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By Brahma Chellaney
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Sinan Ulgen
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a meeting Thursday at the White House, is expected to urge President Obama to arm the Syrian opposition and enforce a "no-fly" zone in an effort to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
Turkey's Islamist prime minister, barred from seeking a fourth term, is exploring ways to create a strongman presidency and run for the powerful new office next year, but critics fear his political engineering could undermine the country's secular democratic tradition.
Russia and Turkey, former Cold War adversaries, are finding common ground on energy despite ongoing diplomatic disputes.
While much attention has been focused on China and India, other quickly emerging nations are establishing themselves as powers to contend with in their parts of the world.
Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who now is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, said he sees "very little hope for a concrete understanding to emerge between Turkey and the U.S. on some of the critical items on the agenda."
"Erdogan will press Obama on the 'no-fly' zones and to arm the opposition, not because he believes the U.S. will be able to deliver, but to assuage the rising anger of the Turkish public opinion on the bomb attacks," Mr. Ulgen said from Istanbul.