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Demetri Kofinas interviews some of the most brilliant minds in science, technology, finance, politics, and culture as he uncovers the hidden forces driving the most powerful changes we see in the world.
24 Aug 2020 • 53 mins
In Episode 152 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Soner Çağaptay, the Beyer Family fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute. Soner has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism and is the author of several books on Turkey including his latest “Erdoğan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East.” Turkey’s neighborhood is arguably ground zero for anyone interested in studying the effects of the breakdown of the American-led international order. America and its Western allies have more or less kept the peace in the greater Middle East and Europe for the better half of the 20th century, but the misadventures in Iraq and Libya, along with the Obama administration’s decision not to intervene in Syria, coupled with Trump’s latest maneuvering of troops out of Rojava have reinforced the view that the United States is no longer committed to providing a security guarantee to the region’s most insecure countries. And to this point, Turkey has a lot to feel insecure about. To its south, it borders Iraq and Syria, two countries that remain highly politically fractious with large Kurdish populations. To the east, it borders its strategic, regional competitor Iran. To the north, across the black sea sits Turkey’s historical nemesis Russia and to the west lie the Mediterranean and Europe. Turkey is therefore both strategically insecure and simultaneously capable of projecting influence across a wide territory, which is why it has been such an important part of NATO going back to the earliest days of the Cold War. This makes the latest crisis that has broken out in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and an alliance of regional actors including fellow NATO member states Greece and France very concerning. Not only is there a real risk of military conflict, but the fractures that started in the Middle East with Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Syria are now extending into Europe. This poses huge security challenges for the EU, while simultaneously creating opportunities for Russia and perhaps Turkey, the latter of which stands to benefit from a reconfiguration of its western territories that would allow it to capitalize on untapped natural gas reserves in the Aegean. Anyone interested in accessing the overtime, as well as the transcript and rundown to this episode can do so through the Hidden Forces Patreon Page. All subscribers gain access to our overtime feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application. If you have trouble connecting the RSS feed, please send us a direct message through Patreon and we will help you out. If you enjoyed listening to today’s episode of Hidden Forces you can help support the show by doing the following: Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | SoundCloud | YouTube | CastBox | RSS Feed Write us a review on Apple Podcasts Subscribe to our mailing list through the Hidden Forces Website Producer & Host: Demetri Kofinas Editor & Engineer: Stylianos Nicolaou Subscribe & Support the Podcast at http://patreon.com/hiddenforces Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @hiddenforcespod Episode Recorded on 08/19/2020