The Political Economy of Kyrgyzstan

by Zack Kramer The Kyrgyz are a Turkic ethnic group first recognized as a distinct people by Chinese sources dating back to the second century B.C.E. The ethnonym “Kyrgyz” has its origins in a Turkic root meaning “forty”, a reference to a legendary forty original tribes that made up the ancient Kyrgyz people. They appear … Continue reading The Political Economy of Kyrgyzstan

The Political Economy of Kazakhstan

by Zack Kramer The Kazakhs emerged as a distinct ethnic group in the 14th and 15th centuries, essentially through an intermingling of local Turkic tribes with more recently arrived Mongolian peoples. The ethnonym Kazakh derives from an old Turkic root meaning “wanderer,” reflecting their nomadic origins. That same root, via a fairly circuitous path, is … Continue reading The Political Economy of Kazakhstan

Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 1: Saddam’s Shopping Extravaganza

Hello readers! Today I'm very pleased to bring you the second attwiw guest post! Arms proliferation researcher Travis Haycraft joins us for the first part of a two-parter (coming next month) on Iraq. Part one looks at the Saddam Hussein-organized build up of the Iraqi military in the 1970s, leading up to the Iran-Iraq War. … Continue reading Bed, Ba’ath, and Beyond, part 1: Saddam’s Shopping Extravaganza

Politicizing Ethnic Cleansing

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video on YouTube. A video that may shock, anger, and possibly horrify you. Here it is, and please don't say I didn't warn you: Oh wait, no, that was a campaign ad from last February. Still, horrifying. This was last week's video: Netanyahu's attempt … Continue reading Politicizing Ethnic Cleansing

The History of Turkey’s Diyanet

Kristin Fabbe and Kimberly Guiler, at The Washington Post's "Monkey Cage" blog, looked at the proliferation of conspiracy theories surrounding last week's attempted coup in Turkey. In their piece, they made a point about a Turkish institution that probably deserves more explanation than they were able to give it, the Diyanet: Turkey’s self-avowed secularists also … Continue reading The History of Turkey’s Diyanet