Opinion
Hell on earth...

"The images from last night are proof of how Rafah has turned into hell on earth." These words come from UN High Commissioner for Refugees Philippe Lazarini. I can hardly describe the hellish scenes created by Israel bombing the tents in Rafah, which it had declared a safe zone for Palestinians. It’s more accurate to call it the point where words fail. This attack, following the International Criminal Court’s Chief Prosecutor seeking arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Gallant, and the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to halt its operations in Rafah, clearly shows that the Israeli government disregards concepts like rights, law, justice, or international legitimacy. The Netanyahu administration, backed by Washington, continues to massacre innocent Palestinians, showing it acknowledges no authority.

What opposing the ICC decision will cost America

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan has requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Gallant, accusing them of war crimes and crimes against humanity. If the judges approve Khan's request, it will be the first time in the court's history that such a decision is made against political leaders of a U.S. ally. American politicians from both parties have previously lobbied against a potential arrest warrant, even threatening sanctions against ICC members and their families. Despite these pressures, the Prosecutor's decision to pursue arrest warrants presents a significant test for Western countries, especially the U.S., as they risk losing their role as defenders of international law and order to other actors.

Recognition of the State of Palestine

The independence of the State of Palestine was declared as a “state in exile” by Yasser Arafat in Algeria on Nov. 15, 1988. The political actors who declared the state were not controlling the Palestinian lands. Although Palestine was defined under the conditions before the Six-Day War in 1967, in line with the decisions made by the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly, all of its territory continued to remain de facto under Israeli occupation. For this reason, the concept of the State of Palestine is generally used geographically for the “occupied Palestinian lands.” As of today, more than 5 million people still live in the “occupied Palestinian territories.”

Is Biden's effort to reach young Black voters in vain?

President Biden visited Michigan and Georgia last weekend to strengthen support among Black voters. Winning these two swing states is crucial for Biden, and Black voters could significantly influence the results in these areas. Recent polls have shown a relative decline in Biden's support among young Black voters, prompting his campaign to reach out to these groups early. Polls indicate that Trump's support among Black voters under 50 is rising, and the race is tight in swing states like Michigan. Dissatisfaction with Biden's economic policies and his handling of the Gaza conflict poses a significant challenge for him.

Power struggles and policy shifts in post-Raisi Iran

The tragic death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash appears to have plunged Iran into a new period of uncertainty. Questions linger about the cause of the crash, and the political landscape in Iran is, as always, poised for significant shifts. Given the turmoil the country has faced in recent years, predicting the direction of these changes is particularly challenging. Despite the uncertainties, anticipating a revolutionary shift would be imprudent. However, Raisi’s death disrupts the existing power structure and could profoundly impact Iran’s domestic and foreign policies.

The path to sustainable Turkish-Greek relations

The visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Türkiye on May 13 has sustained cautious optimism in Greek-Turkish relations.

Report
SETA Security Radar | Türkiye’s Geopolitical Landscape in 2024

In this new volume of SETA Security Radar, we analyze the main dynamics shaping Türkiye’s security and geopolitical landscape with references to the most significant foreign policy and security issues throughout 2023.

Remote Control | Aerial Elimination of the PKK’s Terrorist Leaders and Operatives

Delving into the core of this study, we leverage data derived from two distinguished repositories—the Terrorism Analysis Platform and Türkiye’s Enemy Killed in Action Dataset—to compose an authoritative report. Our focus lies on the profound examination of the intricate effects of UAV deployment in counterterrorism endeavors, particularly pertaining to the PKK’s organizational structure, command hierarchy, recruitment of skilled human resources, access to essential material resources, and the dynamic tactical metamorphosis undergone by the terrorist organization. Through this rigorous analysis, we aim to shed illuminating light on the multifaceted role of UAVs and their profound impact on the protracted battle against terrorism.

Quantum Technologies | SETA Emerging Military Technologies Series .4.

This study discusses in detail the historical development of quantum technology and its military and civilian applications as well as potential future developments.

The People’s Alliance Ahead of the May 14, 2023 Elections

The People’s Alliance’s senior members, the AK Party and the MHP, have worked together seamlessly since the very beginning. They did not allow crises to erupt ahead of the 2023 elections either. In this sense, the People’s Alliance demonstrated unity – whereas the Nation Alliance was bogged down in internal strife. It is possible to argue that the ruling alliance could signal unity mainly due to its perception by the electorate as a sincere and straightforward group. Specifically, the People’s Alliance did not pursue short-term interests or signal its intention to change its course when it could negotiate from a position of strength. Another contributing factor was the complete agreement between the AK Party and the MHP on the ‘presidency’ system of government. Whereas the Nation Alliance pledged to adopt an ‘augmented’ parliamentary system, Erdoğan and Bahçeli insisted that Türkiye must not drift away from its current political system. Accordingly, one might argue that the People’s Alliance shall remain intact unless one of those two movements changes its mind about the presidential system. That is obviously not the only factor, yet there is reason to believe that the AK Party and the MHP will continue to collaborate as long as the former’s policies and vision for the future appeal to the partner.

People’s Alliance vs. Nation Alliance | Who Offers What in Turkish Foreign Policy?

This paper provides a comparative analysis of the specific and singular foreign policy topics and files, as well as the paradigms guiding the foreign policy preferences of both alliances on a macro level.

SETA Security Radar | Türkiye’s Geopolitical Landscape in 2023

In this new volume of SETA Security Radar, we analyze the main dynamics shaping Türkiye’s security and geopolitical landscape with references to the most significant foreign policy and security issues throughout 2022.

Analysis
Historical Landmark in Türkiye-Iraq Relations and Opportunity for Strategic Partnership

This study argues that the problems between Erbil and Baghdad, and their prolonged existence prevent Türkiye from deepening cooperation with Iraq in terms of security, water issues, and economic relations

Assessing Türkiye’s Role in the Global Space Competition

This analysis evaluates Türkiye’s national space program, its milestones, and strategic initiatives, like sending its first citizen to the International Space Station (ISS), within the context of the new space race.

Israel’s Attacks on Gaza a Military and Political Assessment

This analysis aims to examine the current situation in the military and political context of Hamas’s October 7 operation and Israel’s ongoing operations.

Israel’s Crimes in Gaza

This study presents the relevant parts of international law before engaging in a legal assessment of Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Navigating The New Era | The Priorities of Turkish Foreign Policy in the Post-Election Landscape

This analysis will first address the factors that will determine the direction of Turkish foreign policy in the new era. It will then provide evaluations regarding a possible approach to its relations with the actors involved in the most important and prioritized issues of Turkish foreign policy, with a geographical perspective.

Assessing the Role of the United Nations in Asia Today

This study’s primary objective is to assess the current function of the United Nations in Asia.

Perspective
Promise of the LLMs: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

How can Large Language Models (LLMs) enhance diplomacy, international cooperation, and economic productivity? What are the potential risks and challenges associated with the deployment of LLMs in military and diplomatic decision-making? What legal and ethical considerations arise from the widespread use of LLMs, and how can these be addressed?

The Suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)

What is the significance of the CFE? Which countries suspended or has withdrawn from the CFE? Why did Turkiye suspend the practice of the CFE? Can Turkiye start an armament program exceeding the existing limits of the CFE? What could be the impact of Turkiye’s suspension?

Artificial Intelligence in Counterterrorism Navigating the Intersection of Security, Ethics and Privacy

How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies be used effectively for counterterrorism efforts? How does the quality of data affect the effectiveness of AI in counterterrorism? What are the ethical and privacy considerations in using AI for counterterrorism?

Navigating the EU AI Act: Exploring Challenges Amidst the Evolving Global Regulatory Landscape

What is the EU AI Act? What are the main challenges it may face? What is the impact of this regulation within the global regulatory landscape?

Habermas and Others | The West’s Intellectual World and Blindness Toward Palestine

What was the post-Oct. 7 stance of Western thinkers and intellectuals? Why does the Western intellectual world ignore Palestine? Why have thinkers, who believe the Palestinians are right and support them, become targets of ‘lynching’?

Russian Attack on Ukraine and Turkey’s Approach in Implementing the Montreux Convention

What are the general guidelines for passage through the Turkish Straits according to the Montreux Convention? Is it legally possible for Ukraine and Russia to send their warships through the straits during the ongoing war? Is Turkey obligated to block the passage of both Ukrainian and Russian warships? Should warships of other states that may come to aid Ukraine be allowed to pass? What is Turkey’s approach towards implementing the Montreux Convention?

Navigating the EU AI Act Exploring Challenges Amidst the Evolving
Perspective

Navigating the EU AI Act: Exploring Challenges Amidst the Evolving Global Regulatory Landscape

What is the EU AI Act? What are the main challenges it may face? What is the impact of this regulation within the global regulatory landscape?


2023

Focus
Focus: An Insight into Pakistan Election 2024

Pakistan held its highly anticipated 12th general elections on Feb. 8, 2024. The polls took place amid a highly schismatic atmosphere, political fluidity, intense economic turbulence, and pressing security concerns. Despite some extreme political repressions and the absence of a level playing field, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan stole the show by claiming 93 seats out of 265 contestable seats. It left behind seasoned, traditional political parties like Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) with 75, Pakistan People's Party (PPP) with 54 and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (P) with just 17 seats in the National Assembly (NA). A simple majority in parliament necessitates a mandate of 169 seats, including 70 reserve seats, as per the strength of each party in the NA.

Assessing the US Executive Order on AI from a Global Perspective

On October 30, 2023, President Biden took a significant step by signing an executive order that charts a course for the utilization of AI in the United States, aiming to both harness its potential and mitigate the associated risks. Before this directive, it's crucial to note that President Trump made history by signing two executive orders in 2019 and 2020, marking the initial official forays into AI governance by an American president. Trump's focus primarily centered on how the government uses AI and strategies to maintain U.S. leadership in this field. In contrast, since assuming office, President Biden's official approach to AI has predominantly emphasized ethical and responsible implementation. His primary focus is ensuring that the application of AI adheres to ethical standards and societal responsibility, particularly in its impact on American citizens.

How to Understand Erdoğan-Musk Meeting: Main Agenda and Its Significance

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan arrived in New York on Sunday to participate in the 78th United Nations General Assembly. During the visit, he is also set to hold a series of meetings with world leaders and influential entrepreneurs. One of the meetings garnering significant attention was the one between President Erdoğan and Elon Musk, the renowned founder of Tesla and SpaceX.

"African Spring"? or the "Spring of Coups"?: The Meaning of Developments in Africa

The African continent is currently facing a series of major problems and challenges today. Among them is a growing trend of military interventions particularly in West Africa and the Sahel region, the latest of which has taken place in the Central African country of Gabon. It was reportedly carried out under the leadership of General Brice Clotaire Oligui Nguema. After Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Niger, Gabon saw the eighth such incident since 2020 and it seems to have created a "coup ecosystem" in the continent. However, the development in Gabon should not be considered the same as Niger because the former has a structure other than the dynamics in Niger. The reasons for the intervention in Gabon also differ from the intervention in Niger. In this context, the Gabonese military intervention emerged due to political elections, while security concerns and poor governance drove the interventions in Niger and some other countries. After it was announced that Ali Bongo, who has been in power in Gabon for 14 years, received 64% of the votes in the elections held on Aug. 26, the army announced it had seized power. "On behalf of Gabonese people, we have decided to put an end to the current regime and defend peace," the group within the army said, adding that the election results were shady and the elections were to be canceled. However, it should be noted that the group within the army is led by Ali Bongo's cousin Nguema.

Q&A
Q&A: Çağlayan Courthouse Attack

What happened? Who are the attackers? What was the goal of the attack? How is Türkiye combating DHKP-C? What does this mean for the future?

Q&A: Turkish Foreign Minister’s Visit to Washington

What is the background and significance of the Turkish foreign minister’s visit to Washington? What are the differences and similarities between the two countries’ Ukraine policies? Will the U.S. sell F-16s to Türkiye? What is Türkiye’s position on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership? What is Washington’s view on Türkiye’s engagement with the Syrian regime?

Q&A: Bayraktar AKINCI UCAV | A New Period in Unmanned Air Warfare

When did the journey of the Bayraktar AKINCI UCAV begin? What were the successes of Bayraktar AKINCI during its development process? What are the advanced and technical specifications of Bayraktar AKINCI? Which operational capabilities of Bayraktar AKINCI come to the fore? What kind of capability transformation will AKINCI introduce to the TAF?

5 Questions: Political and Legal Meaning of U.S. President Biden’s Statement on the So-called Armenian Genocide

What is the importance for the Armenians of the 'Armenian Genocide' allegations? What are the characteristics of the concept of genocide? Is U.S. President Biden’s decision to recognize the 'Armenian Genocide' lawful? Should Turkey continue to take the issue seriously? What is Turkey doing and what more should it do about the issue?

5 Questions: COVID-19 Pandemic and Racist Accusations against the Turkish Community in Belgium

What is the overall COVID-19 breakdown in Belgium? How has the Turkish community become a scapegoat in the COVID-19 pandemic? What were the reactions against making the Turkish community a scapegoat? How did right-wing populism try to take advantage of the situation? What has been the attitude of the Turkish community in Belgium during the COVID-19 crisis?

5 Questions: 2019 Escalation of the Kashmir Conflict

Why did tensions rise in Kashmir in February 2019? What happened on August 5 in Kashmir? What do Articles 35A and 370 mean to Kashmiris? What happened after the abrogation of Articles 35A and 370? Did the abrogation of Articles 35A and 370 lead to further integration or disintegration of Kashmir and India?

Experts Respond
Experts Respond: Unraveling the Daesh Assault on Santa Maria Church

On Jan. 28, an armed attack occurred at the Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district, resulting in the loss of one life. The Counterterrorism and Intelligence Branch of the Istanbul Police Department arrested two foreign suspected members of the Daesh terrorist organization. Some 34 individuals, also detained in connection with the attack, were brought before a magistrate for potential arrest. The Interior Ministry reported 1,046 operations against Daesh from June 1, 2023, to present. Why did Daesh – dormant since 2017 – once again target Türkiye? Is the assault on Santa Maria Church an isolated incident, or does it signify the manifestation of the organization's broader regional plans? How can we decipher the attack given the timing, method, target, and profile of the assailants? What is the status of counterterrorism operations against Daesh? Prominent experts have provided their assessments for our readers.

Experts Respond: How will the deadly earthquakes impact Türkiye’s foreign relations?

Southern Türkiye was jolted by twin earthquakes on February 6 that caused unprecedented devastation across an extremely vast area, impacting 11 provinces. Almost on par with the scale of the devastation, Türkiye has also received a huge amount of humanitarian aid from many countries with which Türkiye both has cordial and strained relations. In light of the considerable level of solidarity showcased by many countries, it is still unclear whether this atmosphere of solidarity and amicability will translate into tangible outcomes in the respective bilateral relations between Türkiye and these nations. Likewise, it is also unclear whether the solidarity displayed by countries with which Türkiye had tense relations until the earthquakes will cause a thaw in bilateral ties and lead to a new chapter in relations. We asked foreign policy experts to weigh in on these questions.

Experts Respond: European Political Community | Opportunities and Limitations

What is the purpose of the European Political Community? Is it a realistic proposal? If the Community is formed, how will the EU’s relations with other countries included in the Community be affected? Several experts presented their opinions about these questions for SETA.

Experts Respond: The Upheaval in Iran | The Protests, Which Erupted Following Mahsa Amini’s Death in Detention, in Their Third Week

We asked the leading Iran experts in Turkey and around the world to analyze the reasons behind the protests in Iran, the demands of the protestors, the Iranian administration’s attitude, the likely future of the protests and their impact on Iran. We present the assessments of those experts below.

Experts Respond: Political Tensions in Iraq | Analyzing the Storming of the Parliament and Its Impact

We reached out to several experts for more on how to understand the developments in Iraq and what possible future scenarios may be derived from the current situation.

Experts Respond: Political Crisis in Pakistan | The Reasons behind the Turmoil and Its Implications

The political situation in Pakistan is still not stable, and a new government is expected to be formed soon. However, at this point, it is important to understand the reasons that led to this turmoil and what the removal of Khan from office means for Pakistan. Within this framework, several experts from Turkey and Pakistan have briefly analyzed the events and their implications, not only for Pakistan but for the region and the world as well.

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