By Jonathan Schanzer (vol. 7, no. 5 of the Turkey Analyst)
The corruption scandal in Turkey has pulled back a curtain, revealing the country’s ties to the shadowy world of terrorism finance. If left unchecked, this NATO ally risks being blacklisted by the international community for its illicit activities. The Obama Administration has expressed mild concern about the scandal and the government’s response, but it is disinclined to step into the middle of what appears to be a domestic spat between two political rivals. This is the wrong time to step back, however. Troubling questions linger about Ankara’s relationship with Iranian gold traders, Hamas leaders, al Qaeda in Syria, and persons designated under the U.S. sanctions regime. Turkey’s open ties to these actors are a direct challenge to the U.S.-led sanctions infrastructure, and they raise troubling questions about Turkey’s commitment to its alliance with the West.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.