[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.]
June 24 Elections
Plunging Turkish Lira, early elections Güven Sak writes that the plunging Turkish Lira is one of the reasons behind Erdoğan's call for early elections; the structural reforms necessary to stabilize the lira would lead to price hikes, however, without these measures, the Turkish economy is vulnerable to external shocks. A snap election allows Erdoğan to defer these reforms for two months rather than a whole year.
Erdoğan says he will campaign in a European city for June elections Despite Austria and Germany saying they would not allow him to campaign on their soil, Erdoğan has announced that preparations are complete for a campaign rally to be held in a European city next month.
Snap election with pending domestic and foreign crisis Kadri Gürsel writes that Erdoğan and Bahçeli's desire for an early election was based on a desire to call elections before a looming systemic crisis hits Turkey, however, he adds that an early election is not meant to solve this problem, rather, it is meant to maintain the current power structure in spite of it.
Alliance scenarios in the opposition corridors Some possible alliance models for the opposition are: a joint candidate that can encompass CHP, SP, and Iyi party bases, Akşener as a joint candidate, and an alliance for the general elections but separate candidates for the presidency.
Flexible candidacy strategy in the HDP "If the opposition is unable to agree on a joint candidate, the party is expected to contest the elections in the first round with a strong candidate." One possible candidate is Selahattin Demirtaş, since despite his detention in Edirne prison, there are no legal barriers to his candidacy.
Will Erdoğan be able to campaign in Europe before June polls? Serkan Demirtaş writes on the importances that the nearly 3 million eligible Turkish voters living in overseas holds for the AKP, adding that 59.1% of Turks living abroad voted yes during the constitional referendum.
Turkey’s president will win the country’s snap elections. Here’s why they still matter. Howard Eissenstat writes that even if the AKP rigs elections in its favor, it will have to do so in a much more subtle way than Putin or Sisi.
Turkey’s opposition in rare election solidarity Murat Yetkin writes that 15 CHP members of parliament switching to the Iyi party so that the latter would gain the 20 MPs necessary for participation in the election is a rare show of solidarity amongst the Turkish opposition.
Armenian Genocide Commemorations
Turkey has ‘responsibility’ to share Armenian pain over 1915: Erdoğan Erdoğan's statement, which was read at the Istanbul Aremenian Church, said that "“It is Turkey’s conscientious and ethical responsibility to share the historical pain of our Armenian citizens.” While not recognizing the events of 1915 as a genocide, President Erdoğan has released a statement for April 24th every year since 2014.
Governorship Bans the Word ‘Genocide’; 1915 Commemoration Cancelled The reason behind the cancellation was the refusal of the commemoration's organizers to comply with the Istanbul governorship's request to remove the word 'genocide' from their statement; three members of the IHD were arrested.
Turkey: Thousands of Afghans Swept Up in Ruthless Deportation Drive Amnesty International has condemned Turkey's mass deportations of Afghan refugees which started earlier this April. The official number of deportations, which has not been independently verified, is at 7,100.
Afghans fleeing violence unwelcome in Turkey Amberin Zaman theorizes that one motivation behind the mass deportations of Afghans may be to send a message to the EU that Turkey is doing its job in controlling migration flows.
Bill to split Istanbul University protested by faculty members, students Students and faculty members of Istanbul university are protesting against a proposed separation of the Medical School from the rest of the university.
Anger sparked again after horse on Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands collapses Calls to protect the welfare of carriage horses on Istanbul’s Büyükada have grown since an image of a horse who collapsed from exhaustion went viral. Horses used for transportation on the Princes’ Islands, where cars are forbidden, have a life expectancy of around two years after they start working.
Demonstration Ban for Nuclear Plant Protesters in Sinop The Ministry of the Interior ordered the ban on both the demonstration and its corresponding press conference, which were planned for April 21-22.
38 percent of children live in extreme poverty across Turkey: Research A report by Bahçeşehir University found that 38% of children in Turkey suffered from severe material deprivation in 2016. This number is lower in Western Anatolia, at 23%, and higher in the southeast, at 55%.
The Unlikely New Hero of Turkey's Opposition A profile of Ovacık's communist mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu, who has become a "grassroots symbol of good governance" through measures such as displaying the itemized local government income on the walls of the town hall, opening an organic agricultural cooperative, and making public transportation free.
Armenians in Turkey Join Protests Against Sargsyan Armenians gathered in Istanbul's Kumkapı Virgin Mary Church to demostrate against Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.
Greece and Turkey Are Inching Toward War Yiannis Baboulias argues that rising populism in both countries is pushing Greece and Turkey closer to a military confrontation.
Trouble brews as militants amass on Turkey's border Fehim Tastekin writes that Turkey must decide what to do with the militant groups that have amassed in regions under Turkish control in Syria, as rising tensions between these groups risks creating an additional problem for Turkey in the future.
Stymied in Syria, Turkey quietly ups actions against PKK in Iraq Turkey has been increasing its military outposts and air strikes in and around Iraqi Kurdistan. The PKK's exit from Sinjar denier Turkey the pretext to conduct an operation there, however, Turkey may instead opt for a military corridor in Qandil.
Culture and History
Cathedral of Ani to be restored in Turkey’s Kars The restoration of the cathedral of Ani, completed in 1001 AD by the Armenian queen Katranide and later converted into a mosque by the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan in 1604, will begin this month.
June 24 Elections
Reis’siz bir AKP’nin geleceği olabilir mi? Aydın Engin weighs in on the discussion of whether or not the AKP can exist without Erdoğan, with come saying that the AKP would slowl come apart if Erdoğan loses power, others saying that the AKP's brand of political Islam is a longstanding phenomenon that can withstand individual losses, and others with doom-and-gloom predictions that Erdoğan will do anything to remain in power.
Kürtleri kazanan seçimleri kazanır Amberin Zaman writes that according to a high level Kurdish politician, the decision to call early elections was in no way tied to a desire to solve the Kurdish issue, but rather, for reasons such. Rather, it was due to worsening economic conditions, and a desire to scuttle opposition efforts to find a joint candidate. The official also said that outside of the HDP, Abdullah Gül would be the candidate who could draw the most Kurdish voters.
Mehmet Tezkan: Demokrasi adına bi yanıt lütfen! PKK yine HDP’nin önünü keser mi? Writing for Milliyet, Mehmet Tezkan writes that after the HDP's success in the June 2015 elections, the PKK feared that Kurds were drifting towards more mainstream, liberal democracy, and used violence as a means of sabotaging this. He asks whether or not the PKK will again try to undermine the HDP during this election.
HÜDA-PAR mezusu ne iştir? Akif Beki writes that while the CHP and Iyi party were cooperating in order for the Iyi party to be able to join the elections, little attention was paid to the situation of HÜDA-PAR, a conservative Kurdish party seen as an alternative to the HDP. Despite having participated in previous elections, HÜDA-PAR was not listed on the Supreme Election Commitee's list of eligible parties. They plan to appeal the decision.
İyi Parti'ye kötü haber Despite having been deemed eligible to join the elections, the Iyi Party will not be able to receive state funds for their campaign, due to not already having participated in the previous election.
ANAR: AK Parti en büyük silahından feragat etti, Gül'ün oy oranı yüzde 48.5'e yakın Ibrahim Uslu, owner of the ANAR polling company, voices his opinions on the upcoming elections, namely the necessity for the opposition to form an alliance, Abdullah Gül's strength as a joint candidate, and the risk for the AKP of campaigning during Ramadan.
İstanbul'da 23 Nisan'a özel sergi: Bırakın çocuklar büyüsün Images from photographer Şafak Yavuz Şener's series, Let the Children Grow Up.
TSK'nin sansürlediği 23 Nisan şarkısındaki çarpıcı detay Song lyrics in a children's television feature to celebrate the 23rd of April (Chrildren's Day) were censored due to the phrase "Today a parliament was founded; and right away the Padishah was fired".
Türkiye'yi bekleyen büyük tehlike: Yüzbinlerce Suriyeli çocuk sokakta yetişiyor Ipek Yezdani writes that the 400,000 Syrian children who currently do not attend school in Turkey risks becoming a lost generation that threatens society as a whole.
Annesiyle birlikte cezaevinde kalan 0-6 yaş çocukların sayısı Teyit.org fact checks the claim that 704 children aged from 0-6 years are staying with their mothers in prison. The say that due to information for 2018 being unavailable, the most recent count is 668 as of November, 2017.
Çocuklar En Büyük Hayallerini Resimlerle Anlattı A gallery of childrens' drawings explaining their biggest dreams.
Bölünen üniversitenin hocaları: Bu bir yıkım, mücadele edeceğiz!Several Istanbul University professors have spoken out on why they are against the splitting of the university. Some main reasons are: problems for international recognition and accreditation, alumni no longer knowing where to say they graduated from, a loss of talent, and a decreased quality of education.
Medyada Nefret Söylemi ve Ayrımcı Söylem 2017 Raporu yayımlandı The Hrant Dink foundation has published its full report on hate speech in Turkish media, some key points are: Yeni Akit featured the most hate speech in 2017, opinion pieces were the most likely to contain hate speech, and Jews, Syrians and Armenians were the top three targets.
‘Ne geldiyse başımıza bu Dicle Nehri’nden geldi!’ The Ilısu Dam is 98% finished, along with the destruction of a large portion of the 12,000 year old Hasankeyf archaeological site. One Hasankeyf resident told Evrensel, "For a 50 year old dam project, they are destroying thousands of years of history."
Nusaybin'de 2 yıllık sokağa çıkma yasağı kaldırıldı A two year curfew that hung over 6 neighborhoods in Nusaybin has been lifted.
Belleği şiddet inşa eder Ahmet Murat Aytaç writes that the shift from the use of the death penalty as the ultimate manisfestation of state violence in the 80s to the extrajudicial violence, killings, and disappearences during the 90s caused a change in society's perception of violence, with many beginning to see it as "natural".
Raporlar.org Yayında! Raporlar.org , which aims to bring together all the human rights reports published in Turkey over the past 10 years, is now online. The site also has a Kurdish and an English version.
Culture and History
Türkiye'nin 12 Cumhurbaşkanı A brief history of Turkey's 12 presidents. Some highlights: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had the longest presidential term (15 years), while Turgut Özal had the shortest (3 years), 6 presidents were from the military, and Fahri Korutürk was the oldest president, starting his term at 69 years old.
Düm-Tek’in kerameti During the 60s and 70s, The Mongols and their Anadolu Pop were part of a globally popular evolution in music that fused Western pop with traditional folk music.
Published on Jadaliyya
Michael Provence, The Last Ottoman Generation and the Making of the Modern Middle East (New Texts Out Now)
Joshua M. White, Piracy and Law in the Ottoman Mediterranean (New Texts Out Now)
Yiğit Akın, When the War Came Home: The Ottomans' Great War and the Devastation of an Empire (New Texts Out Now)
Understanding Religion in (New) Turkey
Mostafa Minawi on "Juridical Colonialism, International Law, and the Ottoman Response"
Reading Resource on Sykes-Picot Agreement (Signed in May 1916)