[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/Kurdish Politics
Turkish Government Determined not to Withdraw from PKK Fight Murat Yetkin discusses the reasons why the Turkish government will not back down from its protracted military operations in Kurdish regions: namely, because it does not want to allow the PKK the opportunity to make “victory propaganda” and it does not want people in the region to see its withdrawal as a sign of weakness.
Erdoğan`s New Kurdish Allies Zülfikar Doğan contends that President Erdoğan plans to recommence the peace and reconciliation process with religious segments of the Kurdish movement and may also generate a “Kurdish AKP” to stymie the HDP in the region.
Diyarbakır`s Soccer Team Gets Yellow Card for Winning (1) - (2) Kadri Gürsel profiles Amedspor, a “distinctly Kurdish” soccer team based in Diyarbakır, that was fined by the Turkish Football Administration and attacked in the mainstream media for its expressions of solidarity with those under siege by the Turkish military in Diyarbakır and elsewhere in Kurdistan.
Action Plan far from Addressing Root Causes of Kurdish Issue (1) - (2) Serkan Demirtaş evaluates a ten-article action plan recently announced by Prime Minister Davutoğlu to “provide public order” and to “boost socio-economic conditions” in the wartorn Kurdish regions of the country.
Turkey`s Search for a Presidential System Daily Sabah columnist Fahrettin Altun argues that “Erdoğan and the AK Party elites are working to normalize and enrich the content of the debates surrounding a presidential system.”
Payback Time for Bülent Arınç Will Arrive Soon Joost Lagendijk hopes that splits within the ruling party may serve to block attempts by President Erdoğan and his supporters to impose one-man rule on the country via referendum.
AKP’s power and the opposition’s inadequacy Cafer Solgun contends that the opposition is “playing straight into the hands of the AKP,” which will use parliamentary opposition as an excuse to take the issue “to the people” in a referendum.
Dem Erdoğan Entgegenarbeiten! Using the German concept of “working toward the leader,” Bülent Keneş argues that Turkish officials are being encouraged to treat the president’s priorities as though they are the law.
How Did the AKP Founders Become Traitors? Orhan Kemal Cengiz invokes Milan Kundera’s literature to describe how the AKP under President Erdoğan is erasing traces of its dissenting founders.
Crack within the AKP? Yavuz Baydar focuses on comments by Bülent Arınç, one of the AKP’s founders, in order to emphasize the growing unease among older members of the party with the president’s policies and style.
Polarized Turkey: no longer a nation? İhsan Yılmaz considers new survey statistics from the Corporate Social Responsibility Association of Turkey showing that Turkish citizens attribute highly negative qualities to peers with different political leanings.
In Turkey, Obedience to the State Trumps Multiculturalism Nick Danforth argues that “the coming years will reveal how far the AKP is willing to expand or restrict its understanding of acceptable difference, in response to ongoing violence.”
AKP Moderate Declared `Traitor` Mustafa Akyol describes how newly-retired former Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç was attacked by pro-Erdoğan media after a recent interview in which he voiced some mild concerns about Erdoğan’s style of governance.
Turkey Plans New HQ for Shadowy Intelligence Operations According to Pınar Tremblay, the proposed $140 million budget for a newly proposed headquarters for MİT—the National Intelligence Agency in Turkey—belies a significant agenda within the government to increase surveillance programs and other intelligence-gathering operations.
Is AKP Revolution Devouring its Own Children Too? Murat Yetkin examines the AKP’s history of blacklisting those within its own ranks, such as Abdüllatif Şener, Abdullah Gül, and most recently, Bülent Arınç, when they speak out against problems they see within the party.
When will the AKP Provide the Stability It Promised? Semih İdiz asserts that the Turkish government’s protracted war in Kurdistan, in conjunction with poor policies on Syria and the refugee crisis as well as a stagnant economy, troubles the AKP’s promise during the election of restoring stability.
Turkey’s Two-Front War Writing for The American Interest, Aaron Stein provides an excellent overview of relations between Turkey, the US, the PKK, the PYD, and other forces in northern Syria and southeastern Turkey.
So Why Shouldn`t Turks Feel Anti-US Sentiments? Daily Sabah columnist İlnur Çevik criticizes the US for “using terrorists [the PYD] against them [ISIS] and pretending these are ‘good’ terrorists.”
Will Turkey Intervene in Syria? Daily Sabah columnist Hilal Kaplan concludes that the “question of whether Turkey will intervene in Syria is not a yes or no question, but a question of when.”
Erdogan’s Foreign Policy Is in Ruins In reviewing recent developments, Henri Barkey concludes that “Turkish foreign policy is no longer about Turkey but about Erdogan.”
Turkey`s European Problem According to Semih İdiz, the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey has become such a big problem primarily because of the European Union’s ambivalent approach to the issue.
Will Turkey, Russia Fan Flames into an Inferno? Metin Gürcan suggests that the increasing diplomatic strain between Turkey and Russia is not only endangering the natural gas economy between the two countries and the international fight against ISIS, but may also lead to much more devastation in Syria at large.
How the Islamic State is Still Seeping through Syria-Turkey Border Fehim Taştekin examines how purported security measures that have been newly implemented along the Syria-Turkey border are much less effective in preventing illicit border crossing than the Turkish government makes them out to be.
Turkey Wants EU to Open Key Chapter before Re-Admission (1) - (2) Murat Yetkin discusses tensions between Turkey and the EU on issues as diverse as Cyprus judicial reform, and Syrian refugee crisis management.
How Russia Keeps Piling Pressure on Turkey Discussing recurrent violations of Turkish airspace by Russian jets, Justin Bronk contends that Russia is using its tensions with Turkey to prove its military prowess to the west.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Erdoğan’s New Sultanate A special report on Turkey by The Economist centers on the idea that Turkish leaders, “with their ambitions still set on mastery, are not doing nearly enough to heal such internal rifts.”
Violence in the Southeast/Kurdish Politics
"Ankara`da konuşacak zemin var" mı? Though he sees positive aspects to Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s recent speech in Mardin outlining new peace initiatives, Oral Çalışlar worries the government has no plans to address the larger concerns of Kurdish citizens.
ABD`nin Kürtlerle ilişkisinde hatırlanması gerekenler Ezgi Başaran points to past occasions (such as in 1975) when the US has left Kurdish movements high and dry as a useful reminder of how tenuous its current relations with the PYD may be.
Sur muhtarlarının çığlığı Hüsnü Öndül provides testimonies from a number of muhtars in various neighborhoods of Sur district in Diyarbakır regarding the military occupation, destruction, and forced migration afflicting their neighborhoods.
Biz bu devleti hâlâ tanımıyoruz Describing the increasingly horrifying conditions afflicting Cizre, Vedat İlbeyoğlu argues that the hope of being able to coexist is “being buried alive, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, right before our eyes.”
İmralı notları-1: Öcalan`dan Kandil`e (1) (2) (3) Ezgi Başaran shares details from a recent book containing notes taken during 2013/14, when HDP members were allowed to meet with Abdullah Ocalan as part of the peace process.
`Halk çatışmalardan yorgun ve bıkkın` Recalling his recent visit to Batman and conversations with residents, Fuat Keyman concludes that people was an end to the fighting regardless of whether they support the HDP or not.
Kürt sorunu çözülmeden yeni anayasa ne işe yarar? Serkan Demi̇rtaş wonders how meaningful the AKP new round of efforts to rewrite the constitution will be as long as violence continues and southeastern provinces experience “security measures.”
Toledo’nun Tajo’sundan Diyarbekir’in Dijle’sine Revisiting an article he wrote in 1995 comparing Toledo and Diyarbakır for their significance to the Spanish and Kurdish nationalist causes, respectively, Şeyhmus Diken evaluates Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s recent announcement to restore Diyarbakır’s historic Sur district in the way that Toledo was restored by the Spanish government.
Ne sağcı ne solcu, futbolcu ol futbolcu… Murat Sevinç points to the tensions in the Turkish Football Federation’s regulations between the guaranteed right to freedom of expression and the prohibition on “ideological propaganda,” the latter of which was used to punish the team Amedspor for their expressions of solidarity with Kurds under attack.
Allah akıl fikir versin! Hasan Cemal appraises Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s ten-article action plan to restart the peace process as “fantasy,” and wonders what happened to the 15 billion dollar action plan announced in 2008.
“Kürt meselesi”: Siyasetin sosyolojiye tahakkümü Mustafa Çalık argues that Kurds have been “politically” overemphasized in the negotiations for the reconciliation process, and that Kurds need to be conceptualized more in the terms of sociology in order to actually achieve peace.
İki kölelik Ahmet Yaşaroğlu discusses the political economy of the Kurdish question in Turkey, which results in “two enslavements”: the Kurds’ enslavement as a nation and their enslavement as workers and laborers for capital that does not belong to them.
Türklük ve beyazlık krizleri In this long-form article, Barış Ünlü develops a comparative framework between Turkishness in Turkey and whiteness in South Africa, and suggests that a more institutionalized “Turkishness studies,” much like “whiteness studies” in South Africa, may help resolve the crises it generates for ethnic minorities like the Kurds.
Türkiye, kendi eliyle PYD’yi meşrulaştırdı Sözcü columnist Zeynep Gürcanlı touches on subjects including US efforts to sideline Russian petroleum exporters by routing pipelines through countries like Iran, Turkey, and Cyprus.
Cenevre IV`e doğru Discussing the UN-sponsored Syria talks in Geneva, M. Sinan Birdal argues that real issue is over who will control territory after ISIS is removed.
McGurk’ün Kobane ziyareti ne anlama geliyor? Amberin Zaman suggests that both Russian and US support for Kurds in northern Syria may be less than firm should a confrontation with Turkey occur.
Milli irade kimin, neyin iradesi? Despite its calls to “Let the people decide” about the constitution, Levent Gültekin questions whether the government really trust “the people” given its varied efforts to silence a diversity of voices.
Resim inmez, dışarısı görünmez Reflecting on the current fracas in the CHP over whether or not a picture of Atatürk was temporarily taken down, Ümit Kıvanç wonders how the main opposition party can be focusing on such things at a moment when children are dying.
Anayasa oyunu başladı Emin Çölaşan criticizes the government for offering no “concrete” details of its plans for constitutional change—besides, of course, introducing a presidential system.
Kuvvetler ‘Uyumu’ Murat Belge wonders why President Erdoğan is arguing for a presidential system in order to avoid a government torn between various branches of government. Such a unified system already seems to be operating in practice.
Bülent Arınç meselesi… Levent Gültekin defends the (now side-lined) AKP founder for speaking out against the current trends in government. Better late than never.
`Yeni Anayasa` da, `Kürt sorununun çözümü` de AKP dayatması kıskacında! By trying to force through a constitution that the other parties don’t support and a peace plan that the Kurds don’t want, the government is “pushing the country toward great unrest,” argues İhsan Çaralan.
Ekonomik ve siyasal yıkım Sinan Alçın worries about the long-term consequences of Turkey’s high current account deficit and its low rate of savings.
Türkiye’nin bazı dış bağımlılıkları Korkut Boratov worries that Turkey’s dependence on flows of foreign capital may have negative consequences.
Tipik Davutoğlu: Hayallerinin yeni sınavı Yalçın Doğan criticizes Prime Minister Davutoğlu, who recently claimed that the AKP would be making efforts to foster “brotherhood” with Syria, the Balkans, and the Middle East, because his vision of brotherhood leaves out the HDP and the Kurds in Turkey.
Other Pertinent Pieces
Barış soruşturmalarının ekonomi politiği Nilgün Tunçcan Ongan observes that attacks on academics for signing the Academics For Peace petition is part of a more general effort by the government to strip job protections from educators in the name of market efficiency.
Sözcü gazetesi kimi trollüyor? Ümit Alan points to recent columns by Sözcü and wonders whether the paper is really fulfilling its stated goal of being an “opposition” newspaper.
Published on Jadaliyya
Speaking Truth to Power: A Panel on Academic Freedoms and the War Against Kurds in Turkey (17 February, CUNY Graduate Center, New York)
Letter by American Sociological Association Expressing Concern for Signatories of Academics for Peace Statement in Turkey
Call for Papers: Graduate Student Conference on Social and Political Change in MENA (April 8, New York)
Under Fire: Translating the Growing Crisis in the Kurdish Cities of Turkey’s Southeast
Statement of Concern by Professors of Turkish Studies and Ottoman History Regarding Diminishing Academic Freedoms in Turkey
Urgent Call for Action by Women’s Freedom Assembly in Turkey
Letter by American Anthropological Association Regarding Repression of Academics in Turkey
Letter by American Political Science Association Regarding Academic Freedom in Turkey
Joint Letter by Global Higher Education Networks in Support of Turkey`s Higher Education and Research Community