[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.]
Violence in the Southeast
Violence Dominates Politics Mümtaz`er Türköne decries a recent PKK on a police family lodgings in Diyarbakır, comparing the organization`s methods to ISIS and arguing its attempts to control urban areas will result in it dominating “nothing but ruins.”
Indefinite 24-Hour Curfew, Over 200,000 In Danger Amnesty calls for a letter writing campaign the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior to limit firearms use, end arbitrary restrictions, and respect rights to assembly.
History of the Deception of Kurds (1) - (2) According to Kemal Öztürk, Kurds are a people always deceived by other states such as Russia, UK, and US throughout the history, and what is happening in Turkey now is yet another plot written by Russia and Iran.
Suicide Bombing in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
A new kind of war Murat Yetkin reports that Turkey was the site of yet another terrorist attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Jan. 12, in Istanbul’s highly touristic historical area Sultanahmet.
Is Turkey a target for ISIL or not? Cafer Solgun gives a thorough run down of ISIL attacks in Turkey going back as far as 2013.
Turkey should be watchful for fresh suicide attacks Lale Kemal considers the logic of ISIL attacks in Turkey, noting the group does not claim responsibility because “it still requires the goodwill of Turkey and Turks as a lifeline.” Should Turkey tighten its borders, however, this could change.
Turkey Must Fight Terrorism within Limits of Law Yusuf Kanlı reminds that all anti-terrorism efforts must be carried out within the limits of law.
Things in Turkey Will Get Worse Before They Get Better “Looking at what is happening, and considering the inability of its present administrators to look facts in the eye in order to determine realistic policies, one can comfortably, but sadly, say things are going to get much worse in this country before they start getting better,” writes Semih İdiz.
Turkey`s Terrifying Challenges after Istanbul Attack Galip Dalay argues that the recent attack on Sultanahmet was in fact targeting one of Turkey’s most important economic lifelines: tourism.
What is Ankara`s Plan to Deal with ISIL Threat? In this segment of Al Jazeera’s Inside Story, Peter Dobbie interviews Muhittin Ataman and Berkay Mandıracı about how the recent suicide bombing in Istanbul will compel the Turkish government to change its policies on the Syrian War and on ISIS.
Turkey`s Distractions Make it Vulnerable According to Metin Gürcan, while many questions still surround the recent suicide bombing, it nevertheless points up Turkey`s limited understanding of ISIS and the country`s need to develop a strategy and assets to deal with terrorism.
Sultanahmet and Sur, Part of the Same Plan According to Abdülkadir Selvi, ISIS’ attack in Istanbul is not different from the PKK’s fight in Southeast Turkey.
“Academics for Peace”
Unmistakable Signs of Fascistic Tendencies Orhan Kemal Cengiz observes the potential “fascism” in a political system where state leaders’ condemnations of academics are echoed by violent mafia leaders.
Letters on Turkey The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) calls on Prime Minister Davutoğlu to “take immediate steps to ensure that YÖK drop any investigation of or action against the signatories of the Peace Petition.”
Turkey: Arrest of Academics is an Unacceptable Violation of Freedom of Expression PEN International calls for the immediate release of academics arrested for signing the petition.
Is a Witch Hunt Underway against Turkish Intellectuals? “Following the arrests of Turkish academics who had signed a petition in support of the Kurds in southeastern Turkey, the country is facing an unprecedented `civil war,`” writes Cengiz Candar.
Turkish Universities Under Petition Pressure Murat Yetkin finds the content of the petition problematic, yet he argues that “taking scholars to court on terrorism charges for signing such a document and pressurizing universities to expel them from academic life because of their political views is far more problematic.”
Another Banal Expression of Authoritarianism in Turkey Nuray Mert points out that academics who signed the petition and their outspoken supporters lost their security especially in conservative Anatolian cities.
How Turkey’s Academics Became ‘Terrorists’ Mustafa Akyol argues that the witch hunt against academics confirms once again that Turkey’s governing system growingly diminishes freedom of speech,and intimidates and silences dissenting voices.
1,128: Students! Don’t Attend Their Classes! Outspoken supporter of President Erdoğan and the AKP İbrahim Karagül calls all university student to boycott the lectures of academics who signed the petition.
Politics, Terror and Academic Misery According to Yasin Aktay, “academics for peace” petition is like a complete letter of propaganda that does not represent the reality.
Professor Al-Ali Slams Government of Turkey over Peace Petition Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Gender Studies at SOAS, writes that “the attack on academic freedom means that a regime is failing to convince its thinkers with rational arguments but needs to use coercive measures to maintain control.”
Turkish-US ties face fresh turbulence over Iraq, Syria Despite the government’s desire to limit Kurdish (PYD) activity in Syria, the US continues to support the organization. These disagreements over proxies in Syria, Semih Idiz argues, are creating tension in advance of UN talks on January 25.
Could Iran-Saudi conflict provide Turkey `graceful exit` from Syria? Pınar Tremblay discusses whether Turkey might be act as a mediator between Iran and Saudi Arabia, noting that Erdogan’s support for Saudis and stances in Syria make such a role difficult.
Turkey-Israel Relations Will Normalize Soon Verda Özer takes a quick look at how Turkey-Israel relations got to the point of normalization after intense conflict and enmity for years.
Other Pertinent Pieces
CHP and the Need for a Strong Opposition in Turkey Writing about the annual congress of Turkey’s social democratic main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Murat Yetkin argues that the CHP needs to adopt a new outlook on the Kurdish issue and reach out to women voters more.
Education for Syrian Children in Turkey: Turkish or Arabic? Barçın Yinanç points out that keeping the issue of education of Syrian children within the Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD) reflects that the state still sees the Syrian refugees as a temporary issue.
We Should See Refugees as Permanent Residents Melis Alphan argues that the state should necessary steps such as teaching refugees Turkish and giving them work permits, since they are likely to be permanent residents of Turkey.
Violence in the Southeast
Tüm Diyarbakır`a suç duyurusu yapın bari! Praising Diyarbakır teacher Ayşe Çelik for speaking out against violence and the death of children, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu argues that the need to speak up under the current circumstances “is a test for all of us.”
Sayın Başbakan, Sayın İçişleri Bakanı, "Çocuklarımız ölmesin" demek suçsa, hepimizi tutuklatın! Oya Baydar calls out to Interior Minister: “If speaking against the death of children is a crime, then arrest us all!”
Beyaz’lar özür dilemeye devam ettikçe, çocuklar ölmeye devam eder Mehves Evin criticizes showman Beyaz for apologizing after teacher Ayse Çelik’s speech, and argues that his apology in fact reflects the broader control and pressure over media by the AKP government.
Beyaz`ın başına gelenler... (1) (2) Though he disagrees that the current situation is “worse than the 1990s,” Oral Çalışlar points to recent persecutions of media programs and academics to suggest that “some forces in the government” are bringing back that earlier “logic.”
Çünkü Beyaz bir an o ‘tek cümle’nin dışına çıktı According to Alper Görmüş, the scandal around showman Beyaz is exemplary of how all dissent voices are intimidated, silenced, and lynched in Turkey.
Britanya elçisi: Ne devlet gücü ne terör, Kürt sorunu ancak diyalogla çözülebilir In an interview with Amberin Zaman, British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore points out that the Kurdish question can be solved only through negotiation and dialogue, and not through military operations.
Devletin ve milletin bölünmez bütünlüğü devam ediyor mu? Nami Temeltaş argues that the real separatists are the people who don’t have a problem with Kurdish children dying at the hands of the Turkish military.
Bizler ve onlar Özlem Durmaz Mungan writes about the failing of language—not just in mourning the children who have been killed, but also in the legal realm, in which the terms used to describe what constitutes crime are collapsing.
Ayşe öğretmen olmak! Nuray Sancar issues a strong indictment of the Turkish government, which cracks down on any kind of mourning for children dying in Kurdistan but issued an official fatwa that fathers can feel attraction to their daughters.
`Ya bizdensin ya da düşman` stratejisi İhsan Çaralan compares the AKP government’s “you’re either with us or against us” strategy to the political maneuvers of George W. Bush in the early years of the US war in Iraq.
Hendek panoraması Kadir Karaçelik argues that the discourse of “trench terrorism” is being used by the ruling government as a tool of violent nationalist exclusionism in order to push toward the presidential system.
Hendek, özerklik ve müzakere denklemi Appraising the supposed contradiction between trenches and negotiations being made by the Turkish government, Hüsnü Öndül argues that the trenches are a useful symbolic site for negotiations with the government.
Suicide Bombing in Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Tehlike uyarısı: Bu IŞİD`ciler nerede? (1) (2) (3) Ezgi Başaran warns of additional ISIS cells operating in Turkey and observes that, unlike previous bombings, the Sultanahmet attack was carried out by foreigners—a new development.
Terörün hedefi ekonomi According to Süleyman Yaşar, the real target of recent terror attack is Turkey’s economy.
Yayın yasağının ambulanstan önce geldiği bir ülke olmak… Faik Akçay draws attention to the fact that the government once again brought a ban on the coverage of Istanbul bombing as it did after the massacre of Kurdish civilians in Roboski, mine explosion in Soma, and bombings in Reyhanli, Suruc, and Ankara.
“Academics for Peace”
Barış için Akademisyenler: Devlet şiddeti sona ersin, bu suça ortak olmayacağız, T24 provides the text of the Academics For Peace statement in Turkish, Kurdish, English, and French.
Elbette Despot’un değil, 1128 akademisyenin yanındayım! Hasan Cemal decries president Erdogan’s criticisms of academics and prosecutors’ investigations of the Beyaz Show.
10 maddede ‘Barış İçin Akademisyenler’ vakası Hürriyet provides a clear summary of events surrounding the statement by Academics For Peace and the subsequent state reprisals through January 15.
İktidarın öfkelendiği, aynadaki kendi görüntüsü Korhan Gümüş asks Prime Minister Davutoğlu, who was also an academic: “While talking about the right to criticize, how do you interpret the investigations against and the dismissal of academics who just used their right to criticize?”
Yazık size… Murat Sevinç condemns the fact that academics who sign the petition are arrested, fired, subject to hate emails and threats, and their offices are marked by fascists.
`Barış İçin Akademisyenleri `ama`sız, `fakat`sız destekleyebilmek Nurcan Baysal emphasizes that what has been happening in regard to ‘Academics for Peace’ resembles Nazi Germany, and draws attention to the importance of fully supporting the academics.
Aydınlar Dilekçesi, Kenan Paşa, akademisyenler bildirisi ve saraylı paşa Yılmaz Murat Bilican reminds that a similar witchhunt against academics and intellectuals also happened in the wake of the 1980 military coup.
Hiçbir suça ortak olmayacağız, diyebilmek Oya Baydar finds it very important to be able to say that “we will not be a party to any crime,” neither to the state violence nor to the terrorism.
Gerilime devam Examining the “politics of tension” that are pervading the country, Murat Belge asserts that President Erdoğan is intent on “continuing his fight against the entire world.”
Akademisyen akademisyene karşı: Barış ve/ya savaş İbrahim Genç reminds readers that Turkey’s Council for Higher Education was established shortly after the 1980 coup and that its first order of business was firing many public employees and academics.
Barış istiyoruz According to Hülya Kirmanoğlu, the Turkish government has lost its legitimacy because it continually and egregiously violates its own laws.
Türk sağının temsilcisi olan AKP`nin aydın-sevmezliği Mahmut Çınar contextualizes the AKP’s crackdown on academic freedom within a much longer history of the Turkish right’s enmity toward academics.