Hannah Lucinda Smith

Hannah Lucinda Smith’s Erdogan Rising: The Battle for the Soul of Turkey is out now.

The sorry state of Turkish football

Pity the fans of Trabzonspor, a football club from Turkey’s Black Sea region. In May, the team was crowned champions of the Super Lig, Turkey’s answer to the Premier League, for the sixth time in their history. Three months later, they lost to FC Copenhagen in the Champions’ League play-offs meaning that, for the first

Blood Brotherhood

 Istanbul In another time, in another place, we might never have known about the death of Jamal Khashoggi. In a Saudi consulate, the staff are guaranteed to say nothing. The reason we know so much is that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has been willing to tell the world not just what he

How Europe’s Turks could sweep Erdogan to victory

President Erdogan can raise a crowd. As he travels to every corner of his huge country in the month before elections that could return him to the palace for another five years, tens of thousands turn out in sports halls, city squares and purpose-built rally grounds. His acerbic, bombastic public appearances, stage-managed with rock-star entrances

President Erdogan’s Syrian dilemma

Istanbul It is a bad time to have an ally on the fence. With US military action in Syria looking more likely by the minute, and the West’s frosty relations with Russia in danger of deepening into a new Cold War, Washington is eyeing the actions of Turkey’s President Erdogan with concern. Turkey, a NATO

The political similarities between Erdogan and Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn’s loyalists might howl at the suggestion that his style is similar to President Erdogan’s. But they would do well to pay heed to the parallels. The Turkish strongman, like the Labour leader, puts great effort into polishing his image as a pluralist and an ally of the minorities. On Friday he sent his

Erdogan is unravelling Ataturk’s legacy

If there is a place in Turkey where Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the swaggering six-foot president, looks small it is at the tomb of the nation’s founder. Anitkabir, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s mausoleum, spreads over 185 acres in the heart of the capital Ankara. It is a monument to nationalism, towering modernism and the man who dismantled the

Cypriot reunification still seems a distant prospect

In the early hours of this morning, the tired-looking Secretary General of the UN took to the stage in Switzerland to announce the first major failure of his tenure. “I’m very sorry to inform you that despite the very strong commitment and engagement of all the delegations and different parties, the conference on Cyprus was

Trump and Erdogan: the new populists

Istanbul The most dramatic part of President Erdogan’s visit to Washington this week was the punch-up between his security guards and Kurdish demonstrators on the lawn outside the Turkish embassy.  The protest was nothing unusual for a president who seems to provoke adoration and disgust in equal measure wherever he goes. Neither was the violent

President Erdogan’s nationalist game plan

Ask any two Turkish nationalists how they will vote in their country’s upcoming referendum, and you’re likely to get two different answers. In just under a month, Turks will vote on a constitutional amendment that, if passed, will usher in the biggest political revolution since Kemal Ataturk founded the modern republic. It would shift the country from