Jonathan Schanzer
Jonathan Schanzer
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Articles

Turkey's Teflon Don

March 31, 2014  •  Foreign Policy

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan triumphantly addressed thousands of supporters last night from the balcony of his party's headquarters in the capital of Ankara. He thanked his supporters for "protect[ing] the ideal of a great Turkey," and promised to deal decisively with his enemies. Despite a litany of leaks that raised questions of corruption within the top ranks of his government, Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) secured a comfortable victory in the country's municipal elections, which were largely viewed as a referendum on Erdogan himself.

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Turkish Prosecutor's Report Highlights Illicit Iran Transactions

March 20, 2014  •  FDD Policy Brief

Turkish headlines on March 14 focused on the contents of a 300-page report, allegedly penned by Turkish prosecutors, detailing a criminal organization under Iranian businessman Rezza Zarrab. Zarrab, who has been at the center of Turkey's corruption scandals since December of last year, is alleged in this report to have conducted a wide range of illegal activities in Turkey, including money laundering through Iran, Dubai and China.

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Palestine's Plan for when Peace Talks Fail

March 17, 2014  •  The National Interest

Despite the unshakable and quixotic optimism of John Kerry's Middle East negotiating team, the prevailing prognosis in Jerusalem and Ramallah is that even an attempt to implement an interim Israeli-Palestinian peace framework—let alone a final status agreement—is doomed to fail.

If talks break down, observers including the New York Times' Tom Friedman [4] suggest that Israel will come under massive international pressure for its continued building of settlements. But what Friedman and others don't understand is that the Palestinians will lead the way. They have a plan ready and waiting.

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The Anatomy of Turkey's "Gas-For Gold" Scheme with Iran

March 14, 2014  •  FDD Policy Brief

Headlines alleging corruption in Turkey continue to hammer the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Among the most damaging are the charges linking high-level Turkish officials and businessmen to the massive "gas-for-gold" sanctions-busting scheme that yielded neighboring Iran some $13 billion in Turkish gold between 2012 and 2013. Turkey executed these transactions at the height of the Western sanctions regime, which was designed to deter Iran's illicit nuclear program.

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Turkey's Terror Finance Connections

March 12, 2014  •  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.

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Books by Jonathan Schanzer

Cover of State of Failure Cover of Facebook Fatwa Cover of Palestinian Pulse Cover of Hamas vs. Fatah Cover of Al-Qaeda's Armies



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