Oytun Orhan

Biography

Oytun Orhan, who started to work as a researcher in the Middle East Department at ASAM (Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies) in 1999, continued to work here until 2009. Orhan has been working as a researcher at ORSAM (Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies) since 2009. Mainly working on Syria and Lebanon, Orhan has carried out studies on Israel – Palestine, Iraq, the Middle East and Turkey's Middle East policy as well.      

After graduating from Gazi University F.E.A.S. Department of International Relations, Orhan completed his Masters degree in International Relations from Hacettepe University; and his thesis was entitled, “Identity's Effect on Syria's Regional Policies (1946-2000)”. Orhan still continues his PhD studies in International Relations at Institute of Social Sciences, Abant Izzet Baysal University.  

What can Turkey do in the east of the Euphrates?

Following the Idlib agreement, Turkish focus in Syria has been shifted towards Manbij and the east of the Euphrates River. President Erdoğan ...

Expectations from the Quadripartite Summit for Syria

  The majority of mechanisms developed for the political settlement of the Syrian crisis could not produce concrete results and they ultimately...

How to untie the Idlib knot?

Opposition territories in Daraa and in the province of Quneitra on the Israeli border were declared a de-escalation zone as a result of an agreement...

New Dynamics and Risks in the Syrian Crisis

2018 brought about critical developments in the Syrian crisis that would prompt the civil war to reach a new stage. Initially, the competition...

NATO Allies Go Head to Head in Syria

This study was first published on “GMF On Turkey Series” For the report click Changes in the U.S. administration will largely...

Afrin Operation may be the beginning of the end for YPG/PKK

The Afrin operation that Turkey has launched in Syria in the context of its fight against YPG/PKK is about to complete its first month. The Afrin...

New Conflict Dynamics in Syria and Turkey

It was highly anticipated that the civil war in Syria would come to an end with the extinction of Daesh in 2018 and the parties would pass to the...

Idlib Operation Undermines Peace Process

Idlib has become the new military target of the Syrian regime forces backed by Russia and Iran that have succeeded in taking the Iraqi border under...

Post-Raqqa Phase in Syria

The capture of Raqqa by US-YPG alliance marks a new period in Syria. Following this development, DAESH does not have remarkable presence left in...

What does Turkey expect in Idlib?

One of the fundamental reasons for the Astana process is the hope to draw clear lines between the radical and moderate armed groups in Syria, to...

Why is Turkey Against the Referendum in Northern Iraq?

A critical process that is likely to create a new conflict dynamic is being experienced in an environment where the civil war and struggle against...

Threats and Opportunities Awaiting Turkey in Syria

The power distribution among internal actors no longer steers the military developments in Syria. Neither the Regime, the opponents, the SDF/YPG nor...

Russia-US Race for Deir ez-Zor in Syria

As a continuation of the Astana period, in May 2017, Turkey, Russia and Iran signed an agreement to create de-escalation zones in Syria. According to...

Al Bab, Menbij and Their Aftermaths in Syria

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) left behind the critical Al Bab test in the Euphrates Shield Operation in coordination with the Free Syrian Army...

Ceasefire and Political Solution in Syria

There have been many ceasefire attempts aimed at finding a solution to the Syrian crisis albeit without any success. As a result of the negotiations...

Al-Bab in Euphrates Shield Operation and Aftermath

The Euphrates Shield Operation has reached a crucial stage. The city battle for capturing Al-Bab, the city at the target along with Manbij, has...

Raqqa: A Solution or a Knot?

When the Euphrates Shield Operation began, Turkish officials declared Al-Bab, Manbij and Raqqa, located in the northern Syria, as priority...

Astana Summit and After It

Oytun Orhan who is a researcher of the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) has said that one of the main reasons for Turkey to take...

Astana Summit can be a New Roadmap for Solution in Syria

Several initiatives have been taken within the last periods to politically solve the Syrian crisis but they have ended up in failure. One of the most...

Future of Syria Crisis after Aleppo

Since 2014, Syrian regime has resorted to a method with Iran which can be summarized as besieging the settlements in order to reclaim the...

The al-Bab Test of the Euphrates Shield Operation

The conflicts are over in Aleppo, considered to be the critical threshold of the Syrian civil war. On the other hand, brutal conflicts continue in...

Critical Threshold in Euphrates Shield: Al-Bab and the Aftermath

At the first phase of the Euphrates Shield operation launched by Turkey in Syria, the borderline was cleared from ISIS elements. The forces...

What does Trump Term Mean for Syria?

Trump’s victory in US presidential elections has already started to show its effects on Syria. It is difficult to consider the results of the e...

Raqqa Operation: Actors and Goals

The US authorities announced that the Raqqa operation would be initiated in a few weeks after the Mosul operation was launched. The reason for this...

Euphrates Shield: Goals, Opportunities and Risks

The nature of Syrian civil war changed within the process and the fighting actors diversified, which led Turkey to change its priorities in Syria....

Mosul and Raqqa after ISIS: Irreconcilable Interests, Threats

US is seeking a success story in the fight against ISIS before the new president takes office. That’s why as the elections approach, conducting o...

Aleppo and Mosul in the Triangle of USA-Russia-Turkey

The answer to the question who will take the control in Aleppo has been of critical importance for all fighting parties since the beginning of the...

Search for a New Balance of Power in the Northern Syria

Operation Euphrates Shield is expected to reshape the balance of power in northern Syria. But how will the balance of power will be like in the...

Cards are Dealt Anew in Syria

Signals of change were given following the formation of a new government in Turkey. The crisis between Russia and Turkey was overcome, which was one...

What is going on in Northern Syria?

Directly interrelated and parallel developments are witnessed on the northern front which is the hottest region of the Syrian civil war. The first...

Turkey-Russia Convergence and Syria

As the Syrian civil war continued to prolong, the capacities and the motivations of the internal actors that caused the crisis diminish. Both parties...

The Siege of Aleppo and Its Potential Consequences

During the initial phase of the Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war, Russia focused on the immediate surroundings of the regime controlled...

What is Next for PYD/YPG in Syria?: Manbij Operation and the Aftermath

PYD/YPG continues to advance rapidly in Syria with US air support. PYD has never hidden its intention since the outbreak of the civil war: forming a...

The Syrian Crisis Presents Israel an Advantage about the Golan Heights

Israel is utilizing the chaotic situation and the increasing activity of radical groups in Syria as a pretext for legitimizing its position in the...

‘Puss-in-corner’ on the Northern Syria Front

One of the efficient opposition groups of the northern front in Syria, the Islamic Front outclassed ISIS in the rural area between the city center of...

Why does Turkey hit PYD/YPG?

As long as the the civil war in Syria prolongs the Turkish perspective on the priorities and threat perceptions for Syria started to change. Local...

Is the U.S. preparing the world for the Plan B?

In the beginning of the popular uprising in Syria, almost everyone expected that the Assad regime will be replaced in a short while. The widespread...

The Fight for the Turkmen Mountain in Syria

In line with the increasing efforts for political solution in Syria, the Assad regime backed by Russia and Iran intensified its operations in order...

Druze in Syrian Civil War

The position of Syrian ethnic/religious minorities has been one of the determining factors over the course of Syrian civil war. Syrian regime has...

The Causes and Possible Results of the Fighting in Bayır Bucak

The Syrian Turkmens are among these groups which were most affected by the Syrian civil war. The main reasons for that are their geographically...

Will PYD Lean Towards the Russian Axis in Syria?

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, said in his statement about the crisis in Syria in the United Nations General Assembly, that “only the regime’s a...

Russia’s Move in Syria and Turkey

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad indicated that “his army had difficulty in finding people to fight” in a statement he made a short time ago. In add...

Kurds: Winners of the Civil Wars in Iraq and Syria

There were claims that 21st century would be the century of Kurds. Although it is early to confirm these claims, the year 2015 has witnessed ...

Syrian Turkmens’ Military Structuring in the Context of Safe Zone Debates

The power struggle in Syria turned into a military conflict from a political and civilian strife within the first six months of the civil war. As a...

Possible Consequences of the Capture of Tel Abyad by PYD/YPG

Tel Abyad, a Syrian town situated across from the border to Akçakale district of Şanlıurfa that was controlled by the ISIS since June 2014 has been ca...

Why ISIS can’t be Stopped?

Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) was forced to withdraw from several locations in Iraq and Syria until recent months. With the help of the...

The Implications of the Latest Developments in Syria’s Northern Front

Three parallel developments are witnessed in Syria’s northern front. First is the advance by the Damascus Front in Aleppo and the Fatah Army in Idlib ...

Turkey - Saudi Arabia – Qatar Cooperation for Syria and Its Effects

In 2013 and 2014, the Syrian regime has enjoyed relative success in defense and initiated an offensive stage. In 2015, on the contrary, it is...

The Suleyman Shah Operation and the Aftermath

With the operation conducted by Turkish Armed Forces, Suleyman Shah Tomb in Syria, the only Turkish enclave abroad, had been evacuated and moved to...

Meaning and Possible Consequences of Shah Euphrates Operation

As a result of the operation launched by Turkish Armed Forces, Turkish soldiers deployed in Tomb of Suleyman Shah, the only land belongs to Turkey...

Ayn al Arab (Kobane) Siege of ISIS and Implications for Turkey

ISIS has been attacking to Kurdish populated areas under YPG control for quite some time. Thus, ISIS’ last offensive against Ayn al Arab (Kobane) is n...

The Advance of the Islamic State and Syria

The Islamic State (IS) is originated in Iraq, even though it acquired notoriety in Syria. It is exactly because of this fact that it was able to move...

Who is Behind the Islamic State Organization?

There are two contradicting viewpoints regarding the main supporter of the Islamic State (IS), previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and...

Observation of the KRG: Final Situation in Forming Government

While parliamentary elections are being held in Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is having two elections concurrently. Along with...

A New Period For Syria's Military Opposition?

The popular uprising in Syria first turned to an armed resistance toward the end of July 2011 when a group of soldiers broke away from the Syrian...

The Military Balance in Northern Syria

The main conflict dynamic on the Northern Syrian front is the struggle between the opposing groups. Basically, there are three fronts. For the time...

After the First Session of the Geneva II Conference

The U.S. and Russia, which are the two major world powers that support the opposition camps as a result of the deadlocked civil war in Syria, reached...

Cobanbey Resistance of Turkmens in Aleppo

The Islamic Front, one of the most powerful armed opposition groups in Syria, has recently gained ground in the rural area between the central Aleppo...

The Rise of Islamic Front in Syria

 The armed opposition in Syria gathered under the umbrella of Free Syrian Army from the very beginning. However, the structure consisting of more ...

Five-Front Civil War in Syria

The uprising in Syria began as a civil movement. But within six months, the popular uprising had become armed resistance. The conflict had two...

Syrian Turkmen in Grip of Assad Regime, ISIS and PYD

The polarization between the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) fighting against the regime in Syria and all other armed...

Syrian Army’s Aleppo and Qalamoun Operations

The Syrian regime has recently made significant gains against the military opposition. At this point, the Syrian army is trying to prevent external...

PYD's Sphere of Influence Expanding in Syria

The People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia based in Syria, has gained the upper hand over the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq...

Turkey's Position in Syrian Conflict with Radicals in Equation

The fact that the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has grown stronger within the Syrian military opposition and expanded...

The Reality of Al-Qaeda in Syria

Conflicts between al-Qaeda-affiliated group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and Free Syrian Army-linked groups and the People's...

Radical Islamists Getting Stronger, and Assad Winning in Syria

Following the jet crisis back in 2012 between Turkey and Syria, the fact that Turkey changed the rules of engagement and announced that the...

Abduction of Turkish Pilots and Turkish Presence in Lebanon

The abduction of two Turkish pilots in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, two months ago demonstrates that the Syrian civil war has become a regional war...

Syrian Migration Wave Destined for Iraqi Kurdistan

The number of Syrian refugees migrating to Iraq has exceeded 200,000. The vast majority of this migration wave is taking place in Iraq's...

Last Observations before the Elections: From Duhok to Erbil

The parliamentary elections, of which results have been expected with great curiosity in Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, started with the...

Pre-election Observations from Erbil and Sulaymaniyah

The inter-party rivalry for parliamentary elections to be held in Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government on September 21, 2013 has been...

Military Operation in Syria and Risks for Turkey

It became highly likely that the US would carry out a military operation in Syria following the chemical weapons attacks that took place on the...

Debates on Military Intervention in Syria

The chemical weapons attack that took place in the suburbs of Damascus, the capital of Syria, on Aug. 21 might open a new stage in the civil war that...

Towards a Series of Interventions in Syria

There are several goals for the probable intervention in Syria. First, to send a strong message to Syria indicating that chemical weapons should not...

Civil War in Syria and Turkmens

The ongoing civil war in Syria has increased the attention towards Lebanese and Syrian Turkmens in Turkey, and this situation made it possible for...

What Does the Military Coup in Egypt Mean for Syria?

The toppling of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in a military coup is a critical governmental changeover with the capability to have a direct...

The Ongoing Deadlock in Syria

The balance between the conflicting parties in the ongoing civil war in Syria might vary from time to time.   A party prevailing over the other might ...

Who in Middle East Used Gezi Park Protests as Opportunity?

The protests which started after a number of trees were cut down as part of the Taksim Pedestrianization Project in İstanbul quickly spread across ...

On the Possibility of the Syrian Civil War Spreading to Lebanon

The fact that the sectarian character of the uprising in Syria has come to the forefront has been deepening polarization in the Middle East. This...

More Pressure on Turkey after Reyhanlı Blasts

The terrorist attack that killed 51 people in Reyhanlı in the province of Hatay resulted in similar scenes of violence to those of Iraq and ...

What Is the U.S. Expectation about Syria?

One of the main reasons of the deadlock in Syria is difference of opinions among the actors, who want a regime change, on how to reach a solution....

International Challenge to Drive Syria Towards Solution

The US was expected to adopt a stronger stance on Syria in the post-presidential election period. However, despite the fact that President Barack...

Notes on the Cilvegözü Border Gate Blast

A car blast that took place in the buffer zone between the Cilvegözü and Bab al-Hawa border gates on Feb. 11 has raised many questions. Even though i...

Impressions from the First Meeting of the Syrian Turkmen Platform

The first meeting of the Syrian Turkmen Platform was held in İstanbul on December 15th, 2012. This meeting has a great importance for Syrian ...

Sochi Agreement on Idlib is at a Critical Stage

In an atmosphere where the Syrian regime backed up by Russia and Iran is indispensably expected to carry out an operation in Idlib, Turkey...