[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.]
Turkey’s Main Opposition Party No Threat to Erdoğan Amberin Zaman argues that the Republican People’s Party (CHP) is not a credible opposition to the ruling party, the AKP.
Turkish Envoy: Ankara’s Urgent Problems Internal, Not External Tuğba Tekerek translates an interview between Taraf and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilter Turkmen, in which he speaks about Turkey’s isolation.
Ergenekon Case and Turkish Army at Snare: Is it Law, Politics or Revenge? Hıfzı Deveci argues that “it is impossible to claim that the big cases in Turkey serve to law but it is possible to assert they have brought light to all defects of the military structure.”
Unending Saga Nicole Pope outlines various courts cases that “fall far short of delivering justice are sadly not rare in Turkey” to conclude that “ultimately, it is the credibility of Turkey`s democratic institutions that is being eroded with each of these cases.”
The Political Reverberations of the Gezi Protests Writing for the quarterly journal Insight, Hatem Ete claims that two points have been neglected while analyzing the Gezi protests: “First, in their efforts to analyze the dynamics behind the protests, analysts failed to distinguish the immediate triggers of the demonstra- tions from the more rooted causes of discontent. Second, the diverse and transforming makeup of the protesters was overlooked.”
Laicité in Turkey: Between Politics and Identity Nil Mutluer argues that “We must leave identity-based politics behind and identity-based life aside and, instead, evolve towards pluralistic policies focused on the issues.”
Party Institutionalization and Democratic Consolidation: Turkey and Southern Europe in Comparative Perspective Şebnem Yardımcı-Geyikçi, from the Department of Government at the University of Essex, concludes that “party institutionalization does not constitute a sufficient condition for democratic consolidation” and “party institutionalization reinforced by partisan polarization may result in tenser relations among political parties—a situation that does not contribute to democratic consolidation.”
A Summary of Our Precious Loneliness Emre Kızılkaya comments on the term coined to refer to Turkish foreign policy, reiterating that “Turkey`s ‘zero problems with neighbors’ policy turned into ‘zero neighbors without problems’ policy.”
Israel and the Democracy Paradox In the Middle East Arad Nir says, following what the AKP views as a coup in Egypt, Erdoğan suggested that “democratic values would be called into question throughout the entire world.”
”Naming” and “Shaming” in Turkish Politics Pınar Tremblay suggests that Erdoğan’s statements, as well as some regional newspaper’s accusing Israel of being behind the “Egypt coup,” is hurting Turkey’s democratization.
Foreign Policy for Domestic Consumption Bülent Keneş argues that “we can safely assert that the ruling AKP has voluntarily distanced itself from the internal and external members of the coalition of change/democratization that provided it vital assistance in fighting the tutelary network, promoting democracy and driving economic successes.”
Turkey: So “Preciously” Ensnared Regarding Turkey’s stance on the Syria strike, Yavuz Baydar asks” “How will Ankara now defend the view that it will be part of a coalition that is led by those who drink the blood and oil of the geography next door? Where does ‘precious loneliness’ apply and where does it not?”
Erdoğan, Egypt’s Coup, and the Israeli Connection Mustafa Akyol suggests that, although no serious evidence point to Israel being behind an “Egypt coup,” Israel was in favor of that outcome.
Turkey`s Chemical Threat Lale Kemal, writing about Turkey’s decision to support a US-led strike on Syria, says: “The critical question that should be asked at this stage is whether Turkey, a NATO member, is sufficiently prepared against a possible chemical weapons attack by Assad`s forces if coalition forces stage a military strike against this country. “
Turkey and “the West” Suat Kınıklıoğlu explains that a prominent advisor to Erdoğan felt the need to remind his Twitter audience Turkey’s decision to support the US on its strike to Syria because “most Turks are confused by the disjunction between the demonization of ‘the West’ in domestic political discourse and Turkey`s fundamental security allegiances.”
The AK Party`s Egyptian Test Cengiz Aktar asks: “Is the ruling party in Turkey not a clear example of the fact that opposing a military coup does not necessarily mean that you are a true democrat?”
Turkey`s New Neighbor: Afghanistan the Second İhsan Yılmaz provides a grim outlook on the period following a US strike on Syria, adding that: “If Turkey returns to its pre-2007 policies of having a pro-EU stance, reforming spirit, process of democratization, full demilitarization, critical but stable relations with Western powers, establishing a regime of rule of law and human rights and peaceful coexistence, it may largely escape from the disastrous costs of the Syrian imbroglio.”
Experts in Turkey Differ on Syria Policy Tülin Daloğlu collects the statements of various experts from academia and elsewhere, who take different stances on the imminent US strike on Syria.
War? Are We Sure On All Aspects? Yavuz Baydar echos the concerns that Turkey would not be immune to a chemical attack in retaliation for its involvement in a US-led strike, suggesting that Turkey’s Syria policy “should give absolute priority to two points: the safety of Turkish citizens; and a focus on the humanitarian aid dimension of a possible massive influx of refugees across the border, which must be—as opposed to the foolish practice used so far—coordinated with international organizations.”
Military Intervention in Syria: Purpose, Scope, and Risks Skeptical about the US strategy in Syria, Bülent Keneş says “if it is conducted without careful planning, this potential military intervention has the risk of pulling the countries that have not gotten involved directly in the war in Syria into the fire.”
Turkish Army in Syria! Kerim Balcı worries about the impact that the attack will have on Syria-Turkey relations, as no plan to minimize the diplomatic cost of the attack has been publicized.
Will Turkey’s Parliament Back Attack on Syria? Semih Idiz says this decision will not be unanimous.
Strategic Loneliness Burak Bekdil comments on the state of Turkey’s foreign policy and claims that “that Professor Davutoğlu could have done much better if he hadn’t wished to run Turkey’s foreign policy show ‘with Rover resources and Rolls Royce ambitions.’”
Erdoğan’s Syria Motion Strain, Ten Years After Iraq Murat Yetkin says: “if anything is requested of Turkey for military action, Erdoğan might be in a position where he has to face another vote stress in Parliament, ten years after Iraq, this time on Syria.”
Foreign Policy Bill Has Started To Be Paid Erdal Sağlam claims that Turkey has lost its Egypt and Syria market, as well as part of its Gulf capital, as a result of its foreign policy.
The Costs of Turkey Joining the Anti-Syria Coalition Fehim Taştekin claims that “Turkey did not foresee a combatant role for itself while calling for meaningful intervention,” and that in the face of an imminent strike, “none of the three potential attackers are as close as Turkey is to pay the costs.”
Time to Readjust the Focus of the G-20 Once More Güven Sak suggests that the G-20 presents an opportunity “to focus on policy coordination on growth and jobs in the periphery.”
Turkey: Unwanted Ally in an Unwilling Alliance Against Syria Cihan Çelik says “Turkey’s hopes for a ‘new Syria’ have been dashed after the schizophrenic statements that the US and its European allies are not after a regime change in Syria, despite their frequent calls on al-Assad to step aside over the last two years.”
Turkey Frustrated Over Syria Semih Idiz concurs arguing that “The overall picture Ankara faces today is one in which the ‘coalition of the willing’ is turning into the ‘coalition of the reluctant,’ and Western aims in Syria are proving to be at odds with the Erdoğan government’s expectations.”
Kurds Now Share Turkey’s Longest Border Koray Çalışkan says “in the Middle East we know, our neighbors are no longer Arabs but Kurds and Iranians, with the exception of a portion of the Syrian border under al-Qaeda and the fragmented FSA. This situation alone requires Turkey to radically rethink its Middle East policy."
Kurdish Peace Process
Approaching the “Peace Process” as a Discourse Gönenç Uysal argues that “the discourse on ‘the peace process’ includes an authoritative attempt to legitimise the AKP’s (Justice and Development Party), BDP’s (Peace and Democracy Party) and the PKK’s approach to the Kurdish question; and to delegitimize criticisms about the AKP’s, the BDP’s and the PKK’s conduct.”
Israel and Turkey in the Context of Crisis, Energy, and Security Cemil Ertem says “political destabilization in Turkey and the ongoing political instability in northern Iraq could bring out many important issues, including in the field of energy.”
Syrian Kurdish Leader Warns on Turkey’s Peace Process In the words Salih Muslim, the leader of the leading group in Syria’s Kurdish regions, the Kurdish Democratic Union, or PYD, the slow pace of the process is “creating suspicions.”
The PKK`s Mounting Threats Mümtaz’er Türköne claims that: “The PKK`s violent threats are part of a power struggle rather than an ethnic issue.”
Turkey’s Babacan Warns of Financial Turmoil Yasemin Çongar on the apprehensions of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan following the US Federal Reserve’s announcement last May that it would “downsize its $85 billion-per-month bond-buying program.”
Erdoğan’s Fateful Season Cengiz Çandar reports that “The Turkish lira, which divested itself of six zeros and became a robust currency with a decline in inflation under Erdoğan, last week for the first time crossed the ‘psychological line’ of two liras to a US dollar. This is a bad omen for inflation.”
Alcohol Consumption in Turkey Not Diminishing Despite Obstacles Mustafa Sönmez says alcohol consumption has not diminished despite high taxation and area restrictions.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Arab Spring Brings Renaissance in Turkish Art Emre Kızılkaya says “While Turkish art is enjoying a ‘brain gain’ in the post-Arab Spring era,” some refugee artists “feel perplexed in Turkey, which has its own paradoxes."
Demokrasi pilavın üstüne konan “az” kuru değildir Evaluating Turkish public intellectual response to the events in Egypt, Rober Koptaş writes that “those who do not call a coup d’etat what it is can neither be considered ethical nor democrat.”
Kimin ölümü ağlanmaya değer? In response to PM Erdoğan’s public weeping over the massacres in Egypt, Meyda Yeğenoğlu writes: “If some deaths are considered worth weeping over and being mourned, and the withering away of other lives are not considered worth weeping or being sad over, this is the result of a division of lives by the media and political discourse into two categories as those which count and others that don’t.”
Dış politika mı iç politika mı? Ali Bayramoğlu comments that “the PM’s approach to Egypt reduces the issue almost to a question of domestic policy; beyond being against the military coup d’etat, it looks like an identification with Ikhwan.”
Nefretin ardında ne var? Doğu Ergil investigates the reasons behind the ongoing hatred against the Kurdish people among the Turkish population: “The fear of death and the readiness to kill naturally brings hatred against the enemy. This learned hatred has been politically produced. Now it is so prevalent and intensive that it complicates the solution of the Kurdish problem.”
PKK gerilimi niye yükseltiyor? Bülent Korucu asks why the PKK is increasing the tension as both sides (the government and the PKK) claim the other has failed to fulfill their promises.
PKK, iç savaşa mı hazırlanıyor? Mümtaz’er Türköne writes that some commentators who insist on bringing up the thesis that PKK’s promise to disarm is “only a trick” use the information that only twenty percent of the withdrawal has gone through to support this weakened thesis.
“Kan ve petrol içenler” geliyor! İhsan Dağı focuses on the inconsistencies of Turkey’s foreign policy; having renounced Europe, US, and the West in the past months, it is now inviting the Western powers to collaborate on an intervention in Syria.
İlke ile denge arasında bir yerde Regarding Turkey’s foreign policy, Mensur Akgün argues that there is no point in trying to defend values if it leads a country to total isolation.
Tek derste Demokrasi ve Diktatörlük Murat Belge deconstructs PM Erdoğan’s discourse on the meanings of dictatorship and democracy.
Öncü deprem?! Taha Akyol argues that the “accumulation of rage” in society should be reduced before it gives way to bigger “earthquakes.”
Yeni Soğuk Savaş ve Türkiye’nin ‘değer’li yalnızlığı Ertan Aydın writes that “Turkey’s responsibility is to explain its principled attitude to the world with patiently and continue its constructive role in the region, while strengthening its EU vision and recommending an equally principled Middle East policy to Europe.”
Popüler antagonizma Ali Balcı writes that “the discourse around Ergenekon resemble a ‘popular antagonism’ which deepens and strengthens the already existing cracks instead of contributing to the development of democracy.”
Uzun ve sıcak bir kış Bekir Ağırdır argues that polarization has become prevalent in Turkey’s social fabric, and furthermore, that nobody even cares about the consequences anymore.
Anayasa sürecinin neresindeyiz? Rıza Türmen discusses the past, present, and future of the new constitution process.
Beyaz yakalılar nereye koşuyor? İlham Süheyl Aygül analyzes the social transformation of Turkey via examining the growing class of white collar workers.
Gazeteciler Gezi`de yaşadıklarını anlatıyor An interview with journalists Gökhan Biçici, Gökhan Durmuş, Hilal Solmaz, and Cüneyt Yılmaz about their experiences covering the Gezi uprising.
Gezi Hareketi ve seçimler Cihan Tuğal explores the various implications of the Gezi movement on the upcoming local and national elections.
”PKK şeytandı, AKP yanlış yaptı” söylemi Ezgi Başaran interviews Remzi Kartal, one of the higher-ups of the PKK, who says that it is disingenuous to claim that PKK is not withdrawing from Turkey.
PKK, siyaset ve Çözüm Süreci Markar Esayan argues that “the peace process is the most important peace project of Turkey’s history,” and that “it took a paradigm shift for such a project to materialize.”
Cemil Bayık: Süreç çöküşe gidiyor, Cemil Bayık`tan Barzani yönetimine sert eleştiriler, Cemil Bayık: `Gezi`de yanlışlar yaptık` , Cemil Bayık’ın gözünden ‘Cuma’ Mahmut Hamsici conducted a series of interviews with PKK’s Cemil Bayık in Kandil about the peace process, Iraqi Kurdistan, the Gezi uprising, and other pertinent issues in the region.
Gezi Parkı Protestoları: Küresel Bağlam ve Türkiye’de Siyasetin Geleceği This Konuşa Konuşa interview with Şeyla Benhabib situates the Gezi Park protests in the global context and makes predictions about the future of politics in Turkey.
Kriz yaklaşırken… Sezai Temelli writes about the impending financial and social crises in Turkey.
Suriye yangınını kundaklayanlara… Oya Baydar criticizes Turkey’s role in encouraging foreign intervention in Syria.
Suriye’ye müdahalenin eli kulağında ama soru çok, yanıtlar az ve belirsiz… Hasan Cemal describes the Middle East as a “powder keg” and explores the potential regional consequences of foreign intervention in Syria.
2003 Irak-2013 Suriye: ABD için fark, Türkiye için benzerlik Cengiz Çandar writes that “as Syria’s ‘neighbor,’ we will be forced to choose” between “al-Qaida derivative Islamist forces” and “Syria’s PKK PYD-led Kurdish government.”
Sosyal körlük ve fetih Etyen Mahçupyan writes that, in the Gezi process, “we have seen that the government is ‘blind’ to social movements which do not have political actors and have not translated their vision to political language, since it only understands social demands and preferences through political actors.”
Değerler Doğu Ergil writes that Turkey “lacks a class which embodies freedoms and cultural pluralism as its core values and manages society as a system of alliances. A class which owes its existence and power to the state...cannot encompass the society and the pluralities it includes, and cannot manage it.”
Bu savaşı kim kazanacak? İhsan Dağı writes that the war in Syria will have no winners: “neither Assad nor the opposition,” “neither Turkey nor other countries which plan on intervening.”
”Türkiye, Suriye`yi yanlış okudu” Oral Çalışlar argues that Turkey miscalculated the dynamics in Syria, underestimating what it would take for the Assad regime to fall.
Ermenilerin bitmeyen sınavı Relating his experience in being educated in Turkish nationalist history as a young Armenian student, Rober Koptaş writes: “For Armenians of Turkey, the test paper is always on the table. You pass history class, finish schools, graduate, but the tests do not end. In every situation and condition, you have to know, find, and give the appropriate answers which prove that you have the right to live in this country.”
“Gezi” gerçekliği üzerine notlar Memnune Kayagil writes that the “Gezi reality” has shown the necessity of not relying on “single shots” for social transformation: “Then, we have to multiply Gezi, we must. We are facing the necessity of finding ways to do so.”
Suriye’nin yeni politik dengeleri ve olası askeri operasyon Mustafa Peköz gives an overview of the political dynamics around the Syrian war and concludes that “going against the Barbarians’ war is our responsibility to humanity.”
Erdoğan, Joe Dalton gibi Erdal Güven: “The Daltons have captured Red Kit. They start having a heated discussion. What would they do now? Joe Dalton is impatient, he says: Let’s kill him, then we’ll discuss. PM Erdoğan has similar feelings towards Bashar al-Assad.”
Renkler ve Korkaklar Emrah Uçar writes about the rainbow fever spreading to the stairs in Istanbul’s and other cities’ public spaces.
Sandık-demokrasi, vesayet-çoğunlukçuluk M. Şükrü Hanioğlu writes that “the discussion on the relationship between the ballot box and democracy is not in reality reflecting ‘democracy’ but the approaches which are born out of the historical processes and are continuously reproduced.”
Suriye’den Irak yaratmak Mete Çubukçu writes that the discussion on the potential intervention in Syria in Turkey’s media is reminiscent of those who defended Iraq’s occupation in 2003.
Published on Jadaliyya
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Istanbul, Its People, and Their Limits
Speaking of Resistance
World War I and the Ottoman Home Front
In This Sublime Struggle of Ours: After Egypt, on Turkey and Terror
Academics Protest Facebook Censorship Policies in Turkey
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Final Sahnesi: Rojava