[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.]
AKP / “New Turkey” / Democracy / Authoritarianism
A New Threat Looming on Turkey`s Horizon: Brain Drain According to Barçın Yinanç, the AKP’s efforts to introduce religion into its secular education system threaten the intellectual strength of Turkey in relation to other Muslim-majority countries.
`Convenient` Murder (1) - (2) Emre Uslu argues that the same people responsible for Hrant Dink’s assassination and the murder of Kurdish activists in Paris are now organizing against the Gülen movement.
Erdoğan Islamizes Education System to Raise `Devout Youth` Kadri Gürsel examines the controversies surrounding recent plans to change the Turkish education system.
Yes to `Ottoman,` No to Compulsory Religion Mustafa Akyol argues in favor of the Ottoman language courses but against the growing religious influence in the sphere of education.
$8,700 will let Young Turks `Buy Out` Their Military Service Metin Turcan explores the causes and consequences of the Turkish government’s recent decision to allow men to purchase exemption from compulsory military service.
Erdoğan`s `New Turkey` Aspires Teaching `Old Turkish` Pınar Tremblay analyzes the justifications behind the AKP government’s efforts to mandate Ottoman language courses.
Breaking the Spell of Armed Forces` Importance in Turkish Society Lale Kemal shows that the ability to buy out of military service means that the burden of service falls on poorer and less-educated people.
Shadow Government Set up in Erdoğan`s White Palace Fehim Taştekin writes that the confidential establishment of a "parallel cabinet" is indicative of Erdoğan’s efforts to consolidate power around himself.
How Has the AK Party Become the Ruling Party? (1) - (2) According to Etyen Mahçupyan, the AK Party’s ongoing political successes are not the result of its own willfulness but rather its resonance with large segments of the Muslim population, as well as Erdoğan’s charismatic presence in the Middle East.
I Refuse to be Intimidated Abdullah Bozkurt evaluates the prospect of an imminent government crackdown on journalism and free speech.
Erdoğan Poised to Land Blow on Former Ally Gülen Murat Yetkin predicts that the AKP government will conduct operations against Gülenists in Turkey on the eve of the anniversary of the 17 December corruption scandal.
Yes, Turkey is Old Turkey No More! Arzu Kaya Uranlı argues that Erdoğan’s "New Turkey" is characterized by a series of unending controversies intended to preoccupy the public.
Neo-Ottomanism Doğu Ergil criticizes the assumptions about the Ottoman Empire that underpin the resurgent discourse of neo-Ottomanism.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
Dangerous Escalation of Tension in Turkey`s Kurdish Bid Murat Yetkin analyzes the negative impact that the new security bill has had on efforts to broker a peace deal between the government and the PKK.
Turkey is One Step Closer to Peace Markar Esayan claims that the AKP’s steadfastness in the peace process led to the recent announcement by the KCK that it accepted the Democratic Resolution and Negotiation Draft.
A Conversation with Salih Muslim Verda Özer interviews Salih Muslim, co-president of the PYD in Syria, about Kobane, the peace process, and prospects for Kurdish unity.
Robbing Turkey of its Values Abdullah Bozkurt argues that the growing corruption and authoritarianism of the AKP government has undermined public confidence and will “sweep Islamists from power sooner than many think.”
Moral Damage Ali Bulaç claims that government corruption has sullied the legitimacy of Islam and corrupted the beliefs of religious people in Turkey.
Why Davutoğlu`s Armenian Adviser Angered AKP Deputies According to Mustafa Akyol, Etyen Mahçupyan, Davutoğlu’s top political adviser, has a sophisticated defense of AKP politics that nonetheless undermines human rights and the rule of law.
Which One of the Four Ex-Ministers will be Tried by Turkish Courts? Murat Yetkin examines the accusations against the four ex-ministers who were ousted following the corruption probe in December of last year.
Election Threshold & Constitutional Court
Turkey`s Trial with the Judiciary Markar Esayan claims that the constitutional court’s recent proposal to lower the election threshold is an effort to undermine the elections next year.
The AKP Fears a Level Playing Field Semih İdiz asserts that lowering the election threshold below ten percent would threaten the AKP’s political dominance.
The 2015 Election in Turkey According to Taha Özhan, the 2015 election will help consolidate the AKP’s rule and will show the inefficacy of the opposition parties’ organization and politics.
Abdul-Mahdi: Now Real Work Begins for Baghdad, Erbil (1) - (2) Cengiz Çandar argues that Turkey may become a “geopolitical bystander” due to recent oil deals between Baghdad and Erbil as well as Russia’s cancellation of the South Stream gas project.
Turkey and Greece Are Breaking Taboos Ozan Ceyhun claims that the recent advances in Turkey-Greece relations can help resolve the Cyprus issue as well as the tensions with Armenia.
Turkey, the EU, and the Middle East Murat Yetkin examines recent improvements in Turkey’s relationship to the EU in light of its perceived shift towards the Middle East in recent years.
Animosity for the West Drives Erdoğan, Putin Closer Semih İdiz argues that recent developments in Turkey-Russia relations are part of an effort by Putin and Erdoğan at geopolitical restructuring aimed at subverting the West’s dominance.
In Natural Gas, All Pipelines Go through Turkey According to Mehmet Çetingüleç, Turkey is becoming a bridge for natural gas being sold to Europe by countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Erdoğan Defends Brotherhood`s Qaradawi after Arrest Warrant Tülin Daloğlu writes about the consequences of Erdoğan’s efforts to protect Youssef al-Qaradawi, the ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, from extradition back to Egypt.
Ten Years Ago Joost Lagendijk meditates on current EU-Turkey relations in light of the tenth anniversary of the beginning of Turkey’s accession talks.
Energy Deals May Make Turkey Irreversibly Reliant on Moscow Zülfikar Doğan suggests that the recent natural gas deal between Turkey and Russia, as well as Russia’s efforts to help build nuclear power plants in Turkey, threaten Turkey’s energy independence.
Turkish Foreign Policy in the Middle East Murat Özçelik argues that Turkey’s moderate Islamist approach to foreign policy in the Middle East has led to “intractable problems” with all of its neighbors.
The Cyprus Standoff Continues According to Amanda Paul, the Cyprus peace talks should involve a discussion over Cyprus’ natural gas reserves in order to resolve the conflict.
Businesses Boom as Syrians Put Down Roots in Turkey Sibel Utku Bila explores the changing dynamics of business and commerce as Syrian refugees begin to enter the economy and workforce.
On the Verge of a Bottleneck İbrahim Türkmen claims that recent trends indicate a slump in Turkey’s growth that should generate political pressure on the Central Bank.
An Insightful Outlook on Turkish Economy from the World Bank Serkan Demirtaş analyzes a recent World Bank report on the Turkish economy that highlights the value of education and encourages a crackdown on corruption as well as more modest expectations for Turkey’s continued growth.
Greece in Trouble: What Will Turkey`s Role Be? Tulu Gümüştekin suggests that the solution to Greece’s ongoing financial difficulties and severe austerity measures could lie in Turkey’s economic stability.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Proposed Bill Challenges Turkish Citizenship for Foreign Spouses Pınar Tremblay examines a recent bill that stipulates foreign spouses must align with “public morality” in order to be eligible for Turkish citizenship through marriage.
Inequality Is the Only Problem in Turkish Education İsmet Berkan argues that the structure of the Turkish education system perpetuates inequality and reproduces elitism.
Gezi and Ferguson: A Reply to Ceren Kenar Louis Fishman criticizes pro-government journalists for trying to compare the Gezi protests with the Ferguson protests against police violence in order to delegitimize the Gezi protests.
AKP / “New Turkey” / Democracy / Authoritarianism
Muhafazakâr demokratlıktan radikal İslamcılığa, devlet eliyle toplumu dindarlaştırmaya… Hasan Cemal argues that the AKP has transformed from “conservative democrat” to “radical Islamist” and that it imposes a state-sanctioned religiosity on all segments of society.
Dinle devleti ayırmadan olmaz Commenting on the recent debates on the Alevi question as well as the limits and problems of Diyanet (the Directorate of Religious Affairs), Sahin Alpay argues that the real solution lies in the separation of religion from the state.
Aile devleti Turhan Bozkurt criticizes the AKP for building a “family state” that favors kinship ties over democracy.
AKP’nin kazanacağı son seçim! According to Seyfi Ongider, the “New Turkey” has been built upon Erdoğan’s “politics of polarization,” through which he tries to garner support and legitimacy from the majority.
Firtina oncesi sessizlik Suat Kiniklioglu argues that the 2015 elections are the last chance for Turkey to adopt democratization.
Neden devlet cocuklarimizin zamanina once el koyup sonra geri satiyor? Guven Sak criticizes compulsory military service for male citizens in Turkey.
Süper lider gerçeğe karşı Oney Sezin argues that Erdoğan emphasizes the importance of human rights only when his target audience is the West, while human rights violations are drastically increasing in Turkey.
Demirtaş olayı: “Yeni” Türkiye’ye “eski” adet (1)-(2) Rusen Cakir argues that the AKP has followed a campaign to discredit Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas since the last presidential elections.
Din devletin olursa? “The government is expropriating religion. Thus the government is increasing its sovereignty and opening up a power domain for Erdoğan that would not even be affected by corruption or injustice,” writes Mumtaz’er Turkone.
AKP`yi surekli kim aldatiyor? Ahmet Insel suggests that the AKP uses the rhetoric of fighting with the “parallel state” in order to pass a new domestic security bill which would give the police enormous rights.
Çekin ellerinizi gazetecilerin üzerinden! Dogan Akin reports that the government is preparing for a mass arrest of journalists who work at publications that belong to the Gülen community.
Ha sokaksız demokrasi ha “yumurtasız omlet” (1)-(2) Criticizing the mass arrests of dissidents under the name of “public security,” Veysi Sarisozen argues that “streets” are the only remaining means that would put an end to the AKP’s dictatorship.
Gözdağı nereye kadar? Lale Kemal criticizes the government for resorting to mass arrests of dissidents and journalists and censorship on the free press in order to blanket corruption allegations.
Şifre 17 Aralık Mustafa Unal argues that the government might conduct a big operation against journalists in order to take revenge for and render invisible the 17 December corruption and bribery allegations.
Gündem hamlesi Mustafa Unal finds Erdoğan’s statement that the Gülen community and the PKK work in collaboration unproven and just a maneuver to divert the public’s attention from corruption allegations.
Eğitim Şûrası (1)-(2) Murat Belge reports that the AKP took compulsory Ottoman language classes and stopping mixed-sex education into its political agenda.
Mesele Osmanlıca değil, ‘yeni Osmanlıcılık’ Hurrem Sonmez argues that the AKP’s real motivation behind its attempts to mandate Ottoman language courses is adopting and spreading “New Ottomanism.”
‘Osmanlıca’ savaşları: Maksat geçmişle barışmak değil, bugünkü kavgayı körüklemek Nuray Mert demystifies the government’s claim that Ottoman language classes will establish a bridge between Turkish citizens and their forgotten past.
Eğitim Şûrası ve Osmanlıca tartışmaları “It is clear that the AKP’s concern is not linguistics or reinterpretation of historical documents.…The AKP is concerned with `social engineering` and it wants to reshape the society by rendering it more backward and conservative,” writes Ahmet Yasaroglu.
Mesele gerçekten Osmanlıca mı? Bekir Agirdir suggests that the AKP’s attempts to mandate Ottoman language classes are part of its attempts to generate a homogenous society that does not allow for multiplicity and diversity.
Eğitim üzerine notlar Metin Yegin proposes new roadmaps for an alternative education system that do not impose on students any compulsory classes and that permit education in the mother language.
Election Threshold & Constitutional Court
Seçim ve demokratik siyaset According to Adil Bayram, the 2015 elections will determine where Turkey will go from now amidst the war and violence in the Middle East.
Baraj niyeti ve çözüm samimiyeti Ayhan Bilgen argues that lowering or eliminating the ten percent electoral threshold would show whether or not the government is sincere about its efforts for democratization and solving the Kurdish question.
‘Barajın’ faturası bu sefer AKP’ye çıkmalıdır! Ihsan Carlan highlights that the ten percent threshold is a product of 1980 military coup and it has aimed at preventing Kurdish political parties from entering parliament.
Seçim barajı AKP’yi boğacak “Corruption and bribery allegations as well as the HDP’s decision to enter the next elections as a political party [instead of independent parliamentarians] has ruined all of the AKP’s plans,” writes Dogan Durgun.
Peace and Reconciliation Process
AKP’nin sürece yaklaşımı güven vermiyor Zilark Sterk points out that the AKP is trying to stall the peace process until the end of the next elections.
Başkanlık gölgesindeki sürecin sonu kopuştur Cengiz Aktar suggests that the government stalls the peace process, whereas Öcalan argues that with a strong and sincere will, peace can be established in four to five months.
Once Terorle Mucadele Kanunu, digerleri sonra… According to Tarhan Erdem, the Kurdish question cannot be solved without eliminating the censorship on freedom of opinion and expression and eliminating the Anti-Terror laws.
Ocalan`dan Kandil`e rest, Kandil`den sartli destek Murat Yetkin suggest that the new domestic security bill and upcoming elections will play crucial roles in the peace process.
Kürtlerin kumarı Amberin Zaman argues that the HDP’s decision to enter the next elections as a political party instead of independent parliamentarians might be a strategy to strengthen its hand during peace negotiations with the AKP.
Çözüm sürecindeki fasit daire… Ali Bayramoglu argues that the peace process entered into a stagnant period because of the government’s passing of a new security bill and the HDP’s calling for street protests as well as the war in Kobane.
Kontrollü gerginlik, kontrollü müzakere According to Mete Cubukcu, there is an unsolved “trust problem” between the government and the Kurdish political movement, which blocks the peace process.
Çözüm süreci yola girecek mi? Muzaffer Ayata points out that the government does not have any roadmap or strategy for the peace process other than stalling.
HDP ve Demirtaş neden hedef tahtasına yatırıldı? Ender Imrek sees AKP’s lynching campaigns against the HDP and Selahattin Demirtas as a lynching campaign against all peace and democracy struggles.
Turkiye`nin "Avrupa`siz" yolculugu (1)-(2) Cengiz Candar suggests that Erdoğan’s foreign policy in the Middle East leads Turkey into a “journey without Europe.”
Cikisi olmayan cikis According to Fehim Tastekin, it is very unlikely for Turkey to find a way out of the dilemma in terms of its position in international relations without changing its foreign policy.
IMF’ye göre Türkiye’de bankalar riskli Suleyman Yasar reports that banks in Turkey are risky for investors and creditors, according to the IMF.
2014: Ekonomik performans iyi degil! Fatih Ozatay points out that inflation and unemployment are increasing in Turkey, whereas the growth share is likely to remain under three percent.
Devlet kapitalizmine geçtik Suleyman Yasar argues that Turkey has switched from a market economy to state-centered capitalism.
Other Pertinent Pieces
90`ların hak mücadeleleri (1)-(2)-(3)-(4)-(5)-(6)-(7)-(8) Bianet’s comprehensive series chronicles the 1990’s rights struggles in Turkey, including the issues of freedom of press and expression, social movements, urban transformation, LGBT rights, conscientious objection and others.
`Nefes alamıyorum`: Başkaldırının farkında mısınız? Cihan Tugal argues that not only in the United States but in Tunisia, Turkey, and elsewhere, people “cannot breathe” because of the globalization of capitalism, isolation, and fascism.
“Polis hukuku sevmez, polis olmayı sever” Veysel Dinler, former crime scene investigator, comments on the new domestic security bill.
Dink Davası: Bir otopsi… Ali Bayramoglu argues that Hrant Dink’s unidentified murder would be an autopsy to Turkey’s corrupt, fragmented, and politicized judiciary system as well as state institutions, including the police and national intelligence.
Published on Jadaliyya
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