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Turkey Media Roundup (August 4)

[PKK members in Qandil, March 2013. Image via thomas koch /] [PKK members in Qandil, March 2013. 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.]


AKP’s “War on Terror”

The Sultan of Swing’s Dangerous Gamble According to Leela Jacinto, President Erdoğan is making the biggest miscalculation of his political career by taking Turkey into war, attacking the PKK and the HPD and ending the peace process, and arresting pro-Kurdish and leftist individuals in order to win an election.

Background of Turkey's War against ISIS and the PKK Yahya Bostan lists the motivations behind the interim government’s tripartite operation against ISIS, the PKK, and the DHKP-C.

Lift the Veil According to Burhanettin Duran, intellectuals and experts should stop blaming the AKP and Erdoğan for all domestic and foreign issues that the country currently faces, and instead delve into finding solutions to internal and external threats.

Turkey and the Fight against ISIS Kılıç Buğra Kanat claims that Turkey has been contributing enough to the fight against ISIS for the last eighteen months, while it has now entered a new period with the Suruç massacre.

Codes of the New Era Having described the operations of the interim government against both ISIS and the PKK, Abdülkadir Selvi admits “neither will ISIL be removed after our intervention, nor will the PKK end after we bombed Qandil. For thirty years, we've been bombing the PKK camps, however the PKK still exists.”

Fighting Terrorism in All of Its Forms İbrahim Kalın, deputy secretary to prime minister Davutoğlu, claims that by attacking the PKK Turkey fights terrorism, not the Kurds, as manifested in its recent record of helping Syrian Kurds under ISIS attacks, and upholding the rights of its Kurdish citizens.

Behind Suruç, Beyond Suruç Samim Akgönül analyzes the problems with Turkey’s domestic and foreign policy choices that cost the lives of young people of the country.

Is Turkey Really Committed to Fighting IS? Semih İdiz reports strong suspicions among the experts as to whether the AKP aims to cover up its fight against the Kurdish movement in the name of fighting ISIS.

Senior Western Official: Links between Turkey and ISIS are Now 'Undeniable' Natasha Bertrand writes the changes within the past year in Turkey’s loose border policing with regards to ISIS activity and the strong convictions raised against the allegedly permissive attitude of the country against the terrorist group in the past.

Turkey’s Grand Offensive against All Nuray Mert argues that the US might have accepted Turkey’s concerns regarding a Kurdish autonomous region in south of the border, yet this might not simply correspond to allowing for a free hand against the Kurdish movement.

Are Turkish Courts Delaying Trials of IS Militants?  Metin Gürcan narrates that a judicial case which deals with IS militants killing a group of security officials and civilians in Turkey has been postponed due to politically-motivated reasons.

Casualties of War Joost Lagendijk argues that developments following Turkey’s bombing of military targets belonging either to ISIS or the PKK have slowly decayed Erdoğan’s and the AKP’s credibility, especially among foreign observers.

Contentions Is Erdoğan Preparing a Coup? According to Michael Rubin, what Erdoğan desires, such as early elections, regaining a majority for the AKP, and changing the political system to a presidential one, leads him towards implementing a “self-coup.”

Kurdish Politics and the Peace and Reconciliation Process

Why Is Qandil being bombed? Commenting on Turkish warplanes’ bombing of Qandil and other Kurdish guerilla zones, Amed Dicle argues that the AKP is trying to use the power of US-led coalition in its fight against the PKK under the pretense of fighting ISIS.

A Witch Hunt For Kurdish Politicians Is Brewing In Turkey Sophia Jones writes that the fragile and long-hoped-for peace process between the Turkish state and the PKK looks dead in the water as Turkey bombs guerilla zones and targets all pro-Kurdish politicians and individuals.

Turkey's Conflict with Kurdish Guerrillas in Iraq Can Benefit Isis in Syria Patrick Cockburn emphasizes that in the first days of Turkey’s “war on terror” campaign it sent only a few planes to bomb ISIS in Syria while there were 185 air missions against about four hundred PKK targets.

Turkey Plunges into the Abyss Nate Schenkkan argues that Erdoğan and the AKP have opportunistically used the Suruc bombing and the PKK’s revenge attack as a pretext to crush the HDP that has threatened the AKP’s hold on the parliament and government.

Turkey Ties İncirlik Usage to Safe Zone and Non-Criticism of Kurdish Operations (1) - (2) Lale Kemal discusses the scenarios behind a potential Turkey-US agreement regarding ISIS, operations against the Kurdish movement, and the Suruc massacre.

Has the US Just Sold Out the Kurds? Dan De Luce reports that in return for permitting US air raids to be staged from the İncirlik military base, Turkey had demanded the creation of a “safe zone” in northern Syria in order to protect Turkey from a Kurdish independent state potentially emerging on its border.

Turkey-Kurdish Conflict: Every Regional Power Has Betrayed the Kurds So Turkish Bombing Is No Surprise Writing about the end of ceasefire and Turkey’s going back to bombing the Kurds—with American encouragement—“the Kurds were born to be betrayed,” writes Robert Fisk.

The West Is Betraying the Kurds and Allowing Them To Be Massacred Brendan O’Neill points out that Western leaders turn a blind eye, or even worse give an active nod, to the bombing of Northern Iraqi Kurds by the Turkish air force.

Is PKK Real Target of Turkish Strikes? “Turkey’s decision to open two fronts, against the Islamic State and the PKK, complicates US cooperation with Kurds in Syria,” writes Metin Gürcan.

Selling Out the Kurds Stephan Richter suggests that “the Americans managed to sell out the Kurds, perhaps Syria’s only remaining true ‘freedom fighters’, as they proved to be in the defense of Kobane.”

Turkey's Demirtaş: 'Erdoğan Is Capable of Setting Country on Fire' In an interview with Hasnain Kazim, Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the HDP, calls for a cease-fire between Turkish President Erdoğan and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Is the PKK Sincere in Its Fight Against ISIS? İlnur Çevik argues that the PKK seemed to care more about fighting ISIS and thus saving the Kurdish masses than fighting against Turkey.

Syria, ISIS and the Kurds: Turkey’s Changing Positions in a Region of Uncertainties Esra Bakkalbaşıoğlu and Michael Degerald assert that the Turkish government’s stance on the war in Syria over the past couple of years has perpetually kept Turkey on the brink of armed conflict.

Why Did the PKK End Cease-Fire? (1) - (2) Etyen Mahçupyan claims that the PKK’s return to arms is rooted in its frustration with the increasing power and political role of the HDP.

Turkey's Recurring Nightmare According to Semih İdiz, the government’s renewed military operations against the PKK will only damage the domestic security situation and tarnish Turkey’s reputation in the world.

An Expected Outburst in the Kurdish Issue Tulu Gümüştekin claims that the PKK is the biggest obstacle to peacemaking, and that the HDP should distance itself from it to appeal to the majority in the country.

Reconciliation Process in Crisis According to Metin Altınok, even those who voted for the HDP in the last elections regret having done so due to the recent assaults of the PKK on Turkish security officials.

Who Finished Off the Settlement Process? Cafer Solgun asks the reason behind the drastic shift in Erdoğan’s attitude that came right after Dolmabahçe meeting where HDP representatives and government officials agreed on a set of conditions to end the war.

Is HDP Leader Selahattin Demirtaş the Prime Target? (1) - (2) Yavuz Baydar talks about the possible motivations behind Turkey’s current domestic agenda and argues that the new course of action implemented by President Erdoğan prioritizes the elimination of HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.

The Commander-in-Chief’s Personal War Cengiz Aktar thinks that Erdoğan’s plans for the early elections will not be successful, as handing the Kurdish issue over to guns has never led to any victory for the state or the people.

How the Turkish Elections Changed the Foreign Policy of Turkey Evren Balta speculates about why Turkey might have targeted ISIS and PKK simultaneously.

Coalition Scenarios

Is a Coalition Being Formed? Abdülkadir Selvi claims that an AKP-CHP coalition is more probable after the attack on ISIS and Erdoğan’s statements regarding the peace process.

Constituent Coalition Osman Can thinks an AKP-CHP coalition, if ever formed, will be fruitful for the making of a new constitution as they represent two major and opposite political movements in the country.

The Worst-Case Scenario for Erdoğan According to Murat Yetkin, Erdoğan’s reluctance for a minority government comes from his fear of losing his complete control over administration.  

Other Pertinent Pieces

Depressed in Istanbul: Why Are Turkey's Young Islamist Men Feeling So Blue? Pınar Tremblay interviews twenty young Islamist men about the changes in the social lives of women and men in Islamic circles, following reactions given to a piece titled "joyful pious girls, unhappy Islamist young men"  that a senior Islamist pundit wrote.


AKP’s “War on Terror”

Ne oldu, neler oluyor, nereye gidiyoruz? Yılmaz Murat Bilican highlights that anti-terror operations mostly targeted Kurds and leftists instead of ISIS.

Suruç'tan bu yana 7 günde neler yaşandı? Bianet makes a list of the critical events that happened after the Suruç Massacre in the course of seven days, for example, the killing soldiers, civilians, and guerillas; assaults on governmental buildings, bombing of the PKK lines; and a massive wave of arrests in Turkey.

Davutoğlu: Gücümüzü gösterdik, bölge denklemi değişti Murat Yetkin reports from the Dolmabahçe meeting where Prime Minister Davutoğlu stated the interim government’s perspective on PKK and PYD forces, and military operations that ensued following the Suruc massacre.

Türkiye'nin yüzde 67'si Suriye'ye askeri operasyon istemiyor Metropoll Agency’s report with a nationwide sample of 2,074 people shows that sixty-seven percent of the participants oppose a potential Turkish military operation in Syria.

Ülkemizi Mahvettiniz! “You may prolong your rule for a little while by extending the conflict and war, but that Islamist sacrificed even their country to remain in power will be remembered,” writes Levent Gültekin, formerly known to be close to the AKP.

Türkiye’ye de Satmasına Şaşmamalı; IŞİD’in Temel Gelir Kaynağı Petrol Eren Topçu writes about secret trade relations between ISIS and some Turkish business people, and narrates experts’ opinion about how Turkey’s foreign policy has dragged the country to the edge of a cliff.

Her Savaş Sizi Kendisine Benzetir Mete Çubukçu questions the legitimacy of the distinction Turkey makes between Salafi groups, for example, ISIS and Al-Nusra, and claims that ignoring the influence of either group within Turkey will have drastic consequences.

Altını çizelim Ali Kenanoğlu emphasizes that the AKP’s “war on terror” campaign in fact aims at leaving the HDP under the electoral threshold.

Kurdish Politics and the Peace and Reconciliation Process

'Provokasyon olmayacağını bilsem polislerin cenazesine gitmek isterdim’ (1) - (2) Ezgi Başaran’s critical interviews with Selahattin Demirtaş, co-chair of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), and Remzi Kartal, senior representative of the PKK in Europe, on the details of the peace and reconciliation process.

PKK'nin en temel stratejisi neydi, hatırlayalım Ezgi Başaran discusses the reasons behind the PKK’s ending of the ceasefire that goes against its strategy of avoiding conflict with the Turkish state.

Çatışmalar arasında bir akıl sağlığı denemesi Nazan Üstündağ, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, analyzes the positions taken by both the AKP and the Kurdish movement regarding the peace process and Rojava.

Diyarbakır’dan: Erdoğan’ın savaşını reddediyoruz, 'inadına barış' diyoruz… (1)-(2)-(3)-(4)-(5) Writing from Diyarbakır, Urfa, and Kobanê, and talking with the locals, Kurdish politicians, and survivors of the Suruç massacre, Hasan Cemal reports that everybody opposes “Erdoğan’s war plans” and calls for peace.  

Erdoğan'ın hesabı tutacak mı? Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu argues that although Turkey started to fight with the PKK after a long ceasefire, Erdoğan still sees the PKK as a negotiation partner.

Barışa sahip çıkalım! Hemen, şimdi! Nurcan Baysal argues that the AKP is dragging Turkey into war just to restore its power, and calls on everyone to protect peace at any expense.

Diyarbakır sokaklarında 'barış' seslerinin yanı sıra öfke kol geziyor! Baysal reports from the streets of Diyarbakır, talking to the Kurdish youth who are infuriated to have been “deceived and disappointed by the state yet again.”

Çözüm: HDP etrafında kenetlenmek (1)-(2)-(3)-(4) Oya Baydar suggests strengthening the HDP’s political position in order to reverse the deteriorating conditions of the peace process, and calls out to the PKK and AKP to end the conflict once and for all.

Paralel devlet saraydır, saray darbe yapmıştır Erdem Yörük argues that the events of the last week shows that Erdoğan, together with AKP politicians who are close to him, has implemented a civilian coup by mobilizing the media and military forces to destabilize the country.

AKP’den IŞİD ve PKK’ya davet: Buyurun savaşalım According to Metin Münir, the AKP’s military operations against ISIS and the PKK are aimed to impress the nationalist electorate and distract attention from the failure at the June elections.

Erdoğan'ın son barutuna su dökmek According to Murat Paker, President Erdoğan is attempting to (re)start a war to turn the results of a future election to his benefit, and suggests that the HDP’s peace politics should be supported to circumvent this plan.

Kan davası değil, kin davası İrfan Aktan gives a summary of the important developments in the peace process and calls out to HDP voters to increase solidarity in order to prevent “Erdoğan’s war.”

90’larda yine böyle bir gün Tansu, Mehmet, Hayri, Doğan filan oturmuşuz… Murat Sevinç thinks that although the AKP aims to turn politics back to the political conditions of the 1990s, drastic changes in communication technologies and in the lives of the young people render such propaganda unconvincing.

Ben bu filmi izlemiştim: “Savaş” “Neither the ‘glorious Turkish army’ nor the ‘brave guerilla’ will prevail, we will all lose in this war,” writes Berna Aydın from Reçel Blog.

Yerelleşmenin ve evrenselleşmenin ötesinde Kürt sorununu yeniden düşünmek Bülent Küçük, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boğaziçi University, analyzes the Kurdish issue through a postcolonial perspective, and discusses democratic autonomy project in relation to what he calls the “Turkeyfication” of the Turks.

Meclis, Siyasal Düzenleme Planı'na karşı çıkamadı According to Tarhan Erdem, the extraordinary session of the general assembly gathered by the CHP’s call has failed to stop Erdoğan’s plans.

Darbe ve toplumsal desteği Ümit Kıvanç asserts that the civilian coup has come about to evade the coalition of the Kurds and the opposition with the Turks who want to solve the Kurdish issue through peaceful collective action, pursuing principles of plurality and peace.

"Çözüm süreci", "terör ve şiddet", HDP… (1) - (2) According to Cengiz Çandar, Erdoğan’s politics driving the region to instability can be warded off by the effective political stance and the increased electoral power of the HDP, and only then the peace process can be restored within a couple of months, in the presence of the US’ tacit approval for the bombing of the PKK lines.

Barış İçin Kadın Girişimi'nden mektup var! A letter from “Women for Peace,” founded in 2009, calling all women in country to raise their voices against warmongering by politicians and the media.

İkiyüzlülük Hayko Bağdat states that AKP politicians do not seek consistency between their words and actions, bombarding the public with their fluctuating political stances regarding the Kurdish issue, the military, ISIS etc.

Çözüm Süreci'ni ne bekliyor? According to Galip Dalay, neither Turkey nor the PKK can afford to end the peace and reconciliation process.

PKK saldırıları, devlet operasyonları: Neden şimdi? “Why now?” asks Çağıl Kasapoğlu, regarding the Turkish state’s military attacks on PKK camps.

Ey vatansever kardeşim, bu kokuşmuş düzen sürebilsin diyedir alkışladığın savaş Hürrem Sönmez criticizes the nationalists who call for war at every expense and argues that they are the ones who keep status quo intact.  

Türkiye’nin 1990’lara döndüğü falan yok, çünkü hiç gelemedi! Frederike Geerdink points out that the AKP has launched a war against the Kurdish movement in order to win early elections, and its attacks on the PKK forces local people to evacuate their villages.

Amerika Kürtleri ‘sattı’ mı? “Did the US sell out the Kurds?” asks Amberin Zaman.  

Yarın olebilecek olanlar hâlâ hayattayken Pınar Öğünç accuses the AKP government of conflating the HDP with the PKK and of bringing Turkey back to the 1990s, a period which was marked by violent clashes between the PKK and Turkish military.

Coalition Scenarios

Koalisyona 3 bakış Evaluation of a possible AKP-CHP coalition by three different writers with different ideological perspectives.

AKP-MHP Koalisyonu oluştu! Despite speculations about an AKP-CHP coalition, İhsan Çaralan suggests that the MHP and AKP already started working in collaboration in order to bring Turkey back to the 1990s, a period shaped by constant state of emergency, unidentified murders, and the oppression of those who call for democracy and freedom.

Published on Jadaliyya

Attacks against Solidarity with Kobane: The Suruç Massacre of Young Revolutionaries

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Will the Greferendum Bring A Rupture?: Answers from the European Left

The Light Bulb and the Oak Tree: Politics of Space Meets the Ballot Box

First Thoughts on the Elections in Turkey: A Roundtable

Refugees in Turkey: Implications of Increasing Politicization

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