[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.]
Kurdish Victory in Kobani Defeat for Turkish Policy Amberin Zaman argues that the liberation of Kobanê and the prospect of an autonomous Kurdish Syria pose a threat to the Turkish approach to the Kurdish question.
Celebrations after Kobanê`s Liberation from ISIS A photo series containing images of celebrations in Diyarbakır, Suruç, and Istanbul following the news of Kobanê’s liberation.
Syrian Kurds Drive Islamic State out of Kobanê A series of photographs showing the aftermath of the battle for Kobanê.
What Is Happening in the Middle East? Tulu Gümüştekin suggests that the liberation of Kobanê should not be seen as a turning point for the Kurds or the struggle against ISIS, and that we should attend to Turkish policy in order to restore order in the Middle East.
Kurds Turn the Tide against Islamic State in Kobanê Cengiz Güneş claims that the liberation of Kobanê and the Kurds ongoing fight against ISIS “is likely to translate into more influence” across the region.
"We are so Proud"—The Women who Died Defending Kobani against ISIS Mona Mahmood interviews refugees from Kobanê in Turkey who lost female relatives in the battle against ISIS to save the city.
AKP and “Authoritarianism”
UN Takes up Rights Abuses by Turkey Abdullah Bozkurt writes about discussions of press freedom and Turkey taking place at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Turkey`s Central Bank Caves on Interest Rates Mehmet Çetingüleç examines how pressure from Erdoğan has caused the Central Bank to lower interest rates, in spite of the risk such a move poses.
War on Gülenists Undermines Turkish Diplomacy Fehim Taştekin analyzes how the fallout between the AKP and the Gülen Movement is impacting diplomatic missions within Turkey, as well as Turkish politics abroad.
Turkey`s Arms Procurement Raises Questions Metin Gürcan claims that the increase in Turkish defense spending has been accompanied by a drastic decrease in the transparency of that spending.
April 24 and Turkish Worries Doğu Ergil argues that the Turkish government is trying to whitewash the history of the Armenian genocide by trying to connect the hundred-year anniversary with the anniversary of the campaign in Gallipoli.
Internal Security Package and Gendarmerie Lale Kemal suggests that security reforms in Turkey are blurring the line between military and police and allowing tighter restrictions on dissent and opposition.
What War Is the Government Preparing For? Orhan Kemal Cengiz asserts that the transformation of the security structures in Turkey and the expansion of the defense budget signify that the AKP government plans to declare war on all opposition.
Values and Norms: Who Is Turkey Allied With? Bülent Keneş argues that the breakdown of legal principles in Turkey has led the government to seek alternative allies to the EU and NATO.
June Elections & Presidential System
Turkish-Style Presidential System Yahya Bostan explores various scenarios about the outcome of the elections and claims that a presidential system is more desirable than the current one.
The HDP Challenging the Election Threshold Is Risky and Pointless Cengiz Aktar suggests that the HDP’s decision to enter the election as a party, rather than with individual candidates, poses a threat to Turkish democracy because they will likely not meet the ten percent election threshold and will therefore be shut out of Parliament.
Why did Turks Elect Erdoğan President? İlnur Çevik asserts that Erdoğan was elected with a mandate to rewrite the Turkish constitution and improve democratic norms.
Erdoğan`s Presidential Ambitions Mümtazer Türköne compares the presidential system envisioned by Erdoğan with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the current regimes in Egypt and Syria.
EU Urges HDP not to Take Risks in Upcoming Polls According to Serkan Demirtaş, the EU has cautioned HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş against running as a party in the election because of the threat it poses to the future of the peace process.
Kurdish Roulette: Folly or Wisdom? Yavuz Baydar describes the HDP election strategy as a “daredevil Kurdish gamble” and argues that the party should enter the election with independent candidates to prevent the AKP from achieving a parliamentary majority.
Janus-Faced AKP on Israel, Syria, and Egypt According to İhsan Yılmaz, the AKP’s opportunist foreign policies have begun to alienate AKP supporters.
Claims of Arms Transfers to Syria by Turkey Are Exaggerated, Says Expert Barçın Yinanç interviews a former member of the Turkish armed forces who claims that arms transfers from Turkey are having a much less significant impact on the Syrian war than the media is suggesting.
Prospects for Turkish-Greek Ties Look Good (1) - (2) Semih İdiz suggests that the election of Syriza in Greece will improve cultural, diplomatic, and economic interactions between Turkey and Greece.
Turkey`s Leftists, Kurds Celebrate Syriza Victory Cengiz Çandar claims that the unlikely victory of Syriza in Greece has stimulated opposition politics in Turkey.
Why Erdoğan`s Media Sees British Conspiracy in Somalia Mustafa Akyol argues that the reason why pro-AKP media speculated that England was behind the attack in Somalia is because they want to deny that Erdoğan might have enemies within the Muslim world.
The Changing Mindset of the Turkish State Nagehan Alçı claims that Erdoğan and the AKP’s approach to the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide signify Turkey’s transformation into a country that values pluralism and cosmopolitanism.
The Syriza Effect, the End of the EU, and Turkish-German Rivalry… İbrahim Karagül suggests that the election of Syriza in Greece is a vindication of Turkish critiques of the European Union and an indicator of the EU’s impending downfall.
The Turkish Stream: Where to Go from Here? Mehmet Öğütçü and Danila Bochkarev argue that the negotiations about natural gas sales and delivery need a transparent, robust dialogue in order to productively progress.
Erdoğan`s Africa Tour Fehim Taştekin claims that Erdoğan is using his tour of Africa to wield influence in the Islamic world at large in the wake of his failures to become an effective leader within the Middle East.
Peace Process and Kurdish Politics
The Dynamics that Launched the Resolution Process (1) - (2) According to Hatem Ete, the PKK was forced into the reconciliation process not out of choice, but out of a strategic necessity as a consequence of the AKP’s democratic reforms and political projects.
The More Challenging Phases of the Resolution Process Comparing the Kurdish question in Turkey to the question of separatist Irish nationalism in the United Kingdom, Kemal Öztürk suggests that the most difficult element of the peace and reconciliation process is reintegrating members of the PKK back into Turkish society.
Bottleneck Days in the Resolution Process İsmet Berkan asserts that both the PKK and the ruling government are at a junction in the Kurdish peace and reconciliation process in which each party has to make decisions about how best to proceed.
Eyeing Political Gains, Kurds and Syriacs Aim to Mend Old Wounds Susanne Güsten examines how Abdullah Öcalan and Kurdish leaders today are attempting to recuperate political alliances with Syriacs in order to present the Kurdish movement as “a multiethnic democratic force.”
Other Pertinent Pieces
Why a "Turkish Tspiras" Is an Oxymoron Burak Bekdil speculates that Alexis Tspiras, leader of the Syriza party in Greece, would be imprisoned or killed if he were a politician in the Turkish context.
Anti-Syrian Racism in Turkey Doğuş Şimşek profiles the rise of vehement anti-Syrian sentiment among politicians, the media, and the public, resulting from the influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey.
Kobanê Kürtlerin destanıdır, Erdoğan’ın da hüsranı… Hasan Cemal argues that the victory in Kobanê is a defeat for Erdoğan as he fears the consolidation of Kurdish autonomous entities in Syria.
Kürtler Kobane`de Türkiye`nin rolünü unutmayacaktır, rahat olun In response to Bülent Arınç’s remarks regarding the role of Turkey in the Kobanê battle, Ezgi Başaran reminds us of the government’s hostile attitude towards the struggle.
134 gün süren direnişin anlamı Sara Aktaş argues that Kobanê united all democractic forces worldwide, not just the Kurds in the region, and took on an international character.
Kobanê nasıl kazandı? Metin Yeğin states that the main factor in Kobanê’s liberation is the principles of freedom and equality shared by all constituents of the struggle.
Ankara Kobani’den ders çıkarabilecek mi? Ruşen Çakır asks whether the change of tone in the Turkish government`s attitude towards Kobanê reflects a genuine reflection.
AKP Kobanê hezimetinden ganimet devşirebilir mi? According to İrfan Aktan, the Turkish government’s change of plans regarding the autonomous Kurdish entities in Syria involves intervention via economic means.
"Biji berxwedana Kobanê" Cengiz Çandar asks Erdoğan and Davutoğlu to celebrate the struggle in Kobanê, a movement that could significantly better the conditions of the peace process.
Türk generali ABD`den nasıl Suriye madalyası alır? Murat Yetkin questions the connection between a Turkish general receiving a US Legion of Merit medal and the fight against IS.
Metal Worker’s Strike
Metal işçilerinin büyük grevi (1) - (2) Aziz Çelik comments on the importance of the metal workers’ strike and condemns the ban that was quickly passed by the Parliament.
Grev mücadelesi artık siyasi mücadeledir According to İhsan Çaralan, the banning of the strike crystallizes the antagonistic political fight between workers and the government.
Gün, grev hakkına sahip çıkma günüdür Murat Özveri criticizes the rationale behind banning the strike and calls on unions to uphold the right to strike.
AKP and “Authoritarianism”
‘Derin devlet’, toplumun ‘ortak bellek’ine karşı! According to Atilla Dorsay, one of the main goals of the AKP government is to cut society’s ties with its (secular) past.
Devletin şaftı nasıl kaydı? Mümtaz’er Türköne asserts that Erdoğan’s idiosyncratic practices of ruling the country, one of which is his future agenda of a presidential system, creates a disorderly state structure.
Sabah kapı çaldığında gelenin sütçü olmadığından emin olacağınız günler yakın Hürrem Sönmez thinks a police state will be soon be realized with the passing of the internal security package that bypasses judicial control.
Güvenlik paketi neyi değiştiriyor? Atty. Nalan Erkem lists the changes that the new internal security package would put into effect.
‘Komutan bozuntusu’ndan dava açılan Roboskili Encü: Bir kez daha şahit oldum ki bu ülkede adalet yok Interview with Veli Encü, a member of Roboskî families, who has been sued by a Turkish general because of his tweet allegedly insulting a state officer.
İçinden “İç Güvenlik Paketi” geçen kabus senaryosu Kerem Altıparmak provides a detailed case example of what might happen if the security bill is passed by the Parliament.
Ahmet İnsel: `Stratejik derinliğin` sığlığı ve savrulmaları “The AKP’s melancholic restoration politics represents a cultural transformation with a conservative pan-Islamist axis,” argues Ahmet İnsel, reflecting on Davutoğlu’s foreign policy record.
Özel hayata saldırıları nasıl aşmalı Yüksel Taşkın problematizes the structural normality of keeping records of citizens` private lives in Turkey.
June Elections & Presidential System
MHP seçimde ne yapacak? Mustafa Ünal’s interview with Oktay Vural. a senior MHP Member of Parliament, about his party’s agenda for the June elections.
Seçime doğru Aleviler “As a strong guarantor of the free expression and the cultural transmission of Alevi values, and a protector of Alevi organizations, HDP strongly represents Alevis,” says Hasan Ali Kızıltoprak.
Mesele başkanlık sistemi değil, ‘yeni nizam`; siz hala anlamadınız mı? According to Nuray Mert, Erdoğan’s proposal for a presidential system implies a complete transformation of the regime.
"Başkanlık Sistemi" değil "Tek Adam yönetimi"... Cengiz Çandar argues that Erdoğan’s notion of a presidential system will be one that bypasses the judiciary, and violates the democratic principle of separation of powers.
Davutoğlu: Birinci Cumhuriyet`in son Başbakanı mı? Murat Yetkin observes that Davutoğlu will be the last prime minister of the “first Republic” if Erdoğan achieves his presidential goals.
Seçimin ana aktörü: MHP Mümtaz’er Türköne claims that the AKP’s “rotten” election agenda makes the MHP the main determining agent of the June elections.
HDP & The Ten Percent Electoral Threshold
HDP ve baraj “It would be very difficult for the HDP to pass the threshold without at least tripling its votes in the eight biggest cities,” argues Bekir Ağırdır.
HDP’nin Seçim Taktiği Üzerine (1) - (2) - (3) Erdal Kara’s thorough examination of the HDP’s decision to enter the election as a party, unlike in the previous elections where the ten percent threshold was breached via independent candidacy.
Demirtaş: Aldığımız risk sistemi çözüme zorlayıcı bir müdahaledir An interview with HDP co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş, who states the risk taken for the elections aims to pressure the system as part of the peacemaking process.
HDP: Bu zamanda o risk alınmaz According to Cengiz Aktar, at a juncture where the country and the region hovers between Salafism and fascism, the HDP should not risk being elected out of the Parliament.
HDP ne yaptığının, ne dediğinin farkında mı? Amberin Zaman inquires about the HDP’s Plan B in case the party’s votes do not exceed the ten percent threshold.
Bizim sol yapabilir mi Comparing the success of SYRIZA to leftist politics in Turkey, Yüksel Taşkın criticizes the exclusionary political culture rampant among leftists.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Cenevre’de havuz medyasına konuşur gibi Pelin Cengiz comments on Bülent Arınç’s poor performance during the Universal Periodic Review’s examination of human rights.
Türkiye`de bir konut balonu var mı? Vefa Tarhan’s detailed examination of arguments regarding a real estate bubble in Turkey.
Akçakale’de sosyal yaşam IŞİD standartlarında Engin Baş reports from Akçakale, a border town where IS intelligence and many sympathizers reside.
‘Kürt hareketi 1915 konusunda resmî tarihin şablonculuğundan sıyrılamadı’ An interview with Namık Kemal Dinç on the Kurds’ role in the Armenian Genocide, and the Kurdish movement’s current perspective.
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