Western politics: Polarization or consolidation?

The year 2024 is the election year for many Western countries. While some influential Western states held elections already, some others will hold elections during the second half of this year...


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Western politics Polarization or consolidation
Democrats' Biden Dilemma

Democrats' Biden Dilemma

American politics are experiencing more activity than they have in a long time. While the political earthquake caused by President Biden's debate performance continues, his campaign's unequivocal statement of "I am absolutely not withdrawing" indicates his resistance to calls to withdraw from the race in the coming days. Details reported in the press suggest that Biden's family and close circle recommend that he continue in the race. This group, attempting to dismiss the debate performance as a mere mishap, argues that Biden has overcome past challenges and will overcome this one to defeat Trump. However, this time, the problem Biden must overcome is not external challenges but rather his own health issues, making it unlikely he can convince voters from this point onward.


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Coinciding with NATO's 75th anniversary, the summit will convene in Washington on July 9-11. While security concerns over Russia and China will be voiced at the highest level, as in every summit, NATO's restructuring and strengthening, in other words, reinforcing its resolve and resilience, will probably be emphasized again.

Recent developments have brought the ongoing discussions on normalizing Türkiye-Syria relations back to the forefront. Following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy, Alexander Lavrentiev, Syrian leader Bashar Assad, according to the Syrian News Agency, stated, “Syria is open to all initiatives for Syria-Türkiye relations based on its sovereignty over the entire territory of the country and the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations.” Similarly, the Syrian News Agency quoted Lavrentiev as saying that Russia supports all initiatives for Syria-Türkiye relations, adding: “We see that the conditions for successful mediation are more favorable than ever. Russia is ready to work to advance the negotiations. The goal is to succeed in restoring relations between Syria and Türkiye.”

In a period when there was doubt whether Biden would even agree to debate Trump, he committed to three debates, with the first scheduled for June before the candidates were officially confirmed. This reflected anxiety within the Biden campaign. Despite positive economic signals, Biden was losing ground due to inflation and immigration issues, and struggled to dispel concerns about his age and mental acuity. To project confidence and counter claims that he was afraid to debate Trump, the Biden campaign insisted on a debate format without an audience.

The presidential election in the United States has entered a new phase after the first TV debate between the two candidates, former President and Republican candidate Donald Trump, and President Joe Biden, the candidate of the Democrat Party. The two candidates have clashed over many issues, including foreign policy, immigration and the Palestinian-Israeli question. After the TV debate, both the American public and the world public have discussed many dimensions of the face-off. It is clear that the debate has revealed a leadership crisis in the U.S., which will have implications for the world system.

Dynamics of Türkiye-Syria normalization

In response to a question from journalists, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently gave positive signals about "normalization" with Bashar al-Assad. This statement, which coincides with a series of talks at the technical level mediated by Iraq, is important in terms of timing. If two neighboring countries find a solution to their problems by talking, it may make it easier to be ready for regional and global crises. At this point, it is useful to focus on the reasons underlying Türkiye-Syria normalization and the expectations of the parties.


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Dynamics of Türkiye-Syria normalization
Israel-Hezbollah war will be costly

Israel-Hezbollah war will be costly

The Israel-Hezbollah conflict has once again brought the Middle East to the brink of full-scale war. Since October 2023, when the Palestine-Israel conflict flared up again, the border between Israel and Lebanon has become a flashpoint for military clashes. Hezbollah responded to Israel’s war in Gaza by increasing its attacks on Israeli military positions. In response, Israel has carried out significant artillery and airstrikes targeting Hezbollah infrastructure in southern Lebanon. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people on both the Israeli and Lebanese sides have been forced to flee their homes.


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In the first debate before the November elections, President Biden's performance against Trump could be a game-changer for the race. The Trump campaign has succeeded in raising doubts about Biden's age, awareness, and vitality, and has also sought to create controversy around the format and neutrality of the CNN-hosted debate. If Biden performs well, the Trump camp will likely dismiss it as biased due to CNN's perceived favoritism towards Democrats. However, if Biden makes any gaffes or appears mentally unsteady, they plan to exploit this to the fullest. It wouldn't be surprising to see Trump continue his classic political style of declaring victory regardless of the outcome. While a strong performance from Biden won't end Trump's campaign, any doubts about Biden's mental sharpness will make it much harder for his campaign to recover.

Iranians are preparing to go to the polls on June 28, and this election seems to be more exciting than recent parliamentary and presidential elections. The reason for this is the candidacy of reformist Masoud Pezeshkian.

Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has been insistently warning the whole world that the Israeli atrocities in Palestine, especially the Israeli attacks against senior Hamas officials in Lebanon and Iranian targets in Syria, may spread the ongoing war in the Palestinian territories to the entire Middle East. Fidan pointed out that the attacks against commercial ships in the Red Sea by the Iranian proxy Houthi militants show the scale of the tension in the region. He warned the related regional states and global powers that if they did not deter Israel, the war could spread to the region. And the regional war will end in a way that every regional state will lose.

When we look at the G7 summit communiqué, we see an extensive list of problems related to various crisis areas and challenges in the international system. From Ukraine to Taiwan, from artificial intelligence to energy, leaders have pledged support for different initiatives in many problematic areas. While the joint declaration is filled with a series of good intentions, it is difficult to say that there are clear proposals leading to solutions. Although there are references to many initiatives previously agreed upon in other platforms, it is impossible to find agreement proposals that can provide lasting solutions in crisis areas such as Ukraine, Taiwan, and Palestine. This situation highlights how difficult it is for Washington to produce concrete solutions around comprehensive strategic policies and underscores the weakness of Biden's global leadership record.