[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.]
Life for the Altan brothers and Nazlı Ilıca Final comments from the Altan brothers and Nazlı Ilıcak. All three journalists, as well as three other defendants, received aggravated life sentences for their accused participation in the 2016 coup attempt.
Opinion: Deniz Yücel's release is no reason for complacency Die Welt’s editor-in-chief reflects on Deniz Yücel’s release, stating that civil society must fight for the release of other journalists imprisoned in Turkey.
How impartial is the Turkish judiciary? Semih Idiz points out the inconsistency of the Turkish judiciary in freeing Deniz Yücel, but sentencing three other journalists to life imprisonment, despite the Constitutional Court ruling that there were serious irregularities in their case.
Any old day: Yesterday! Aydın Engin writes about how his happiness over Deniz Yücel’s release was tempered by the arbitrary nature of detention and release in Turkey.
A new scale of censorship Melike Karakartal writes that the proposed bill to regulate online content will eliminate the last free media space in Turkey, both for those wanting uncensored entertainment and those wanting uncensored news sources.
Syrian troops deployed in Afrin, locals confirm Local reports state that Syrian government forces, and allied groups such as Hezbollah, have entered Afrin. It is speculated that they will be stationed on the border with Turkey rather than inside the city.
Kurdish fighters join Turkey's Afrin operation Several Kurdish factions have joined the FSA in fighting against the YPG in Afrin, stating that Operation Olive Branch is not a fight based on ethnicity, and that the YPG does not represent the Kurdish population in Syria.
Afrin puts Turkish-Iranian-Russian mistrust on full display Russia and Iran are trying to maintain their relations with Ankara while also opposing Turkey’s incursion into Afrin. While Russia is actively helping the YPG, Iran is focused on brokering a deal between the YPG and the Syrian government.
Turkey-U.S. tensions over Syria ease after Tillerson visit Rex Tillerson made three proposals to Erdoğan during his visit: carrying out joint US-Turkey patrols in Manbij, creating a buffer zone in the Afrin region, and the US cutting off relations with the YPG after ISIS was defeated. Out of all three, only the first one appears viable.
Tillerson throws Erdogan a bone in Syria An analysis of Tillerson’s proposal to allow Turkish backed FSA troops into Manbij, in return for Kurdish forces to be allowed to stay in Qamishli, al-Hassakeh, and, if it is not handed over to Syrian government forces, Afrin.
Nothing new about Tillerson's visit Hasan Basri Yalçın argues that any American proposal that does not encompass the entire Turkey-Syrian border is unacceptable, and that Turkey is more secure cooperating with Russia than the US.
Crossing the election threshold via an alliance Taha Akyol argues in favor of removing the 10% electoral threshold for all parties, rather than only those in an electoral alliance. He also emphasizes that since the right-wing is the majority in Turkey, right leaning parties such as the Saadet Party and IYI Party must reject ideological polarization and defend rule of law.
Coalition woes in the AKP base The CEO of a prominent Turkish consulting firm warns of a silent dissatisfaction within the AKP base, owing largely to its alliance with the MHP, a single-man system, and the removal of mayors from office.
Selahattin Demirtaş: Minister brought us handwritten instruction from Öcalan Coverage of the first day of HDP co-chair Salahattin Demirtaş’s hearing provides details such as his objections to the lifting of parliamentary immunity, government pressure on the HDP in 2010 and 2014, and a list of international observers who were denied entry to the trial. Coverage of the second and third days of the trial can be found here and here.
Fear, Silence Weigh on Turkey's Armenians after Failed Coup Many of the approximately 60,000 Armenians living in Turkey feel pressured under the state of emergency. While some choose to leave, others cite staying in Turkey as a form of resistance.
Why hasn’t GDP growth made Turks feel richer? Some possible reasons for many Turks complaining of economic difficulties despite 7% GDP growth in 2017 are irregularities in calculations and/or high inflation.
Why are more Qataris learning Turkish? Cultural affinities paired with political factors such as Turkey siding with Qatar while it was being boycotted by other Gulf countries, and both countries’ support for the Muslim Brotherhood, has led to an increase in Qataris learning Turkish.
Cairo sheds Ottoman-era street names amid Egypt-Turkey crisis Amidst growing tensions between Egypt and Turkey, authorities are changing Ottoman-era street names, stating that the Ottomans were colonizers who do not deserve to be glorified.
Will Turkey and Russia become ‘strategic allies’ or sustain a ‘marriage of convenience’? Russia and Turkey’s alternating alliances and disagreements over questions such as NATO and Syria are the continuation of over 500 years of shifting relations.
Tempers flare over gas exploration in Mediterranean Newly discovered hydrocarbon reserves are leading to tensions between Turkey and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.
An annotated Not-To-Do list for Europeans lost on Erdoğan Cengiz Aktar writes that as long as the EU continues a policy of appeasement towards Erdoğan, its protests over the state of human rights in Turkey will remain hollow. He also emphasizes that anti-Western sentiment in Turkey is shared by the majority of citizens, and runs deeper than the current government.
Culture and History
Diyarbakir's signature dessert is multicultural tradition An article about the multicultural history of kadaif; a Diyarbakir specialty that originated with Armenians and is now made primarily by families who migrated to Diyarbakir from Bingol.
Istanbul’s porters, a dying breed A history of porters in Istanbul, their current conditions, and the likelihood of this generation of porters being the last.
Deadly mystery of Turkey’s ancient ‘Gate to Hell’ revealed German researchers found that in ancient times, the levels of carbon dioxide emitted from a fault line located under an ancient Greek grotto known as the Gate to Hell, in modern-day Denizli, were high enough kill those who got too close.
Afrin'de potansiyel riskler gerçeğe dönüşüyor Afrin’s mountainous geography, local support for the YPG paired with several years of self-defense training, and Russia’s preventing Turkish air operations all pose considerable challenges for the success of Operation Olive Branch.
Afrinli Hüseyin Amca: Dünya Afrin’de yaşananlara sessiz kalıyor An article explaining the history of Afrin’s Mabeta district, which is home to a community of Alevi Kurds who fled Turkey generations ago to escape massacres carried out by the Ottomans, as well as those carried out by the Turkish Republic in Dersim in 1937.
İşte Altan kardeşler ve Nazlı Ilıcak dahil 6 kişiye ağırlaştırılmış müebbet hapis cezası verilen kararın tam metni Full text of the court decision to condemn Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek, Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül ve Fevzi Yazıcı to life in prison on charges related to the 2016 coup.
Bir Alman kaç Türk’e bedel? Levent Gültekin writes on the double standard that allowed German citizen Deniz Yücel to be returned home on a private jet despite previous claims by the government that they had evidence he was a member of a terrorist organization, while journalists with Turkish passports remain in prison.
Aileler Sur’a Dönmek İstiyor A study of 500 of the approximately 6,000 families who were displaced after clashes in Diyarbakir’s Sur district found that over half were living in conditions of economic precarity, and all wished to be able to return to Sur.
Ortamın Gerginleşmesiyle Denizden Geçişler Artıyor Upon the discovery of a Turkish woman and her two children who drowned in the Maritza river while attempting to flee Turkey after being accused of being a member of FETO, Amnesty International Turkey’s refugee rights coordinator expressed concerns that a rise in calls for Syrians to return home could cause them to attempt to reach Europe via this route as well.
Hasankeyf'in son konukları Visitors are gathering to get a final look at the 12,000 year old ruins of Hasankeyf before the town is submerged under water due to the completion of the Ilısu dam project. Residents are waiting to be moved to a neighboring district.
Lisa Çalan: Yürüyerek onlara en ağır cezayı verdim – Özlem Akarsu Çelik (Gazete Duvar) After receiving osseointegration implants to replace her legs, which were blown off in the 2015 bombing of an HDP meeting in Diyarbakir, Filmmaker Lisa Çalan states that by walking in front of the accused bombers at their most recent trial, she was able to give them the heaviest punishment of all.
SP lideri, Erdoğan’a neden destek vermediğini açıkladı: Prensipler değişmeli The Saadet Party’s chairman, Temel Karamollaoğlu, explains that his party has not made a decision on whether or not to join the AKP-MHP electoral alliance, but did confirm that it would put forward its own candidate, possibly former president Abdullah Gül
Culture and History
Edhem Efendi ve Özbekler Tekkesi An article on the history of the most important of Istanbul’s five historic Uzbek Sufi lodges, the Üsküdür-Sultantepe lodge, which still exists to this day. This lodge developed the modern Turkish form of water marbling, made important contribution to Turkish efforts during World War I, and housed a variety of famous Turkish musicians.
Rum Ateşi'nden biber gazına kimyasal silahların tarihçesi Historian Ayşe Hür writes of the history of poisonous gas in wartime, starting with the Byzantines using “Grejuva fire” gas against Arab armies in 674, the ban on the use of belladonna gas by France and Germany in 1675, and allegations of the use of poisonous gas in World War I by both the English and the Ottomans.
Published on Jadaliyya
Mostafa Minawi on "Juridical Colonialism, International Law, and the Ottoman Response"
MENA Dialogues with Esra Özyürek on Religion, Secularism and Nationalism in Turkey and Europe
Jeremy F Walton Muslim Civil Society and the Politics of Religious Freedom in Turkey (New Texts Out Now)
LGBTİ Yasaklarına Dair Eleştirel Bir Forum
Security for Whom? Unpacking the Gendered Impact of EU Securitized Migration
Queer Alliances in Times of War