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  • Affiliation : President, President, The Middle East Institute (MEI)
  • Affiliation : Senior Associate, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, Johns Hopkins University
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International Security Index iSi increased to 2811 points. Karaveli, Satanovsky comment events of the week.

02.09.2014

MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 2, 2014. PIR PRESS Erdogan's Achilles' heel is however the economy; his success ultimately rests on the fact that the economy has improved for the majority; Turkey is however living on foreign loans that have financed the massive rise in internal consumption. This is not a sustainable economic model; it is a bubble that will burst, and when that happens there will inevitably be political consequences for Erdogan's regime”, Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center, Halil Karaveli.

The new weekly International Security Index iSi was published in Kommersant (in Russian).

During the week of August 25 – September 1, 2014, the International Security Index iSi increased to 2811 points. Israel and Hamas during the negotiations in Cairo had reached an agreement on indefinite ceasefire; Mahmoud Abbas presented a plan for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. In Syria, the army attacked the rebels in the east of Damascus and in Muhasan on the border with Iraq; on the Golan Heights Syrian rebels captured a group of UN peacekeepers. In northern Iraq, the Islamists set fire to the oil wells; United States Air Force attacked the positions of Islamist militants in the Iraqi city of Amerli. In Libya, the interim government led by Abdullah al-Thani, resigned. In Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu became a new prime minister. In Pakistan, anti-government demonstrations escalated into clashes with police. In eastern Ukraine, fierce battles continued in Lugansk and the villages of Lugutino; Russia and Ukraine exchanged military force captured earlier during the battles. In Minsk, were held talks between Vladimir Putin and Petro Poroshenko. At a summit in Brussels, the EU threatened Russia with new economic sanctions.

Comments on the week's events by members of the International Expert Group of the PIR Center

Halil Karaveli (Turkey-Sweden) – Senior Fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program Joint Center – by e-mail from Stockholm: Tayyip Erdogan's victory at the presidential elections in Turkey means that he is going to continue to concentrate all the power into his own hands. His election also means that Turkey has now entered an unprecedented era of one-man rule. Not even Kemal Atatürk wielded this kind of personal, absolute power. Erdogan is going to act as president and prime minister wrapped into one. The fact that there is no constitutional ground for this kind of presidency is going to mean little. He will do as he pleases, as there is no one that can contest him.

Ahmet Davutoglu, the new prime minister-designate, is going to be Erdogan's loyal lieutenant. In domestic terms, Erdogan is going to continue to be a confrontational leader; he will go ahead with his plans to remake Turkey, eradicating the heritage of Atatürk.

In the Middle East Turkey will remain a sponsor of the cause of Sunnis; the Sunni conservative Turkey will be of little help to the United States in their effort to stem the rise of Sunni radicalism.

Erdogan's Achilles' heel is however the economy; his success ultimately rests on the fact that the economy has improved for the majority; Turkey is however living on foreign loans that have financed the massive rise in internal consumption. This is not a sustainable economic model; it is a bubble that will burst, and when that happens, there will inevitably be political consequences for Erdogan's regime.

Evgeny Satanovsky (Russia), President of the Institute of Middle East Studies – by phone from Moscow: The level of security in the world has declined sharply. For the Middle East the most negative events of the period were attacks of the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Iraq and Hamas rocket attacks into Israel. However, timely Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip have led to a decrease in the level of military threat from Hamas. Attacks launched by Iraq, Syria and the United States Air Force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, as well as the supply of military equipment by Russia to the Iraqi government inspire some hope for a positive development.

Situation in South Asia has remained very uncertain. In Afghanistan, after the presidential elections ended in a deepening dispute between the two candidates, it is evident that any compromise can only be temporary. Afghanistan seems to break as a state; the structure of the state cannot withstand the pressure. Relations between India and Pakistan remain uneasy and there is no sign of their improvement. However, India's relations with other countries in the region are also poor.

In the autumn of 2014, the state of security will continue to deteriorate. One of the main reasons for this is the growth of the terrorist threat in the Middle East and South Asia.  

For all the questions concerning the International Security Index please contact Galiya Ibragimova by e-mail ibragimova at pircenter.org

 

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