[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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday night of every week.]
“New Turkey,” Democracy, Authoritarianism
Balance Makes the Ballerina According to Taha Meli Arvas, the lack of a strong opposition is a concern for Turkish democracy, not the “authoritarian turn” that Western news outlets currently seem to argue.
Eurocentrism as a Poor Excuse Joost Lagendijk comments on the intellectual support of the AKP: “It is sad to see that intellectuals in Turkey are preparing themselves to follow the bad example set by their Russian counterparts by legitimizing a clear power grab as some sort of intellectual freedom fight.”
An Agenda Not Easy to Manipulate Cafer Solgun claims that the government tries to hide the most pressing issues (such as corruption allegations and the Kurdish settlement process) from the scrutiny of the public eye.
No CHP-HDP Election Alliance in Sight Şikri Küçükşahin thinks that contrary to expectations, the CHP and HDP would not engage in an open election alliance.
AKP’s Latest Victimhood Cengiz Aktar wonders how the founders of the victimhood discourse will answer to recently developed political and social issues.
Turkey’s Pro-Erdoğan Media Purge Mustafa Akyol analyzes the reasons behind the pro-government media purge, allegedly ordered by Erdoğan.
Turkey Drifting Towards Irrationalism According to Serkan Demirtaş, the government’s attempts at “raising religious generations” have been the crux of the country’s irrational politics.
Why Are Turkish Men Paying Out of Their Noses to Be Exempt from Military Service? Güven Sak tries to understand the high demand for paid military service in Turkey.
’Bug’ Indictment Wears Out Its Welcome Analyzing the indictment regarding the wiretapping device seized at the office of former Prime Minister Erdoğan, Bülent Korucu argues that the indictment falls short of substantiating the alleged crimes.
Turkey Plummets on Corruption Indexes Pelin Cengiz writes about the two recent reports on the perception of corruption in Turkey published by the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen`s Association (TÜSİAD) and Transparency International (TI).
Mystery Remains on Status of Turkish Corruption Inquiry Tülin Daloğlu writes about the strong resentment against the gag order on the corruption inquiry among journalists and legal experts.
Corruption Optimi Pessima İbrahim Türkmen claims that the AKP failed to keep its promise to ensure a country free of “corruption, poverty and prohibitions.”
Prominent Islamic Scholar Accuses AKP of Corruption Mustafa Akyol appreciates and furthers the critique of Hayrettin Karaman, a prominent Islamic scholar, regarding corruption allegations.
Turkish Nuclear Energy Plants vs. Transparency Lale Kemal discusses the eco-politics behind the planned construction of nuclear power plants in Turkey.
The Ten Percent Electoral Threshold & the Constitutional Court
Constitutional Coup Yusuf Kanlı argues that although the ten percent electoral threshold is a violation of justice and a breach of rights, it is not in the competency of the Constitutional Court to change it.
The Election Threshold and the AKP İhsan Yılmaz reminds us that the ten percent election threshold is a result of the 1980 military coup.
Constitutional Court as the New ‘Coup’ HQ Mustafa Akyol reports that the Constitutional Court’s agenda of lowering the ten percent threshold is condemned as yet another “coup attempt” against the AKP.
Haşim Kılıç Had Previously Defended the Threshold Aldülkadir Selvi complains about the “political interventions” of the Constitutional Court and questions the neutral stance of Haşim Kılıç, the head of the Constitutional Court, regarding the ten percent threshold.
It`s Something Other than the Election Threshold… According to Markar Esayan, the debates around the electoral threshold in fact aim to sabotage the peace process and the 2015 elections.
Will the Top Court Trigger a New Crisis? Commenting on the Court’s “interven[ing] in the 2015 elections,” Taha Ozhan argues that the Constitutional Court has a greater power to undermine democracy today than before.
Will the Constitutional Court Seize Political Life? Akif Beki argues that the Constitutional Court bypasses the Parliament and political institutions via its judicial power.
Constitutional Court and Rulership Tension… Ali Bayramoğlu argues that the Constitutional Court’s decision will inevitably be a political decision rather than a legal one.
Putin’s Visit / Turkey-Russia Relations
Putin and Erdoğan, the Odd Couple Facing the West İlknur Çevik reports that the President Erdoğan welcomed Vladimir Putin and they were set to bring Turkey-Russia relations to new heights, in spite of their political differences on Ukraine and Syria.
Turkey and Putin’s Cunning Plan Amanda Paul reports that Russia wants Turkey—replacing Bulgaria—to become its partner for an alternative pipeline to carry its natural gas to Europe.
Turkey Should Be Cautious in Gas Deal with Russia Serkan Demirtaş warns Turkey about the regional and global consequences of a potential cooperation with Russia for carrying its natural gas to Europe through Turkey’s soil.
Putin, Moscow’s Kievskaya Station and Erdoğan According to Hasan Kanbolat, it is very likely that the Turkish construction sector will play an important role in Putin’s attempts to rebuild Crimea.
Putin’s New Horizons and Democracy! Cem Küçük criticizes the attempts to compare Erdoğan to Putin in terms of his authoritarianism.
Who Did Erdoğan and Putin Strike Fear into? According to İbrahim Karagül, the partnership between Turkey and Russia generates not only economic and commercial concerns but also new geopolitical calculations in the West.
Turkey and Russia: Promises and Limits of a Partnership İbrahim Kalın argues that Turkey and Russia would benefit from developing a cooperation on energy and resolving conflicts on their foreign policies towards Crimea and Syria.
The Current State of Turkey`s Relations with Russia Osman Can draws attention to the parallels between Turkey and Russia.
The Pope and Putin in Turkey Ozan Ceyhun argues that the visits of the Pope and Putin demonstrate that Turkey is becoming an outstanding political actor in international relations, which, according to him, should push the EU to reconsider Turkey’s membership.
Russia and Turkey: New Horizons, New Solutions Cemil Ertem suggest that the trading cycle between Russia and Turkey, and between Iran and Turkey, will approach a volume of around $200 billion.
The Turks and the Russians: Business as Usual Mustafa Aydın reminds us that NATO has stated its expectations from Turkey to join the sanctions against Russia on the same day of Putin’s visit to Turkey.
Putin`s Visit and the New Energy Chessboard Sadık Ünay comments that despite stark political differences about Syria and Ukraine, Turkey and Russia are brought together by their existential needs to import and export vitally important energy resources.
On What Pope Francis Saw in Turkey (1)-(2) Markar Esayan argues that Pope Francis found Turkey`s foreign policies fairer than those of the US and EU, and that is why he preferred to call Turkey "a constructor of peace."
Reinforcing Interfaith Dialogue Emre Gönen suggest that the most striking dimension of the Pope’s visit was the declaration made by him regarding the humanitarian help extended by Turkey to almost two million refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Who Is the Pope, Who Is the Ecumenical Patriarch? Orhan Kemal Cengiz points out that the AKP differentiates tremendously in its treatment of the religious leaders of the Orthodox and Catholic sects of Christianity.
Pope Francis Hopes for Better Ties between Turks, Armenians Semih İdiz reports that Pope’s “dream” was to see the Turkey-Armenia border reopened and to contribute to reconciliation between the two estranged nations.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
Uncertainties in the Peace Process Doğu Ergil lays out the recent developments in the peace process, noting the vagueness of terms and conditions.
What Did Öcalan Say About an Observer? Abdülkadir Selvi discusses the meaning of Öcalan’s messages and the changes in the delegation that visits Öcalan in İmralı.
Did the PKK Withdraw its Threshold Condition for Kurdish Peace? Murat Yetkin speculates that the PKK might have dropped the demand for a decrease in the ten percent threshold in elections.
What Does Öcalan’s `Self-Criticism` Mean? Orhan Miroğlu aims to decipher Öcalan’s statement with regards to the cease-fire, general elections, and PKK-Öcalan relations.
Dersim Massacre / “Alevi Opening”
Pandora`s Box Is Opened for Confrontation Nagehan Alçı comments that the Dersim Massacre is an open wound that constantly challenges the attachment that many Kurds and Alevi citizens feel for Turkey.
How to Fit the Alevis into ‘New Turkey’ Mustafa Akyol argues that the ideology of the AKP, which is evolving into the “official ideology” of the “New Turkey,” makes it rather difficult address the demands of Alevis.
It’s Not Just About Cemevis, Diyanet Remains the Problem Özgur Korkmaz points out that Diyanet, the Presidency of Religious Affairs, remains the main obstacle to an Alevi opening since it serves only the Sunni majority in Turkey.
AKP Continues with Cosmetic Reforms for Alevis Orhan Kemal Cengiz argues that not only by denying cemevis the status of places of worship, but also by forcing Alevi children to get mandatory religious lessons, Turkey ignores the fundamental rights of Alevis.
The Alevi Barrier to the Alevi Initiative Etyen Mahçupyan argues that the real problem in the Alevi opening is that the subgroups within the Alevi community have disagreements and deeply-rooted enmities between them.
The ECtHR and Alevis Beril Dedeoğlu reports that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled last week that Turkey is violating Alevis` human rights.
Ankara Remains Powerless in the Middle East Semih İdiz argues that while it is clear that ISIL has sympathizers in Turkey, and possibly even among some members of the state apparatus, it is difficult to believe that the government has an active but covert policy of providing assistance to this group.
Lonely or Not? Suat Kınıklıoğlu comments on Turkey’s increasing isolation in international relations as a result of President Erdoğan`s authoritarian policies and controversial foreign policies regarding Syria.
Normalization of Turkey-Iraq Relations Yasar Yakış reports that Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s visit to Baghdad may give new impetus to Turkey-Iraq relations.
New Opportunities to Compensate for Setbacks in Foreign Policy Yahya Bostan provides the reader with a comprehensive overview of Turkey`s foreign policy regarding its relations with Syria, Iraq, Russia, the US, and the EU.
Turkey’s War in Libya “The Turkish government denies that it is taking sides in Libya, between the governments in Tobruk and Tripoli,” writes Fehim Taştekin.
And Here Comes Iran Verda Özer argues that Turkey might become more engaged in the international coalition against ISIS after Iran’s participation in the coalition since Turkey is in a regional rivalry with Iran.
EU, European Economic Area and Turkey According to Aydın Barış Yıldırım, Turkey’s membership in the European Economic Area would provide net gains for everyone while circumventing all the problems associated with accession to the EU.
Much Ado About Little in Foreign Policy Abdullah Bozkurt criticizes the AKP government for signing an increasing number of bilateral deals which contain little in terms of substance and value.
EU and Turkey: Time for a New Roadmap Amanda Paul argues that there is an urgent need for the EU to re-engage and develop a new strategy for Turkey’s membership.
Syria / Kobane
Latest ISIS Attack on Kobanê Implicates Turkey Once More İskender Doğu discusses the implication of an alleged involvement of the Turkish government in the recent IS attack on Kobane.
Washington Still Says ’No’ to No-Fly Zone Ömer Taşpınar talks about the stubborn point of divergence between the US and Turkey.
Anti-IS Coalition`s `Train-and-Equip` Program Not Enough Metin Turcan details the training efforts in Syria provided by the anti-IS coalition and Turkey.
Turkey and the Divided Syrian Opposition Joost Lagendijk questions the viability of a free-zone in terms of its potential negative outcomes for Tukey.
Turkey Not Expected to Revise Syria Policy According to Semih İdiz, “[w]hatever the truth may be, Syria continues to be a `messy` affair for Ankara, even if it is not prepared to revise its policies.”
“New Turkey,” Democracy, Authoritarianism
‘Üst akıl’ı bilmem ama bu akılla sonumuz felaket: Ya faşizm ya çözülüş Nuray Mert argues that the AKP’s “New Turkey” will lead either into fascism or a breaking down of the AKP.
‘Paralel Devlet’ Niye Safsatadır? According to Şahin Alpay, the government attempts to install an all-abiding judicial power through creating the conspiracy of a parallel state in the judicial ranks.
‘Laik-Dindar Çatışması’nın Yerini Ne Aldı? Mümtaz’er Türköne frames the conflict between the Gülen movement and the government as the clash between civic and political sphere as replacing “the old clash between laicism and religion.”
İyi niyetliysen "makul şüphe"lenilmesi zoruna gitmez mi? Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu criticizes the fact that the domestic security package will enable the police and the gendarmerie to search anybody or any vehicle without a court order if they arouse a “reasonable doubt.”
Bazen AK Amberin Zaman purports that it is important to point out the good practices of the government, and tone down anti-Erdoğanism, in order to ease the tension in the country.
Ak rejimin kültürel bataklığı Dağhan Irak claims that the AKP has failed to break the cultural dominance and create one of its own.
Netanyahu ile ne farkınız var? İhsan Çaralan underlies the similarities between Israel and Turkey in terms of political practices shaped in accordance with explicit religious references.
Alevilerin yargı zaferi Ali Kenanoğlu analyzes the meaning and importance of the European Court of Human Rights’ verdict regarding Alevi rights in Turkey.
Muhafazakar demokratlıktan radikal İslamcılığa: Tehlikenin farkında mısınız? Nuray Mert claims that the country is experiencing a transition from conservative democracy to radical Islam.
Dedelerimizin mezarları Cem Erciyes sees the planned incorporation of Ottoman Turkish to the high school curriculum as purely ideological.
Zorunlu/ bedelli askerlik Ümit Kardaş, a retired military judge, calls for a technological and ideological reform in the military instead of occasionally allowing for paid military service.
Yeni yargı paketi Neyzen Tevfik misali: Sazlarda tel değişti, yumruk yine o yumruk Kemal Şahin argues that the newly passed domestic security bill in fact aims to change the members of the Supreme Court and State Council in order to attack the Gülen community.
Barışın inşacısı olarak Türkiye... Markar Esayan thinks Turkey now has an even bigger responsibility and mission to work towards peace in the region.
Yayın yasağının çözümü medya özdenetimi İsmail Çağlar offers a solution to cases of media censorship in Turkey: self-regulatory boards.
Yayın yasakları demokrasiye engel Özden Cankaya discusses the reasons why gag orders are barriers to democracy.
The Ten Percent Election Threshold
Yüzde 10 barajı 12 Eylül’den kalma Mehmet Kamış accuses Erdogan of forgetting the fact that that the ten percent election threshold is a product of the 12 September military coup.
Gölge boksu veya ‘mış gibi’ yapmak A. Turan Alkan argues that the ten percent election threshold benefits only the AKP and MHP.
Yüzde 10 sancısı Mustafa Ünal argues that although the Constitutional Court took the possibility of lowering the ten percent election threshold into its agenda, it is very likely for the Court to make a radical decision.
Seçim, Baraj ve Kamuoyu Yoklamaları (1)-(2) Sezgin Tüzün reports that if the Constitutional Court finds the election threshold as a rights violation, 2015 elections would be held with a “zero threshold.”
Yine, yeniden seçim barajı Bekir Ağırdır argues that the election threshold is not legal but a political question; thus whatever decision the Constitutional Court makes, it will be necessarily political.
Seçim sistemine dair öneriler ne anlama geliyor? (1)-(2)-(3) Bekir Ağırdır analyzes the existing election system, addresses its problems, and evaluates the suggestions for a new election system.
Baraj According to Murat Belge, the AKP government shares in common with the 1980 military coup regime the project of shaping an “ideal Turkey” with “ideal citizen subjects.”
İktidar değil, mağdurusunuz! Kenan Kırkkaya argues that the AKP will try to create yet another victimhood image for itself in order to legitimize the election threshold.
Bu terazi bu kadar sıkleti çekmez Altan Öymen argues that with the current state of politics in the country, the election threshold is no longer sustainable.
Putin’s Visit / Turkey-Russia Relations
10 soruda Putin`in Türkiye ziyareti Hakan Aksay explains Putin’s visit to Turkey in ten steps.
Putin`in ziyareti Ankara-Moskova hattına nasıl yansır? Fatih Özbay argues that Putin will use his visit to Turkey as a “show of force” against the West.
Putin`le Erdoğan: "Cikmaz sokak"ta yoldaslik Cengiz Çandar argues that cooperation with Russia would not provide Turkey with any “strategic benefit” because any convergence with Russia will necessarily mean diverging Turkey from the EU.
Kötü bir bahane: Avrupa merkezcilik Joost Lagendjik draws attention to the parallels between Russia and Turkey in terms of their authoritarian governments and lack of democracy.
Erdoğan’ın Avrupa Birliği’ne alternatif Rusya planı… Hasan Cemal argues that Erdoğan has developed a “Russia plan” as an alternative to the EU.
Putin’in Türkiye hamlesi Fatih Polat comments that Putin’s Turkey visit was a strategic decision in order to develop alternative partnerships, since he is isolated by the Western powers.
Rusya ve Türkiye Sezin Öney argues that both Erdogan and Putin have the “we know what is the best for you” attitude towards minorities in their countries.
Rusya’yla göbek bağı Hadi Uluengin argues that a potential partnership between Turkey and Russia will increase the authoritarian tendencies in Turkey.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
Öcalan`dan tarihi taslak Ali Barış Kurt discusses the details of the plan provided by Öcalan with a member of the delegate and HDP deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder.
Kürde dayanmayan Türklük biter Adil Bayram claims that the continuation of an anti-Kurdish tone in Turkish politics will lead to grave outcomes, if not prevented by the rise of a new politics.
Sorun zihniyet sorunudur (1) - (2) Hüseyin Ali calls for an immediate change in how the government perceives the peace process and demands implemented policies rather than mere rhetoric.
Siyaseti yükseltmek Erol Katırcıoğlu points to the importance of maintaining a political environment where the demands of both parties are being negotiated.
Asya Abdullah: Türkiye saldırıya açıklık getirmeli Asya Abdullah, co-chairman of the PYD, asks the Turkish government to shed light on the IS attack that came from within Turkey’s borders.
Öcalan`ın taslağı bu devlete uyacak mı? Ezgi Başaran expresses concerns over the reception of Öcalan’s plan by the government.
Barış ve çözüm diyalektiği kaos ve darbe mekaniği Veysi Sarısözen discusses the importance of the HDP’s decision to enter the general elections as a party, unlike the previous practice of nominating individual candidates.
Bu kanlı hesabı,İmralı’daki doğru hesap bozar! According to Ayşe Batumlu, all democratic forces in the country should actively advocate for the continuation of the peace process.
Süreci provokasyondan kurtarmak... Fehim Işık warns against provocations aiming at halting the peace process.
‘Çözüm süreci’, yüzde 10 barajı ve seçim İhsan Çaralan discusses the ties between debates around the election threshold and the peace process.
Diyalog yeniden kuruldu ama çözümde yol alınacak mı... Ender İmrek wonders whether the continuation of dialogue between parties would mean meaningful progress in the peace process.
İmralı ile Kandil arasında çelişki yok, olsa olsa nüans var Mete Çubukçu purports that the perspectives of Öcalan and the PKK regarding the process do not differ in major ways.
Syria / Kobane
Alo siloda kim var? Asker değilse karşılık vereceğiz! Fehim Taştekin writes about the two different perspectives on the recent IS assault on the PYD, which came from within Turkey`s borders.
Mürşitpınar`da ne oluyor? Ahmet İnsel points to the importance of shedding light on what has been happening in Mürşitpınar, the border city where the IS assault on the PYD came from.
AKP yine suçüstü yakalandı! According to Besé Hozat, the IS assault happened under the tacit allowance of Turkish government.
Türkiye IŞİD’le kurucu ülke mi olacak? Seydi Fırat questions whether the AKP government’s leadership goals in the region involves alliances with the IS and Al-Nusra.
Antep devrim üssü olursa Fehim Taştekin discusses the possibility of Antep, a southeastern city near the Syrian border, being a center for “moderate” forces in Syria.
Şiddetle yüklü erkek paradigmasının temel direği Tayip Erdoğan According to Zilar Stérk, the dominant patriarchal discourse in Turkey is supported and sustained by Erdoğan’s frequent statements on gender issues.
Fıtratı ve eşitliği fiziksel güce indirgemek Hüda Kaya purports that Erdoğan reduces the discussion of disposition and equality to physical differences between men and women.
Eşdeğer mi eşit mi? Responding to Erdoğan’s statements, Nilay Etiler attempts to decipher the rhetorical difference between “equal” and “equivalent” status.
İşçiler: Ya ölün, ya aç kalın! Kadınlar: Ya ölün ya erkeğe kul olun! Oya Baydar claims that the government’s message to workers is a choice between “dying or starving,” while women are given the choice of either “dying or being subject to men.”
Güvencesizlik ve Soma: Tazminatı kim-nasıl verecek? Murat Özveri discusses workers compensation in Turkey, with particular attention to survivors of the Soma massacre.
Devlet lüks saray yaptırınca yoksulluk azalmadı (1) - (2) - (3) Süleyman Yaşar argues that the poverty figures do not show any change: food prices increase and export figures decrease, while the budget continues to be spent on luxurious expenditures.
Şevket Pamuk: 2007 sonrası partiye yakın zengin bir zümre yaratmak en büyük ekonomik hedef oldu Ezgi Başaran’s interview with economist Şevket Pamuk on the reasons and consequences for the growth in the construction sector in Turkey.
İsteyen 2003-2007 ile avunadursun biz gerçek duruma bakalım (2) Fatih Özatay continues to interpret the differences in economic figures between the 2003-2007 and 2008-2013 periods.
Other Pertinent Pieces
"Fotoğrafı Kaldırmak" A short video, titled “Holding Up the Photograph,” produced by the Truth Justice Memory Center about the experiences of women whose husbands were forcibly disappeared. The written report can also be found on "Holding Up the Photograph.”
"Misafir" söylemini bırak, mülteci haklarına bak! Nurcan Baysal lists negative outcomes of Syrians in Turkey being framed as “visitors” as opposed to refugees.
Ermeni ders kitaplarında 1915 (1)-(2)-(3)-(4)-(5) Taner Akçam traces the depiction of the 1915 Armenian Genocide and Turks in Armenian school textbooks.
"Mülteci" olarak tanımamanın bedeli Ahmet İnsel warns against the potential future problems of denying refugee status to Syrians in Turkey.
Eleştirel bir dindarlık ihtiyacı Mücahit Bilici calls for critical perspectives in religious thinking.
SPoD LGBTİ: Hem özgürlük hem eşitlik istiyoruz (Evet, parti de yapıyoruz) An interview with SPoD on LGBTİ rights and political struggle in Turkey.
Sitelerin "koruduğu" hayatlar Güneş Başat’s interview with Biray Kolluoğlu on “site” (i.e. a building complex) on why they are prefered and the future generations raised in these environments.
Yeniçerilik, zorunlu ve bedelli askerlik, vicdani ret Ayşe Hür historicizes paid military service and conscientious objection.
Published on Jadaliyya
Expropriation, Lawlessness, and Resistance in Yirca`s Olive Groves: An Interview with Olcay Bingol and Deniz Bayram
Yerellik ve Evrensellik arasinda Rojava deneyimi
Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian
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