Turkish soccer pitches tell the story of the country’s multiple sharpening fault lines that are exploding into political violence on the streets of Turkey’s major cities as the government fuels deep-seated political and ethnic tensions. The warning signs were long visible on the pitch: increased militarism, ethnic tensions between Kurds and Turkish nationalists, and expressions of empathy with the Islamic State (IS), the jihadist group that controls chunks of Syria and Iraq and that alongside Kurds is believed to be responsible for some of the recent bombings in Istanbul, Ankara and south-eastern Turkey.
Turkey & Iran
Since 2003, Turkey has appeared as a valuable asset for global powers to invest in and as a leading actor in a region long described as sluggish towards democratic transformations. However, with the advent of the Arab Spring, things changed and the role portrayed for Turkey by the United States has been declining, especially in light of the rise of another regional power: Iran. Inter alia, of the various elements that weakened the Turkish model was Iran’s mounting leverage in the Middle East and the Arab Spring, which delivered a blow to Turkey’s achievements as Iran was moving slowly but steadily…
Iran Air EP-CFE prepares to land in Tehran Image ©: Taha Ashoori