Book look: Russia & Turkey

Considering the Russian point of view in current global politics is a tough challenge, but a respected former Moscow correspondent appeals on readers to change their perspective. Ex-ARD reporter Gabriele Krone-Schmalz claims that the decades of Western ignorance towards positive developments in Russian politics and society is the root of the current conflict. She criticises European leaders for ridiculing attempted reforms in the system which had to get back on its feet after decades of communist order. Krone-Schmalz bemoans the missed chance of reaching out a hand to Vladimir Putin when he, according to the author, offered a constructive partnership after becoming prime minister. As far as the Kremlin’s constant sabre-rattling is regarded, Krone-Schmalz attacks the NATO for its reckless expansion in Eastern Europe. The expert on Russia is convinced that these measures and the unanimous support for the Ukrainian Yushchenko administration brought cautious attempts of a dialogue between Moscow, Paris, Washington D.C., London and Berlin to a gruesome end.

Russland verstehen. Der Kampf um die Ukraine und die Arroganz des Westens
By Gabriele Krone-Schmalz
Published by C.H. Beck (

Arresting thousands of journalists, clerks and judges, accusing European politicians of acting like the Nazis and claiming and western authorities are cooperating with enemies of the state. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not shied away from the serious conflict with the European Union, NGOs and foreign media following the attempted coup of last summer. Now a biography investigates the Turkish president’s personal background and his impressive rise to power. Cigdem Akyol took a closer look on Erdogan’s attempts of reconciliation with Turkey’s Kurds to find out whether this step is more than just a figleaf. The journalist, who has provided articles for renowned newspapers such as Neue Zürcher Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, portrays Erdogan’s comrades and counterparts, his personal environment and economic alliances. An autocratic leader or even a dictator in the eyes of his opponents in Turkey and abroad, a faultless genius according to his supporters. The decisive question is whether his politics will stand the test of time.

Erdogan. Die Biografie
By Cigdem Akyol
Published by Herder (

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