[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 email@example.com by Sunday night of every week.]
Too Bad For Turkey Cafer Solgun argues that, regardless of which group is ultimately found responsible for the Ankara bombing, the attack “has exposed the ongoing intelligence and security weakness” of the Turkish government.
Syrian Shadows Fall Over Ankara Hasan Kanbolat laments, “It used to be that Turkey stood as an example to the rest of the Middle East. But now, it appears that the Middle East has become our model”—not only on account of the recent bombings but also in the manner which everything is paved over and replaced with shopping malls.
The Bomb and the Regime Rather than spur parliamentary investigations in security lapses or high-level resignations, the bombing in Ankara “will be twisted in the government`s favor,” says Orhan Kemal Cengiz.
Carnage in Ankara – By Whom and Why? Mustafa Akyol speculates on who is responsible for the suicide bombing in Ankara, ultimately concluding that, regardless of the culprit, “none of this means that Ankara’s worries about the PYD are wrong.”
Difficult Questions on the Ankara Attack (1) - (2) According to Murat Yetkin, the prospect that the suicide bomber in Ankara was connected to the PYD/YPG in Syrian Kurdistan threatens relations between Turkey and the US.
Turkey`s Difficult Times Nuray Mert argues that the bombing in Ankara only serves to highlight the deep ambiguity of whether the Turkish government is at war or not.
Middle East`s New Zionists Comparing international support for Kurdistan with Zionist calls for an Israeli homeland in Palestine, Yeni Şafak columnist Merve Şebnem Oruç contends that Turkey has a right to establish its national security in the wake of the Ankara bombing.
We Stand Tall, Even if World Powers Come at Us! Yeni Şafak editor-in-chief İbrahim Karagül argues that Western powers are engaged in “terror partnerships” against Turkey and declares that “[we are going] take action with this understanding and do everything to turn each individual in this country into an Anatolian resistance.”
Westerners Are Continuing the 100-Year-Old War on Turkey Yusuf Kaplan asserts that foreign support for the PYD in northern Syria, even in the wake of the Ankara bombing, is part of an effort to partition Turkey, as happened with the Ottoman Empire after World War I.
Turkey is Sinking into the Quagmire of Syria David Lepeska contends that terrorists in Turkey and Syria have built a cross-border infrastructure that is contributing to events like the most recent suicide bombing in Ankara.
Was Last Week`s Ankara Attack Just the Beginning? "The real question Ankara must ask is why Turkey has become a country where acts of terror are so easy," writes Metin Gürcan.
Ankara Attack Spawns Conspiracy Theories Cengiz Çandar reminds that "Turkey was a little too quick to identify the alleged perpetrator of the Ankara blast as a YPG-affiliated Syrian Kurd, and many observers mistrust the government`s version of the story."
Why Did CHP Leave the Constitution Conciliation Committee? Etyen Mahçupyan suggests that the CHP withdrew from constitution discussions in the hope of denying the AKP the appearance of a deliberative process—one whose ultimate failure would have then been used to justify a popular referendum.
Why Turkey Needs the Constitutional Commission Güven Sak contends that a new constitutional commission is the best tool available “to manage social conflict and attain social cohesion.”
A No-Fly Zone Is the Only Way in Syria Citing Russia’s bombing of hospitals and the PYD’s forced removals of Turkmen, Melih Altınok argues that the Turkish plan for a no-fly zone must be adopted.
What are Iran and Russia Doing in Syria? Pointing to Iran and Russia’s lack of concrete interests in Syria, Ali Yurttagül argues the countries are merely involved as part of their larger struggles with the US—and that it is possible for the US to ease tensions by improving its relations with both regimes.
How the Kurds Became Syria’s New Power Brokers Amberin Zaman argues that the PYD has successfully played the US and Russia against one another to secure its aims of autonomy, but that ultimately it is dominated by the PKK and the US will need to pressure the PKK—not the YPG to ease tensions with the Turkish government.
Turkish People Feel US Is Helping Killers İlnur Çevik, President Erdoğan’s chief advisor, argues that the PYD is an ally of the Assad regime and that its current activities are intended to removed anti-regime forces, rather than ISIS specifically.
Ankara Attack and YPG Connection: Another Bekaa or Qandil in Syria? Daily Sabah columnist Kılıç Buğra Kanat justifies Turkish attacks on the YPG in Syria on the grounds that the group was trying “to take advantage of the situation . . .and extend their territory in the region.”
Injured Syrians Fleeing Aleppo Onslaught Among Thousands Denied Entry to Turkey Amnesty International criticizes Turkey’s “selective entry practices,” as a result of which many of the 58,000 refugees that have arrived at the border in the past two week have been left with access to treatment for cancer, kidney disease, and other ailments.
The More Turkey Tries, the More It Seems to Fail According to Semih İdiz, “the more Turkey insists on maintaining its obviously failed policy in Syria in general, and the PYD and YPG in particular, the more intractable the situation will become for it.”
Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast
PKK Hits Rock Bottom Daily Sabah columnist Mahmut Övür quotes past Abdullah Öcalan statements to argue that, by seeking “to serve U.S. interests in the region,” the organization has moved away from its founder’s anti-imperialism.
When Peace Is Bad Politics Nick Danforth describes how the AKP’s peace plans—always hampered by the party’s concern over losing nationalist voters—now seek to bypass the PKK entirely.
Is Turkey Crushing Kurdish Self-Rule in Syria? İrfan Aktan argues that the suicide bombing in Ankara is being used as a pretext for quashing Kurds in Syria whom they see as emboldening Kurds in Turkey to pursue self-rule.
New Solidarity in Struggle to Protect Turkey’s ‘Life Spaces’ Journalist Jennifer Hattam reports on environmental activist in Artvin, describing how “new activist networks within the region and throughout the country are also helping connect often-isolated Black Sea residents with each other, and with outside support.”
Holding A Wake for The Turkish Press Emma Daly wonders why European governments and politicians are not speaking out against grave infractions of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
Istanbul`s Wandering Songbirds Kaya Genç describes the history and role of street vendors in Turkish urban society.
Markets Have Started Pricing in Turkey`s Political Risks Erdal Sağlam examines how the Turkish economy has languished over the past several months, owing to tremendous political volatility as well as growing Euro-American consternation over the political climate.
Turkey`s Demographic Challenge Luke Coffey contends that Syrian refugees have become a permanent fixture in Turkish society and are putting strains on social services and infrastructure, such as education.
Ankara saldırısı: 28 ocağa ateş düştü Short biographies of many victims of the February 17 suicide bombing in Ankara.
II. Ankara Katliamı: Rusya, Esad, TAK, YPG ve `vesileler` Ezgi Başaran casts doubt on the involvement of the PYD in the February 17 Ankara attack, observing that evidence points to a more direct connection with the Assad regime itself.
‘Böyle nasıl ve nereye kadar gidilebilir?’ sorusu büyüyor İhsan Çaralan wonders whether there is an end in sight for the political violence and polarization that has continued to plague Turkey for many months now.
İkinci Ankara saldırısı Nami Temeltaş examines the conflicting accounts from Prime Minister Davutoğlu and PKK Leader Cemil Bayık regarding who is responsible for the Ankara bombing, asserting the necessity of suspicion regarding the politics of the situation.
Aferin Baykal Bey, aferin! Emin Çölaşan criticizes former CHP leader Deniz Baykal for coming out in support of the government’s Syria policy, suggesting he is merely doing it to spite current party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
Cemdeki Davutoğlu Ali Kenanoğlu characterizes Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s recent visit to a cemevi—an Alevi house of worship—in Erzincan as two-faced, given the political violence Alevis have faced in Turkey, particularly since the Gezi protests.
AKP politikaları yıkım ve ölüm getiriyor Ender İmrek argues that the AKP government “prefers to transform violence into political gains and to take advantage of everything for the sake of a presidential system.”
Caydırıcılık mı, savaş mı? Rusya/Esad mı, PYD/YPG mi? Fuat Keyman argues that Turkey is misdirecting its efforts at deterrence. Rather than antagonize the PYD, Turkey should focus on Russia and the Assad regime.
Biz hangi Kürtleri bombalıyoruz? Ezgi Başaran argues that the government’s decision to bomb areas outside Turkish borders stems from its “Kurd phobia”—it “apparently didn’t feel a threat” when its was ISIS nearing the border.
Savaş felakettir, uzak duralım... Oral Çalışlar cautions against a rush to military action, pointing out that even fondly remembered unilateral actions by Turkey (like its intervention in Cyprus) have had long-lasting negative effects.
Azez`in düşündürdükleri Nami Temeltaş attempts to trace the logic behind the Turkish government’s siege on Azaz in Northern Syria, given Davutoğlu’s statement three years ago that the government “would not allow Azaz to fall.”
TSK`ye `Suriye`ye karadan gir` mesajı! İhsan Çaralan argues that the Turkish government is trying to make the Kurds in Syria and Turkey pay for the recent suicide bombing in Ankara.
Kurdish Politics & Violence in the Southeast
“Bebek katilinden” demokrasi havarisine: Öcalan Nihat Ali Özcan asserts that Abdullah Öcalan’s political philosophy for the Kurdish movement may have changed since the inception of the PKK, but his goals remain the same.
Yine Diyarbakır 5 nolu cezaevi Writing about a recent meeting of the parliamentary human rights commission concerning the infamous Diyarbakır Prison, Hüsnü Öndül examines the possibilities and obstacles to reconciliation.
Gözleri değsin istemedim Bircan Değirmenci criticizes the use of women`s bodies as a psychological warfare tactic by the Turkish security forces.
Resistance in Artvin
Milletin ormanına, suyuna, havasına... Sen hiç merak etme! Referencing reporting by her paper, Radikal, Ezgi Başaran discusses the protests in Artvin against a potentially hazardous mining operation.
Karadeniz’de kamu düzeninin dizdiğine bak! Bülent Falakoğlu provides a list of the destructive projects that have taken place in the Black Sea Region under the name of "public order and safety".
Other Pertinent Pieces
Yrd. Doç. Dr. Barış Ünlü’nün savunması Barış Ünlü, an assistant professor of political science at Ankara University who is being prosecuted for assigning a final exam essay question based on two texts by Abdullah Öcalan, defends the rights to academic autonomy and academic freedom.
"Önlenebilir ve öngörülebilir" olan, kaza değildir! Highlighting the high rate of "work accidents" in Turkey, Erbay Yucak argues that employees are negligent of necessary cautionary measures due to the desire to be faster and more efficient.
Erkek şiddeti ve istatistikler Berna Ekal reports on the statistics of male violence against women in 2015.
Published on Jadaliyya
Something is Rotten in the State
New Texts Out Now: Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tugal, Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society
Under Fire: Translating the Growing Crisis in the Kurdish Cities of Turkey’s Southeast
Letter by American Sociological Association Expressing Concern for Signatories of Academics for Peace Statement in Turkey
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