[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 email@example.com by Sunday night of every week.]
Turkish Foreign Policy
Egypt’s Crackdown Divides Regional Leaders Arthur Bright examines the responses from different regional leaders in the aftermath of the massacre in Cairo and suggests that Turkey is suffering from a loss of influence in the region as a result of the overall failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to deliver in a post-Mubarak Egypt.
Erdoğan’s Self-Righteous Blast on Egypt Semih Idiz argues that Turkey’s reaction the the “bloody” events in Egypt is driven by “a self-righteous political narrative that clearly has much more to do with developments in Turkey than in Egypt.”
Turkey’s Failed Middle East Policy Sami Kohen examines Turkey’s regional policy, following the kidnapping of two Turkish pilots in Lebanon, an event he suspects is in retaliation to Istanbul’s Syria policy.
Pardon My Turkish: Battle for “Halal” Words Pinar Tremblay writes about the new social fault lines that emerged through a battle over vocabulary, after Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc refused to listen to a folk song that contained the word “rakı.” The event was followed by a social media storm.
The Problem Is Authoritarianism, Not Islam Dani Rodrik writes that the outside perception of the Middle East as opposing Islamists and secularists “plays directly into the hands of authoritarian rulers like Erdoğan, who can leverage the perceived Islamophobia of foreign powers to mobilize their political base.”
Are Gul, Erdoğan Playing “Good Cop, Bad Cop” With Egypt? Cengiz Candar writes that Turkey’s governing political powers are disagreeing over the proper policy in Egypt, and claims that “while Erdogan was declaring, again, that he did not recognize the new administration in Egypt, fuming (in 2013) about a 2005 Nobel Committee decision, and aligning his government with the Muslim Brotherhood, Gul was signaling his intention to establish ties with Egypt`s new rulers based on a realpolitik approach to save that country`s future.”
Erdoğan’s Troubled Days in the Middle East A Daily News perspective on Turkey’s regional policy
Suggestions for Turkey on the Middle East (2) Abdulhamit Bilici summarizes the recommendations made by an unnamed Turkey expert on the appropriate steps to take in its regional policy.
Turkish Lessons for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Mustafa Akyol says the MB should consider the methods used by the Turkish Islamists who survived the 1997 “postmodern coup” in Turkey.
Erdoğan Weighs in on Egypt Tulin Daloglu argues that Erdogan’s “strong rhetoric and condemnation of Egyptian military may mean less and less for people both inside and outside the country.”
Turkey: The New Ottomans BBC’s Allan Little provides a history of Turkey and analyzes its relationship with the EU, in this twenty-eight-minute radio program.
“Turkey Should Change Bridge Rhetoric” A discussion with Professor of International Relations Mustafa Aydin, who addresses Turkey’s regional policy in the Middle East and its relationship with Europe.
How Would Egypt’s Coup Become a Democracy Test for Turkey? A Daily News editorial, arguing that “lecturing others on democracy and its troubles requires having a ‘clean house’ in the first place and from where we are, the home is not that clean after all.”
Turkish Protests, Syria Crisis Will Boost Turkey-PKK Peace Process Bayram Balci, who considers the Gezi uprising to be “a turning point in Turkey’s contemporary political history,” says protesters might make the Prime Minister adopt more conciliatory stances, as they show he “is no longer the unchallenged sultan of Turkey.”
Turkey-PKK Peace Process Faces Deadlines Yavuz Baydar on the announcement by the co-chair of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selahattin Demirtas, that in the case of a failure to carry on the Kurdish reforms, “the alternative is war.”
Al-Qaeda PKK Fight on Turkish Syrian Border Murat Yektin summarizes the complex situation Turkey finds itself in, in light of all the turmoil unfolding within and outside its borders.
Turkey’s Syria Kurdish Gamble: A Double Edged Sword Amberin Zaman discusses the circumstances surrounding PYD leader Salih Muslim’s visit to Ankara, the second visit to Turkish officials in the past month.
A Historic Opportunity for Kurds Manolis Kostidis on the different events in the Middle East that have given the Kurdish movement momentum for their various demands.
Multiple Narratives of Aggression Against Kurds in Syria Thomas McGee says “significant as the recent conflict intensification is, it does not come out of the blue, as international reporting might have us believe, but rather reflects the convergence of several existing dynamics across the region.”
Turkey Reconsiders Support for Jabhat al-Nusra Semih Idiz writes: “Erdogan’s reluctance to pronounce al-Nusra by name and the manner in which he referred to the PYD suggest that while his government is trying to move away from radical Islamist groups, he is still trying to maintain a balancing act aimed at not only satisfying his hardcore Islamist supporters, but also nationalists in Turkey who are vehemently against autonomy or independence for the Kurds.”
Ergenekon: End of an Era? Cafer Solgun says “the fact that the military guardianship has been weakened, that most people are opposed to the coups, that coup makers were tried and convicted, that the global powers seeking to overthrow undesired governments by relying on coups abandoned this approach a long time ago, as well as many other domestic and international factors would lead us to conclude that there is no threat or danger of a military coup in the near future of our country.”
The Ergenekon Case Beril Dedeoglu explains the controversy surrounding the Ergenekon trial and how it was carried out, claiming that “many people believe that the trial was incomplete because they don’t think that all aspects of this complicated phenomenon have been investigated correctly.”
Ergenekon: Ideology and Facts Dogu Ergil says that if the trial is not carried out properly “not only a historic opportunity will be missed but people will perceive this important phenomenon as a showdown between the old and new political power holders. Ergenekon will cease to be the symbol of salvation and hope.”
Turkey’s Conspiracy Entrepreneurs Riada Asimovic says “it is crucial that we seek new ways to nourish societal harmony rather than through dismissal and mutual blame.”
Show Trials on the Bosphorous Dexter Filkins, who investigated the Ergenekon trials, presents one of the many cases where the court relied on highly questionable evidence to convict a man.
Ergenekon and the Turkish Deep State Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that “perhaps the most damaging effect of the case will be on the rule of law in Turkey.”
Prolific Turkish Writer Given Thirty-Four-Year Jail Term in “Ergenekon” Trial PEN raises concern over the fate of well-known journalist Mustafa Balbay: “after serving four years in pre-trial detention, Balbay has been given a thirty-four-year-and-eight-month prison sentence.”
Nunberg: Silencing a Secularist in Turkey Sam Nunberg says “the May 22 sentencing of Turkish-Armenian Sevan Nisanyan continues this disturbing trend of strangling political and social discourse.”
Urban Turks’ Trust in Major Institutions Drops Sharply Jan Sonnenschein suggests that urbanites’ trust in the military and the judiciary fell, according to Gallup polls, revealing an increased polarization along rural/urban lines.
Orhan Pamuk Talks to Simon Schama An intimate profile of the famous Turkish writer.
Strategic Mistakes in Govt’s Gezi Strategy: A Report The Eurasia Global Research Center (AGAM) released this report, prepared by AKP member of Parliament Idris Bal, which suggests that Erdoğan was “misguided regarding the Gezi Park protest incidents, and could have served as a mediator.”
Gezi Park Episode Is Far From Over Burak Cadercan says that “Gezi Park presented Erdoğan with a golden opportunity, one that could also have helped Turkish democracy part company from the tendency of powerful political parties to drift into populism-fuelled authoritarianism,” but “unfortunately, the AKP has so far responded to the problem at hand not by trying to solve it, but by trying to repress the symptoms through the same mind-set that led to them in the first place.”
Turkey: What Lies Behind the Nationwide Protests? Ayse Bugra says “what we have witnessed could, in fact, be described as the self-protection of society against a particular form of ‘governance’ which neutered politics and silenced voices of dissent by appealing to the requirements of economic success.”
Speaking of Resistance: The Gezi Park Forums Have Spread Across Turkey Saygun Gokariksel notes that, with the emergence of forums where people can discuss and develop a common political vocabulary, some questions need to be addressed : “How to sustain and expand the popular force of the uprising and transform it into a movement that will produce lasting revolutionary effects? And what is the role of the forums in this regard?”
Protest Politics and Ethical Imagination Henrietta L. Moore uses the example of the “Taksim Square Book Club” to argue that “at the root of political protest is the ethical imagination, the capacity and the desire to imagine and re-imagine our relations to others and to ourselves, and to use that ability to make a difference through politics: ‘Long live the resistance, long live love.’”
Scientists, Dissent and Academic Freedom “For the scientific community the protests represent both a moment of crystallization for ongoing struggles in support of scientific independence and a venue for protesting against government’s repression of free research.”
Diary Ghaith Abdul Ahad’s account of the events in Gezi, where he follows a PhD student and member of the Socialist Democracy Party (SDP), an experience that leads to a unique depiction of the Turkish left.
Password for Post-Gezi Yavuz Baydar says “whatever its legal ramifications may be, the most important consequences of the events are the changes in the political mindset, within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its affiliates in particular.”
Other Pertinent Pieces
GYV Responds to Slanderous Accusations About Hizmet Movement The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV)—the public relations arm of the Gülen movement—responds to various criticisms, such as the one wanting that the Hizmet movement was behind the Gezi protests.
Gülenist-AKP Clash is Now in the Open Kadri Gursel analyzes the GYV statement, which implies a rift between the AKP and the Gülen movement, claiming that “what is more important in this statement were not the responses to accusations, but the grave nature of these accusations that The Service was sharing with the public for the first time.”
Importance of 11-Article Declaration Huseyin Gulerce, from the Gülen-owned Today’s Zaman, unsurprisingly applauds the GYV declaration, saying “the style of the foundation`s declaration is pretty admirable. There is no challenge to the government; there is no attitude of ‘we are always right and we do not take criticism.’”
Erdoğan’s Biggest Fear: The "Concerned" Islamists Pinar Tremblay argues that “Erdoğan’s biggest fear is the disapproval of the “Islamist” sections of Turkey (we can refer to them as “concerned” Islamists).”
A Century-Long Story of Discrimination Orhan Kemal Cengiz on the 1923 “ancestry codes” that still enable institutional discrimination in Turkey today.
Turkey Media Crackdown: Who to Blame? Selin Girit says “some critics point to a questionable relationship between media bosses and the government, via their activity in other industrial sectors.”
Redhack: In Their Own Words An interview with Redhack, Turkey’s “Wikileaks,” an organization that has been operating since 1997 but only recently received a wider media coverage.
Academics Protest Facebook’s Censorship Policies “We, the undersigned academics, condemn Facebook for increasingly having exercised political censorship against opposition Facebook group pages in Turkey.”
Unnecessary Delays in Turkey’s Accession to the EU Kyle Hartwell argues that “delaying or blocking talks because of human rights issues could also prove counterproductive, as accession talks might be an effective tool to address these concerns and encourage Turkey to move forward with reforms.”
In Turkish Cities, A Black Box Effort to Turn Citizens Into Government Spies David Lepeska on “the Confidential Police Notice Point Project,” which “will allow residents to submit anonymous written and oral tips on their neighbors.”
Syrian Refugees Swell Christian Community in Turkey Diana Darke on how a Syriac Orthodox monk is hoping to revive an ancient Syriac community in Turkey.
Consensus Reached Over Children, LGBT Rights “Turkey’s parliamentarian commission on constitution drafting reached consensus over the prosecution of children without arrest. The commission also agreed to include the expression “sexual orientation” in order to prevent discrimination towards LGBT groups.”
Together We Will Beat Homophobia in Sports An interview with Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, about various institutional and legal battles he has had to fight because of his homosexuality.
Upward Signs in Unemployment Seyfettin Gursel, examining labor market data by Turkstat, says that compared to the same month last year, “the overall unemployment rate increased from 8.2 percent to 8.8 percent and the non-agricultural unemployment rate from 10.4 percent to 11 percent.”
Rumours of Erdoğan’s Health Problems Ring False Tulin Daloglu on the various rumours that arose about Erdoğan’s health in recent years.
İktidar, şizofreni, demokratikleşme... Cengiz Çandar says the AKP government misreads developments following the Gezi uprising.
Türkiye ve İsrail’in Değişen Arap Baharı Karneleri İlhan Tanır discloses “the changes in Turkey’s and Israel’s ration cards related to Arab Spring.”
Beyaz Türklerin yerini kim alacak? Another privileged group is taking the place of the “White Turks,” Murat Aksoy complains.
"Şeyinin şeyini şey ettiğimin şeyi" Oya Baydar explains what she views as the faults of the AKP.
Halkı olmayan cumhuriyet devri kapandı mı? İsmet Berkan asks whether it is the end of “the republics without people.”
Türkiye`de Faşizm Var mı? Gencer Çakır replies to the question: “Is the AKP fascist?”
Parti, cemaat, örgüt Mücahit Bilici indicates the three major actors in the new Turkey: “Party, Community and Organization.”
Hizmet Hareketi`ne yönelik iddialara cevaplar The Journalists and Writers Foundation (GYV), a leading institution of the Gülen community, officially reveals the split between the group and the government with a press release.
Cemaatten manifesto gibi açıklama Ruşen Çakır calls GYT’s release “a manifesto of the Gülen community.”
Kapitalizmin krizi ve demokratik modernite Aysel Tuğluk, an independent pro-Kurdish deputy and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), explores the crisis of capitalism and advocates for a democratic modernity.
Oyumu CHP adayına vereceğim Koray Çalışkan comments on the major political developments in Turkey and says he will vote for the CHP against AKP in the forthcoming local elections.
Üçüncü yol var Contrary to Koray Çalışkan, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Adil Zozani discusses the possibility of “the third way” in the elections.
Olmayacak duaya amin Vahap Coşkun, unlike Zozani, is not a proponent of the People`s Democratic Congress (HDK).
Kongre öncesi Kürtlerin nabzı Mithat Sancar takes the pulse of Kurds before the Kurdish National Congress. Sancar interviews Cemil Bayık, KCK`s co-chair; Salih Müslim, PYD’s leader; and Sadi Ahmed, KYB’s politburo member.
Karayılan: Siyasi, disiplinli ve güçlü “profesyonel gerilla” oluşturulacak Murat Karayilan, a leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), comments on the future of the peace process.
KCK`nin ilk kadın lideri Bese Hozat`la söyleşi Müjgan Halis interviews Bese Hozat (Hülya Oran), the first woman leader of the KCK.
Demirtaş: Öcalan “sorunu çözmek için bir daha fırsat bulamayabiliriz” diyor Doğan Akın shares his impressions of the press conference held by Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of BDP.
Barış Süreci, “Kürtler,” BDP Nuray Mert writes on “the Peace Process, Kurds, and BDP.”
Facebook dükkânı Kürt siyasetine kapadı Ezgi Başaran draws attention to the Facebook censorship over Kurdish institutions and politicians in Turkey.
Rojava`ya artan uluslararası ilgi katliamları durdurabilir mi? Mutlu Çiviroğlu asks whether international attention can cease the bloodshed in Rojava.
Rojava, İslam ve Kürtler Sedat Yurtdaş explores the relationship between Kurds and Islam amid massacres in Rojava.
Rojava’ya dair birkaç not Muhammed Cihad Ebrari clarifies basic points about Rojava.
Aktüel Gelişmeler İsmail Beşikçi comments on Rojava together with the Ergenekon trial.
Ergenekon’a “Kuşbakışı”Murat Belge brings in a bird`s eye view of Ergenekon.
Ergenekon öldü, yaşasın Ergenekon! Orhan Gazi Ertekin announces: “Ergenekon is dead, long live the Ergenekon!”
Bir zihniyet olarak “Ergenekon” Yetvart Danzikyan contends that Ergenekon is not put on trial as a mentality.
Teşkilat yaralı, zihniyet berdevam... Alper Görmüş claims that the organization is wounded, but its mentality is not. Görmüş’s first piece about Ergenekon is: Ergenekon, intikamcılık, cezasızlık...
Geçiş Dönemi Adaletinde Hatırlamanın Önemi Özgür Sevgi Göral emphasizes the importance of reminiscence in the Ergenekon context.
Asker suçunu kabul ediyor Mehmet Baransu claims that the soldiers put on trial in the Ergenekon case pleaded guilty.
Ergenekon 1-2 Doğu Ergil comments on the Ergenekon trial.
Ergenekon kararına dört ayrı bakış Sedat Ergin categorizes approaches to the Ergenekon trial into four.
Sanat camiasındaki Ergenekon’a artık uyanın! Gülcan Tezcan interviews Kutluğ Ataman, a film director, who claims that Ergenekon has extensions among artists.
Bir devrin sonu; Ergenekon yeni bir başlangıç The Ergenekon trial is the cover subject of Aksiyon, weekly news magazine.
“Adalet” Üzerine Notlar In a reflection on the Ergenekon trial, Ergin Yıldızoğlu emphasizes the content of the justice rather than the differences of opinions.
154 yıl önce bir başka “Ergenekon” yargılanmıştı Mustafa Armağan reminds us that another Ergenekon occurred 154 years ago.
Hata yapıldı, Başbakan yanlış yönlendirildi A recent report carried out by the pro-government research center, led by AKP deputy İdris Bal, acknowledges the government’s inability to manage the Gezi crisis.
Yönlendirilmedi, yanlış yönetti In response to this report, Kadri Gürsel says Prime Minister Erdoğan was not misled—quite the opposite, he failed to handle the Gezi crisis properly.
Komplo teorileri yalansavar.org unveils the logic of conspiracy theories that the goverment appealed to during the Gezi uprising.
Gezi Parkı’nın üç rengi var The Gezi uprising has three colors, says İhsan Eliaçık, the public face of the Anti-Capitalist Muslims.
Bir toplumsal hareket olarak Gezi - 2 Umut Özkırımlı explores the Gezi uprising as a social movement.
Mısır, Türkiye ve “hayat tarzı” ittifakının küreselleşmesi Alper Görmüş comments on “Egypt, Turkey and the globalization of the alliance of life-styles.”
Haziran Direnişi ve muhalif gazeteler: Bir medya analizi denemesi Önder Özdemir analyzes opposition media in the Gezi context.
Gezi ile Gelen En Uzun Haziran: Sözü Aşan İçerik The current issue of the historical materialist journal Praksis Notos focuses on the Gezi uprising.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Soy kodunun kodu Robert Koptaş, editor-in-chief of the bilingual Armenian weekly Agos, comments on the new revelation of discrimination whereby the government registers different groups using “ancestry codes.”
”Hayrünnisa Gül tesettürün içini boşalttı, Emine Erdoğan`ın kıyafeti yozlaştı!..” The dispute over headscarves is growing again in Turkey, but this time among Muslims.
TOKİ neden TOMA`dır? Ahmet Turan Köksal explains the similarities between TOKI, the Public Housing Authority, and TOMA, the Social Intervention Vehicle.
TOKİ’nin Hasankeyf’i: Malumun ilâmı Emine Uçak Erdoğan draws attention to “the TOKI’s Hasankeyf.” According to her, it is a sign of the moral and cultural desertification Turkey has been exposed to.
TEPAV 10. Kalkınma Planını Değerlendiriyor (1) - (2) The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) analyses the Tenth Development Plan of Turkey.
Published on Jadaliyya
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Kids These Days: The Youth Politics Nobody Was Expecting
Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey (Video)