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Turkey Media Roundup (August 12)

[Car with campaign posters for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Istanbul, 11 July 2014. Image via Shutterstock.]

[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.] Presidential Elections Will Erdoğan's Presidency Firm up Turkey's Regional Position? Semih İdiz argues that Turkey will suffer from regional policy mistakes during Erdoğan’s presidency. A New Social Contract (1)-(2) According to Markar Esayan, Erdoğan has a progressive approach to developing a new social contract for Turkey.   Erdoğan's ...

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The Prime Minister as President?

[Left to right: presidential candidates Selahattin Demirtaş, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu. Images via Wikimedia Commons.]

On 26 July, Turkish citizens began voting in the first round of the first direct presidential elections in the history of the Turkish Republic. Voting began at Turkish embassies and at the forty-two polling stations set up at Turkish land crossings, harbors, and airports; it will continue until 10 August, when Turkish citizens residing in Turkey will cast their ballots. Following a 2007 referendum, direct presidential elections replaced the existing system, in accordance with which the president was elected by the Turkish parliament. Under the new electoral system, a candidate must secure an absolute majority of the popular vote (fifty percent plus one) to claim first ...

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Quick Thoughts: Maya Mikdashi on the Current Situation in Lebanon

[The Corniche of Beirut. Image by Roba Al-Assi]

[Amidst growing political polarization in Lebanon the term of President Michel Suleiman expired on 24 May with no successor in sight. Jadaliyya asked Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi to comment on the reasons for the vacuum, its ramifications and broader context]: Jadaliyya (J): Why has a new Lebanese president not yet been selected?  Maya Mikdashi (MM): I think everybody believed that Michel Suleiman, the outgoing president, would accept an extra-constitutional extension of his term, as has each of his predecessors since the 1989 Ta’if Agreement that ended the Lebanese Civil War. That somehow a deal between rival Lebanese factions would be reached to this ...

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تقرير حول أداء وسائل الإعلام خلال الانتخابات الرئاسية 2014


أصدر مركز القاهرة لدراسات حقوق الإنسان صباح اليوم السبت 7 يونيو 2014 تقريره المرحلي الثاني حول التغطية الإعلامية لفترات الاقتراع في الانتخابات الرئاسية 2014 . التقرير الذي يتكون من أربعة مباحث في 26 صفحة تقريبًا، يرصد ويقيم التغطية الإعلامية لــ15 وسيلة إعلامية (مرئية– مكتوبة – مسموعة) خلال المراحل الثلاث الأخيرة في عملية الانتخابات وهي: عملية الاقتراع خارج مصر وحتى إعلان نتيجتها، الساعات الأخيرة قبل الاقتراع بالداخل (الـ72 ساعة الأخيرة من فترة الدعاية، وكذا يومي الصمت الانتخابي) ويخصص المبحث الثالث لتقييم أداء وسائل الإعلام خلال أيام الاقتراع الثلاثة وأثناء عمليات الفرز وحتى إعلان النتيجة. أما المبحث الرابع فقد تم تخصيصه لتقييم أداء قناة الجزيرة خلال المراحل ...

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Counting Votes in Egypt and Practicing Return in Palestine: Interviews with Hossam El-Hamalawy and Samera Esmeir

[Kafr Bir‘im: Photo by Habib Sim‘an]

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So what was behind the low turnout at the elections? Was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military has been getting support from a huge sector of the Egyptian public? Khalil Bendib posed these questions to Cairo-based activist and journalist, Hossam ...

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On the Margins Roundup (May)

[Image from the back street of Moroni, Grande Comore, Union of the Comoros. Image courtesy of David Stanley/Flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to]  Mauritania موريتانيا: غضب من قانون لرقابة وتنظيم الإنترنت Mauritanian activists are criticizing a recent bill in the Mauritanian parliament, which they say is a violation of freedom of expression. Quadruple Hope in Mauritania's Refugee Camp Photos from Doctors Without Borders about a woman who gave birth to ...

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Between Two Rationalities: The Possibility of an Alternative Politics in Turkey

[Image via]

How can the results of the recent municipal elections in Turkey be understood amidst the constantly changing political landscape: graft scandals, revolting judicial decisions, changing political alliances, and an ever-increasing polarization? It can be argued that only preliminary lessons can be drawn when analyzing an ongoing historical process for historical and structural clues. This is a state that cannot overcome a widening social opposition, which views elections as the only conduit for democracy (while tampering with these very conduits themselves), which is only able to use brute force against the voices expressed on the streets. It is a state that can only tell ...

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Quick Thoughts: Vijay Prashad on India’s Parliamentary Elections

[Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and India's next prime minister Narendra Modi on 17 May 2014. Image by Altaf Qadri via Associated Press]

  [Between 7 April and 12 May 2014, more than half a billion Indians voted to elect 543 members of the sixteenth Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. The result, announced on 16 May, stunned many observers. For the first time since 1984, a single party–the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi–achieved an outright majority. Modi’s party garnered 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, while the outgoing Congress Party managed to retain a mere forty-four seats. Jadaliyya asked Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and the outgoing Edward W. Said Chair in American Studies at the American University of Beirut, to ...

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لماذا لن أقاطع الانتخابات وسأنتخب الإصلاحي حمدين صباحي


منذ أصدر الاشتراكيون الثوريون بيانهم يدعون فيه إلى التصويت لحمدين صباحي في مواجهة قائد الثورة المضادة، قرأت العديد من الاعتراضات وناقشت بعضها وزادتني كلها اقتناعا على اقتناع بضرورة التصويت لحمدين. سأحاول فيما يلي أن أشرح لماذا من شأن موقف المقاطعة أن يقوي الثورة المضادة، يقوي السيسي، ويقوي دولة مبارك. على عكس أصحاب هذا الرأي، فإن المقاطعة ليست من الثورية في شيء. يدعو الكثيرون إلى مقاطعة التصويت باعتبار هذا “يحرج النظام دوليا”، وهذا من وجهة نظري أضعف حجة، بما لا يقاس. عن أي “عالم” نتحدث؟ وماذا سنكشف لهذا “العالم”؟ نكشف لأمريكا وبريطانيا وروسيا والصين أن هناك جزءا كبيرا من الشعب المصري لم يذهب للانتخابات!؟ وماذا يعني ذلك؟ وهل فرق هذا في تأييدهم لحسني مبارك؟ هل فرق هذا في ...

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Notes on the Algerian Presidential Elections

[Image of Algeria's People's National Assembly. Image from Magharebia/Flickr.]

Thursday 17 April: It is 10:30 PM and the concert of honking cars has been playing for a good hour in downtown Algiers. The “president on wheels” (le Président-roulant) has won. His supporters are not particularly numerous, but they are gesticulating and making as much noise as possible. Most of them continue and pass around the jardin de l'Horloge in their vehicles. An old police commander admonishes the passengers in an official car that insists on parking where he is standing—as if he was invisible and they had the right to crush someone in uniform who was thirty years their senior. The cops put them in their place. During this time, other fans of Bouteflika arrive ...

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Notes sur l'élection présidentielle algérienne

[Image de l'Assemblée populaire nationale. Image par Magharebia/Flickr.]

Jeudi 17 avril, il est vingt-deux heures trente, et le concert des klaxons retentit depuis une bonne heure dans Alger-centre. Le Président-roulant a gagné. Ses supporteurs ne sont guère nombreux, mais ils gesticulent et font autant de bruit que possible. La plupart ne s'arrêtent pas et passent en voiture autour du jardin de l'Horloge. Un vieux commandant de police admoneste les passagers d'une voiture officielle qui insistent pour se garer à l'endroit où il se tient debout, comme s'il était devenu quantité négligeable, comme si un bout de papier leur donnait le droit d'écraser un type en uniforme de trente ans leur aîné. Le flic les remet à leur place. Pendant ce temps ...

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Let Us Now Praise Murderous Men; Lebanese Presidential Candidates, Considered

[Left to Right: Gemayel, Geagea, Maronite Patriarch Rai, Michel Aoun, Suleiman Frangieh. Image from]

Lebanon is slated to hold presidential elections next week, despite the fact that the parliamentary elections have yet to be held and it is the Lebanese parliament that elects the Lebanese President. Last year elections were postponed for the first time in the state’s history, and parliament illegitimately extended its own term in the absence of elections. This further throws into doubt the legitimacy of the looming presidential contest. Thus far, several potential presidential candidates have expressed their interest in running, all Maronite Christians as per Lebanon’s constitutional system of power sharing between sects. Three of the most prominent ...

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Kenya: On Edge, Rights at Risk

Kenya is in a bad place. Violent attacks from Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group out of Somalia and an Al Qaeda affiliate, and smaller violent attacks and conflicts involving known and unknown sources in rural and urban settings, as well as a rise in general street level crime, have created an insecure, anxious, and deeply divided population. They have also created a problematic context for the protection of democratic rights. Last September Al-Shabaab said it executed the attack on the upscale Westgate Mall ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 26)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria Plane Crash Site Found in Mali With No Survivors After an extensive search effort, the crash site of Air Algerie Flight 5017, which ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar on Egypt Post-Election

In this interview with Zein El-Amine on WPFW, Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar discuss the recent presidential elections in Egypt and the environment in which the vote was held, the state of Egypt's January 25 Revolution in light of successive waves of repression against political activists, the political and economic interests guiding the behavior of the country's military leaders, and the role of revolutionary art in documenting the history and dynamics of the revolution. 

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تزامنٌ شيّق برغم الاختلاف

تزامن مشهدا الانتخابات المصرية والسورية، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وفي المشهدين، تكرّرت مشاهد الاحتفال في الشارع، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وإذ اتفق معارضو المشهدين على وسمهما بصيغة «عودة الديكتاتور»، ترى الناخبين في المشهدين قد اتفقوا أيضاً على تحديد هدف واضح للصيغة التي انتخبوها: العودة إلى البيت في سوريا، والأمن في مصر. ومع التشديد على الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين، فإن معارضي سوريا جرّدوا الناخبين السوريين من «الأهلية الديموقراطية» (بصفات مثل مجبورين أو منتفعين)، بينما مال المشهد المعارض ...

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السيسي رجلنا

على مدار اليومين المقبلين سينزل بعض المصريين إلى الشوارع في تعبير انتخابي فارغ عن الإرادة الوطنية. سوف "يختارون" بين حاكم مصر الحالي ورئيسها المقبل، المشير السابق عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومنافسه غير المقنع، حمدين صباحي. بعضهم سينزل إلى الشوارع ليصوّت لـ "بشرة خير": السيسي ولا أحد غيره. وفي ظل التدمير المتواصل والعنيف لأي مشهد سياسي، سيعتكف البعض الآخر في منازلهم. مهما اختاروا أن يفعلوا في اليومين القادمين، فإن غالبية المصريين قد اختبروا نوعاً جديداً من عبادة الشخصية خلال العام ...

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Our Man, Sisi

For the next two days, some Egyptians will take to the streets to perform yet another hollow electoral rendition of national will. They will “choose” between Egypt’s present ruler and soon to be president, former Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and his unconvincing opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi. Some will take to the streets to vote for the “good omen”: “Sisi and only Sisi.” In the face of the ongoing and violent destruction of politics, others will take shelter at home or work. But whatever they do ...

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Quick Thoughts: Hesham Sallam on the Egyptian Presidential Election

  [On 26-27 May 2014, Egypt will hold its second presidential election since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in January 2011. Contesting the poll are Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the military strongman who engineered the coup that deposed the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013, and Hamdeen Sabbahi, leader of the Popular Current. With the election widely expected to consolidate Sisi’s leadership of the Egyptian state, Jadaliyya asked Co-Editor Hesham Sallam to comment on the election and its broader ...

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شرعنة الديكتاتورية الجديدة في العراق

دَفْعُ رئيس مجلس الوزراء، نوري المالكي، باتجاه مكوثه على سدة الحكم لولاية ثالثة ينذر بإعادة البلاد إلى سكّة الديكتاتورية مجدداً. ثمّة دلائل على الأمر، أوّلها، إعادة المتورطين بقضايا فساد وإرهاب إلى جسم العملية السياسية، عبر إسقاط التهم الموجهة إليهم قضائياً، وزجهم في معترك الانتخابات البرلمانية. ويحصل هذا بعد أن سيطر المالكي نفسه على المؤسسة القضائية عبر عزل رئيسها المعروف بنزاهته وفرض رئيس جديد لها، من المقربين منه. وثاني هذه الدلائل هو السيطرة على مفوضيّة الانتخابات، التي أسقطت التهم عن المقربين من ...

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Iki rasyonalite arasinda alternatif siyasetin imkani

İki rasyonalite arasında alternatif siyasetin imkanı Mütemadiyen değişen siyasi gündem, yolsuzluk skandalları, pes dedirten yargı kararları, değişen siyasi ittifaklar, gittikçe kutuplaşan paralel toplumsal hayat(lar) bağlamı içinde yerel seçimlerin siyasi ve toplumsal sonuçları nasıl değerlendirilebilir? Süreç kapanmadığı için içinde konumlandığımız tarihsel konjonktürü hakkıyla analiz etmek ve bundan tarihsel ve yapısal kimi dersler çıkarmak ne kadar mümkün, tartışılır. Toplumsal muhalefetin ...

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لنمدح القتلة الآن...المرشحون لرئاسة الجمهورية في لبنان

من المقرر أن تجري الانتخابات الرئاسية في لبنان الأسبوع القادم، رغم حقيقة أنّ الانتخابات البرلمانية لم تحدث بعد، وأنّ البرلمان اللبناني هو الذي ينتخب الرئيس. في العام الماضي تم تأجيل الانتخابات للمرة الأولى في تاريخ الدولة، ومدد البرلمان بشكل غير شرعي فترته دون انتخابات، مما يثير المزيد من الشكوك حول شرعية التنافس الانتخابي الرئاسي الذي يحوم في الأفق.حتى الآن، عبّر عدة مرشحين رئاسيين محتملين عن اهتمامهم بالترشّح، وكلهم موارنة مسيحيون، وفقاً للنظام الدستوري اللبناني حيال تقاسم السلطة بين الطوائف. إنّ ثلاثة ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on NPR’s Worldview, Addressing Syria’s Presidential Elections

The speaker of parliament announced yesterday that that the Syrian regime will hold presidential elections on 3 June 2014. This announcement comes amid an array of speculation about the strategies of the regime in the face of over three years of the Syrian uprising, a brutal and destructive regime response, and the militarization and radicalization of key segments of the opposition. With over 130,000 dead, approximately nine million displaced, and nearly fifty percent of the population dependent on aid, ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 15)

[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.] English Elections’ Aftershocks and Constitutional Court’s Judgements Erdoğan's Missed Opportunity to Mix Islam and Democracy in Turkey “By winning the elections, Erdoğan appears to ...

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