Chase Gummer

Chase Gummer is a writer and journalist based in Berlin. 

Recent Articles

Turkish Delight No More

The protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan mark a turning point in the country's democracy but find their roots in a complicated Cold War and Ottoman past. 

AP Images/Jodi Hilton
Observers of modern Turkey have long been fascinated by the rise of political Islam and uneasy about its ultimate trajectory under the leadership of Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan. While the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been instrumental in democratizing the country and ushering in key market reforms, success has bred contempt for the opposition and delusions of grandeur, which has a distinct pedigree in Turkish history. The ghosts of Turkey’s Ottoman past are haunting the streets of Istanbul, as the ongoing protests demonstrate that Erdogan might finally be losing his grip on power. In the annuls of Ottoman history, no figure is as divisive as Abdul Hamid II, the last great sultan of the Ottoman Empire. He is regarded as both the savior of the old Ottoman order and the quintessential modern authoritarian ruler, who deepened the legitimacy of the state by using Islam as a tool for generating popular support and hastened his own demise by tolerating no...

A German Tea Party?

What the popular rise of a new anti-euro political party says about fraying nerves in Europe's economic powerhouse. 

AP Images/Roland Welhrauch
AP Photo/Franka Bruns A new anti-euro political party, AfD (Alternative for Germany) is gaining ground in the polls, threatening Angela Merkel’s ruling center-right coalition just as the campaign season heats up ahead of general elections in the fall. While the political establishment in Berlin is only beginning to take this new brand of conservative populism seriously, the rise of the AfD is sure to entrench austerity politics at a time when the opposite is needed. Germany just got its own Tea Party. At the AfD’s first party convention this past April, there was little of the pageantry we’ve come to associate with the Tea Party: no Colonial-era uniforms, no powdered wigs, no effigies of chancellor Merkel burning in the hotel foyer, only a few guys in T-shirts depicting the European Union as a Stalinist dictatorship (“(E)USSR”) and one gentlemen with a nationalist tricolor sash of gold, red, and black. Most of the 1,300 delegates, a vast sea of wizened, grey-haired men, looked...

Euro Crisis Redux

Think sequestration is bad? Things could be turning disastrous in Europe.

When global leaders met in Davos, Switzerland this past January for the annual World Economic Forum, it was not just an opportunity to chatter about the state of the global economy, but also a moment for a collective sigh of relief. The fiscal cliff in the United States had just been avoided, Barack Obama was even able to raise some revenue by letting some of the Bush-era tax rates expire, and the currency crisis in Europe appeared to be on the mend. What a difference a month makes. As another battle over deficits and spending looms in Washington and threatens to pull the U.S. economy back into recession, a far greater worry is the ever-present crack-up of the euro, which would be an economic tsunami to the spring shower of sequestration. It all starts with Italy and the possible return of Silvio Berlusconi. Many thought the media mogul’s long strange trip as Italian prime minister had finally come to end in November 2011 when he resigned after pressure mounted to fix the ballooning...

A Continental Divide

An inside look at the disparate lives of Greece and Germany


Why Istanbul Matters

Ankara may be the capital, but as its diplomatic power grows, Turkey's first city remains the jewel of the Bosporus.

AP Images
While foreign policy was once thought to have taken a backseat in this election cycle, the reactions in the Muslim world to an incendiary film about the Prophet Mohammed have refocused attention on the nettlesome politics of the Middle East. Whoever occupies the White House come January will be faced with an altogether new dynamic—and not just in the obvious cases of a bloody Syrian civil war and a tottering post-Mubarak Egypt, but also with the political awakening of Muslims around the globe. Turkey, with its dual European and Asian heritage, is emerging as a key pivot in the region between the long-dominant influences of the West and an increasingly self-actualized East--just this week, it played host to negotiations hoping to slow Iran's uranium enrichment projects. The country, ruled by the Islamist-leaning Freedom and Justice Party (AKP) since 2002 has become an anchor of democratic stability and a harbinger of what is to come in a 21st century that’s beginning to take on the...