[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.]
24 June Elections
Turkey’s Back to the Future Opposition: Part One Writing for Jadaliyya, Reuben Silverman says that the opposition has created an alliance between groups that is so ideologically divided, the likes of it have not been seen since the 90s. He adds that, in such a scenario, it is fitting that two key opposition leaders—Meral Akşener and Temel Karamollaoğlu—were also key figures in the 90s, and connected to some of the worst aspects of that decade.
‘Kim Jong Un’ Award from İYİ Party to State Channel TRT The İYİ Party İstanbul Provincial Organization has honored TRT with a "Kim-Jong Un Free and Balanced Media Award." In a statement, Deputy Chair Ümit Özdağ said of TRT "They carry out a pro-government broadcasting with the taxes we pay. Such a mindset is left only in the North Korea, that's why we give them North Korea award."
PACE to observe the early presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey "The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will send a 33-member delegation to Turkey to observe the conduct of the early presidential and parliamentary elections."
Turkey’s opposition might actually have a chance Zia Weise writes that in choosing Muharrem Ince as its nominee instead of Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the CHP has boosted the opposition's chances of winning the elections.
Interactive: The shift in Turkish voting patterns in recent elections James in Turkey provides an interactive set of charts to map how Turkish voters' loyalties have shifted over the past five elections. See also a comparison of the pledges made in the main Turkish political parties' manifestos here.
Turkey’s Wag-the-Dog Election Turker Erturk and Selim Sazak write that, after years of neglecting the PKK's presence in Qandil, Erdoğan's newfound focus on "draining the terror swamp" in northern Iraq, where the PKK no longer has a strong presence, is little more than political theatre meant to shift voter's focus from the economy to national security.
Overseas voting process in Turkey's June 24 elections ends with record participation 1,486,410 overseas voters (out of the 3,047,096 registered) have cast their votes, with Germany, the Netherlands, and France having the highest participation rate.
Battle for Kurdish vote turns violent, leaves four dead in Turkey's Suruc Conflicting reports have emerged regarding the deaths of a shopkeeper, his two sons, and the brother of an AKP lawmaker in Suruç. While pro-government media reports that the Senyasar family attacked an AKP delegation that came to their shop asking for votes, the HDP says that members of the AKP delegation had a previous altercation with the Senyasars, and arrived a second time bearing arms. Two of the victims were killed at the hospital.
Fadıl Şenyaşar, Whose Father and Brothers Have Been Killed in Suruç, Arrested Fadıl Şenyaşar has been charged with the death of Mehmet Şah Yıldız, the brother of AKP Urfa MP İbrahim Halil Yıldız.
25 Organizations Prevented From Entering Suruç Due to ‘Security of Life’ The police have prevented representatives of twenty-five organizations who wished to investigate the events at Suruç, including the Diyarbakır Bar Association, Human Rights Association (İHD), and the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) from entering the area.
Attack on HDP’s Election Booth in Büyükada: 2 People Wounded During an attack on an HDP election booth, a member of a neighboring CHP election booth and a nearby shop owner were stabbed when they tried to intervene.
Turkey celebrates Eid al-Fitr holiday The arrival of Eid al-Fitr in Turkey has been accompanied by a flurry of people travelling to see family or benefit from official holiday time, as demonstrated by additional domestic flights, one hundred percent hotel occupancy rates in coastal regions, and a dramatic spike in traffic accidents.
Assyrians in SE Turkey celebrate Muslims' Eid al-Fitr The priest of an Assyrian church in Mardin has said: "Mardin has always been the crossroads of religions, languages, and cultures. In Mardin we have been celebrating four festivals, not just two."
Middle Eastern tourists celebrate Ramadan Bayram in Istanbul While locals preferred traveling to Turkey's coastal resorts, Middle Eastern tourists flocked to Istanbul for Eid celebrations. The number of Middle Eastern tourists coming to Istanbul has spiked during the past two years.
Turkey's Activities in Syria
Blurring the border, Turkey deepens roots in northern Syria Turkey's development plans in al-Bab signal long-term intentions, including new courts that are overseen by Turkish judges, a hospital financed by the Turkish Ministry of Health, and plans for a Turkish university to open a branch there.
Turkish forces begin patrols in Syria's Manbij Turkish and US forces have begun military patrols along the outskirts of Manbij, as per the Manbij roadmap agreed upon by the two countries.
Syria: Turkey-Backed Groups Seizing Property Human Rights Watch has issued a report alleging that Turkish-backed rebel groups have seized, looted, and/or destroyed the property of displaced Afrin residents, who have so far not been compensated for damages.
Puppy killing stirs outrage in Turkey as politicians vouch for new animal rights law Following the death of a puppy who was found with its feet cut off in Sakarya, Turkish politicians have supported a new law against cruelty to animals, which would criminalize violence to stray animals and impose penalties of four months to three years in prison for animal torture.
Turkey’s biggest mosque in Istanbul’s Çamlıca to cost $100 million The Camlica mosque is almost completed after five years of construction, and will have a capacity of 63,000.
Turkey ramps up HIV awareness campaign In response to a 465 percent increase in people infected with HIV over the last decade, the Turkish Ministry of Health is increasing awareness campaigns at universities and opening more health centers providing testing and support services for HIV. However, there remains a lack of awareness about protecting against STDs and discriminatory attitudes against people who are HIV positive.
No evidence against Amnesty's jailed Turkey head, police conclude A police report has concluded that there is no evidence to back up terror charges against the head of Amnesty International's Turkey branch, Taner Kiliç. The charges alleged he was an associate of Fethullah Gülen.
Turkish court acquits rap artist Ezhel of inciting drug use The case was thrown out within nine minutes of the trial, in which the judge said that Ezhel had not committed any crimes intentionally, and ordered his immediate release.
New regulation imposes ‘Turkish majority crew’ rule for archeological excavations In order to train more Turkish archaeologists, a new regulation requires that Turkish nationals make up fifty-one percent of foreign-led archaeological excavation teams, as well as occupy key positions. In the past, foreign-led teams largely confined locals to support or service positions.
Culture and History
The Festival Cappadox: Powerful art in dark times in Turkey The theme of this year's Art-Festival Cappadox is "silence," in reference to those whose voices have been silenced by the ongoing state of emergency.
Review: The Turkish female artists whose songs challenged their social position Cultural anthropologist Kornelia Binicewicz has curated a diverse collection of female Turkish singers from the 60s, 70s, and 80s, highlighting the struggles specific to their time, as well as telling a more universal story of women's position in the music industry.
24 June Elections
Demirtaş: Demokrasi ittifakı kurulmalı In his interview with Cumhuriyet, Salahattin Demirtaş says that after the elections, the "Nation Alliance" should expand, and become an alliance for democracy. In order to do this, the opposition must put partisan interests aside and work together.
Akşener: Bahçeli'yi tanımam ama Erdoğan'ı tanıyorum In her interview with Cumhuriyet, Meral Akşener denies allegations that she would make a deal with Erdoğan, saying that if that were the case, she would not have subjected herself to so much trouble during her campaign.
AKP, 2015'teki vaatlerinin ne kadarını gerçekleştirdi? An overview of the promises the AKP made in its November 2015 election manifesto, and how many of those it kept. Several, such as the continuation of the peace process, a transparency package, improving relations with the European Union, and attracting international investments, were not kept at all. However, some of the AKP's promises did come to fruition, such as free passports for students, increasing the minimum wage, and several infrastructure projects.
İnce'nin sözünü ettiği "Sevim Tanürek cinayeti" nedir? An explanation of Muharrem İnce's reference to the death of singer Sevim Tanürek, who was killed in 1998 when Erdoğan's son Burak hit her with his car. He was charged with reckless driving, but later acquitted; after his election as prime minister, Erdoğan granted a government position to the engineer who issued the report saying Burak was not at fault.
Sezai Temelli: İkinci tura kalacak muhalefet adayına destek vereceğiz HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli has announced that they will support whichever opposition candidate remains during the second round of elections.
"Gök Neden Yıkılmadı Başımıza Bilmiyorum" The fifteenth of June marks the 103rd anniversary of the Assyrian Genocide. Christians all over Turkey were classified as "security threats" and slaughtered en masse during the years of 1915-16; while Armenians and Pontic Greeks were targeted in the west and northeast of Turkey, Assyrians were targeted in south-eastern regions such as Turabdin, Van, Hakkari, Urmiye, and Harput.
Şırnak’ta 25 yıl önce boşalttıkları köye dönmek zorunda kalanlar anlatıyor: 90’lar bile daha iyiydi Inhabitants of Bilmat, a village in Şırnak, have been displaced by conflict multiple times over the past twenty-five years, and only recently returned to their village at the demand of authorities. However, the village has severe problems with infrastructure, water, and electricity, and children are unable to go to school due to the lack of buses. Some villagers say that their situation now is worse than it was in the 90s.
26. İstanbul LGBTİ+ Onur Haftası Başlıyor: Sınır! Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week will take place during the week of 25 June to 1 July; entrance to most of its events will be free of charge. Some planned projects are a DJ workshop (Ziba, 6/25), a panel on being LGBTI+ in prison (Cezayir Meeting Room, 6/27), and a "most homophobic" awards party (6/29 Roxy). The week will finish with a pride march on 1 July.
Türkiye için kırmızı alarm Merve Erol writes that most people considered Erdoğan's "pet project," the Istanbul Canal, as too far-fetched to be realized. However, if Erdoğan wins the election, there is a distinct possibility of it being carried out, and with it, the destruction of the region's wetlands and forests, a decrease in available drinking water, and the extinction of the region’s aquatic life.
Görünmezliğe hapsedilen işçi intiharları Cem Özgür writes that economic worries, insecurity, and poor working conditions can lead workers, especially those with pre-existing mental illness, to see suicide as a way out; however, society largely ignores the problem. He also underlines that workers’ suicide rates have risen over the past five years: while fifteen worker suicides were recorded in 2013, that number rose to eighty-nine in 2017.
Published on Jadaliyya
Begüm Adalet, Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey (New Texts Out Now)
Solidarity with #SurHasankeyf2018
Call for International Academic Solidarity
Workshop Announcement: Authoritarianism and Resistance in Turkey (May 12-13, University of Kassel)
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"