contributors

Mikhail Aghajanyan

Independent analyst and researcher

all articles

April 1, 2016
Europe Closes Its Eyes to War Crimes and Repression in Turkey

While Turkey and the EU were reaching their agreement, the Turkish army and security forces were dramatically ramping up their activity in the country’s southeast…

October 23, 2014
Political Manipulations with the Price of Oil

The drop in oil prices that began at the same time as Islamic State (IS) attacks in Iraq and Syria is impossible to explain with economic factors. The world has long been used to the fact that the market has reacted to every war in the Middle East, where 47 per cent of the world’s ‘black gold’ reserves are concentrated, with a sharp jump in oil prices. That is what happened during the two wars in the Persian Gulf, and that is also what happened when the Americans began their ‘mission to restore democracy’ in Afghanistan. And speculation about a possible military conflict between the US and Iran was accompanied by the expectation of a jump in oil prices of up to $200 a barrel and higher. At present, everything has turned upside down, but for how long?..

October 3, 2014
Turkey: One Step From Invading Syria

On September 30, Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported that 36 Turkish soldiers in Syria were in danger. The tomb of Suleyman Shah (XII-XIII), the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire Osman I, on the Euphrates River, 35 km from the Turkish-Syrian border, is Turkish territory under the Ankara 1921 treaty and still guarded by a few dozen Turkish troops. The Islamic State militants were advancing on a tiny exclave where the guards were encircled. The very same day on September 30 the Turkish government held an emergency session. Vice Premier Bulent Arinc confirmed that the memorial and the Turkish servicemen were threatened…

September 19, 2014
Turkey, Islamic State and USA

The Turkey’s contemporary Middle East policy is inconsistent. On September 11 in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) the foreign chiefs of the United States of America, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf monarchies declared their intention to “eradicate” the Islamic State. It’s worth to note that Iran and Syria were not among the participants. Just before the event Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Dovutoglu had held a meeting of the cabinet to announce that Turkey would not take part in ground operations and other actions on the Iraqi soil limiting its role to intelligence gathering and logistics. The decision echoes the country's refusal to allow the United States to station 60,000 troops in Turkey in 2003 to invade Iraq from the north, which triggered a crisis between the two allies.
 

June 20, 2014
Mosul Captured: Turkey’ Involvement in Iraqi Events

…Talking about the events in Iraq, one should remember that Baghdad never forgot the Turkish claims regarding Mosul. Many a time Baghdad accused Ankara of interference into its internal affairs. Those who are close to Prime Minister al-Maliki have directly accused Turkey of trying to annex Mosul. The sources close to Baghdad government affirm that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are behind the ISIS operation in the province of Anbar. Baghdad believes that Turkey prepares to reshape the map of the Middle East by destabilizing the western provinces of Iraq that have border lines with Syria…

June 1, 2014
Nationalist Plot in Ukraine and its Implications for Europe

As Washington schemes are implemented, Ukraine becomes a testing ground for nationalist plots in Eastern Europe. The change of regime by making nationalists and radicals get to the front line of political struggle is a risky example for Europeans.  On average 10-15% of Europeans support nationalists. The division line between the West and the East is where the European Union is most vulnerable. The feeling of discontent with social and economic aspects of Eurointegration, as well as the rejection by European majority of such imposed values as the propaganda of homosexualism and single marriages give an impetus to spreading the ideas of Eurosceptics…

May 14, 2014
Russia – Iran: Western Sanctions as a Stimulus for Development of Relations

Relations between Russia and Iran are experiencing a stage of dynamic development. Both parties are making significant efforts to reach a qualitatively new level of cooperation in all areas of interstate relations. Great expectations are attached to the upcoming visit of Russia's president to Iran. This could very well take place in the first half of this year. The schedule for Iranian president Hasan Rouhani's participation in the Caspian summit in Astrakhan in September 2014 has also been fully coordinated… 

May 3, 2014
Turkey: Gas Deals with Russia, EU Kept Aside

Russia faces new prospects for boosting energy cooperation with other countries. Ankara wants to increase gas supplies delivered through Blue Stream, a major Trans – Black Sea gas pipeline that carries natural gas from Russia straight to Turkey… the Russia-Turkey energy talks won’t be easy. But Turkey has no choice. Ankara believes the European Union’s sanctions policy is doomed to failure, so solidarity with the EU is the last thing on the mind of Turkish politicians…

January 18, 2014
The Turkey Trap

Although they helped stabilize the situation, the emergency personnel measures taken by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and the reshuffling of the cabinet after the December corruption scandal did not eliminate the contradictions which are undermining the country's sociopolitical system… And if one is to believe the estimates of the American intelligence center STRATFOR, one of the main factors in international relations in 2014 will be events caused by economic stress and political unrest in Turkey…

December 28, 2013
Turkey Caught Up in a Storm

A corruption scandal has broken out in Turkey. At the epicenter of the scandal is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Over 50 people have been detained on suspicion of exceeding official authority, taking bribes, and merging authority and business (according to various data, between 52 and 84 people). The greatest resonance in the Turkish media was caused by the arrests of the sons of cabinet members. The hidden political motives for the revelations of corruption in the ranks of the ruling party are intriguing as well…

More