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  • ORSAM has launched An in-depth interview series, entitled ORSAM Interviews on Regional Affairs. The first edition features an interview with the Predident of Prime Ministry’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency Dr. Fuat Oktay.
    Seyfi Taşhan: “This is a Job for Volunteers. It is Hard to Use Think Tank as a Stepping Stone in Turkey”
    We talked to Serdar Azez about the Goran's expectations from the elections, and the relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.
    Latif Mohammad informed about the change in Kurdish politics and the Goran's outlook on the relations between Syrian Kurds and Turkey.
    We talked about the Goran Movement's expectations from the elections, its position in Iraqi Kurdish politics, as well as its outlook on Turkey.
    We talked about the Goran Movement's outlook on the relations with Turkey and about Syrian Kurds.
    Khalil shared his views on the current situation in Syria, the activities of Coalition, and on the solution of Syria problem.
    The interview we conducted with Judith S. Yaphe in Jordan, we talked about the Arab Spring process; the civil war in Syria; and Turkey – Israel relations.
    Alani shared his opinion on the Gulf countries' approach to the Arab Spring and Syria issue, their perceptions on Iran, and their views on Turkey's regional role.
    Kosrat Rasul about the internal politics of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government, as well as the relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.
    On 24 March 2014, ORSAM, in partnership with the SAM and the Mosul University Department of Turkish Language and Literature organized a panel entitled “Changing Equilibrium in the Middle East and Turkey-Iraq Relations” in Mosul.
    Jordanian journalists visited the ORSAM on March 12, 2014 as part of a program organized by the Office of Public Diplomacy under the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey.
    ORSAM and TESEV, with support from the Stabilization Unit of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, held a joint workshop entitled “Regional Impact Analysis: Syrian Conflict” in Istanbul on 6 March 2014.
    ORSAM and Russian Research Center RISI jointly held a workshop, entitled “Kurds in the Middle East and Their Impacts on the Future of the Region”.
    2013 Strategic Vision Award ORSAM receives award from the Center for Strategic Studies (SAM) under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
    The Workshop entitled, “Political Developments in Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government and the Future of Relations between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds”
    The Workshop entitled, "Turkey - Kyrgyzstan Relations: From Today to Tomorrow" The Workshop entitled, "Turkey - Kyrgyzstan Relations: From Today to Tomorrow" was held on May 6, 2013.
    Under the coordinatorship of Rumi Forum, a group of PhD students from the U.S. paid a visit to ORSAM on May, 16, 2013.
    ORSAM and GMF held a joint conference entitled, “Syria and Iraq from American and Turkish Perspectives”, first time in Washington between April 11-12, 2013.
    The 5th Joint Conference between RISI (Russian Institute of Strategic Research) and ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) was held in St. Petersburg, Russia on March 25, 2013.
    Biladi Center for Strategic Studies and Research Visit to ORSAM. The delegation from Biladi Center for Strategic Studies and Resarch, paid a visit to ORSAM on April 4, 2013.
    The 5th Joint Conference between RISI (Russian Institute of Strategic Research) and ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) was held in St. Petersburg, Russia on March 25, 2013.
    Libyan Civil Society Organizations Initiative Group represented by 12 delegates from Libyan civil society organizations visited ORSAM on 11 March 2013.
    A closed joint meeting was held at ORSAM with the participation of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation on Decemver 4, 2012.
    Egypt in Transition and Turkey-Egypt Relations in New Era The workshop was organized by the collaboration of the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt and ORSAM on 4 June 2012.
    ORSAM-METU Joint Meeting: Tunisia During the meeting, the participants exchanged their opinions on the development in Tunisia, and especially on the cooperation possibilities between Tunisia and Turkey.
    ORSAM-Bilkent Joint Meeting: Belorussia During the meeting, the participants exchanged their opinions on regional subjects, and especially on the cooperation possibilities between Belorussia and Turkey.
    Prince Abdul-Aziz Bin Talal: "We Prefer Turkey, If there is going to be a superpower in the region, Turkey is desired to be it” Prince Abdul-Aziz Bin Talal said.
    ORSAM-Bilkent Joint Meeting: Kyrgyzstan During the meeting, the participants exchanged their opinions on regional subjects, and especially on the cooperation possibilities between Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
    ORSAM-Bilkent Joint Meeting A closed meeting titled as “Kazakhstan at the 20th anniversary of its independence and its relations with Turkey” was held in Ankara.
    Developments in the Middle East Assessed with Saudi Advisor Mr. Abdullah AlShamri The Arab Spring and Turkey’s and Saudi Arabia's position in the Middle East were discussed.
    ORSAM Books No: 5
    ORSAM Middle East Books No: 3
    Mosul in The Ottoman Vilâyet Salnâmes
    ORSAM Books No: 4
    Central Asia Books No. 1
    Energy Security,
    Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and Central Asia
    EGYPT IN TRANSITION
    AND
    TURKEY-EGYPT RELATIONS IN NEW ERA
    TUNISIA AND TURKEY-TUNISIA
    RELATIONS IN THE ANNIVERSARY
    OF THE REVOLUTION
     
    Syrian Turkmen in Grip of Assad Regime, ISIS and PYD
    Oytun Orhan, ORSAM Middle East Specialist
    The polarization between the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) fighting against the regime in Syria and all other armed opposition groups is deepening.
     
    In fact, although there is no conflict between ISIS and another al-Qaeda-linked group, al-Nusra Front, the dispute is deepening between the two. Also, the Syrian opposition groups have clearly distinguished ISIS from al-Nusra Front. While al-Nusra has a positive image and has been at the forefront of the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime along with the Free Syrian Army, ISIS is seen as a group that does not fight against the regime and that is trying to seize areas liberated by the opposition forces. The opposition is convinced that ISIS is affiliated with the Syrian regime and Iran. The presence of ISIS in northern Syria increasingly worries the opposition. ISIS has been arresting and killing the fighters of other armed groups. Since they have a central authority, they have an advantage over the dispersed opposition.
     
    Another development in northern Syria is the fact that the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), which is the armed militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of the Syrian Kurds, is advancing throughout the area. First, the YPG seized control of tripartite Kurdish regions (Jazirah, Kobani and Afrin). Currently, it is trying to connect the three separate Kurdish regions to one another and spread the conflict into areas populated by Arabs and Turkmen.
     
    The Syrian Turkmen took sides with the opposition along with the Free Syrian Army from the beginning of the uprising. However, the Free Syrian Army is in an extremely weak position in the present multilateral conflicts in Syria. The regime is increasingly growing stronger and, at the same time, al-Qaeda-linked groups or Islamic groups are growing stronger among the armed opposition. Another group with growing influence in Turkmen-populated northern Syria is the Kurdish YPG. Currently, the Turkmen are doing the math on how they can survive in the face of pressure from these three groups.
     
    They are almost all across the country, but the populations of Syrian Turkmen are dense in the rural areas of Aleppo and Latakia near the Turkish border crossing. Although they are not many in number, they live in areas that have strategic importance for Turkey. Two regions of Aleppo and Latakia near the Turkish border gate are also of great importance for the Assad regime, the PYD/YPG and ISIS.
     
    The Turkmen-populated region in northern Latakia is known as Bayir-Bucak. The region is greatly significant for Assad’s regime to establish a geographic connection with the Hatay province in Turkey, which is on the border with Syria. Damascus, which has never accepted the annexation of Hatay by Turkey, considers Hatay its own territory and Syria has tried to bring the Hatay issue -- which had been put aside when the sides were in good relations -- to the agenda once again. The Syrian state news agency has recently published maps on its website showing Hatay within the borders of Syria. The Syrian regime attaches great importance to keeping its claim over Hatay alive so that its hand doesn’t weaken in regards to the Hatay issue.
     
    The Free Syrian Army troops composed of Turkmen and Arabs in the region have seized control of some 30-kilometers of land between the Latakia province and Hatay. Nevertheless, the regime continues to attack the region by land and air, and thus it is not a safe zone. Therefore, the residential areas have been evacuated to a large extent and the people have migrated to Turkey. Recently, a bigger threat than the regime has appeared for the Bayır-Bucak Turkmen. ISIS has recently been infiltrating the region under the authority of the opposition, and it has been oppressing civilians and Turkmen military groups.
     
    The same situation also applies to the Turkmen population living in northern Aleppo near the Turkish border crossing. Turkmen in this area are densely populated in the area located between Azaz and Jerablus. Turkmen seized control of their own settlements. However, ISIS has recently increased pressure on Turkmen in the region. The commander of a Turkmen military troop was arrested by ISIS on the grounds that he opposed the system ISIS wanted to establish in Jerablus. In addition to this, ISIS threatened fighters of another Turkmen military group, forcing them to join its ranks. Some Turkmen civilians have been killed, particularly in Manbij. Turkmen are worried about the rising oppression of ISIS, although no large-scale violence against the Turkmen has taken place yet.
     
    There are various threats against and fears of the Turkmen populations in Aleppo. The first is that the regime will seize control over the entire central part of Aleppo if it is successful in military operations around Aleppo. Besides, the regime might also seize control of Al-Bab, which serves as a gate from the Turkmen districts in rural areas to central Aleppo. Thus, the regime’s army could easily turn toward the region between Azaz and Jerablus. In that case, all the Turkmen in Aleppo who have not yet migrated from their villages and towns will have to migrate to Turkey, because the regime is trying to restore stability by evacuating the settlements in opposition areas.
     
    The third threat for the Turkmen population in Aleppo is that their settlement is among the targets of the Kurdish YPG militia. If the YPG seized control of Tel Abyad, establishing a connection between the eastern (Jazirah) and central (Kobani) parts of the tripartite Kurdish region, its next target would be to seize control of the Azaz-Jerablus region to establish a connection between central and western (Afrin) parts. If the goals stated by YPG spokesman Redur Khalil are achieved, it would come to mean that Turkmen military groups and the YPG will fight against one another.
     
    In the face of all these developments, it should be stated that Turkmen military groups are in no shape to fight against any group. The Turkmen have tried to remain neutral in their region due to their weak position. Furthermore, the Turkmen military groups are worried about the fact that they have fought alongside the Free Syrian Army against al-Akrad, a military group subordinate to the YPG in Jerablus, Azaz and Manbij. The PYD’s militia force, the YPG, is showing a tendency of moving toward the Turkmen settlements and the Turkmen groups are not strong enough to resist the YPG if the YPG advances against their settlements.
     
    In that case, the Turkmen in Aleppo may prefer to reach a diplomatic agreement with the PYD/YPG rather than fight against them. Recently, the PYD/YPG has been making efforts to establish closer ties in order to act together with the Free Syrian Army and Turkmen.
       
       
       
     10 December 2013
              
    21 April 2014
    ORSAM Report No: 179
    November 2013
    İnterviews With Syrian Refugees in Reyhanlı - VI
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 178
    November 2013
    İnterviews With Syrian Women in Reyhanlı - V
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 164
    August 2013
    The Clashes in Northern Syria and the Possible Effects
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 160
    May 2013
    Interviews With Syrian Refugees in Reyhanlı
    (After Reyhanlı Bombings) - IV

    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 159
    May 2013
    Interviews With Syrian Women in Reyhanlı - III
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 158
    May 2013
    Interviews With Syrian Refugees in Reyhanlı - II
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 157
    May 2013
    Interviews With Syrian Refugees in Reyhanlı - I
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 156
    May 2013
    ORSAM Report on Reyhanlı
    “11 May”
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 155
    BLACK SEA INTERNATIONAL Report No: 32
    May 2013
    Historical Notes from the Minutes of the Montreux Straits
    Conference and Kanal İstanbul
    (Tr)
    ORSAM Report No: 154
    ORSAM Water Research Programme Report No: 19
    May2013
    Transboundary Waters Within the Scope of EU Water Framework Directive
    (Tr)
    ORSAM Report No: 153
    April 2013
    Electoral Laws in Iraq
    (Tr)
     
    ORSAM Report No: 152
    April 2013
    Basic Data on 2013 Local Elections in Iraq
    (Tr)
    ORSAM Report No: 151
    April 2013
    Democracy Process and Problems in Iraqi Kurdistan
    (Tr - Eng)
     
    ORSAM Report No: 150
    March 2013
    Syrian Turkmens: Political Movements and Military Structure
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 149
    February 2013
    David Cameron and the EU: Crossing the Rubicon
    (Eng)
     
    ORSAM Report No: 148
    January 2013
    Internatonal Politics and Civilizations
    (Clash of Civilizations and Dialogue)

    (Tr - Eng)
    Доклад ОРСАМ Но: 147
    ЧЕРНОМОРСКИЙ МЕЖДУНАРОДНЫЙ Доклад Но: 31
    Январь 2013
    Диалог Культур: Белорусско-Литовские
    Татары – Выходцы Из Урало-Волжского Региона
    В Великом Княжестве Литовском
    ORSAM Report No: 146
    BLACK SEA INTERNATIONAL Report No: 30
    January 2013
    Eurasia in 2013: Political and Economic Analysis
    (Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 145
    ORSAM Water Research Programme Report No: 18
    January 2013
    Orsam Water Interviews 2012
    (Tr - Eng)
    ORSAM Report No: 144
    ORSAM Water Research Programme Report No: 17
    January 2013
    Orsam Water Interviews 2011
    (Tr - Eng)
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