[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.]
KRG Delegation Arrives in Afrin as Turkey Offensive Softens Kurdish Split Amberin Zaman writes that the delegation of Iraqi Kurdish MPs that arrived in Afrin is a show of unity between normally opposed Kurdish factions. While appealing to domestic sympathies may be one reason for the visit, another is that Iraqi Kurdistan has grown distant from both Turkey and the U.S after its 2017 independence referendum.
Turkey’s Syria operation needs realistic exit strategy Yaşar Yakış writes that while Turkey may be able to easily control Afrin, expanding to Manbij and east of the Euphrates will prove more difficult.
Over 1,000 Kurds March in Protest from Lausanne to Geneva On Monday, around 1,200 Kurds began a march in protest of Turkey’s Afrin offensive. The march began at the Palais de Rumine, where the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne was signed, and aims to finish at the UN Palace of Nations.
Turkey Has Legitimate Security Concerns: NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg stated that, as the NATO member who had suffered the most terrorist attacks, Turkey had the right to address its legitimate security concerns in a “proportionate and measured way”.
The battles rage in Afrin countryside and the intense shelling and more casualties raise the death toll to more than 400 civilians and fighters who were killed in Operation “Olive Branch” The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights states that out of the 400 total casualties in Operation Olive Branch, 74 are Syrian civilians.
No civilian casualties in Turkey’s Syria operation – Turkish minister Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that CNN International’s and the Syrian Observatory for Human Right’s claims of civilian casualties in Afrin were based on YPG/PKK propaganda, and that no civilians had been killed in the operation.
Turkey on defense spending spree during Afrin op In light of the Afrin operation, Turkey’s top defense procurement panel reviewed programs totaling $9.4 billon. Some key decisions made by the panel were a $400 million order for armored vehicles, and the replacement of two crashed helicopters.
AKP makes new promises to EU in a bid to surmount crisis Some key aspects of Ankara’s seven steps to attain visa liberalization are adding a clause protecting critical speech to Turkey’s Anti-Terrorism Law, issuing of biometric passports as of April, negotiations to cooperate with EUROPOL, and improved regulations on corruption.
Turkey’s anti-terror law to be amended for EU visa deal: Officials Turkish officials announced that they had met all the criteria for visa liberalization in the EU, telling the Hürriyet Daily News that proposed changes to Turkey's Anti-Terrorism Law were a technical fulfillment of the requirements that would not “negatively affect our struggle against terror”.
Turkey's quest for EU visa waiver more likely to cause strife than progress Zülfikar Doğan writes that due to the ongoing state of emergency and questionable arrests, Turkey’s proposed amendments are unlikely to lead to visa liberalization, and may instead create a new round of tensions with the EU.
Is Turkey Really Facing an ‘Exodus’? It’s Not that Simple Bahar Baser and Emre Eren Korkmaz counter the use of the term ‘exodus’ to describe emigration from Turkey. They state that many of those leaving had wanted to do so before the 2016 coup attempt, and stress the importance of focusing on dissenters who choose to remain.
Only 16 pct of asylum seekers can be sent back to Turkey The former head of the Greek asylum service stated that under Greek law and European directives, only 16% of the asylum seekers who arrived in Greece can be returned under the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal.
Refugees will not stay in Turkey forever – Erdoğan President Erdoğan stated that after solving the situations in Afrin and Idlib, many of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey would be able to return to their country.
Politically polarized Turkey finds largest common ground in Syrian refugees’ return 86.2% of survey participants agreed that Syrians should be sent back to their country once the war had ended. This sentiment was shared across the political spectrum: over 90% of CHP and IYI party voters; over 80% of MHP and AKP voters; and 75% of HDP voters agreed with it.
Portrait: The new co-leaders of HDP -Pervin Buldan and Sezai Temelli In a profile of the new HDP co-chairs, Ahval identifies Buldan as representing the “pro-Kurdish” inclination of the party, while Temelli represents the “Turkish left” aspect.
Transgender Inmate’s 'Death Fast' Brought to Parliamentary Agenda MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu addressed parliament regarding transgender woman inmate Diren Coşkun’s death fast demanding laser epilation therapy, recognition of her right to gender reassignment, and an end to her isolation.
What to Expect for the Turkish Economy in 2018 Nurullah Gür states that the Turkish economy is expected to grow by 5% in 2018. To achieve this, he stresses the importance of targeted incentive programs, diversification of export markets, and increased domestic energy sources. Gür warns that structural reforms are necessary to combat unemployment and inflation.
A people, or peoples? The Turkish left grapples with identity Yahya Madra writes that Turkey’s left is divided into two sides: those who refuse to recognize ethnic difference by viewing Turkish citizenship as a universal category, and those who take a pluralistic view of citizenship which recognizes Turkey as a container of many peoples.
Erdogan’s visit with Pope Francis and an alliance of civilizations Sadık Ünay writes that Erdoğan’s visit to the Vatican is not only historically significant, but also a promising sign of intercultural dialogue in a time of increasing ethno-sectarian discrimination and support for far-right ideologies.
Instead of Turning East, Turkey is Going it Alone Despite the West's fears over Turkey turning eastward, Turkish foreign policy has become increasingly isolated on both sides. However, Nick Danforth argues that Turkey’s strained relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors and Russia are unlikely to help save its relations with the West.
Animosity Towards US Uniting Turkey, Russia, Iran in Syria Turkey, Iran, and Russia have agreed to hold a meeting on Syria in Astana in March, followed by a summit in Istanbul. Although Turkey is at odds with Russia and Iran over Idlib and Afrin, the three are likely to maintain a loose alliance based on common opposition to the US consolidating their positions in Northern Syria.
MEPs Call on Turkey to Lift State of Emergency In a resolution on Thursday, members of the European Parliament reiterated that Turkey’s state of emergency should be lifted, and that Turkey’s Pre-Accession Assistance funding should be conditional on its respect for human rights, democracy, and rule of law.
Iraqi Kurds remain key ally for Turkey in volatile region Bashdar Pusho Ismaeel writes that sustaining the alliance between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey is important for both countries’ economic and security objectives.
FOTO - K24’ten Afrin fotoğrafları Kurdistan 24 shares photographs from its ongoing coverage of Afrin.
Rusya'nın Afrin üzerinden Suriye'yi aşan hesapları Dr. Kerim Has argues that the Afrin operation provides Russia with potential geopolitical gains through thwarting US plans for PYD control of Syrian energy resources and causing a break between Turkey and the US/NATO that may increase Turkey's reliance on Russia.
‘Türklülük Sözleşmesi’nin yeni konsantre mekanı: Afrin Mahir Yılmaz explains how the “Contract of Turkishness” is a construct that transcends ideological, social, and class differences, and how support for the Afrin operation has become a new way for various societal actors to assert their Turkishness, as well a means for communities who are normally excluded by this contract to enjoy its privileges, if only temporarily.
OHAL mültecileri de etkiledi, kolayca geri gönderiliyorlar Refugees in Turkey are being routinely subjected to stop-and-search procedures under the state of emergency. Those charged with security-related crimes cannot legally be sent back to their country, however, they are held in deportation centers until they sign a document of voluntary return. None of these procedures are subject to judicial review.
Göç Alanı Genişliyor ancak Yeterince Bilgi Üretilmiyor Migration studies is a varied and growing field in Turkish academia and civil society. In this interview, the Migration Research Association states the importance of filling its remaining knowledge gaps.
Hassas ülkem Incidents such as a provincial Directorate of National Education's refusal to allow a children’s play to advertise in schools due to a character's anti-war lines, or the outcry over the Turkish Medical Association’s tweet identifying war as a public health issue, reflect a growing over-sensitivity that risks distorting society’s common sense in a way that will be difficult to reverse.
TTB’den ‘Türk’ sözcüğünü çıkarmak, ‘Cumhuriyet yurttaşlığının’ reddi demektir! Murat Sevinç writes that the AKP's decision to remove references to Turkey in the names of professional organizations is an attempt to please nationalist voters, yet ironically rejects a fundamental principle of Turkish Republican ideology: that of Turkishness being based on citizenship.
697 sayılı KHK'nin tam metni: 1823 kişi göreve iade edildi In a newly declared emergency decree, 262 people were dismissed from their jobs, 1,823 people were returned to their posts, and one television and one radio channel were closed.
Munzur Vadisi'nde baraj yapan firma projelerin ikisinden çekildi Two of the four planned hydroelectric plant and dam projects in Munzur Valley National Park have been canceled. Activists and locals recognized this as a positive development, but will continue pushing for the cancellation of the remaining two projects, as they would severely damage the region's ecosystem and spiritual significance.
Hukuk örgütleri: OHAL'i durdurabiliriz Legal organizations in Ankara have declared that they can bring the state of emergency to an end, stating that its repeated extensions have no legal basis.
Başkanlık ittifakına ‘baraj’ rüşveti The AKP and MHP, alongside the smaller BBP and SP, have several possible configurations for an electoral alliance in order to gain a majority against the CHP and HDP. Three options are each party placing its own logo and candidates on the ballot, separate logos but a shared candidate list, and campaigning under a single logo with a shared candidate list.
İHD: 2017 yılında bölgede 18 bin 507 hak ihlali yaşandı A human rights association in Diyarbakır has released its annual report on human rights in Turkey’s East and Southeast, documenting 18,507 rights violations in the region.
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