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Turkey Media Roundup (April 14)

[Demonstration commemorating the Armenian Genocide, Istanbul, April 2010. Image via thomas koch /] [Demonstration commemorating the Armenian Genocide, Istanbul, April 2010. Image via thomas koch /]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.]


Hostage Crisis

A Murder and Primitive Opposition Commenting on the hostage crisis on 31 March that ended with the murder of the prosecutor and two protesters, Etyen Mahçupyan argues that the murder of the prosecutor might actually have been a chance for the opposition to recover some ground.

Prosecutor's Murder and an Alliance of Nihilism According to Osman Can, the hostage crisis resulted from an “alliance of nihilism,” which develops from an anti-AK Party mentality and works in order to overthrow the AK Party.

Intelligence Units Inhibited the Apprehension of that DHKP/C Member “How can DHKP/C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front) members carry out those plans which are known to so many intelligence units?” asks Emre Uslu.

AKP’s Mastery of Distorting the Agenda Analyzing President Erdoğan’s statements about the hostage operation, Cafer Solgun argues that Erdoğan seeks to engineer public perceptions and twist the country’s agenda.

Collective Punishment “Turkish prosecutors and judges, strongly supported by the government, have opened a new chapter in Turkey's war on social media,” writes Joost Lagendijk.

Hostage Crisis Become a Terminator Orhan Kemal Cengiz suggests that President Erdoğan and the AKP government are using the hostage crisis to weaken bar associations, lawyers, and freedoms.

June Election

Too Much AKP Could Mean Instability (1)-(2) Murat Yetkin argues that Prime Minister Davutoğlu winning the elections could mean a defeat for President Erdoğan.

Best June Scenario: Erdoğan Loses and Davutoğlu Wins Semih İdiz suggests that most political analysts believe that number of deputies required for introducing a presidential system is hardly attainable for the AKP.

The Candidates, Parties, and Elections Ali Bayramoğlu analyzes the AKP and CHP’s candidate lists, arguing that the lists display the parties’ tendencies and intentions in the latest period.

How Will the Opposition's List Affect AK Party? (1)-(2) Abdülkadir Selvi argues that with their candidate profiles that appeal to the Kurdish and Alawite segment, the HDP and CHP made the AK Party start the race one move ahead.

Erdoğan’s Control, HDP’s Gamble Yavuz Baydar highlights the fact that apart from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP), which has created a half-and-half equality between their male-female candidates, all the other three parties have once again opted for male domination.

Ballots Have the Final Word in Turkey (1)-(2) Markar Esayan argues that some intellectuals and elite media outlets attempt to influence the elections by provoking a series of extraodinary events like the hostage crisis.

What Do Candidate Lists Hint At? Etyen Mahçupyan summarizes the way that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the ruling AKP did not seem to present a noteworthy change in the nominations, whereas the main opposition party CHP made a democratic move by considering  the preliminary election results of fifty-five provinces.

The New CHP and Violence “Kılıçdaroğlu's reaction to the execution of a defenseless public prosecutor in Istanbul calls for a comprehensive analysis of the CHP's close ties to violence and terrorism,” writes Taha Özhan.

Erdoğan Dynasty in the White Palace İhsan Yılmaz suggests that even though President Erdoğan has dominated the AKP’s candidate list, he has allowed some factions to place their candidates in winnable positions on the list because he needs a party that will work hard to win elections.

Turkey's Minorities Join Race for Parliament Fehim Taştekin points out that an unprecedented number of minority candidates will run in Turkey’s 7 June general elections, promising representation for ethnic and religious communities after decades of parliamentary absence.

Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran May Steal Turkey’s Role Gila Benyamor conveys the main points from her interview with the energy expert Mehmet Öğütçü on what kind of role Iran would take in energy and how the nuclear program deal would affect Turkey.

Turkey Has No Intention to Fan Rivalry with Iran İlnur Çevik argues that the lifting of the sanctions on Iran as a result of the nuclear deal between Iran and the West will also mean much higher trade volume and more income for Turkey.

This Is the Antidote! Commenting on President Erdoğan’s recent visit to Iran, Ibrahim Karagul argues that the antidote to the “global mindset which aims to regionalize chaos over the exploitation of Shia-Sunni distinction” is Turkey.

Turkey Reluctantly Welcomes Iran Deal “Observers say Iran deal will increase Tehran’s regional influence at a time when Ankara’s influence has waned,” writes Semih İdiz.

Erdoğan Focuses on Trade during Iran Visit Cengiz Çandar suggests that despite a red-carpet welcome to Tehran, where meetings between the Turkish president and Iranian officials focused on economic ties, the uproar around the President Erdoğan's incendiary remarks about Iran continued unabated.

President Erdoğan's Visit to Iran Tulu Gümüştekin reports that the President Erdoğan’s visit to Iran, which was initially planned for two days, was reduced to a one-day working visit after Erdoğan's recent lambasting of Iran about the sectarian divides in the region.

Turkey and Iran in Regional Cooperation Erdal Tanas Karagöl points out that Turkey's economy will reap the benefits of removing the sanctions.

Turkey’s Balancing Act with Iran Ömer Taşpınar draws attention to the fact that Turkey, unlike Saudi Arabia, always supported a nuclear agreement between Iran and the West.

How Will Turkey Benefit from Lifting of Iran Sanctions? According to Mehmet Cetingüleç, the lifting of sanctions on Iran would increase Turkey’s exports to Iran, but political ambitions and contradictory positions may impede recovery.

One Hundredth Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Will Ankara Surprise the World on April 24? Commenting on the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Yavuz Baydar asks: “Will the Turkish government acknowledge some responsibility for the systematic, aggressive denial and massive cover-up of the crimes against humanity that took place in 1915-18?”

What Was Behind the Ethnic Cleansing of Armenians?  Mustafa Akyol argues that if Turkish society would develop a more empathetic view of the ethnic cleansing of Armenians, this will happen not due to any foreign pressure, but rather due to some honest self-criticism based on authentic values—such as those presented by Islam.

Let Us Be Informed, Remember and Respect Doğu Ergil suggests that there has been a purposeful erasure of the Armenian Genocide from the memory of Turkish society.


Presidential System Ambitions

Sultan’ın umrunda değil! Hasan Cemal thinks Erdoğan’s polarizing politics earns him votes. but leaves the country vulnerable to foreign and domestic provocations.

Karanlık bir dönem... Hasan Cemal discusses Erdoğan family’s pressing charges against journalists who published Charlie Hebdo cartoons to show solidarity, and Davutoğlu’s denial of Erdoğan’s involvement in AKP party politics.

Biz bu Cumhurbaşkanı'na nasıl güvenelim? According to Sibel Yerdeniz, regardless of the state’s complete control over media and violence, “sensitive and determined” people of the country are Erdoğan’s biggest fear since the Gezi Park protests.

Bir bilmece: Bu suç duyurusu kimi hedefliyor? Commenting on Erdoğan’s statement marking the suspending of the parliamentary system, Oya Baydar states that Erdoğan is committing a crime, as politicians have to abide by the constitution.

June Election

‘Kaos ve şiddet, AK Parti oyunu artırıyor’ Interpreting the findings from recent public polls, Mümtaz’er Türköne concludes that a chaotic and tense political atmosphere increases AKP’s electorate support.

Barış isteyen herkes HDP için çalışmalı Bese Hozat argues that the AKP invites conflict through military and judicial means, and support for the HDP is the only means by which the democratization of the country and peace is possible.

7 Haziran seçimleri için en gerçek matematik! Plotting the figures from public polls and demographics of people living abroad, Ezgi Başaran claims that votes from abroad will determine the results of the June elections.

Davutoğlu'nun zaferini Erdoğan yenilgi sayabilir Murat Yetkin argues that Davutoğlu and Erdoğan differ in their expectations from the elections, as a majority vote is enough for Davutoğlu, while Erdoğan aims for a change in the parliamentary system that requires stronger support.

Oyunuza sahip çıkın Cengiz Aktar invites citizens to contribute to efforts in monitoring the process and aftermath of the upcoming elections, reminding us of allegations of electoral fraud widely voiced in the last election.

7 Haziran'a varabilirsek Türkiye seçime hazır! Celal Başlangıç states that the citizens should get prepared to go after their votes, and to prevent fraud attempts on the election day, as the government’s popular support is on the decline.

Listeler aritmetiği değiştirecek nitelikte değil, sonucu MHP ve HDP belirleyecek Analyzing the strategic aims of four major parties’ listings, Bekir Ağırdır makes the case that the HDP and MHP will be determinative in shaping the election results.

AK Parti'nin aday listesi, 'Yeni Türkiye'nin rengi Birol Akgün thinks that the AKP did not aim for popular candidates, instead including legal experts and public officials who would support the presidential system in the candidate lists.

MHP'nin aday listesinin şifreleri Kürşad Zorlu examines the MHP’s candidate list in terms of the party’s future aspirations and the future of nationalist politics in the country.

CHP ve 'Türkiye'ye seslenen parti' özlemi Tanju Tosun thinks the CHP’s candidate list conveys a “catch-all party” spirit, aiming to speak to all voters in the center who have issues with the AKP government.

HDP'nin tanımladığı 'Yeni Yaşam' ve 'Yeni Sol' According to Ferhat Kentel, the HDP’s “New Life” slogan promises change, plurality, and going beyond the tensions Turkey has endured over the last decade.

HDP’nin barajı geçmesi… Hasan Cemal argues that the only way to break Erdoğan’s one-man rule governing style is for the HDP to pass the election threshold.

HDP rüzgârı ve  'Ankara tuzakları'… Cengiz Çandar thinks a new mission for the democracy forces in the country is to be vigilant and prepared to potential state-sponsored provocations against the HDP.

Kurdish Politics

‘Kutlu doğum’, Kürtler ve muhafazakârlık! Yusuf Karataş discusses the ways religion is being incorporated into Kurdish politics, and argues that pursuing alternatives in the politics of religion would inevitably strengthen the government’s hand.

Kürt sorununu kim çözecek? Mehmet Cetingüleç claims that the leftist opposition to the AKP is uniting behind the HDP, increasing the odds of the HDP entering the parliament and accelerating the peace process.

Foreign Relations

Gannuşi-Erdoğan farkı! Abdülhamid Bilici underlies the differences in political Islam’s approach to democracy, comparing Nadha’s Gannuşi with the AKP’s Erdoğan.

Türkiye - AB ilişkisine ne olacak? Şahin Alpay discusses the three trajectories Turkey-EU relations might take depending on the results of the upcoming elections: opposition, cooperation, and unification.

Aranan ülke Türkiye değil Umman Fehim Taştekin purports that the mediating role for Yemen has shifted to Oman, as Erdoğan’s accusatory statements towards Iran implied Turkey’s partiality.

Yeni bir milli güvenlik anlayışı gerekiyor Murat Yetkin thinks Turkey’s foreign and security policy needs to adopt a broader and more cautionary strategy during the current contentious times in the region.

İran-Batı uzlaşması ve Türkiye'nin enerji rüyası Akın Ünver discusses Turkey’s energy politics in the light of changing Turkey-Iran relations and the recent talks about Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Lozan sonrası yeni dönemde Türkiye-İran ilişkileri Bilgehan Alagöz writes that Erdoğan’s Iran visit was timely and necessary in terms of peace and security issues in the region, and mutual economic benefits for the two countries.

Tahran'daki Erdoğan: "Kırmızı halı realpolitiği"... Cengiz Çandar evaluates Erdoğan’s surprise visit to Iran in the context of the Turkey’s newly formed tacit alliance with Saudi Arabia over perspectives on Yemen and Iran, and the changes in foreign policy.

Türkiye ve Yemen.. Abdullah Muradoğlu argues that, given the historical and affective ties to Yemen, Turkey should refrain from taking sides with either Iran or Saudi Arabia, and instead form a coalition with Malaysia and Pakistan.


Daha güçlü AKP artık istikrar anlamına gelmiyor Murat Yetkin claims that a stronger AKP no longer means economic stability, as foreign investment is concerned about the possibility of Erdoğan’s super presidency.

FED tutanakları ve piyasalar… According to Ünsal Ban, economic indications may fluctuate until the elections, but the stock market will show an increase, continuing to attract investment following the June elections.

Other Pertinent Pieces

Elektrik kesintisi üzerinden enerjiyi yeniden düşünmek Zeynep Oğuz analyzes the major power breakout that impacted the country within the broader context of global energy politics, and problematizes the conventional role of energy in development discourse.

Küstahlığı seviyoruz, pişkinliğe tapıyoruz Ümit Kıvanç thinks that governmental policies of the last decade have created a social fabric where people’s capacity for presumptuous and indifferent attitudes have increased.

Gülen Cemaati'nin İslami camiadaki konumu: Gönüllü yalnızlıktan zorunlu tecride According to Ruşen Çakır, the Gülen movement’s preferred solitude has turned into a obligatory one as Gülen’s cry for help regarding the government’s crack-down on the movement following corruption allegations was not returned.

Katır ölür, insan susar! Fehim Taştekin thinks the slaughter of the mules in Roboski is aimed at silencing the Roboski families’ struggle for justice.

Published on Jadaliyya

Istanbul Film Festival Cancels Competitions Due to Censorship

Okmeydani: A Targeted Territory

The Present and Future of Climate Change in Turkey and Beyond: An Interview with Umit Sahin

Istanbul 2023

Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

Bio-Istanbul: A Speculative, Segregationist, and Sustainable Urbanism

Imre Azem on ‘Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits’ (New York, 16 April)

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