PhD, currently a visiting professor at The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (ICUB). Former lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Izmir University of Economics (2002-2020), former officer in the Ministry of Defense (1991-2001). Specialized in minority policy, Turkish politics and European studies; he has published numerous articles and chapters of academic books on these topics, having a rich activity in the written press, radio and television in Romania.
The collapse of the Turkish lira is largely the result of Ankara's policies. These are policies dependent on the Islamic-conservative ideology and populist-authoritarian tendencies of the Erdögan regime, the first to seriously challenge Atatürk's view of the state.
On October the 23rd, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that he had told his foreign minister to declare ten ambassadors persona non grata, after they asked for the release of an activist jailed for years. Seven of these were ambassadors from NATO allied countries, including the US and European heavyweights France and Germany. The crisis, which threatened to be the most severe between Ankara and its allies since Erdoğan came to power, was eventually eased, but nonetheless, it was indicative of Erdogan’s stance towards the West.
Following the hasty withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan, an increasing number of analysts speak and write about weaknesses of Europe and Washington vis-à-vis illiberal, authoritarian regimes. Some even engage with the idea that the West may have in fact entered a process of decline. However, while the latest developments in Afghanistan could well be the symptom of profound change in the international arena, talking about the West declining in a logic of confrontation with the East is rather problematic.
Returning to Turkey after one year, I found that the country continues its downward spiral. Life is getting harder, and many seem to be increasingly demoralised.
Turkey is increasingly in favor of a two-Cypriot solution and is working to persuade other states to recognize Turkish Cyprus. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to have taken on the Cypriot cause in order to attract the nationalist electorate to his side in the run-up to the 2023 elections.
The West seems ready to return to the international arena, after years of leaving the initiative of the autocratic powers - Russia, China, even an ally like Turkey, where the anti-democratic slips of the Erdogan regime are growing - and he himself was marked by the fracture brought about by the Trump administration's policies and, in the last year, by the pandemic crisis. The diplomatic tour of US President Joe Biden is a sign of this return, both American and Western in general. A greater firmness of the West does not exclude the willingness to communicate with the autocracies - but for the time being there is no question of a relaxation of relations.
Under a conservative AKP regime since November 2002, Turkey has initiated numerous construction projects in the early 2010s, presented obsessively to the public as signs of the country's growth as major regional power. Leaving aside that they contribute massively to the destruction of the environment, they also threaten to become long-term financial "black holes", consuming insatiably taxpayers' money for generations to come.
Chris Farrands was my director of studies in the PhD programme at Nottingham Trent University, between 2006 and 2011. Our relationship meant many meetings in Nottingham, Izmir, Edinburgh or Bucharest. Chris is not only ”a great teacher”, but also a great friend. That is, until our conversations go into international politics, especially British and European Union politics. He knows so many details, deriving from such a vast personal experience (see the short bio at the end) that he overwhelms the audience. The interview with Chris, published by Veridica in two episodes, demonstrates all these aspects and it is, in my opinion, the richest and densest media text on Brexit published în Romania and, perhaps, beyond. The first part dealt with the economic consequences of Brexit for Britain and the second part explores the more delicate topic concerning Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales in the context. (Dragoş C. Mateescu)
Even though Britain has officially left the European Union, Brexit is a process that has not yet ended, according to British expert Chris Farrands. He explained to Veridica the impact and challenges of this ongoing process.
One of the mantras in some political and media circles over the last decades is that the bloc does not have a foreign policy and it is weak in its external relations. This is a rather erroneous judgement.
Squeezed between its own regional ambitions and those of global players, between domestic challenges and its own policy errors, the current regime in Ankara speaks and acts in an increasingly erratic manner. And the consequences are difficult to foresee at this stage.
Ever since the appearance of the Internet and the advancement of the World Wide Web, in the 1990s, it was generally thought that they would decisively contribute to the global democratisation of information. And this they initially did, the demos all over the world gaining unprecedented access to an immense variety of information in all fields of human thinking and action. However, governments and inter-governmental organisations also entered this digital arena and their first instinct was to try to control it.
In November 2020, the Turkish government has started to spread a narrative of return to democracy, rule of law and citizens' rights. The main reason for this new apparent U-turn is the degradation of the Turkish economy and, in effect, the diminishing popularity of the regime.
Conspiracy theories in a nationalistic key are being used for decades to justify the primacy of the Turkish state, and lately, of the Erdoğan regime.