[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, Security, Authoritarianism
The World Says, "Your King Is Naked" Examining recent reports on Turkey by Human Rights Watch, Ali H. Aslan argues that the victimization of the Gülen movement is the most striking indicator of Turkey’s failing democracy.
We Must not Give in to That Ambition (1) - (2) Cafer Solgun criticizes Erdoğan for shutting down opposition and governmental checks and balances in order to transform Turkish democracy into a “one-man” regime.
The Harmony between Erdoğan and Davutoğlu According to Abdülkadir Selvi, the success of the presidential system, which the majority of the population wants, relies upon the strength of Erdoğan’s relationship with Davutoğlu.
"Community Violations" and as a Season Finale, June 7th Markar Esayan suggests that the transformation of the Turkish government into a presidential system will put an end to the antidemocratic forces that have been working against Turkish democracy since the 1950s.
Homeland Security Package Hayrettin Karaman criticizes the political opposition’s concerns about the internal security reforms as implicit support for “anarchy and terror incidents” aimed at damaging the Turkish government.
Davutoğlu Exploits Islam İhsan Yılmaz asserts that members of the AKP like Davutoğlu use Islamic jurisprudence and doctrine in order to pressure religious voters to adhere to the party line.
New Security Measures Unite Turkish Opposition Murat Yetkin writes about how the CHP, MHP, and HDP are voicing similar concerns about the domestic security bill proposed by the AKP.
June Elections and Presidential Regime Debates
AK Party Bets on Hüda-Par, HDP Gambles with Election Threshold According to Lale Kemal, the HDP’s risky approach to the June elections is leading the AKP to forge closer ties with the religious Kurdish Hüda-Par as part of a tactic of divide and rule.
Will Kurds Take the Risk of Absence in the Turkish Parliament? Murat Yetkin examines the many obstacles the HDP should take into account as it moves forward with its election strategy.
The HDP`s Election Tactics Fatih Çekirge interviews Selahattin Demirtaş as well as several MPs from the CHP to ascertain the HDP’s prospects in the upcoming election.
Major Surprise in Election Manifesto (1) - (2) Reviewing the different parties’ approaches to the upcoming election, Abdülkadir Selvi praises the AKP’s manifesto for containing a clause about “sacred struggle” in order to try and unite Muslims worldwide.
Is Erdoğan`s Daughter Running for Office? Thomas Seibert claims that the AKP is preparing Sümeyye Erdoğan as a candidate for political office.
Objections to Presidential System and AK Party Describing the AKP as a “reformist party,” Yahya Bostan claims that objections to the presidential system are merely objections to Erdoğan, rather than to the structure itself.
Turkey`s Opposition Record Markar Esayan argues that all of the opposition parties in Turkey are working “to stir up chaos or a crisis in the government.”
June Elections are Erdoğan`s, not Davutoğlu`s According to Serkan Demirtaş, the disharmony between Erdoğan and Davutoğlu demonstrates that Davutoğlu is just a tool for Erdoğan to achieve his political goals.
Why Does Erdoğan Want a Presidential System? Mustafa Akyol asserts that Erdoğan wants to be president in order to monopolize the executive and legislative branches of government as well as to quash dissent more easily.
A Critical Meeting for Turkey`s Kurdish Problem (1) - (2) Murat Yetkin summarizes the recent meeting at İmralı island involving Abdullah Öcalan, security and intelligence officials, and the HDP delegation.
Peace is in Sight, But… According to Markar Esayan, the PKK is continually attempting to derail the peace process in spite of the government’s commitment to the resolution of the Kurdish problem.
What Does Qandil Intend to Do? Etyen Mahçupyan asserts that PKK leaders in the Qandil mountains developed the HDP’s election strategy in order to delegitimize the government should the HDP not meet the electoral threshold.
The Message Expected from Öcalan Abdülkadir Selvi suggests that the HDP’s election strategy hinges on whether or not Abdullah Öcalan and PKK leaders remain committed to the peace process.
The Liberation of Kobani and Its Repercussions Doğu Ergil argues that the liberation of Kobani from ISIS has given Kurds much more regional significance and political legitimacy while damaging the Turkish government’s approach to Kurdish politics.
Central Bank Is Stumbling Seyfettin Gürsel criticizes Erdoğan for putting political pressure on Turkey’s Central Bank to lower interest rates, which will continue to slow down the Turkish economy.
New Turkey on Path to Becoming Center for Skilled Workforce Erdal Tanas Karagöl claims that Davutoğlu’s economic initiatives are building incentives for highly-educated and skilled Turkish citizens to remain in the country as well as attracting “global human capital.”
Unfree Market Economy İbrahim Türkmen draws a parallel between the seizure of Bank Asya by the Turkish government and the new internal security reforms proposed in Parliament, suggesting that both are damaging prospects for foreign investment.
This Time Elections May Force Economic Balances Erdal Sağlam argues that Erdoğan’s political ambitions are generating economic uncertainty and instability.
Turkey Doing Well against ISIS, What about the EU? According to İlnur Çevik, the European Union minimizes Turkish efforts to combat terrorism as a consequence of its Islamophobic tendencies.
Ankara Turns Wary Eye on Greece`s New Defense Minister Metin Gürcan examines how the selection of a far right nationalist defense minister in the coalition government of Greece is causing anxiety among security officials in the Turkish government.
What Turned Erdoğan against the West? Mustafa Akyol speculates that Erdoğan’s anti-western rhetoric, rooted in a discourse of sovereignty, amounts to a “rejection of Western-style liberal democracy in favor of a self-styled authoritarian democracy.”
Other Pertinent Pieces
Beating Exposes Brutal Realities for Turkey`s Street Children Pınar Tremblay explores the class-based and ethnic dynamics that make government and civil violence against children such a prominent issue in Turkey.
Conspiracies, Victimhood Cloud Turks` View of Hebdo Killings According to Mustafa Akyol, the Turkish reception of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris indicates the complex interaction between secularism, Islam, and violence in Turkey.
“Domestic Security Package”
Muhalefet `polis devleti` eleştirisinde birleşti Murat Yetkin reports that three opposition parties, namely the CHP, MHP, and HDP, have created an alliance against the AKP government’s new security package, claiming that the package would turn Turkey into a “police state.”
Yurttaşı boşver, maksat TOMA zarar görmesin Murat Sevinç argues that the new domestic security package indeed aims to protect the state from its citizens.
AKP iktidarını halka karşı koruma paketi! İhsan Çaralan argues that the AKP government’s security package is in fact an attack on ongoing struggles for the rights and freedoms of several groups, ranging from Gezi Park protesters to Kobane protesters, to mine and metal workers.
İç Güvenlik Paketi: Sus ve öl! Özgür Müftüoğlu emphasizes that the AKP’s new security package would shut up workers by abolishing the right to protest, wipe out work safety and security, and inevitably cause more work-related accidents and deaths.
Postponement of of Metal Workers’ Strike
15 bin işçi 24 patrondan büyüktür Rıdvan Akar reports that the AKP government has cancelled a total of nine strikes in ten years in the name of “national security” and “public health” during their term.
Ölünce `şehit` yaşarken `milli tehdit` Reporting that the AKP has postponed a strike by 15,000 metal workers, Nilgün Tunçcan Ongan argues that workers in Turkey are “national threats” while they are alive and “martyrs” when they are dead.
Patrona kıyak, işçiye yasak… Mustafa Paçal reminds us that the AKP’s postponing the strike is actually a de facto ban on the strike and that the AKP has been protecting the interests of employers rather than the rights of workers.
Yasa karşısında hukuktan yana olmak Murat Özveri argues that the AKP’s ban of the metal workers’ strike under the name of “national security” is unlawful since going on strike is recognized as a constitutional right in Turkey.
Erdoğan-Gülen Struggle and the AKP’s Seizure of Bank Asya
Titanik batarken rüşvet alanlar Criticizing the acquittal of officials charged with alleged bribery and corruption, Mehmet Kamış argues that executive, legislative, and judicial powers are totally under the control of Erdoğan.
Yolun sonu görünüyor Mümtaz`er Türköne argues that Erdoğan has come to the end of the road and will be put on trial in the very near future due to corruption and bribery allegations.
Batırmaya çalışanlardan hesap sorulabilir Mehmet Çetingüleç comments on the AKP government’s seizing control of Islamic lender Bank Asya and the dismissal of its executives, a political move embroiled in the ongoing struggle between Erdoğan and Gülen.
Bank Asya’yı kim öldürdü? Mert Yıldız suggests that it is very unlikely for Western powers to invest in Turkey when the government can seize control of a bank like Bank Asya as a result of political struggles.
Diktatörün bankası According to Mümtaz`er Türköne, what is behind the government’s seizure of Bank Asya is Erdoğan’s de facto autocracy that controls the economy by using state power.
Presidential Regime Debates
Başkanlık sistemi Türkiye`ye çözüm olabilir According to Birol Akgün, the presidential system could be a viable democratic mode of governance for Turkey as long as it establishes checks and balances to protect the rule of law.
Davutoğlu’nun sessizliği Mustafa Ünal points to Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s silence on ongoing debates about the presidential system.
AKP`nin önerisi başkanlık sisteminin mantığına ters Levent Köker points out that, unlike other examples of democratic presidential systems, the presidential system that the AKP tries to promote includes the principle of “decentralization.”
Başkanlık sistemi üzerine Bekir Ağırdır argues that it is a waste of time to discuss the presidential system as a way towards democratization without discussing the decentralization of power, independence of the judiciary system, and the right to education in the mother tongue.
Bu seçim belki de son seçim: Sonra ya ‘kutsal davaya nefer’ olacaksınız ya da da ‘hain’! Nuray Mert points out that the AKP has been discussing the “Turkish style presidential regime” as its “sacred cause" and "holy struggle,” implicitly targeting all dissidents as “traitors.”
Yaklaşan seçimlerin aktörleri üzerine erken notlar (1)-(2) Ruşen Çakır speculates on the upcoming elections and argues that the real competition will take place between the AKP and HDP.
Kendi oyunlarının altında kalabilirler İhsan Çaralan suggests that if Turkey’s democratic groups would merge under the HDP, they would win the upcoming elections.
Seçime zar atmak! Ahmet İnsel finds it risky that the HDP decided to enter the next elections as a party, rather than with individual deputies.
HDP meclis dışında kalma riskini alabilecek mi? “Will the HDP take the risk of staying out of the Parliament?” asks Murat Yetkin.
AKP`nin değişen kimliği, "yeni" misyonu… Cengiz Çandar argues that the AKP’s electorate should re-question whether they vote for the AKP as a party or the AKP as an instrument of Erdoğan’s goals and ambitions.
Kobane ve SYRİZA rüzgârları Cengiz Çandar argues that the Kurds’ victory in Kobane and SYRIZA’s winning the elections in Greece motivated the HPD to enter the elections as a party; yet, Çandar warns, the HDP is taking a big risk since if it cannot pass the ten percent threshold there will no other parties that can check and balance the AKP’s use of power for its own interests.
HDP ve seçimler neyi değiştirecek! Ender İmrek draws a very hopeful picture for the HDP, arguing that according to preliminary surveys the HDP is likely to pass the ten percent threshold and enter the parliament.
MHP ve Barış Süreci According to Mümtaz`er Türköne, the stance of the MHP, Turkey’s nationalist party, on the Peace Process will affect the election results.
İmralı`da kritik toplantı yarın (1)- (2) Murat Yetkin reports that Abdullah Öcalan declared his support for the HDP’s decision to run in elections as a political party, rather than with individual independent deputies, at the risk of staying out of the parliament.
Diyarbakır’dan bakınca: HDP ne yapıyor Amberin Zaman conveys how Kurds in Diyarbakir evaluate the HDP’s strategy for upcoming elections.
AKP`nin önünü HDP kesecektir Hüseyin Ali suggests that the HDP has the same kind of political potential as other far left parties like Syriza in Greece or Podemos in Spain.
Seçime doğru According to Nazan Üstündağ, the HDP’s unique approach to selecting candidates is opening up the possibility of a significant third political party in Parliament.
Moskova müzakereleri ve Suriye`nin geleceği Commenting on the recent Moscow Negotiations for Syria, Yusuf Karataş argues that Turkey ıs no longer an influential actor in shaping politics in Syria and in the Middle East more generally.
Körfez güvenliği ve Ankara-Riyad koordinasyonu Mühenna Hubely argues that the amendment of relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia can trigger new developments in the Arabian peninsula.
Ankara’nın Suriye çıkmazı Ali Yurttagül points out that by supporting groups like ISIS and al-Nusra, Turkey made the same mistake that the US did in Afghanistan, since these groups are now threatening Turkey’s own security.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Ya köle kadın pazarı Türkiye’ye kadar uzanıyorsa? Handan Çağlayan writes about ISIS’ abduction of Syrian, Yezidi, and Kurdish women and selling them in women slavery markets, which might be extended even into Turkey.
Yeni aile nüfus yasasının amacı doğurganlığı artırmak Gülay Toksöz argues that the new draft bill titled “The Protection of Family and Dynamic Population Structure” aims to increase the fertility rate and bears the risk of removing women from occupations.
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