

Turkey and Azerbaijan: “One Nation-Two States?”

The strains in Turkish-Azeri relations caused by Turkey's energy policies and its attemps to resolve its diplomatic problems with Armenia are beginning to dominate the agenda in Ankara’s relations with

Television Drama Strains Turkish-Israeli Ties

The strains in Turkish-Israeli relations have increased over the past week, raising questions about the durability of the strategic relationship between the two countries.Earlier last week, Ankara’s decision to cancel

A New Era in Turkish-French Relations?

Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid an official visit to France on October 7-9 to attend the celebrations as part of the Season of Turkey, which served as a venue to

Turkish Nuclear Tender Faces Uncertain Future

On September 25 Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz announced that a decision on the tender to construct the country's first nuclear power plant has been postponed for

Turkey Pursues Economic Integration with Iraq

Turkey and Iraq held the first ministerial meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council (HLSCC) in Istanbul on September 17-18. To give substance to the HLSCC (EDM, August 12),

Progress in Turkish-Azeri Talks on Gas Prices and Transit

Following the signing of energy cooperation agreements between Turkey and Russia, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz continued his "energy diplomacy," by visiting Azerbaijan. Prior to departing for the Nakhchivan Autonomous

Turkish-Russian Grand Bargain in Energy Cooperation

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's August 6 visit to Ankara marked a new era for "enhanced multi-dimensional partnership," between Ankara and Moscow. Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed some twenty

Davutoglu Promotes Stability in Lebanon

On July 30-31, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu visited Lebanon, where he met the country's leading politicians, and visited the Turkish contingent serving as part of the U.N. Interim Force in

Ankara Promotes Stability in the Middle East

The Turkish parliament approved a governmental motion on June 24 that will extend the mandate for the Turkish peacekeeping force contributing to the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). If

Aliyev and Sarksyan Meet in Moscow

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev met his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarksyan in Moscow on July 17 in their latest round of reconciliation talks. Turkey has closely followed the talks between the

Palestinian President Abbas visits Ankara

On July 16-17, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Turkey to hold talks on Middle East peace initiatives and discuss bilateral relations with Turkey. Abbas met President Abdullah Gul, Prime

Turkey Reports Signs of Economic Recovery

Data recently released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) has raised expectations that the economy might be on its way to recovery. According to TurkStat, the capacity utilization rate within

Turkey and Brazil to Explore Oil in the Black Sea

On May 20-23 Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visited Turkey. Bilateral economic ties were an important element on da Silva's agenda, who was accompanied by government ministers and

Turkey Prioritizing its Relations with Azerbaijan

The recent uncertainty surrounding Turkish-Azeri relations is giving way to a new period of optimism, ahead of high level diplomatic contacts. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip

Turkey Uneasy Over Obama’s Statement on Armenia

President Barack Obama's long awaited statement on the Armenian Remembrance Day caused mixed reactions on both sides of the dispute. Although Obama refrained from referring to the killing of Armenians

Turkey’s Veteran Islamist Erbakan Visits Iran

Following the restoration of his political rights, veteran Islamist politician and former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, 83, returned to active politics, raising questions about the leadership of the Islamist Felicity

Turkey and Armenia Delay Re-opening the Border

On April 16 Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan attended the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Foreign Ministers Council in Yerevan. Following his BSEC meetings, Babacan discussed the recent developments between

Turkey Reaches Compromise Over New Head of NATO

NATO members took important decisions during the April 3-4 summit, celebrating the Alliance's 60th anniversary. Following intense negotiations to ameliorate Turkey's reservations, on April 4 NATO leaders named Danish Prime

Turkey Develops Special Relationship with Azerbaijan

On November 5 and 6, after his reelection last month, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev visited Turkey, where he discussed the developments in the Caucasus, relations with Armenia, and deepening cooperation

TALKS FOR THE CAUCASUS PACT UNDERWAY

Turkey’s shuttle diplomacy to manage the aftermath of the conflict in Georgia has kept Turkish foreign policy in the spotlight. During a series of visits to Tbilisi, Moscow, and Baku

TURKEY’S DELICATE ACT OF BALANCING IN THE BLACK SEA

The aftershocks of the conflict in Georgia continue to dominate regional politics, highlighting the difficulties Turkey encounters in conducting its foreign policy in dangerous neighborhoods. The latest U.S. move to

TURKISH POLITICS IN THE COURTS

The closure case against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will soon be concluded. After the presentation of oral arguments to the Constitutional Court last week, Osman Paksut, deputy chairman