Columnist

Sinem Cengiz

Sinem Cengiz is a Turkish political analyst who specializes in Turkey’s relations with the Middle East. 

Twitter: @SinemCngz

Latest published



Turkey out to prove it is a serious regional player

Turkey's long-awaited military operation in the northwest Syrian region of Afrin, code-named “Operation Olive Branch,” started last weekend with a goal of eliminating the presence of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers to be the Syrian branch of outlawed terrorist organiza

January 26, 2018

Turkey’s great opportunity to play mediator between Baghdad and the KRG

Just a year ago, Turkey had frosty relations with Baghdad, and a few months ago its relations with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were strained due to the latter’s independence referendum. But today, both sides are seeking Turkish mediation.

January 12, 2018

This can be a year of reconciliation for Turkey and EU

Last year was a tough one for Turkey’s relations with the EU, and in particular with Germany, the most influential and powerful country in Europe.

January 05, 2018

A challenging year for Turkey in the Middle East

The year 2017 was tough for the Middle East. The conflicts and crises in the region dominated Turkey’s foreign policy throughout the year as it faced complex challenges ranging from Syria’s civil war to the Kurdish referendum, from the Jerusalem issue to the rise and fall of Daesh.

December 29, 2017

Putin reading zeitgeist on Middle East tour

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy said people do not become leaders due to fate or their characteristics, but due to the social circumstances at that time — zeitgeist (spirit of the time). Nowadays, Russian President Vladimir Putin is reading the zeitgeist in the Middle East.

December 15, 2017

What Jerusalem means to Turkey

The diplomatic status of Jerusalem, or Al-Quds in Arabic, is one of the world’s most complex and sensitive issues. Jerusalem is considered holy by Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and any change in the status of the city risks vast repercussions across the Middle East.

December 09, 2017

The Arab Spring has devoured its own children

Seven years ago in December, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, immolated himself in protest at economic repression and political corruption. It was a catalyst for demonstrations throughout the Middle East that became known as the Arab Spring.

December 01, 2017

Break the silence and unite against violence toward women

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, an annual awareness date designated by the UN in 1999 in honor of the Mirabel sisters, now largely known as “the Mariposas.” Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa and Dede were four brave sisters who opposed the Dominican Repub

November 25, 2017

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it.

November 17, 2017

Hard times for Ankara to decode Mideast

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to tour Russia, Kuwait and Qatar, starting Monday. Erdogan’s trip comes at a time when Ankara is struggling to decode recent developments in the politically fragile Middle East.

November 10, 2017