[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.]
June 24 Elections
Are Turkish polls reliable? Murat Yetkin writes that, considering the complexity of the election system and party choices this year, it would be a miracle if polling companies were able to get accurate responses. He writes that although not all polling companies are bad, one should not take their results at face value this time around.
Erdogan’s heir apparent Edogan's son-in-law and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, was at the top of the AKP candidate list for Istanbul's first district, fueling rumors that Albayrak would be Erdogan's political heir.
Only 5 Percent of Women Nominated on 1st Place 931 out of the 4,200 candidates for the parliamentary elections are women, with only 5.4% female candidates being nominated at first place in 49 cities. Women constituted 21% of CHP and AKP candidates, 36.7% of HDP candidates, 25% of IYI Party candidates, and 11.5% of MHP candidates.
bianet Asks, Demirtaş Answers: Prison and Elections in 15 Questions In his interview with bianet, Selahattin Demirtaş says that none of the other candidates have a freedom-centric vision, speaks on his positive rapports with prison workers, and warns against normalizing the situation of a presidential candidate being in jail.
No Unified Front for Turkey’s Ethnic Kurdish Parties Hüseyn Alptekin writes that the collapse of five Kurdish parties' attempt to form an electoral coalition with the HDP means that elections in Turkey's Southeast will once again be between the AKP and HDP.
Grand reception, ultra-tight security for Erdoğan at Bosnia rally Erdogan spoke to a crowd of around 15,000 at his election rally in Sarajevo, with many of the attendees being being bussed in from other European countries. Nick Ashdown writes that many Bosnians see Turkey as a potential ally in between an indifferent EU and a hostile Russia, but adds that this rally may have been more of a display for domestic audiences in Turkey.
Exchange Rate of US Dollar Exceeds 4.90 Turkish Lira On Wednesday morning, the US dollar reached a high of 4.92 TRY, with the Euro at 5.73 TRY. In response, the Istanbul Stock Exchange changed all of its foreign exchange assets, except for its short-term needs, into Turkish Lira.
Turkish Lira soars sharply as Central Bank lifts rates In order to combat the sharp decline of the lira against the dollar, the Central Bank raised its late liquidity window lending rate from 13.5% to 16.5%.
To stop the fall of the Turkish Lira ahead of elections Murat Yetkin writes that the fall of the lira against the dollar actually began in 2008, after the end of Turkey's structural reform program and the political turmoil of 2007. However, the government is trying to avoid steps that would slow this fall, such as increasing interest rates, prior to the elections.
Inaction hurts the Turkish Lira Erdal Sağlam writes that the Central Bank's inaction on interest rates is increasing the damage done to the economy, and has also damaged people's perception of the bank as an independent institution, since if the bank was truly independent, it would have already hiked interest rates. He rates that the declining lira is affecting both state and private companies' balance sheets, and will eventually hit the banking industry.
Why Investors Have Become Skittish About Turkey Benjamin Harvey writes that the Gezi Park protests marked a shift in the way the world, and investors, perceived Erdogan. While he was once seen as an economic reformer who attracted foreign investments from all over, after Gezi, Erdogan began to be viewed as vindictive and paranoid, and the further consolidation of his power has increased fears that Turkey is suffering "institutional decline".
Syrian family finds shelter, job in Mardin church The story of a Christian Syriac family from Aleppo, who came to Mardin and found refuge in the Mor Petrus and Mor Pavlus Church; churches, especially those in Turkey's eastern regions, have served as stopping points for Christian Syrians since the beginning of high refugee flows into Turkey.
The Syrian refugee comedians of Istanbul breaking stereotypes Syrians in Istanbul are using stand-up comedy to dispel stereotypes in a non-combative way. The Halalarious Stand-Up Comedy event in Istanbul, organized by 21 year old comedian Omar Mohammad, attracted comedians from across the globe.
HDP: Demirtaş’s Demand for Release Rejected In their statement on the refusal to release Salahattin Demirtaş from prison, the HDP said "“We condemn this unlawful decision that obstructs equal and a fair election. Each second that millions’ candidate #Demirtaş is not together with his voters will shadow June 24 elections a bit more and more, and maket he democratic legitimacy questionable”
Passport of CHP MP Erdem Confiscated Upon Approval of His Indictment Due to a travel ban imposed on him over his indictment for being an alleged member of FETO, CHP İstanbul MP Eren Erdem was prevented from traveling to Germany, and his passport was confiscated.
Turkey opens criminal probe of Armenian lawmaker for ‘insulting’ speech After introducing a parliamentary motion to recognize the Armenian genocide, Garo Paylan, an HDP MP of Armenian descent, is facing calls to lift his immunity in order to charge him with insulting the Turkish people.
Iraq elections: Will Sadr seek a new beginning with Turkey? Fehim Tastekin writes that the victory of Sadr's coalition in Iraq could work to Turkey's advantage if the coalition pushes back Iranian influence while striking a balance between the Sunni and Shiite populations, but adds that Sadr is against all foreign military activities in Iraq, including Turkey's.
Turkey and Israel: Barking, biting, but still doing business Cengiz Candar writes that Erdogan must limit his outrage over American and Israeli actions in Gaza to rhetoric rather than actions, due to a fear of aggravating an economic crisis. However, he writes that Israel must also be cautious in its responses, since a large portion of its oil supply passes through Turkey, and both countries cooperate on intelligence sharing.
Do Football Players Have no Right to Freedom of Opinion? M. Erkut Ayvaz says that German criticisms of two Turkish-German football players who posed for a photograph with President Erdogan are unfounded, and that while one may criticize their political views, noone has the right to question their "Germanness".
Erdoğan calls for ‘common sense’ from new Armenian government The arrival of Armenia's new prime minister has not broken the diplomatic ice surrounding Turkish-Armenian relations. Neither country appears to have changed its foreign policy; Armenia has maintained its stance that it is willing to establish diplomatic relations without preconditions, while Turkey refuses open relations until Armenia ends its occupation of Nargorno-Karabakh.
Dutch business in Turkey soaring despite political crises: Ahval series "Business as usual" Despite a series of political crises, the Netherlands is Turkey's biggest investor, increasing its voume of foreign direct investment to Turkey even while Turkey's total FDI has been in decline since 2011.
Court issues irrevocable decision in favor of Turkish officer's asylum claim The Greek Council of State has issued its final decision granting asylum to one of eight Turkish officers who fled to Greece after the 2016 coup attempt. This decision is expected to influence the outcome of the remaining cases.
Culture and History
Recovering Hidden History Along the Armenian-Turkish Border Photographs from a joint project between a Turkish and an Armenian photographer, in which they traveled along the Turkish-Armenian border documenting the lives of "hidden Armenians".
June 24 Elections
Sekiz maddede #İncepopülizm Bağlan Deniz writes that Muharram Ince's strategy resembles a form of "leftist populism"; he cites Ince's image as a "straight talker" standing up to elites, his emphasis of "national" leftist values such as increased national production and the construction of factories (as opposed to the HDP's "universal" leftist values such as equality for all), and his appeals to popular desires, such as the wish for more democracy, and prejudices, such as those against Syrian refugees.
“Reis kaybedeceği seçimi yaptırmaz…” Responding to some colleagues' fears that Erdogan wouldn't call an election that he could lose, Bekir Coşkun writes that this may have been true for the June 2015 elections, but this time the opposition is so diverse that if Erdogan loses, he will be unable to get around the result without arousing a broad-based revolt.
Kazanımlarımız Ataol Behramoğlu writes on the strengths of the opposition leaders this election-he praises Ince's promise as a presidential candidate, Akşener as a breath of fresh air for Turkish politics, and Demirtaş's strides away from purely identity based politics.
Ekonomide çoklu organ yetmezliği Harun Odabaşı provides an analysis of the 21-day period in which the dollar rose above 4.58. Some major factors: the government's promise to distribute two 1,000 lira incentive packages to retirees placing further stress on the budget and strengthening opinions that the government lacked fiscal discipline; Erdogan talking about his preference for low interest rates during his UK visit; and the credit agency Fitch's warning that Turkey's monetary policy was too loose and that Turkey's private sector was overreliant on borrowing foreign currency.
“TAMAM” da ya sonra? Sendika62 writes that if Turkey continues to rely on a neoliberal economic model, neither Erdogan's loss nor structural reforms will restore its economy. Rather, what is needed is massive steps towards nationalization and a development model based on internal resources.
Türkiye ekonomisi: Kırılma anına doğru Güldem Atabey Şanlı writes that the initial optimism (and a corresponding rise in the lira) upon the announcement of early elections was tied to the belief that after an easy victory, Erdogan would initiate reforms similar to those of his early years. However, this optimism quickly turned to worry upon the realization that even with a win, Erdogan might not employ conventionally accepted macroeconomic policies.
Devlet Bahçeli, organize suç örgütü lideri Çakıcı’yı ziyaret etti MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli visited organized crime leader Alaadin Çakıcı at a prison hospital.
Saadet Partili gençler, Filistin mitingini ‘trolledi’: İktidar miting yapmaz icraat yapar Five members of the Saadet Party's youth branch "trolled" Erdogan's Palestine meeting by holding up signs that sarcastically indicated the meeting was just a performance by the AKP.
Hakkari'de yasak uzatıldı The entry ban on 30 areas in three provinces in Hakkari has been extended to the 7th of June.
Bir sosyal medya yalanı nelere gebedir? İhsan Elhan writes about his quest to uncover the truth behind an image widely circulated on social media, claiming to be the account of an American doctor, Dr. W.H.T. Squires, who witnessed the massacre of the last Ottoman soldiers in Halep at the hands of an Arab mob. After tracking down a book of Dr. Squire's observations, Elhan concludes that, while the story is emotionally persuasive and feeds into anti-refugee sentiments, it is also false; the book is full of distaste for Turks, Arabs, and Islam in general, but features no such account of Ottoman soldiers.
Published on Jadaliyya
Solidarity with #SurHasankeyf2018
Call for International Academic Solidarity
Workshop Announcement: Authoritarianism and Resistance in Turkey (May 12-13, University of Kassel)
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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)