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Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin July 2016: Spotlight on Turkey and National Conventions

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July 2016

Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin

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Spotlight on Turkey and National Conventions



This month, the CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin turns its attention to the attempted coup in Turkey and foreign policy coverage at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Featured resources also highlight the Brexit referendum and the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. 



How Erdogan Made Turkey Authoritarian Again

According to CFR’s Steven A. Cook, Erdogan’s post-coup crackdown is the logical conclusion of policies that have been unfolding for the better part of a decade.  Read more »

Turkey Update: Erdogan’s Outlook and the Consequences of the Failed Coup



CFR’s Robert McMahon moderates a conversation with Steven A. Cook in which he discusses the consequences of Turkey’s failed military coup, including Erdogan’s possible next moves, background on the Gulen movement, and potential shifts in the Turkish government, including its relationship with the United States and the European Union. Listen to the conversation »

Turkey’s Troubling Turn: Terrorism and Security After the Attempted Coup

In this article, Soner Cagaptay of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy argues that security problems in Turkey existed long before this summer’s turmoil. Over the past decade, Erdogan has worked to eliminate Kemalism and return conservative Islam to the country’s foreign policy and education system. As a result, violent Islamist radicalization is spreading across the country. Read more »

Why Coups Fail: The Outcome in Turkey Was No Surprise

London School of Economics Fellow Brian Klaas writes that the Turkish putsch was doomed to failure because of division in the military ranks, a familiar culprit in failed coups. Read more on »


Brexit and Beyond: A Foreign Affairs Anthology

Brexit and Beyond: A Foreign Affairs Anthology

The latest Foreign Affairs anthology explores the historical connections between the United Kingdom and Europe, the events and speculation leading up to the referendum, and the far-reaching ramifications of the Brexit decision. 



Foreign Policy at the Conventions



Party conventions tend to focus on domestic priorities, but foreign policy and national security issues come to the fore in times of global instability or armed conflict. After the coup in Turkey and terror attacks in France and Germany in July, foreign policy has become an important topic at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  Explore the Backgrounder »

The Apocalypse in U.S. Political Thought

There is a long tradition of American politicians using apocalyptic rhetoric to unite an electorate, writes Stanford University’s Alison McQueen. However, Trump’s doomsaying departs from this approach with its emphasis on division, exclusion, and narcissistic messianism. Read more on »

Campaign 2016: National Security

Track and compare where presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on major foreign policy and security issues such as cybersecurity, counterterrorism, and drones. Campaign 2016, CFR’s interactive hub, provides candidate profiles, issue guides, comparison tools, and short explainer videos of the top foreign policy priorities that the next president of the United States will face. Explore the interactive guide »

The Hillary Clinton Doctrine: Comparing Clinton’s Foreign Policy to Obama’s and Trump’s

In this article, former State Department official Jeffrey A. Stacey contrasts President Obama’s foreign policy with the platforms of candidates Clinton and Trump. He asserts that no matter who wins in November, the next president will take a very different approach to the world’s varied challenges, making foreign policy a crucial issue in this year’s election. Read more »


Implications of the 2016 Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

Implications of the 2016 Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church

Listen to Elizabeth Prodromou of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and Nathanael Symeonides of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America discuss the social and political implications of the historic June 2016 Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in this recent Religion and Foreign Policy conference call.



The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.



The CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative connects religious and congregational leaders, scholars, and thinkers with CFR's resources on U.S. foreign policy and provides a forum for this community to discuss a broad range of pressing international issues. For more information, please contact McCourt Noonan, associate director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or


CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Portal,, is a "first stop" on the internet for members of the religious community seeking information on and analysis of U.S. foreign policy and global developments. In addition to a wide range of CFR materials—including work from the think tank, interviews with experts, meeting transcripts, and new backgrounders—users will find analysis and documents from other sources that have been carefully selected by the website's editorial staff for their relevance and quality.

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