[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.]
Erdoğan as President
The Lovers and Haters of Erdoğan Mustafa Akyol is critical of Erdoğan’s authoritarianism, nepotism, and hubris while appreciating his efforts for the peace process and his amenity to Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Erdoğan’s Cunning and Liberal Remorse Suat Kınıklıoğlu expresses his feelings of frustration, disappointment, and betrayal because of Erdoğan’s authoritarianism.
Phantom of the Palace Orhan Oğuz Gürbüz criticizes Erdoğan’s newly constructed presidential palace, AK Saray (White Palace), by reminding us that the total cost will reach TL 1.37 billion.
Will Davutoğlu Save Our Parliamentary System? Semih Idiz argues that Prime Minister Davutoğlu is secondary, while President Erdoğan is very influential in governing the country.
Erdoğan’s Headaches: Not just ISIL, PKK, and Syria Murat Yetkin lists the kinds of problems that Erdoğan faces as as result of the interference between the Prime Minister and President positions.
Possible Early Elections and Change in Top Court Lale Kemal argues that the government seeks to hold elections earlier to gain time in the Turkish-Kurdish peace process.
Armenians Dig Out Their Ottoman Land Deeds “Armenians might count on Ottoman title deeds, preserved and passed down to generations for a hundred years, to claim their abandoned properties next year,” writes Tülay Çetingüleç.
Crony Capitalism, Freedom of Press, and Brain Drain According to Orhan Kemal Cengiz, the ever-deteriorating freedom of speech problem and crony capitalism in Turkey will accelerate brain drain.
Not Exceptional At All “Mine accidents are premeditated murder committed by the politician-businessman-bureaucracy trio this country, not exceptional accidents,” says Yusuf Kanlı in response to the government’s handling of the Ermenek disaster.
Hard Squeeze on Turkish Press Abdullah Bozkurt condemns the increasing authoritarian trends in Turkey by focusing on the government’s censorship and ban on critical and independent media outlets.
Paving Way for Slavery Ibrahim Türkmen argues that the government’s distribution of work permits to Syrian refugees may pave the way for a new form of slavery by forcing Syrian refugees to work in dangerous and exploitative jobs.
Dersim Massacre and Alevi Opening
The Prime Minister`s Speech and All-Embracing Turkey Nagehan Alçı argues that the government will act to alleviate Alevis’ concerns for inclusion, equality, and for a democratic and pluralistic Turkey.
Turkish Government Is Facing Its Recent History Melih Altınok reports that Prime Minister Davutoğlu officially apologized for the 1938 Dersim Massacre and initiated an "Alevi Workshop" to meet the fundamental demands and expectations of Alevis.
Election Season, Must Be Time for Another ’Initiative!’ (1)-(2) “It has become tradition for the AK Party to invoke a Dersim debate and to whip up an `Alevi initiative` in the run-up to every election,” writes Cafer Solgun.
Alevi Opening 2.0 Dogan Eşkinat reports that Davutoğlu reiterated the AKP government`s commitment to addressing the concerns and problems of the Alevi community.
On the Matter of Resolving the Alevi Issue Markar Esayan finds the AKP’s “Alevi opening” to be a radical step toward democratization and normalization.
Debating Dersim…Again. According to Beril Dedeoğlu, the AKP has initiated the Dersim massacre debate once again to attack and provoke the main opposition party, the CHP, by reminding that the CHP is responsible for the massacre.
Uludere and Dersim; Why They Should Not Be Compared Orhan Miroğlu argues that the killing of thirty-four civilians in Roboski cannot be described as “genocide” or a “crime against humanity” while the same cannot be said for the Dersim Massacre.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
The Road Map for a Solution (1) - (2) Abdülkadir Selvi lays out the current state of affairs and complications regarding the peace process.
What Will the Reconciliation Process Resolve? According to Osman Can, the reconciliation process is the only way of maintaining peace in the country.
The PKK, Foreign Fighters, and Diaspora Yahya Bostan discusses the role of third parties in peace talks, and deems them as detrimental to the process.
Why Does the Reconciliation Process Suffer Setbacks? Etyen Mahçupyan argues that the peace process earns Kurds rights and shrinks the PKK’s political authority, which causes some setbacks for the reconciliation process.
The Future of the Reconciliation Process Kılıç Buğra Kanat argues that disarmament and public order is the key to the success of the reconciliation process.
Wise Men and Kurds Ali Yurttagül criticizes the role of “wise men,” and argues that they were instrumentalized only to legitimize the process in the eyes of the public.
Turks Increasingly Sympathetic to Islamic State Pınar Tremblay analyzes how the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate has been viewed by different actors in Turkey.
ISIS and Islamophobia “Islamophobes use ISIS to equate Islam with terrorism and present Muslims as suspects,” writes Ibrahim Kalın.
Erdoğan`s Strategy for Syria Was Pertinent According to Tulu Gümüştekin, President Erdoğan did not change his stance even when Kobani was attacked, saying that without the removal of Assad, nothing could be achieved in Syria.
Research Paper: ISIS-Turkey Links “Is Turkey collaborating with the ISIS?” asks David L. Phillips
Kurdistan Is Already There Orhan Kemal Cengiz suggests that Turkey needs peaceful buffer zones, which can easily be created by the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.
Outsized Ambitions Leave Turkey with Hefty Bill Zulfikar Doğan argues that the AKP’s ill-conceived drive to build a new Ottoman realm and lift up the Middle East has taken a heavy toll on the Turkish economy.
Turkey Trapped Between Failed Syria Policy, Kurds It is a big security puzzle for Turkey to determine how to keep the country’s image positive in support of the Kurds, while fending off IS attacks inside Turkish territory, writes Tülin Daloğlu.
Turkey Loses Arab World Abdullah Bozkurt argues that the Arab League decided to revisit its ties with Turkey in the wake of the AKP government’s controversial foreign policy in the Middle East.
Is Turkey Right on Syria? Joost Lagendjik relays Jean-Pierre Filiu’s remarks about Turkey’s policy in the Middle East.
No Chance Turkey Will be `Kicked Out of NATO` Semih Idiz argues that the US-led fight against the Islamic State (IS), and in particular the battle for Kobani, has turned into a “stress test” for Turkey’s NATO membership.
EU Parliament Criticizes Turkey for the Sake of Criticism Ozan Ceyhun argues that the EU parliament criticizes Turkey about the Cyprus dispute without having examined the issue in depth.
Turkey-EU Relations: Still Relevant? According to Ömer Taşpınar, Turkey’s foreign policy priorities are Syria and the Kurdish dimension of the Syrian war, whereas for the EU, it is Ukraine and its relations with Russia.
Deeds, Not Words Lale Kemal comments on Turkey’s place in the ongoing EU-US trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Critical Confrontation in Cyprus “Ever since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) became a `global player,` it has no longer dealt with minor questions such as the Cyprus stalemate,” writes Cengiz Aktar.
Three US Sailors Roughed up in Istanbul “Members of the Youth Association of Turkey roughed up three US sailors, reflecting once again the uneasy nature of the US-Turkey relationship,” writes Tülin Daloğlu.
Attack on US Sailors Highlights State of US-Turkish Ties Semih Idiz reports that Turkey remained silent while US officials condemned the attack on three US sailors as “ugly and disturbing.”
Foreign Policy, Again Ali Bulaç sees the AKP’s foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, as “flawed, risky, and non-Islamic.”
Stocks Plummet as Turkey Names Gülenists Top Security Issue “Following the decision to add the Gülenist `parallel state` to its Red Book of national security priorities, companies with ties to the Gülen movement have suffered huge stock market losses,” writes Mehmet Çetingüleç.
The Effect of Falling Oil Prices on the Turkish Economy Erdal Sağlam argues that the falling of oil prices will make a positive contribution to Turkey’s economy, especially in terms of current account deficits and inflation.
The G20 Should Aim for a New Monetary and Commercial System Cemil Ertem reports that Turkey will take over the G20 presidency for the 2015 Summit.
Leading the G20 the Right Moment for Take Off Sadık Unay argues that leading the next G20 will give Turkey the rare chance to bring its own policy priorities to the attention of the leaders of major world economies.
New Turkish Law Deals Blow to Unions Mehmet Çetingüleç reports that Turkey`s unionized workforce has dropped from 57.5 percent to 9.6 percent over the past decade.
A Historic Duty for Turkey at G-20! According to Abdullah Muradoğlu, Turkey’s historic duty in the next G20 is to render developing countries’ voices audible.
Privatization: Who Will Run Istanbul’s Gas Grid? Mehmet Öğütçü comments on the privatization of the distribution of Istanbul’s natural gas.
Six Puzzles of the Turkish Economy Emre Deliveli explains Turkey’s six economic puzzles: among them are inflation, Turkey’s growth model, and the rising prevalence of the construction sector.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Bracketing Turkey in the Tunisia Parenthesis Akif Emre argues that the Tunisia-Turkey comparison is misleading and fails to encompass important issues about the two countries.
Turks` Paranoia Explained by Their Past Mustafa Akyol discusses the implications of a recent poll showing that the Turks have very negative, unfavorable views of other nations.
Politics Strain Turkey`s First Kurdish-Language Institute Fehim Taştekin talks about the challenges that Turkey’s first Kurdiology department, one of the most concrete developments in the peace process, is facing.
What Really Happened in Eminönü Klaus Jurgens criticizes the attack on US sailors and asks for a widely-endorsed condemning of the issue in schools and in the media.
Erdoğan as President
Zaman saray zamanı mı? Ali H. Aslan comments on the international media’s ridicule and criticism of Erdoğan’s presidential palace.
‘AK Saray’ın ‘Ak’ı Hilmi Yavuz questions the name of the “AK Saray” (White Palace).
Tayyip Erdoğan’ın Ak Saray’ı ve Mujica’nın vosvosu Ömer Gül compares the flamboyance and extravagance of Erdoğan’s White Palace to the Volkswagen Beetle of Uruguay’s President, Mujica, known as the poorest political leader in the world.
Tayyip Erdoğan’ın Atatürkçülüğü… According to Hasan Cemal, President Erdoğan thinks of himself as bigger than Ataturk, illustrated by the construction of his own presidential palace.
Sorun, Atatürk’ü sevip sevmemekte değil, dalkavuk ve riyakâr olmakta… Murat Sevinç calls those who ask “Do we have to love Ataturk?” sycophants because they cannot ask “Do we have to love Erdoğan’s palace?”
Erdoğan`ın eleştirilen icraatları ona niye puan kaybettirmiyor? Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu examines how Erdoğan is still a successful leader despite increasing criticisms incited by his authoritarianism and the excessive cost of his White Palace.
Aslında `yeşil` dostu bunlar… “This ugly palace showed the AKP electorate their party’s real face,” writes Kerem Altan.
Dersim Massacre and Alevi Opening
‘Aleviliği inkar’ açılımı! Ihsan Çaralan argues that the government’s Alevi opening is actually based on the denial of Alevism as a separate sect and the reduction of it to an “Anatolian Islam tradition.”
Alevisiz Alevi açılımı The government should stop trying to teach Alevis what Alevism is, writes Ruşen Çakır.
Aleviler diyor ki Ali Kenanoglu criticizes the fact that the government argued that there is no difference between Alevism and Sunnism.
77 yıl once yaşandı ve bitmedi Ferhat Tunç calls the government to face the Dersim Massacre in 1938 by officially recognizing and apologizing for the massacre.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
Demokratik Ekonomi Konferansı’nın sonuç metni ve kararları açıklandı The final declaration of the Democratic Economy Conference, held in Van with the keen participation of Kurdish politicians and activists.
Cemil Bayık: Ortada çözüm süreci diye bir süreç yok Cemil Bayık, co-chairman of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union), purports that there is no peace process at play as the government refuses to take meaningful steps.
Ölü seçici bir ‘genç akil’ Ümit Özkırımlı criticizes a pro-government columnist for purposefully discriminating between deaths that come at the hands of the government and those committed by other parties.
Müzakere sürecinin eşiğinde iki program ve tek çözüm Detailing the items on each parties’ agendas, Veysi Sarısözen underlies the discrepancies in both “road maps” while pointing out the potential for some common ground.
‘Savaş ve darbe’ nasıl önlenir? According to Veysi Sarısözen, the AKP and the peace process could face a military intervention if the government continues to refrain from taking serious steps.
Çözüm süreci neden bozuluyor, neden düzeliyor? (1) - (2) Oral Çalışlar explains the fluctuations in the peace process by the changing dynamics of the region, and evaluates the change in the PKK’s public statements.
Çözümün yol haritası (1) - (2) Abdulkadir Selvi describes the current state of affairs in the peace process and details the agendas of the involved parties.
Çözüm sürecinde gerçeklerle başbaşa ve yüzyüze Ruşen Çakır depicts the current positionings and interests of the government, the HDP, and the PKK.
PKK değilse, kim yaptı, kim o `birileri`? Ezgi Başaran continues to question the veil of mystery behind the assassinations of a police commissioner in Bingöl and a colonel in Diyarbakır.
Kürtlerin hakları diye bir konumuz vardı?! Başaran talks about the shift in the peace talks from civic rights discourse to discussions around developments in the region.
AKP planları According to Adil Bayram, the latest MGK (National Security Council) meeting marks a shift in the AKP’s peace policy and sets the start of a crackdown on democratic opposition in the country.
Sorun, AKP’nin çözüm niyetinin olmamasıdır (1) - (2) Hüseyin Ali questions the will of the government in solving the Kurdish issue through political means and asks for concrete steps to be taken.
Çözümde toplumsal zemin Ali Bayramoğlu argues that the democratic developments occurring along with the peace process did not lead to pluralization in Kurdish politics.
Linç kültürünün değişmez uğrağı olarak Kurdi partiler Tuncay Şur perceives the 6-7 October Kobane protests as an instantiation of the lynching culture aimed towards Kurdish parties.
AKP demokratik çözümden kaçıyor According to Bese Hozat, the AKP government has not displayed a single serious effort during the last two years while taking extreme security measures that implied hostile tendencies.
"Süreç `eks` olmuş sayılmaz; kalp masajına devam!" Ertuğrul Kürkçü argues that the peace process is still intact despite a lack of determination on the part of the government.
Akiller ve Kürtler Ali Yurttagül analyzes why the “wise men’s committee” failed to deliver its promises.
Liberaller ve Kürt sorunu According to Bercan Aktaş, it is Kurds and leftists, not liberals, who fight for democracy and human rights in Turkey.
ISIS / Kobane
IŞİD ve benzerlerine dair Seda Altuğ provides an account of how ISIS came about through a detailed examination of the recent history of the region.
Sınırdaki gençler: Kobanê hepimizin devrimidir Interviews with volunteers and fighters on the Turkish border in solidarity with the Kobane resistance.
Kobani direnişinin ikinci ayı bitti: Kobane Suruç Raporu Kobane/Suruç report prepared by political parties and NGO’s in the region that details the social and political aspects, and depicts the needs of the people in and outside the camps.
Bu kadınların özgüveninin kaynağı ne? Pınar Öğünç argues that media images of Kurdish women fighters overshadow the struggles of these women within their organizations, and outside on the field, depoliticizing their courageous attitude that originates from active involvement in politics.
AKP iktidarının IŞİD bereketi Çengiz Çandar evaluates IŞİD’s recruitment in Turkey and the possible reasons behind it, based on the findings of an academic study by Tezcür and Çiftçi.
“Urgent Expropriation” of Olive Groves
Acil edep kararı Criticizing the the expropriation by the government of 388,000 square meters of olive groves in order to build a thermal power plant, Nuriye Akman reminds that “urgent expropriation” can be enacted only in times of war for the public good.
Yırca’da zeytin ağaçları, Danıştay`ın bilgisayar sistemleri şeffaf olmadığı için mi alelacele kesildi? Füsun Sarp Nebil argues that unlawful chopping down of 6,000 olive trees illustrates the lack of transparency in Turkey’s judicial system.
Niye altı bin zeytin ağacı termik santralden değerli Süleyman Yaşar argues that the AKP’s cutting down of 6,000 olive trees to build a thermal power plant shows its lack of long-term vision.
Hükümetin zeytincilere savaş ilanı Abdullah Aysu condemns the government’s use of violence against olive producers who struggle for their lands and trees.
İsrail, Mısır ve İran Türkiye"den rahatsız! According to Karagül, regional powers like Israel, Iran, and Egypt are concerned about the progress and the development Turkey has made in recent years, and therefore align forces when necessary.
Kıbrıs’ta kritik zıtlaşma Cengiz Aktar argues that Turkey’s “rowdy” attitude in foreign relations has led to many hazardous outcomes in terms of EU relations, Cyprus, and trade agreements.
İran`ın senaryosu “The question is whether we should revive or take lessons from history,” says Fehim Taştekin, discussing Iran’s positioning with regards to regional politics.
Türk- Amerikan ilişkileri Murat Belge criticizes patriotic stances towards the US-Turkey relationship, calling for a more nuanced perspective.
`ABD`nin tezi` ile `Türkiye`nin tezi`nin farkı ne? İhsan Çaralan argues that there the discrepancy in regional politics between the US and Turkey pertains only to the allocation of power and does not serve peoples’ interests.
İki program tek sınıf Sinan Alçın finds similarities between the AKP’s Structural Changes in the Economy Program and the final declaration of the DTK’s (Democratic Society Congress) Democratic Economy Conference.
`İş güvenliği paketi` iş cinayetlerini durdurmaz According to Aziz Çelik, the newly announced Work Safety Act does not address the real issues and will not be able to stop workplace fatalities.
İş güvenliği paketi, hükümetin dağa fare doğurtmasıdır Murat Özveri explains the lacks and problems in the new Work Safety Act.
Reform yapamamak (1) - (2) - (3) - (4) Fatih Özatay thinks the new economy reform package that the government launched fails to address important issues, and therefore will not likely be successful.
Bütçe ve kriz According to Sezai Temelli, this year’s budget plan marks potentially detrimental economic outcomes for next year, especially in the light of an approaching crisis.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Emrah Altındiş: En ufak bir pişmanlığım yok, cesaret bulaşıcıdır “I don’t regret a single thing; courage is contagious,” says Emrah Altındiş after being the victim of a series of harassment attempts he faced for posing a critical question to then-president Abdullah Gül at a talk at Harvard University.
Elif İnce`nin işsizliğine ağıt Canberk Beygova argues that the recent increase in the disemployment of journalists in Turkey points to a general shift in how journalism is understood in Turkey.
Tayfun Atay: `Seküler ve İslami kesimler ayrıştı. Fiilen ülkede iki ayrı Türkiye var` According to sociologist Tayfun Atay, Turkey is now composed of two physically separate communities: one secular and the other religious.
Devlet, yolsuzluğa neden göz yumdu? Analyzing the findings of a recent study, Mümtazer Türköne answers why the state turned a blind eye on allegations of corruption.
Yeni andıç: Hizmet-PKK işbirliği mi? Bülent Korucu accuses the government of fabricating a relationship between the PKK and the Gülen movement.
Keşke bir noktadan sonra melekelerimi yitirseydim Baskın Oran analyzes the discriminatory teachings in religion lessons in Turkey as a response to Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s claims to the contrary.
Üç büyük katliamın paylaşılamayan mirası: Ermeni yetimler Nazan Maksudyan talks about the history of Armenian orphans in Turkey.
Ortadoğu’yu 1. Dünya Savaşı mı şekillendirdi? İslamcılar bu hikayeyi neden seviyor? Nuray Mert scrutinizes the idea that World War I was the sole factor in shaping the region, a highly favored idea by Islamists in Turkey.
Kimlik siyaseti ve demokratik siyaset Erol Katırcıoğlu examines the potentialities and future of identity politics in Turkey.
2015 Genel Secimleri`ne giderken: AK Parti, HDP, CHP sarsiliyor, MHP kazaniyor Speculating on the 2015 elections, Fuat Keyman argues that the MHP is the only winner of the political turmoil in Turkey.
Published on Jadaliyya
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Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian
Yirca`da Acele Kamulastirma, Hukuksuzluk ve Direnis: Olcay Bingol ve Deniz Bayram ile Roportaj
The Poverty of Moral Answers to Political Questions: On Perceptions of Islam in the Wake of ISIS
Epohi Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on the Emergence of ISIS and Regional Ramifications
New Texts Out Now: Nazan Maksudyan, Orphans and Destitute Children in the Late Ottoman Empire
Call for Papers--Transformed Nations: State-Policies in Kurdish Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran (Istanbul, 23 February 2015)