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Turkey Could Cut Off the Islamic State’s Supply Lines. So Why Doesn’t It?

[Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking at the World Economic Summit in Davos, 2009. Image via Wikipedia.]

In the wake of the murderous attacks in Paris, we can expect western heads of state to do what they always do in such circumstances: declare total and unremitting war on those who brought it about. They don’t actually mean it. They’ve had the means to uproot and destroy Islamic State within their hands for over a year now. They’ve simply refused to make use of it. In fact, as the world watched leaders making statements of implacable resolve at the G20 summit in Antalaya, these same leaders are hobnobbing with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a man whose tacit political, economic, and even military support contributed to ISIS’ ability to perpetrate the atrocities ...

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Letter to Turkish PM Davutoglu Concerning Academic Facing Criminal Indictment for “Terrorist Propaganda” and Praising 'Crime and Criminals' Due to a Final Exam Question

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 3 November 2015] Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476 Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu: I write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom in order to express our serious concern over reports that Barış Ünlü, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Ankara University, has been prosecuted on the grounds that he was engaged in “terrorist propaganda” and had praised “crime and ...

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Turkey: Nationalism and War Mongering Won the Election

[Campaign poster, Erzurum. Photo by Bertil Videt.]

The mood was tense as the election results came in to the local office of the progressive People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the town of Erzurum in eastern Turkey. This is a very conservative region on the invisible border between nationalist Turkish Anatolia and the Kurdish region. The HDP’s office was filled with leaflets and banners that party activists did not dare to distribute due to fear of reprisals and violence. The party lost its single deputy from the area and saw a small nationwide decrease in votes. But after a nerve wracking evening of vote counting, it was clear that the party had just got above the ten percent threshold required to enter the Turkish ...

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[Image from the exhibition

Grandchildren: New Geographies of Belonging, DEPO-Istanbul, opened 3 September 2015. Anniversaries are pretexts for remembering decisive moments in history, for interpreting them with the help of added data and research material, and filling gaps in existing accounts about them. Retrospection is employed here to elaborate further on the context of these moments and also to establish links between them and the present. The exhibitions held for commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide had to assume the task of visualizing and presenting what happened—against the backlash of difficulties in retrieving documentary material from the distant past ...

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La masacre de Ankara y el Estado como asesino en serie en la Turquia de Erdogan

[People facing police barricades during commemorations of the massacre in Ankara. Image by Fatih Pınar.]

La masacre de Ankara y el Estado como asesino en serie en la Turquía de Erdogan [This article was originally written by Emrah Yildiz, and published by Jadaliyya in English. It was translated into Spanish by Sinfo Fernández and was published in Spanish on Rebelión.] Poco después de que las noticias sobre la masacre de Ankara empezaran a circular en las redes sociales, apareció un video que mostraba el momento mismo de la primera explosión con un primer plano de un grupo de jóvenes participantes en la manifestación por la paz en alineación halay. Los manifestantes estaban cantando y bailando el famoso ozan [bardo] “Ellerinde Pankartlar” de Ruhi Su, ...

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Ankara's Black Saturday: An Interview with Osman Sahin

[Moment when bomb goes off at Ankara peace rally. Capture from YouTube]

Last Saturday, two powerful bombs turned a peaceful rally in Ankara into into a bloody nightmare. According to the People’s Democratic Party's (HDP) estimates, 128 people have been killed and over five hundred injured. The anger against the government of president Erodgan became evident in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets shouting slogans against the government, chanting “murderer Erdogan, murderer police.” According to news reports, immediately following the horrific attack, the government censored news coverage and banned all photographs and any associated images “that create fear and panic." Officials ...

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Continuing the Struggle

[Victims of the bombing, Ankara, 10 October. Image via Jacobin.]

In Ankara, on 10 October, a few minutes after 10am, two of us (Alp and Max) were on our way to the “Labor, Peace and Democracy” rally. We were a little late and just entering the crowd, rushing towards the train station to meet with others, when the first bomb struck two hundred meters ahead. It all happened at the same time—the explosion, the shockwave, a thirty-foot column of fire and smoke. Everything stopped, then the second bomb exploded. What happened was clear to us, but not the precise dimensions. We pulled back, as did most around us, the crowd remaining astonishingly calm. Within a minute or so, the first cabs with wounded people passed. After a few ...

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We Have Lost Too Much

[Bodies covered with flags in the aftermath of the explosions at a peace rally in Ankara on October 10. Image by Fatih Pınar.]

According to the official figures, 97 civilians died in a deadly blast in Ankara on Saturday although the death toll is contested.[1] They were there to participate in the peace rally organized by leftist associations, syndicates, and unions. Many NGOs and People’s Democratic Party (HDP) representatives and supporters were among the participants. Photos of dead bodies lying on the ground covered by the flags prepared for the rally overwhelmed social media accounts, reminding one of the irony of death at a rally organized to call for an end to the accelerating violence since the 7 June elections. It is heartbreakingly unfortunate that hopes for peace were once again ...

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The Ankara Massacre and the State as a Serial Killer in Erdogan’s Turkey

[People facing police barricades during commemorations of the massacre in Ankara. Image by Fatih Pınar.]

Shortly after the news of the Ankara massacre started circulating on social media, a video surfaced, showing the very moment of the first explosion, foregrounded by a group of young peace rally participants on a line of halay. The protesters were singing and dancing to prominent ozan Ruhi Su’s “Ellerinde Pankartlar,” composed to commemorate the bloody May 1 Labor Day celebrations in Taksim Square in 1977—when at least 42 people were massacred and more than 120 people were injured. When the first bomb goes off in the video, the halay group is about to utter those famous lines “this Meydan is a bloody meydan.” The bombs don’t allow that elegy to continue. The police who ...

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Table Ronde: Observer la ville dans le Monde Arabe (Vidéo)

[Capture d'écran de la vidéo de la table ronde

Le 5 juin 2015, une table ronde intitulée Observer la ville dans le Monde Arabe s'est tenue dans le cadre des "Rendez-vous de l’histoire du monde arabe" de l'Institut du Monde Arabe de Paris. Organisée et animée par Vincent Lemire, historien spécialiste de Jérusalem, elle rassemblait Mercedes Volait, historienne de l’architecture, fondatrice de l’Observatoire urbain du Caire contemporain en 1985 au sein du CEDEJ, Eric Denis, géographe, qui en fut l’animateur entre 1993 et 2002, Eric Verdeil, géographe, animateur de l’Observatoire urbain de Beyrouth de l’IFPO, et Julien Loiseau, historien, spécialiste du Caire médiéval et aujourd’hui directeur du ...

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Two Figures on a Bench, in a Park, Tiflis, 1914

[Image from author]

When I was growing up in Amman, where my parents had finally landed as refugees from Palestine, we had a valise where we kept folds of photographs, faded images with wrinkled edges, the oldest ones—just a handful--going back to the early 1910s. The valise was a repository of the cruel itinerary of both branches of my family, a walking history of the dispersion that followed the Aghéd, the term we Armenians use for the national catastrophe that befell us one hundred years ago. Among those few photographs was one that held me in its mystery. I would look at it long, in awe and trepidation, unable to understand what it portended. It was a picture of my grandfather, Yervand ...

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Ekumenopolis ve Otesi: Imre Azem ile bir STATUS/الوضع Soylesisi

Ekümenopolis ve Ötesi: İmre Azem ile bir STATUS/الوضع Söyleşisi Bu röportajda kent antropoloğu Duygu Parmaksızoğlu, Ekümenopolis filminin yönetmeni İmre Azem ile kentsel dönüşüm ve son filmi Yeniden İnşa Çağı konusunda söyleşiyor. Azem bu filminde küresel sermayenin kentleri nasıl şekillendirdiğini ele alıyor. Aşağıdaki röportaj ayrı ayrı dinlenebilir dört parçadan oluşuyor. Ses kaydının dökümü ve İngilizce diline çevirisi aşağıdadır. İmre Azem 1975 yılında İstanbul'da doğdu. 1998'de New Orleans'daki Tulane Üniversitesi'nin Siyaset Bilimi ve Fransız Edebiyatı bölümlerinden mezun oldu. Ayrıca Paris'teki Sorbonne Üniversitesi'nde Fransız Edebiyatı derecesini tamamlamak ...

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New Wars and Autonomous Self-Defense

A number of scholars working in the fields of geography, sociology, and political science have developed the concept of “new wars” to talk about the state we are living in the last two decades.[1] These scholars claim that currently, we are going through a fourth world war—that is, of course, if we would call the cold war a third world war—and argue that after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, the politics of controlled conflict and tension has been replaced by continuous, scattered, and extending small ...

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Men of Capital in Mandate Palestine: An Interview with Sherene Seikaly

Historians of the Middle East have long ignored the middle class in general and the activities of Arab capitalists in particular. For many, capitalism is synonymous with colonialism, and prevailing narratives have not been able to accommodate entrepreneurs who resist characterization as “comprador” allies of colonial projects. Sherene Seikaly’s new monograph Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine rectifies that “resounding silence on Arab capitalist practice” by bringing the politics ...

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Eastern Promises Squandered

In the days following the 1 November election, Turkey’s pro-government newspapers have depicted a bright future for the nation. Writing for Yeni Şafak, one columnist explained that the government could now move forward with constitutional and economic reforms, albeit vaguely defined ones. In Yeni Akit, another columnist echoed these sentiments, pointing out that the exchange rate had already begun to fall, stocks were rising, and anticipated investments could now begin again. Voicing a general sentiment, ...

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Can Total War in the Middle East Be Prevented?

Three weeks ago, Russia started to directly intervene in Syria. The proxy war between Russia and Iran on the one hand, and the United States and Saudi Arabia on the other, threatens to turn into an actual war. Having lost control over its “victories” in the last fourteen years, the United States would rather keep this a proxy war. Nevertheless, it is not clear how long it can permit Russian galloping in what was once simply and only America’s backyard. Russia, long denied a major role in the Middle East, ...

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Beyond the Exotic in Ottoman Baths

Bath houses or hammams were fundamental fixtures of cities and towns throughout the Ottoman world. Western travelers and writers were drawn to the exotic allure of bath houses as spaces associated with leisure and eroticism, which featured prominently in orientalist tropes concerning Europe’s Islamic other. This legacy of exoticism notwithstanding, new scholarship on Ottoman baths demonstrates that the hammam can serve as a site for fruitful and fascinating historical inquiry into the social ...

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Call by Academics for International Solidarity after the Ankara Bombing

[The following statement was released in English, French, Turkish, and German on 17 October 2015. To sign on to this petition, please click here.] Call by Academics for International Solidarity after the Ankara Bombing In the wake of the atrocious bomb attack in Ankara on 10 October that killed over a hundred demonstrators for peace, we, the undersigned academics and scholars, call on the Turkish government to account for these events, and on all governments to reconsider their relations with the ...

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Dersimli Serdar’in Hikayesi

Dersimli Serdar’ın Hikayesi [Bu metnin orijinali Yön Haber'de yayımlandı.]  Ankara Katliamı'nda yaşımını yitirenlerden biri de Tunceli Ovacık nüfusuna kayıtlı 33 yaşındaki inşaat işçisi Serdar Ben...Serdar Ben'in arkadaşı ve köylüsü Akın Sabur, Serdar'ın dramatik hikeyesini yazdı  *** Tertele yıllarıdır... Ermeni bir kadın oğlunun kuşağına bir kese altın iliştirerek ''Bu keseyi iyi sakla, düşürme, gideceğin yerde sana sahip çıkarlar, bu keseyi de sana sahip çıkana ...

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Ankara Bombings: Democracy Now! Interview with HDP’s Hisyar Ozsoy and Turkey Page Co-Editor Asli Bali

As many as 128 people died in Turkey Saturday when nearly simultaneous explosions ripped through a pro-peace rally in the country’s capital of Ankara. More than 245 people were injured. The bombs went off just as Kurdish groups, trade unions and leftist organizations were preparing to begin a march protesting the resumption of fighting between the Turkish state and Kurdish militants. Earlier today, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed ISIL for carrying out the attack. But march organizers ...

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Selahattin Demirtas of HDP Responds to Ankara Bombings (Video)

On 10 October 2015, two bombs were detonated in the midst of a mass rally ("The Labor, Democracy, and Peace Meeting) in Ankara, callled for by the trade unions KESK and DISK as well as other civil society organizations. At least ninety-five people were killed in the attacks, according to state sources (other estimates have put the death toll at 128). The attacks come after several months of state violence in Turkey following national elections in early June. In this video, Selahattin Demirtaş, the ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (September 22)

[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 Siege on Cizre Turkey and Its Kurds at War: Recep Tayyıp Erdoğan’s Personal Quest for Survival Sungur Savran, chair of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party, contextualizes the ...

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Turkey in Times of War

The Justice and Development Party (AKP), ruling Turkey as the sole party since 2002, finds itself in a deep and longstanding crisis of hegemony. The first blow it suffered from below was the June Uprising in 2013. Ever since, the AKP and first Prime Minister then President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who de facto owns the party, have been dealt serious strikes: for instance, from the open conflict with the Gülen Movement since the end of 2013, its former brother in arms—and most importantly from the rise of ...

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Cemile Cagirga: A Girl is Freezing Under State Fire

Cemile Çağırga: A Girl is Freezing Under State Fire “As a child born in the southeast, after the ‘90s, you’re not really a kid. During your infancy, you’re really a child between 1-5 years old. As a 6-year old, you’ve actually grown up and are considered to be 15 years old. When you turn 10, you’re actually 20. After 15, you feel like you’re 40 years old.” İmren Demirbaş, 16-year old Kurdish girl, Diyarbakir [1] “Look here, here, underneath this black marble A child is buried; if he had lived for ...

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